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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Listening to Chinese Satellites with my Drake 2-B

On September 22, 2015 at around 1120 UTC I was able to hear the CW beacons from the fleet of new amateur radio satellites put into orbit by China.   Here is a recording:

http://soldersmoke.com/Chinese Satellite XW2.mp3

Very cool.   This reminded me a lot my early experiences with the Russian RS satellites in the 1990s.


  1. As you can hear these VHF/UHF signals Bill, it would be interesting to compare performance with your SDR dongle arrangement.

    Tony G4WIF

  2. I presume you were using a VHF converter ahead of the Drake Bill.
    I have been using an SDR here to monitor and +record+ the top 600kHz of the 2m band, which allows me to play it back and tune around again as if it were live, very much magic to me.
    It is also educational to be able to observe all the individual CW beacons, FSK telemetry and transponder down links at the same time on a waterfall display and see the Doppler frequency curve.
    Had to put a bandpass filter ahead of the SDR to avoid overload from some high power services 10 MHz above the 2-m band, without that I had a display full of bands of noise and intermod that I couldn't make any sense of at all.

    I am using my homemade 10 element horizontal yagi, with no elevation, but at least I have got the azimuth rotator autotracking now, which leaves me a pair of hands for other things.

    If you do get your SDR going and look at the transponder downlink, apart from actual QSOs you can see the people sweeping their VFO on transmit trying to find their downlink signal. There is no hiding place now!

    73 and hope to work you on one of the birds one day.

    David GM4JJJ

  3. Hello,

    that reminds me to my old RS6 and following satellites times. Thanks for showing this. I'll reconnect my 2m RX to listen to it. I*ve nothing to transmit for 70cm.

    73, Mike, DF2OK


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