Friday, 26 April 2019

Jamboree on the air challenge *servicekring* Enigma Funcube decoding

Received a very nice letter today from Wouter PA3WEG and Jeroen PE1RGE, thanking us for participation in JOTA / JOTI Scout enigma challenge on the funcube 1 satellite.

They sent this letter and some very fancy badges for the Scouts to sew on their uniform

Great big thank you and looking forward to this years challenge!

The challenge was set to decode a message from FunCube1 satellite and then answer a set of questions to get the settings for the enigma decoding engine. 

We had some great fun setting this up and getting the full message eventually.

Thanks to all who helped set this up.

Here is our video of the fully decoded message


We got a couple of mentions on Amsat-UK web pages: 
We (sixth staines scouts) got a mention on their web site.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Bias Tee virtual buildathon #vbuild is back

Chertsey Radio club 

In association with 


£12 Including postage


We will be running an evening session in the next few weeks and building the Bias-tee kit.
This simple kit helps supply 12 or 18 volts to the satellite dishes LNB, this in turn powers either the horizontal or vertical antenna amplifiers. The Narrow band (voice, CW, data) is Vertical, whilst the TV band is Horizontal. The kit contains 10 components (full size, no SMD!) and its estimated between 15 and 45 minutes to build and test the board.
We will be running the sessions using ZOOM platform and will share video and audio with the group. All videos of the build will be shared after the event on this site. You will need basic soldering kit, snips and at least a multimeter to run the electrical tests. To receive Es'hailsat 2 (QO-100) you will also need an old satellite dish and a reasonable LNB, available on ebay for about  £12 including postage. The last thing you will need is a cheap SDR dongle, these can be easily purchased for about £15.

Setting up and pointing the dish, is a combination of fun and stress, but once you pick up the signal the satisfaction will overwhelm you.

To Register for your place please email



Part 1 of the build, check components, slight modifications and tweaks explained.

Part 2 inserting the components

Part 3 solder test and use (fin)

Some of our other successful virtual builds have included:

The Foxx-3

2/70 diplexer SMD kit

Pocket money projects by Bob M6FLT

Friday, 19 April 2019

GB1DOS special event station

Special event Salyut-1 (DOS-1) First ever space station launched today 47 years ago

GB1DOS (Salyut-1)

Celebrating the very first space station 47 years ago today since the launch

Salyut 1 (DOS-1) (RussianСалют-1) was the first space station of any kind, launched into low Earth orbit by the Soviet Union on April 19, 1971.

Salyut 1 originated as a modification of the military Almaz space station program then in development.[2] After the landing of Apollo 11 on the Moon in July 1969, the Soviets began shifting the primary emphasis of their manned space program to orbiting space stations, with a possible lunar landing later in the 1970s if the N-1 booster became flight-worthy (it did not).[3] One other motivation for the space station program was a desire to one-up the US Skylab program then in development. The basic structure of Salyut 1 was adapted from the Almaz with a few modifications and would form the basis of all Soviet space stations through Mir.[2]
Civilian Soviet space stations were internally referred to as DOS (the Russian acronym for "Long-duration orbital station"), although publicly, the Salyut name was used for the first six DOS stations (Mir was internally known as DOS-7).[2] Several military experiments were nonetheless carried on Salyut 1, including the OD-4 optical visual ranger,[4] the Orion ultraviolet instrument for characterizing rocket exhaust plumes,[5] and the highly classified Svinets radiometer.[6]

Construction and operational history

Construction of Salyut 1 began in early 1970, and after nearly a year it was shipped to the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Some remaining assembly work had yet to be done, and this was completed at the launch center. The Salyut programme was managed by Kerim Kerimov,[7] chairman of the state commission for Soyuz missions.[8]
Launch was planned for April 12, 1971 to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's flight on Vostok 1, but technical problems delayed it until the 19th.[9] The first crew launched later in the Soyuz 10 mission, but they ran into troubles while docking and were unable to enter the station; the Soyuz 10 mission was aborted and the crew returned safely to Earth. A replacement crew launched in Soyuz 11 and remained on board for 23 days. This was the first time in the history of spaceflight that a space station had been manned, and a new record time was set in space. This success was, however, short-lived when the crew was killed during re-entry, as a pressure-equalization valve in the Soyuz 11 re-entry capsule had opened prematurely, causing the crew to asphyxiate. After this accident, all missions were suspended while the Soyuz spacecraft was redesigned. The station was intentionally destroyed by de-orbiting after six months in orbit, because it ran out of fuel before a redesigned Soyuz spacecraft could be launched to it.[10]


