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Hyderabad Hams develop low cost Transverter for QO-100 satellite

In what is sure to be a change in gaming for the amateur radio community, five Hyderabad-based Ham operators have prototyped up and down converters for the QO-100 satellite.

Hyderabad: A group of radio amateurs in the city are literally raising waves after succeeding in locally designing and testing low-cost equipment that could help Hams communicate via the QO-100 geosynchronous satellite.

In what will surely be a change in games for the amateur radio community, five Ham-based operators in Hyderabad have made prototypes of down-and-up converters for the QO-100 satellite. The use of this equipment would allow any Ham operator to practice satellite communications, which would have forced them to invest large sums so far.

Usually, one has to use the receiver with a software-defined radio (SDR) only to listen to the conversations that take place on the satellite, or to use a transceiver for communication. These receivers or transceivers are expensive and branded equipment can cost more than varnish. The team of Hyderabad from Ham operators, experienced in home brewing, have designed a functional converter down, converter up and successfully use them to make QSOs (conversations) with other Hams.

Radio amateurs must connect their licensed radios to the newly developed transducers to use the QO-100 transponders.

The whole operation would be something like the DTH attachment we use at home. A satellite broadcasts television program signals that are heard from a plate on the roof. This plate, equipped with an LNB, converts these radio waves into signals received by the receiver via a cable. The plug-in again turns them into visual images on television. Similarly, the QO-100 also has 10 Giga Hertz downlink and 2.4 Giga Hertz uplink frequencies.

For locally developed converters, the Hyderabad ham team delivered a 95 cm plate (costing around Rs 1,500) locally and an LNB (Rs 150) to receive QO-100 signals. The real success was in designing the board, which could receive signals from a plate (10 Ghz) and convert them to 740 Mega Hertz (Inermediate Frequency in technical language).

“It took almost a year to design this board and it works great,” say Sasi Bhushan, VU2XZ and A Amarendra, VU2AAP, who are visibly enthusiastic. Both home breweries are equipped with electronic components from India and other countries to produce boards that act as a down-converter and up-converter. The up-converter converts the waves to 2.4 Giga Hertz and sends them through the same antenna to the QO-100 satellite.

Hyderabad Ham operators plan to launch the converters down and up to be used first by Hydeabad-based radio amateurs. “Our goal is to make converters affordable for Lamakan Amateur Radio (LARC) members,” says Sasi Bhushan. There are also plans to design a converter – a combination of down and up converters so that each ham operator can use it directly.

Otherwise, those who are only interested in listening to radio communication via the QO-100 could only use a downlink converter, while those who plan to have a QSO via satellite could use the link converter at present. . “The prototype of the transverter is ready. This will be a plug-and-play converter, ”says Sassi. If Sasi Bhushan and Amarendra spent a lot of time designing them, colleagues Hams B. Venu Gopal VU2BVB, Anil VU3DXA, K Nagasainath VU2TJF and MVS Sarma VU3ZMV helped with the material supply, production and testing of the converters.


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