PCSAT2 is operational. I was reading about the requirements for a groundstations here and realised that I had enough bits and pieces lying around that should, if I was lucky enough to have PCSAT transmit while it was directly overhead, allow me to receive PCSAT2 Telemetry.
The problem with receiving data at 437.975MHz is the amount of doppler shift involved. i.e. the radio needs to be tuned high as PCSAT2 is approaching and tuned low as it is moving away. However, for the center of an overhead pass, the signal has zero Doppler and the satellite is about 9 dB closer (higher signal strength) than when at the horizon. The problem with this is that PCSAT2 only provides this geometry twice a day per station and only for 2 minutes or less.
So, I got my TH-D7 and a 2m 1/4 wave antenna and set them up, not really expecting anything, and voila:
# Fri Aug 05 10:04:36 IST 2005
… along with several more lines
I was stunned, such a simple setup and yet it worked. I’m hoping now to setup some of the equipment in WITs Radio Shack to act as a ground station for the summer (it’s not as if any students will be using the equipment), and with the addition of doppler tuning, it should be able to recieve much more data.