FalconSat-3 iGate?

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by K4KDR, Oct 10, 2017.

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  1. K4KDR

    K4KDR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi everyone. First post on QRZ, but I've learned a lot from what others have discussed on here.

    Tonight I added the appropriate lines to my direwolf config file that runs when I'm tracking a FalconSat-3 pass so that it would iGate any APRS packets received. I played back a short section of recording from the other day and everything worked fine - a location packet from NB3T got uploaded to aprs.fi showing my K4KDR-15 iGate as the uploader and "PFS3-1*" as the digipeater.

    Screenshot from 2017-10-09 23-10-21.png

    That's great, but you can't search for traffic from PFS3-1 since apparently it's never generated a location packet to establish itself as an entity on the APRS network. (an assumption on my part)

    Unless there's another way that I don't know about, it seems like it would be a lot easier to identify FalconSat-3 traffic if PFS3-1 was searchable.

    Other than someone transmitting a 1-time APRS location packet as PFS3-1 (not kosher, I realize), is there some other way of getting PFS3-1 established on the APRS network the way, for example, that RS0ISS is?

    I'm probably wrong about a half-dozen or more things here, but that's why I'm asking. Thanks in advance for any pointers!

    -Scott, K4KDR
    KA2CZU likes this.
  2. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    You can see packets sent by PFS3-1 at:


    Replace PFS3-1 with any of the other "call signs" like PFS3-11, PFS3-12, or PCTRL-8 in that URL to see other traffic.

    VK4TEC has a web site that sees FalconSat-3 traffic as well as the 145.825 MHz traffic:

    I think VK4TEC is copying packet traffic, as well as accessing the data online, for his web site. Some details on his work have shown up on the AMSAT-BB list.

    Before your station started up as a gateway for FalconSat-3, I think only W7KKE in Oregon had been doing that here in the USA. I saw my packets on the Internet through W7KKE early in 3 different passes on 8 October.

    Good luck, and 73!
    KA2CZU likes this.
  3. K3RLD

    K3RLD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I sent the findu.com owner (Steve Dimse) an email a few weeks back asking if he could create a CGI that would allow for a "heard by" type listing similar to ariss.net and pcsat.aprs.org, but never got a response.

    Ideally, if a CGI existed, all you'd need to do is put in "PFS3-1" into the coded URL and it would spit out all the packets digipeated by PFS3-1. I suspect that since there are only two working instances of this type of engine - that it's a little more involved (perhaps these two webpages are active scripts that are constantly running on Steve's server, rather than passive scripts that run only when the URL is accessed?).

    Scott, what hardware are you using for you FS-3 satgate? My 145.825 satgate just went belly up (still can't figure out why, barely even works for 144.39 - I'm thinking there is some local QRM that is killing my reception).
  4. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I didn't see anything on the FindU site where you can make it show all packets digipeated by a particular call sign. I did see something that will show packets from a particular call sign, similar to what you get when you look at the raw packets on the aprs.fi site. Look at the description for raw.cgi at:


    You can feed it a call sign and see what has been heard from that call sign. An example of this for PFS3-1 showing packets in the past 48 hours would be the following:


    Looks like you may be able to tinker with the parameters in the CGI call to get more, or less, data - to a point. I don't think you can get to raw packets more than a few days in the past, so looking up raw packets from last month or last year is probably a no-go.

  5. K3RLD

    K3RLD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Right. What I want is to be able to list "stations heard by PFS3-1", exactly like the ariss.net and pcsat.aprs.org webpages. Those two CGI's are actually listed in Findu CGI list, but they are not user adjustable - so no way to make the same style page for Falconsat.
  6. IZ1JPS

