QO100 dish

My current issue with receiving QO100 (not got round to transmitting yet, baby steps!) is where to put the 1.2m dish. I don’t really want it on the wall or at the front of the house as it’s grey and huge. It can’t go at the front of the workshop due to an apple tree and if it goes anywhere on the garden we’ll fall over it. I’m currently thinking that the bit of land we have at the back of the garage will do and I can easily run the cables into the workshop from there, or even put all the RF side of things in the garage. But with no cable route from the garage to the shack (aka the little bedroom) it seems I will need the SDR co-mounted with the RF bits and run it via Ethernet or Wifi. Of course, there is also the wall outside the little bedroom but then we’d see it every time we gaze over at the moors…

Update 11/April/20 I’ve worked it out. There is room at the front of the workshop to the side of the apple tree where the dish will see the sky if it’s up maybe 4 foot. The mount I have is 3 foot so my ‘plan A’ is to get a 4 foot 2″ pole and an extender clamp, set some concrete (whenever we’re out of lockdown) and get the dish up. This makes it a doddle to feed the cables into the workshop.

QO100 experiments

Finally I had time and reasonable weather to have a go at receiving QO100 today. I know I can receive the satellite because I’ve used my GT Media V8 and managed to resolve the TV channels. No home for the dish yet so it lives in the workshop between fiddles.

Anyway, today was a bit of a comedy of errors but did result in success. First off, dish out, LNB in and aligned to the satellite. All good. I replaced the LNB with the POTY and got absolutely nothing on the V8. So I remembered I need the external 25MHz source so grabbed my Leo Bodnar GPSDO and the Windows laptop to make sure it was set up. Success, I can see the TV again.

Next was to set up the bias tee, PSU and cabling, the SDRPlay RSP2 and the SDR on the PC. After a bit of fiddling I did manage to see traces but I have yet to investigate the SDR software on Windows so it was off back indoors for the MacBook. Note to self: remember to learn how to use software before you need to actually use it!

The MacBook and CubicSDR proved the setup. I managed to decode a couple of SSB transmissions and decode the morse on the band edge beacon: “HI DE QO100 QRA DK0SB”.

Anyway, here is the lash-up. The signals were quite weak and clearly I need to do some adjustments yet but that really needs to wait until I fix the dish somewhere.