Back in early 2017 we posted about Manuel's (aka DO5TY / Tysonpower) design for a single band 140 MHz 3D printed carbon fibre Yagi antenna. Today he's submitted a new video about creating a dual band 3D printed carbon fibre cross Yagi antenna for only 20€. Note that the video is narrated in German, but there are English subtitles. He's also uploaded an English text tutorial to his blog, which includes links to the 3D printer STL files.
The antenna is designed to be a low cost replacement for the commonly used Arrow dual band 2m/70cm antenna which is designed for receiving and transmitting to amateur radio satellites. Many amateur radio satellites have an uplink frequency set at around 145 MHz, and a downlink frequency around 435 MHz (and some satellites have the frequencies reversed). So a dual band Yagi is ideal for these satellites. Manuel writes that with his 5W Baofeng handheld he's already made several successful contacts with his new antenna.
Manuel's antenna consists of several 3D printed joints, with a carbon fibre rod used as the main boom. Aluminum rods make up the receiving and transmitting elements. The video also discusses impedance matching and how he uses a diplexor so that there is only one connection required to the radio. The advantage of his antenna over the Arrow is that it is significantly cheaper, and also much lighter in weight.
[EN subs]Carbon Arrow Yagi Antenne - leichte Dual Band Yagi für 20€ bauen
Over on his blog author Manuel a.k.a ‘Tysonpower’ has written about a DIY Carbon Fibre Yagi antenna that he’s built for only 20€. The antenna is very lightweight thanks to a 12mm diameter carbon fibre pipe which is used as the main boom. It also uses 3D printed parts that clamp onto the carbon fibre pipe and hold the metal elements in place. The advantage of the carbon fibre pipe over a PVC one is not only is it lightweight and much easier to hold, but it also stronger, and much less bendy and floppy. The metal elements are welding rods which he found on eBay, and the carbon fibre pipe was sourced cheaply from China with Aliexpress.
A Yagi is a directional antenna with high gain towards the direction it is pointing. You’ll need to hand point the Yagi in the general direction of the satellite as it passes over, but you can expect much higher SNR readings compared to something like a QFH or Turnstile.
Manuel designed his antenna for 2M satellites (NOAA, Meteor M2, ISS etc), and was able to achieve over 36 dB SNR with an RTL-SDR.com V3 receiver, FM Trap and LNA4ALL on NOAA 18 at a 34° max. pass. He writes that the design is easily modifiable for other frequencies too.
To show off the design, construction and performance of his antenna he’s uploaded two videos to YouTube which we show below. The speech is in German, but even for non-German speakers the video is easily followed
[EN subs] Yagi Antenne aus Carbon bauen (140mhz, 3 Elemente) – DIY
Über 36db SNR!- Test der DIY Yagi aus Carbon
YouTube user Tim Havens has uploaded two videos showing his meteor detection results with an RTL-SDR dongle. Tim uses a stock R820T dongle, and a 6 element yagi antenna with LNA.
For the software he uses Spectrum Lab and SDRSharp.
Update: Tehrasha from the comments section has found a page by Tim Havens showing a little information on his meteor detection setup.
RTL SDR R820T and Meteor Detection
In this video YouTube user Roland Zurmely (PY4ZBZ) shows communications with the FO-29 amateur satellite using his RTL-SDR and a 6 element UHF Yagi antenna. The Fuji-OSCAR-29 (FO-29 a.k.a JAS-2) is an amateur radio satellite that allows voice communication via single side band, and has a voice downlink frequency of 435.8 MHz and uplink frequency of 145.9 MHz.
In this video, the RTL-SDR was used as the satellite receiver, and a conventional FT857 radio with 4 element VHF Yagi was used to transmit to the satellite uplink.