At launch, the announced purpose of Salyut was to test the elements of the systems of a space station and to conduct scientific research and experiments. The craft was described as being 20 m (66 ft) in length, 4 m (13 ft) in maximum diameter, and 99 m3 (3,500 cu ft) in interior space with an on-orbit dry mass of 18,425 kg (40,620 lb). Of its several compartments, three were pressurized (100 m³ total), and two could be entered by the crew.[1]

Transfer compartment

The transfer compartment was equipped with the only docking port of Salyut 1, which allowed one Soyuz 7K-OKS spacecraft to dock. It was the first use of the Soviet SSVP docking system that allowed internal crew transfer, a system that is in use today. The docking cone had a 2 m (6.6 ft) front diameter and a 3 m (9.8 ft) aft diameter.[1]

Main compartment

The second and main compartment was about 4 m (13 ft) in diameter. Televised views showed enough space for eight large chairs (seven at work consoles), several control panels, and 20 portholes (some obstructed by instruments).[1]

Auxiliary compartments

The third pressurized compartment contained the control and communications equipment, the power supply, the life support system, and other auxiliary equipment. The fourth and final unpressurized compartment was about 2 m in diameter and contained the engine installations and associated control equipment. Salyut had buffer chemical batteries, reserve supplies of oxygen and water, and regeneration systems. Externally mounted were two double sets of solar cell panels that extended like wings from the smaller compartments at each end, the heat regulation system's radiators, and orientation and control devices.[1]
Salyut 1 was modified from one of the Almaz airframes. The unpressurized service module was the modified service module of a Soyuz craft.[2]

Orion 1 Space Observatory

The astrophysical Orion 1 Space Observatory designed by Grigor Gurzadyan of Byurakan Observatory in Armenia, was installed in Salyut 1. Ultraviolet spectrograms of stars were obtained with the help of a mirror telescope of the Mersenne system and a spectrograph of the Wadsworth system using film sensitive to the far ultraviolet. The dispersion of the spectrograph was 32 Å/mm (3.2 nm/mm), while the resolution of the spectrograms derived was about 5 Å at 2600 Å (0.5 nm at 260 nm). Slitless spectrograms were obtained of the stars Vega and Beta Centauri between 2000 and 3800 Å (200 and 380 nm).[11] The telescope was operated by crew member Viktor Patsayev, who became the first man to operate a telescope outside the Earth's atmosphere.[12]

Soyuz 11

The Soyuz 11 crew with the Salyut station in the background, in a Soviet commemorative stamp

Salyut 1 as seen from the departing Soyuz 11
Soyuz 11 took 3 hours and 19 minutes on June 7 to complete docking.[14] The crew transferred to Salyut and their mission was announced as:[1]
  • Checking the design, units, onboard systems, and equipment of the orbital piloted station
  • Testing the station's manual and autonomous procedures for orientation and navigation, as well as the control systems for maneuvering the space complex in orbit
  • Studying Earth's surface geology, geography, meteorology, and snow and ice cover
  • Studying physical characteristics, processes, and phenomena in the atmosphere and outer space in various regions of the electromagnetic spectrum
  • Conducting medico-biological studies to determine the feasibility of having cosmonauts in the station perform various tasks, and studying the influence of space flight on the human organism.
On June 29, after 23 days and flying 362 orbits, the mission was cut short due to problems aboard the station, including an electrical fire. The crew transferred back to Soyuz 11 and reentered the Earth's atmosphere. The capsule parachuted to a soft landing in Kazakhstan, but the recovery team opened the hatch to find all three crew members dead in their couches. An inquest found that a pressure relief valve had malfunctioned during re-entry leading to a loss of cabin atmosphere.[15] The crew were not wearing pressure suits, and it was decreed that all further Soyuz missions would require the use of them.[16]
ExpeditionCrewLaunch dateFlight upLanding dateFlight downDuration (days)Notes
Soyuz 11Georgy DobrovolskyViktor PatsayevVladislav VolkovJune 6, 1971, 07:55:09 UTCSoyuz 11June 30, 1971, 02:16:52 UTCSoyuz 1123 days, 18 hours, 21 minutes, 43 secondsCrew died on re-entry