    IZ1JPS Ham Member QRZ Page

    From Giancarlo IZ1JPS
    Good Evening, Scott
    I kindly ask for some details covering the igate for Falconsat 3:
    - Connectors: Do you use specific connectors for 9600 bps on your TRX ?
    - Antenna: which type? circular polarization? L or R?. I have heard Falconsat 3 with a 6 el Yagi, very good signal but sporadic.
    - Pre- Amplifier: Do you use UHF pre-amp?
    - Call Sign: For ISS and NO-84 I use CQ,ARISS; in this case, should I use CQ,PFS3-1?
    I thank you in advance for your reply.
    Have a nice WE
    Best 73' de Giancarlo IZ1JPS
  7. K3RLD

    K3RLD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I should note that Andrew (VK4TEC) has gotten his "satreporter" to do exactly this. Not many UHF igates, though.
  8. K4KDR

    K4KDR Ham Member QRZ Page


    My receive and transmit are by different methods for FalconSat-3.

    Common Components: Antennas are on AZ-only rotator (EL currently fixed at 30°)
    Rotator controlled by PSTRotator app

    Receive: Wimo 70cm X-Quad (wired RHCP) RX antenna to SP-70 pre-amp
    LMR-400 to SDRPlay
    HDSDR software tracks doppler w/ DDE connection from Orbitron
    Audio out from HDSDR via VB-Audio (please remember to allow ~15k bandwidth on audio out for 9k6)
    VB-Audio feeds RX audio to Direwolf v1.4 (Windows) configured as RX-only iGate (K4KDR-15)
    VB-Audio feeds RX audio to UZ7HO HS-Soundmodem offering AGWPE connection on port 8000 & KISS connection on port 8100
    UISS uses AGWPE connection from UZ7HO for RX ("lan-mode")
    HW-VSP3 app creates COM port connection to UZ7HO KISS connection port 8100
    MSPE (one of the WiSP apps) uses virtual COM port for RX from UZ7HO HS-Soundmodem
    PE0SAT/DK3WN Online Telemetry Forwarder app uses AGWPE connection from UZ7HO to forward spacecraft telemetry to SatNogs database

    Transmit: UISS uses AGWPE connection for TX to UZ7HO HS-Soundmodem ("ISS-style" APRS packet QSOs)
    Yes, APRS-packets are addressed CQ>PFS3-1
    HW-VSP3 app creates COM port connection to UZ7HO KISS connection port 8100
    MSPE (one of the WiSP apps) uses virtual COM port for TX to UZ7HO HS-Soundmodem
    UZ7HO uses a USB-audio adapter as the Sound Card "Output Device"
    USB audio speaker jack connected to 9k6 data IN connection on Kenwood TM-V71A
    LMR-400 to Wimo 2m X-Quad (wired RHCP) TX antenna
    UZ7HO is configured to use hardware COM port (a USB>Serial adapter in my case) for PTT (via isolation relay to TM-V71A PTT on data port)

    ... I know that sounds like a lot, but you don't HAVE to run an iGate nor do you HAVE to run UISS if you only want to send/receive BBS files. Alternatively, you don't have to run MSPE if you only want to use UISS to send/receive APRS packets.

    Of course substitute in an APRS-capable radio instead of UISS if you are fortunate enough to have one of those nice radios.

    I hope that answers your questions.

    -Scott, K4KDR
  9. IZ1JPS

    IZ1JPS Ham Member QRZ Page

    From Giancarlo IZ1JPS
    Thanks a lot, Scott,
    The answers are actually exhaustive.
    For ISS and NO-84, and in general for APRS 1200 bps, I am using a software interconnection between UI-View ant MixW; I am planning to change for an interconnection between UI-View and SoundModem.
    I will build a new antenna for this purpose, RHCP, and I will use a UHF pre-amp.
    My problem could be the connection to the TX, because I have not the speaker jack connected to 9k6 data IN connection on Kenwood TM-V71A; I will try to find a solution, otherwise I will use another TX.
    Best 73' de Giancarlo IZ1JPS
  10. KE4AZZ

    KE4AZZ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    :cool:[​IMG] :cool:
    Grant it...she was flying high above USA when this occurred ...o_O
    KE4AZZ12019-09-20 23:46:572019-09-20 23:46:57KI43AX > EL87WA7646.3 miles 297°2019-09-20 23:46:57

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