Real Rado Amateurs?

Michael Watterson's picture

This is what "Radio Amateur" should maybe be about in the 21st Century, rather than CW bugs, Echolink, DStar, collecting squares and off the shelf rigs.

From 1905 to 1950s Amateur radio was in the forefront of Innovation and Wireless Experimentation. Post Office Trunk circuit SSB applied to Radio etc after WWII.

See BBC News on Satellite for uncensored Internet

My own satellite experience so far is in installation and test of performance of VSAT (two way Internet tests prior to the ISP marketing it), Analogue and Digital TVRO (I have a Motorised 110cm dish and 4 x Satellites on Quattro LNBs 90cm dish feeding Multiswitch. I designed an apartment system to distribute Broadband, FM & TV and Satellite)

View  from my workshop toward old workshop

Triax Multifeed for Freesat/Sky, Astra 19E, Hotbird 13E and 9E Ku(eventually Saorsat/Ka-Sat )

I use a discone on the chimney and a cheap scanner to pickup passing 137MHz weather satellites. The better receivers with narrower IF would need continuously tuned because of Doppler Shift.

I've heard folk chatting to ISS (just on a rubber duck aerial) on 145.800MHz as it whizzes past and I set up "orbitron" PC sat tracking on projector for Scouts at Jamboree on the Air once and used the Icom IC2800 pulled from car and the mag mount whip on the Scout building steel roof to relay via one of the passing Oscars (51?) on 430MHz band.

All trivial stuff compared to the ambitions of "Hackerspace"
see shackspace wiki

[b]Orbitron free download[/b] -->  Orbitron from Stoff (Postcard ware!)
Really great package.


Orbitron is a satellite tracking system for radio amateur and observing purposes. It's also used by weather professionals, satellite communication users, astronomers, UFO hobbyist and even astrologers.

Application shows the positions of satellites at any given moment (in real or simulated time). It's FREE (Cardware)
and it's probably one of the easiest and most powerful satellite
trackers, according to opinions of thousands of users from all over the
world. I'm still working on it, waiting for your opinions and bug
reports. Please try it. If you like it - tell your friends about it and
send me a postcard...


  • NORAD SGP4/SDP4 prediction models
  • 20 000 satellites can be loaded from TLE file(s) (auto: PC/Unix, 2/3 line)
  • ALL of them can be tracked at the same time
  • Sun and Moon tracking
  • Full-screen, presentation modes
  • Supported screen resolutions from 640x480
  • Real-time mode / Simulation mode (free time control)
  • Advanced passes & Iridium flares search engine (results printing)
  • Miscellaneous options of visualisation
  • Nightlife (dark color-scheme for night usage)
  • Orbit info
  • Notes for each object
  • Radar
  • Easy, flexible interface
  • Database of cities around the world
  • Database of satellite frequencies
  • PC clock synchronization via NTP
  • Internet TLE updater (with ZIP support) via HTTP
  • Rotor/radio control (built-in or user's driver support)
  • Windows screen-saver included
  • Translations supported
  • and many, many, more...

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS (recommendations)

    • Windows 9x/2k/Me/XP/2003/Vista, Linux [with Wine emulation]
    • 150 MHz processor (300 MHz)
    • 16 MB RAM (32 MB)
    • 5 MB free space on hard drive
    • 640x480 screen resolution (800x600x16 bit)