Salyut 1 was moved to a higher orbit in July–August 1971 to ensure that it would not be destroyed prematurely through orbital decay. In the meantime, Soyuz capsules were being substantially re-designed to allow pressure suits to be worn during launch, docking maneuvers, and re-entry.[17] The Soyuz redesign effort took too long however, and by September, Salyut 1 was running low on attitude control gas.[citation needed] It was decided to conclude the station's mission and on October 11, the main engines were fired for a deorbit maneuver. After 175 days, the world's first space station burned up over the Pacific Ocean.[1]

Pravda (October 26, 1971) reported that 75% of Salyut 1's studies were carried out by optical means and 20% by radio-technical means, while the remainder involved magnetometrical, gravitational, or other measurements. Synoptic readings were taken in both the visible and invisible parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.[1]

Monday, 15 April 2019

SDR sharp remote server now available for qo-100 receive UK IO91

server located IO91SK is now available to use sdr://
Have fun and enjoy using it

Download and install SDR sharp:

load, sdr sharp, change source to spy server network, then click on the three dots to open a list of remote servers you can freely access.

In our case we are going to search for m0jfp, and double click when its found the next screen should open.

Double click on the server link starting sdr:// this will open the remote link on sdrsharp client.

SDR sharp now starts and gives you control over our remote server, note all transmissions on QO-100 are USB. Note there will be a slight drift, but by tuning up or down a small amount all data or voice can be decoded or listen to.

Sunday, 14 April 2019


There were a lot of issue with audio and images received were poor quality, here for example is one from Sunday over the UK.

Thursday, 11 April 2019 

Check this out on Chirbit

An International Space Station school contact has been planned with participants at École des Charmilles, Thyez, France
on 11 Apr.
 The event is scheduled to begin at approximately 12:55 UTC. It is recommended that you start listening approximately 10 minutes before this time.The duration of the contact is approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds. The contact will be a telebridge between OR4ISS and ON4ISS. The contact should be audible over Belgium and adjacent areas. Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.80 MHz downlink. The contact is expected to be conducted in French.


Thyez est une commune situee dans Sud-Est de la France dans le departement de la Haute-Savoie, au coeur de la vallee de l'Arve, entre le Mont-Blanc et le lac Leman. On appelle ses habitants les Thylons et les Thylonnes.Cette commune d'un peu plus de 6000 habitants a une activite economique forte essentiellement liee a l'industrie du decolletage qui consiste a fabriquer de petites pieces de precisions pour differents secteurs comme l'automobile, la sante mais aussi l'aviation et l'aeronautique.
Ce savoir-faire ne de l'horlogerie fait de la vallee de l'Arve la capitale mondiale du decolletage. Mais c'est aussi une region touristique ete comme hiver. Situee au coeur des Alpes, elle offre aux visiteurs de formidables panoramas. La ville de Thyez se distingue de ses voisines avec ses lacs et sa base de loisirs offrant un cadre de vie de grande qualite a ses habitants.
L'ecole des Charmilles, l'une des deux ecoles de la ville, situe sur le bas de la commune, accueille 464 eleves de 3 a 11 ans dans les 18 classes qui la composent. C'est la plus grande ecole de la commune. L'ecole de la Crete, situee sur le haut de la ville, accueille 137 enfants ages de de 6 a 11 ans, repartis en 5 classes.
Depuis le mois de septembre 2018, des eleves thylons suivent avec passion la mission de David Saint-Jacques a bord de la station spatiale. Ils developpent au travers de cette activite leur curiosite pour les sciences et pour la culture humaniste.

