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Receiving 12 GHz Ku band

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by KC9SGV, Aug 23, 2019.

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  1. KC9SGV

    KC9SGV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi All,
    What would be the best, easiest, cheapest way to receive a 12 GHz Linear RF signal from the GEO belt ?
    And a 12 GHz DATV RF signal ?
    It is time to start building...
    In Europe, satellite hams started building their ground stations 2 years before QO-100 was available.
    We have months, if that.

    KK4CUL likes this.
  2. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Use the plans the Europeans have already developed and tested!
    K3RW likes this.
  3. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Plenty of Surplus Ku-band or X-band (10.70 to 12.75 GHz) dishes and LNB across country.
    You will need a Receiver capable of taking the output (950-1250 MHz) from those surplus LNAs or other converters.
    Primer 101 : LNB (Low Noise Block) Local Oscillator (LO) Frequency
    This is UHF/Satcom hobby site, run by radio enthusiasts. The information in these pages has been compiled over many years, from a large number of sources, and of course from input provided by the folks in the #hearsat IRC channel. They have a Twitter feed, that I follow.

    Hacking Ku-band PLL LNB.
    Satellite Dish Free-to-Air (FTA) is a separate hobby & interest group in North America.
    British Amateur Television Club
    Web Page

    Wiki Page

    Basic Information for Es'hail-2 (Oscar 100)'hail-2_Basic_Information

    Es'hail-2 LNBs and Antennas'hail-2_LNBs_and_Antennaes
    Paul Marsh M0EYT gave a presentation titled
    All you need to know to get going on Es’hail-2 / QO-100 geostationary satellite’
    at Hamfest 2019 in Dorset (UK) on Sunday, August 11.

    I joined BATC over two years ago, after Jean-Pierre F6DZP developed the
    MiniTioune receiver and BATC created a version 2 kit.

    Planning a Digital-ATV Station for DVB-S (2009 article)
    by Ken Konechy, W6HHC and Robbie Robinson, KB6CJZ
    Orange County Amateur Radio Club
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  4. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here are Paul Marsh, M0EYT presentation slides from Dorset hamfest two weeks ago.

    What do you need to Receive?

    Dish Antenna, at least 80cm (31 inch)

    Modern LNB (without front-end filter):
    Use a ‘PLL’ LNB which is more stable than the typical DRO TV LNB
    Lock the LNB reference crystal (25/27 MHz) to common (surplus) 10 MHz frequency reference (GPS, Rubidium or TCXO)
    DC Power Inserter and Polarization switching

    • RTL-SDR, RSP, Airspy, HackRF, any SDR covering 600MHz-1.5GHz + suitable software
    • 2M / 70cm (VHF/UHF) Multi-Mode Transceiver
    • Additional IF down converter (739MHz > 2M / 70cm)
    Achim Vollhardt, DH2VA of AMSAT-DL developed a
    Universal Receiver Mixer for QO-100 (AMSAT P4-A)

    Due to the wide distribution of commercial receivers for satellite television, antenna systems for 10-11 GHz with corresponding Low Noise Blocks (LNBs) are available at very low prices. LNBs are generally formulated as preamplifiers with down mixers that convert the Ku band between 10.7-12.75 GHz to the IF of 950-2150 MHz used by TV receivers. Usually two separate LO frequencies are used (9750 MHz or 10600 MHz), which are switched with a 22 kHz signal on the coaxial line. The switching between the two linear polarization planes (vertical/horizontal) is done with the operating voltage (14V or 18V). For the downlink frequencies of 10489 MHz (narrowband/NB, 250 kHz) and 10495 MHz (broadband/WB, 8 MHz) used by Phase 4A, only the LO frequency of 9750 MHz makes sense. This results in intermediate frequencies of 739 MHz (NB) and 745 MHz (WB).
    Unfortunately these frequencies cannot be reached by conventional SSB transceivers or satellite receivers.
    Since not all radio amateurs desire to use a SDR stick solution, the Project was developed for a Mixer.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
    K2NCC likes this.
  5. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    just wondering, why do you think "we" (North America?) might have only months for this?
  6. KC9SGV

    KC9SGV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Gregory,
    Thank you so much for the excellent and informative response.
    Finding you here in this section of the forum, is the reason why had to double post my question.
    I am a member of SARC, and I think your name was mentioned by them.
    We might have met on occasion if you ever went to their winter construction project meetings.
    I have been following the European and Katari QO-100 program with great interest.
    It is absolutely fascinating what those IARU Region 1 hams are experimenting on through their new Geostationary ham satellite.
    It brought a new Rennaisance in ham radio to many there.
    And if you live in an HOA community, just your small dish on your porch will keep you in DX ops.

    I believe we will all soon be able to do some of the same here in the USA and parts of Canada.
    Hint, there is an exciting half-solution to GEO sat ops coming our way in the interim, but I do not want to jump the gun completely here before an official announcement is made.
    Can you say...aggregator up, FTA or WebSDR down ?

    The important part is...we need to start building our Ku band receivers ASAP, at least.

    kc9sgv AT gmail dott com
  7. KC9SGV

    KC9SGV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Skills and knowledge learned on 12 GHz will easily be transported over to "5 and dime" when the dedicated Region 2 ham band GEO 6U cubesat(s) go up....
  8. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not sure anything "official" will be announced about this. Michelle W5NYV posted on the AMSAT-BB list Wednesday evening an outline of a plan to get access to bandwidth on a GEO satellite:

  9. KC9SGV

    KC9SGV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ok, I was not sure if the details were finalized, yet.
    So here is more information on Echostar 9.

    There are a few possibilities to get audio into the aggregator.
    DMR, Echolink, Skype,, etc.
    We are waiting to get our ground stations ready.


    Moderator, please move this thread to satellite coms, if appropriate.
  10. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have not been to a SARC construction/project meeting for at least a decade.
    Work interfered with my available time ... and I always have a “back-log” of projects.
    I am a life member of AMSAT-NA and AMSAT-UK (my old employer HQ was on University of Surrey Research Park, adjacent to Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. - SSTL).
    So, I have followed developments.
    As they say in Britain, you can ALWAYS acquire the “pieces of kit”.
    Good Parts to Acquire (Cheap and Frequently found in dumpsters):
    • 90cm to 1.2m satellite dish (Offset or Center focus).
    • Quality coax for > 1 GHz.
    • “PLL” LNB (numerous notes & conversion projects in EU/UK).
    • GPSDO (Useful for SDR usage now or future)
    • WATCH Progress on these Active AMSAT-DL / DH2VA Build Projects.
    • 5 GHz offset dish feeds are available:
    • BATC has their MiniTioune receiver, 144 MHz to >2450 MHz (with
      Serit tuner) can receive DVB-S QPSK and DVB-S2 QPSK, 8PSK, 16APSK, 32 APSK from broadcast and amateur sources with symbol rates (SR) from 30 Msymbols down to 66Ks Ksymbols per second.
    Universal receiver mixer for QO-100 (AMSAT P4-A)
    S-Band Transmitter Mixer for QO-100 (P4-A)
    E66A07EE-CDD9-4EBA-9D27-280B5105B73A.jpeg 070D75A2-72BA-44E4-BB1E-35E3002E306A.jpeg
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019

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