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SATCOM - Space and Satellite Monitoring Forum - Forum for the discussion of the Space Shuttle, Satellites, Military Satcom, and Amateur Radio Satcom communications.

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Old 04-21-2017, 7:28 PM
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Default Homemade satcom antenna

So i been doing days and days of searching for a diagram and directions on building a military type satcom antenna like the one off black horizon web site..Has anyone else built one like it?..he never finished the article and i have tried to contact him in twitter afew times with no luck..I'm not really interested in buying one off ebay or off any other site.. thanks for any and all info on this style build..
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Old 04-21-2017, 9:39 PM
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Quite a few have built this one with great success - construction details in the 11th post down MT article:

http://forums.radioreference.com/sat...a-project.html
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Old 04-22-2017, 4:41 AM
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Yeah a friend of mine built one afew towns over and all he gets is the pirates ..
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Old 04-22-2017, 7:34 PM
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Well, at least that indicates it's working

Good info here:

UHF SATCOM Downlinks Receivable in North America

For voice comms you need monitor the channels with the wider bandwidths i.e. 25/30/35khz etc.
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Old 04-22-2017, 8:35 PM
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I hear that one works quite well, but I'm just speaking from what others have reported........
prcguy

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Quite a few have built this one with great success - construction details in the 11th post down MT article:

http://forums.radioreference.com/sat...a-project.html
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Old 05-11-2017, 11:15 AM
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so i went and built one... the hype was not worth it... i should of saved and built a cross yagi or a helical one instead... I'm getting comms on it and herd some milair on it so far..i still have some tinkering with a amp and position of it..
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Old 05-11-2017, 11:18 AM
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my next adventure will be one of theses...
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:42 PM
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The MT X-wing project antenna works better than a $7,000 military Trivec X-wing within CONUS, I've measured them both. To build your next adventure you will need to make and test a 75 ohm phasing harness different than the X-wing so that it provides a 90deg phase shift between elements or use a commercially made 90deg hybrid coupler and exact lengths of coax to the elements. And you will have to point it at each satellite, where the X-wing is omni directional at the various angles to the satellites. Or I've bought the entire 8 element antennas like shown in your pic on Ebay for under $150.
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my next adventure will be one of theses...
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Old 05-11-2017, 11:05 PM
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prcguy is too humble.

This is what my X-Wing can do.
But..... with an LNA-580 preamp mounted in the PVC base.

I built it a few years ago and it performs far better than I had hoped for.



Rich

Edit: And this!
MilSat Pirates Using two R820T USB Dongles and an X-Wing antenna
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzQWGPzs1r8

.
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Old 05-11-2017, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john6483 View Post
Yeah a friend of mine built one a few towns over and all he gets is the pirates ..
By the way..........
That's mostly what's up there.
So, if you spend a lot of money, you may get the pirates a little stronger.

Some clear voice can be heard at times (rarely) and some SSTV repeating the same images over and over and over and over etc.

Rich






X-Wing With Ground Plane


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Old 05-12-2017, 5:37 AM
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yeah i will be testing it with afew different kinds of amps.... location will be the hard spot for me.... in maine its kinda hard to get good position where i live... gonna try a cable tv amp and a mini circuits amp first then this one 1-500MHz AD8367 RF Broadband Signal Amplifier Module 45dB linear Variable Gain | eBay. the next antenna may be a helical design ...
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Old 05-19-2017, 7:38 AM
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So .. has anyone played around with changing the length of the elements? .. i know it calls for 10".. i been thinking on 12 or 14"...
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Old 05-19-2017, 4:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john6483 View Post
So .. has anyone played around with changing the length of the elements? .. i know it calls for 10".. i been thinking on 12 or 14"...
prcguy gave birth to the X-Wing.

I wouldn't mess with perfection.

Rich
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Old 05-19-2017, 7:44 PM
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No, the lengths have been optimized with computer modeling and verified with test equipment. If you change anything it will degrade performance.
prcguy


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So .. has anyone played around with changing the length of the elements? .. i know it calls for 10".. i been thinking on 12 or 14"...
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Old 05-19-2017, 7:55 PM
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The MT X-wing was conceived by myself and my good friend and antenna mentor and senior staff scientist, Bart WB6HQK, now a silent key. It was not my first choice but when the original all copper tubing version with two different length elements to create CP and a grounded stub feed was not coming together in time for a magazine article, we had to shift gears and do a more conventional design.

The computer modeling went fast as did the first prototype, but the phasing harness was trial and error taking many hours of bench test time. I know first hand if you change anything it will become a different antenna and performance will be lost.
prcguy

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prcguy gave birth to the X-Wing.

I wouldn't mess with perfection.

Rich
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Old 05-19-2017, 9:09 PM
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Off topic but same study. Could this be used for amateur satellite comms? What would you need to tx to an amateur sat with one if these?
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Old 05-20-2017, 6:11 AM
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If all the dimensions were changed for amateur freqs it would be good for satellites from about 20 to 60deg off the horizon but it has a null straight up. Not ideal for all situations.
prcguy


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Off topic but same study. Could this be used for amateur satellite comms? What would you need to tx to an amateur sat with one if these?
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:06 AM
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Hmmmm? That 20-60 degree range is what the Amsat folks claim is normal operation, especially with handheld antenna contacts.

I doubt that the X wing would have any gain, however. Would that be omni-directional too? Perhaps a preamp would help.

This is primarily a receive only antenna, Ever been used to transmit?
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Old 05-20-2017, 8:28 PM
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Quote:
The MT X-wing was conceived by myself and my good friend and antenna mentor and senior staff scientist, Bart WB6HQK,
I wasn't aware of that - outstanding job
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Old 05-20-2017, 8:33 PM
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Ok thanks... I should be testing with afew more amps this week.. the next amp is a 0-45db of gain .. 20db of gain just is not enough..
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