Monday, November 21, 2005

Almost Thanksgiving

It is almost Thanksgiving and time for another entry. November has been enormously busy and fun.

I spent the week of November 6 through 11 with Eric Blossom (K7GNU) and Matt Ettus (N2MJI) of GnuRadio and USRP. Please see


We managed to get some exciting work done. We did a complete packet radio system that ran at 768 kbps using GMSK on the computers we had available with no tuning whatsoever. The packets were 1500 byte packets (go ethernet). We managed to get resamplers, pll based fm detectors, lms_dfe equalizers, and myriad other modules working. Matt is about to introduce his FlexRF boards. We used the FlexRF boards for 70 cm and got a functional 70 cm FM transceiver, including squelch and PL tone decoding and generation going. (Remember, this was five days work!). Matt and Eric were extremely patient with me while I learned the Gnu Radio system and I feel together we made some very real contributions.

My best friend and work partner, AB2KT, Frank Brickle, was supposed to go as well representing AMSAT. We all missed him tremendously but his father was having surgery done. We are grateful that has gone well and look forward to our next meeting with Frank in attendance.

I managed to get the code at the heart of the Flex Radio SDR-1000 to run using SSE and the SSE version of FFTW.

Flex Radio

This should provide for increased efficiency and faster code at the heart of the SDR.

This coming weekend, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, AMSAT-NA will hold an RF meeting in the Princeton, NJ area for the Eagle Spacecraft project.


As AMSAT's new Vice President for Engineering, I have some fun technical duties and some managerial duties but for the most part it is like returning home. It has been a very six weeks since I became the AMSAT VPE, and I expect the next few years to be very interesting indeed.

On Dec. 2-4 I will be operating at the world class 160 meter station in Tuckerton, NJ assembled by the W2GD crew. John Crovelli has gathered a world class crew and for some reason allows me to play with them. It has been a lot of fun! Expect us to be LOUD. I was able to make some changes to the antenna farm and expect to build my receive array ideas there during the next year.

From Dec. 5 - Dec. 16 I will be in Marburg Germany. I am helping to write the software for the flight control computer for AMSAT-DL's Phase 3 Express program. Written in a language designed by the technical lead for the project (IPS by Karl Meinzer, go grab an old Byte magazine and read about it), it will be a challenging task. Since we will be using the same computer for the AMSAT Eagle program, this is not interference but synergy between the two projects.

AMSAT-DL Phase 3 Express

Please visit my photo pages to see pictures related to this blog

N4HY Pictures

More next month!