Thyez is a town located in the South-East of France in the Haute-Savoie, in the heart of the Arve Valley, between Mont Blanc and Lake Geneva. Its inhabitants are called the Thylons and the Thylonnes.This town of a little over 6,000 inhabitants has a strong economic activity mainly related to the bar turning industry which consists in manufacturing small precision pieces for various sectors such as the automobile, health but also aviation and aeronautics.This expertise born of watchmaking makes the Arve Valley the world capital of machining. But it is also a tourist region summer and winter. Located in the heart of the Alps, it offers visitors great panoramas and activities. The city of Thyez is distinguished from its neighbors with its lakes and its leisure center overlooking the mountains offering a high quality of life to its inhabitants.The school of Charmilles, one of the two schools of the city, located on the bottom of the town, welcomes 464 students from 3 to 11 years in the 18 classes that compose it. It is the biggest school of the municipality. The school of Crete, located on the top of the city welcomes 137 children aged from 6 to 11 years, divided into 5 classes. Since September 2018, students have followed with passion the mission of David Saint-Jacques aboard the space station. Through this activity they develop their curiosity for science and for humanist culture.

Participants will ask as many of the following questions as time allows:

1.  Est ce que tu peux toucher les etoiles?
2.  La station spatiale se deplace-t-elle ou reste-t-elle immobile dans le ciel?
3.  Quelle est votre mission?
4.  Doit-on conduire la station internationale?
5.  Comment se sent-on dans une fusee?
6.  Pourquoi avez-vous voulu devenir astronaute?
7.  Comment faites-vous pour boire?
8.  Est ce qu'il y a des extra terrestres dans l'espace?
9.  Quand vous etes dans la station, est-ce que vous volez?
10.  Quel entrainement avez-vous suivi?
11.  Allez-vous sortir dans l'espace?
12.  Combien de temps faut-il a la fusee pour arriver a la station spatiale?
13.  Etes-vous triste que votre famille ne vous ait pas accompagne dans l'espace?
14.  Quelle est ta planete preferee?
15.  Comment faites-vous quand vous n avez plus rien a manger?
16.  Est-ce qu'il fait froid dans l'espace?
17.  Comment dormez-vous a bord?
18.  Est-ce que vous avez du mal a respirer dans l'espace?
19.  Irez-vous un jour sur Mars?
20.  Arrivez-vous a prendre des nouvelles de ce qu'il se passe sur terre?

1.  Can you touch the stars?
2.  Does the space station move or remain motionless in the sky?
3.  What is your mission?
4.  Do you have to drive the international station?
5.  How do you feel in a rocket?
6.  Why did you want to become an astronaut?
7.  How do you drink?
8.  Are there extra terrestrials in space?
9.  When you are in the station, do you fly?
10.  What training did you follow?
11.  Will you go out into space?
12.  How long does it take for the rocket to arrive at the space station?
13.  Are you sad that your family did not accompany you in space?
14.  What is your favorite planet?
15.  How do you do when you have nothing to eat?
16.  Is it cold in space?
17.  How do you sleep on board?
18.  Do you have trouble breathing in space?
19.  Will you ever go to Mars?
20.  Are you getting to know what's happening on earth?

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

15:40UK more SSTV images not the best !

TroubleshootingAIRSPY_ERROR_NOT_FOUND (-5) in ubuntu linux in VMware (don't bother)

Airspy will not work **well** in VMware

Power up vmware ensuring that you have shared access to airspy, e.g. VM, Removable device, Openmoko Airspy Connect (disconect from host)

Open a console window, type airspy_info and you get the error:

To fix this you need to power down the VM guest and edit the config file

You need to edit the config file for you linux vm guest install and add this line

usb.quirks.device0 = "0x1d50:0x60a1 skip-setconfig"

I put it here:

Save the file and power up the guest
open a terminal again and type airspy_info, you should get a clean output.

I've managed to get GQRX running, but not able to see any signals, so its not technically working.

I have been advised this si not the way to go, either choose a cheap raspberry pi  or a dedicated linux install.