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Please note that this site is currently under constant construction and revision since January 2016. Please check back regularly to see new or updated news, activities and missions. Please contact us if you would like to be added to our mailing list.

Projects

School Amateur Radio Clubs have inspired a number of very interesting radio and electronic projects. We are developing more all the time. We include them here so that you can be inspired too! Everything is free of course for non-commercial use. Our software is released under the GNU General Public Licence. So you can pretty much do what you want with it, provided you just keep the copyright statement and reference to this website. For those wishing to learn more about Arduino programming please see our Arduino For Amateur Radio Workshop. An excellent eBook on the subject, which can also be used to guide year 5 or 6 students, is Getting Started with Arduino. Good luck with your project and keep in touch with your own questions, project ideas, news and pictures. Here is a list of all the SARC projects on this website:

  1. High Altitude Balloon Payload MTG004
  2. High Altitude Balloon Payload SARC1
  3. Universal HF Beacon/Tracker with F4GOH
  4. Speech Synthesizer for the Yaesu FT-817
  5. Mini Satellite-Antenna Rotator Mk I
  6. Mini Satellite-Antenna Rotator Mk II
  7. Mini Satellite Ground Station
  8. SDR Receiver
  9. Transmitter Modulation Monitor
  10. AIS Receiver
  11. Portable Radio Terminal
  12. Amateur Radio Direction Finding Telemetry Unit
  13. Automatic Packet Reporting System on HF
  14. Remote Radio Control Server
  15. Robotics Platform SARCBOT-1

High Altitude Balloon Payload MTG004

This project was our first Global Space Balloon Challenge payload. It transmits alternating JT9/JT65 telemetry on 30m SSB. It was launched on 19 April 2015. For more details please see our Amateur Radio magazine article and GippsTech technical presentation:

High Altitude Balloon Payload SARC1

This project is our second Global Space Balloon Challenge payload. It transmits BPSK31 telemetry on 434.650MHz FM. It was launched as part of the 2016 ANZAC Day Amateur Radio Special Event. Both SARC students and Melbourne region Scouts participated in the launch and then tracked the payload on their mobile devices.

Universal HF Beacon / Tracker Project with F4GOH

This project is in collaboration with our very good friend Anthony Le Cren F4GOH in France. Anthony has kindly produced an excellent PCB of our Arduino tracker with several of his own improvements. Everything needed is on the PCB including MOSFET switches to control the GPS and DDS and a powerful dual BS170 RF amplifier and Low Pass Filter. It uses our original AD9833 DDS library for operation up to 12.5MHz. We intend to use this evolution of our design for many different School Amateur Radio Club projects including a WSPR beacon, JT9/65 HAB payload and even an Ocean Current Tracker! Anthony also has a very good Ham Projects blog with may other great projects. Thank you Anthony!

Speech Synthesizer for the Yaesu FT-817

This project enables the whole SARC class to hear the frequency, mode and signal strength of our Yaesu FT-817 transceiver. The project was nicknamed "Rachel" after the synthetic British female voice we used for text-to-speech conversion. It could also be useful for operators with impaired vision. For more details please see our Amateur Radio magazine article and source code:

Mini Satellite-Antenna Rotator Mk I

This project lets SARC students to track Amateur Radio satellites using our solar-powered, portable, amateur satellite-antenna rotator.

Mini Satellite-Antenna Rotator Mk II

This project is a mechanical re-design of the original using the same electronics and software for a medium-duty rotator capable of rotating two, 3m long, cross polarised Yagis.

Mini Satellite Ground Station {COMING SOON}

This project turns our Mini Satellite-Antenna Rotator into a complete satellite ground station:

  • Portable. Battery powered. Unattended operation.
  • Runs on a WiFi-enabled Raspberry Pi 3.
  • Automatically downloads the latest satellite orbital element files from the Internet.
  • Gets its own accurate GPS location and time.
  • Can be controlled by a web-browser from any mobile device.
  • Provides user selection of multiple satellites to be tracked.
  • Provides next-pass information for each selected satellite.
  • Schedules each satellite in turn for tracking.
  • Accurately tracks satellites using the latest orbital prediction models.
  • Aims a cross-polarized Yagi antenna at the satellite.
  • Automatically controls the frequency (with Doppler-correction) and mode of a built-in, 24MHz-1.7GHz, AM, FM, LSB, USB SDR receiver (see below).
  • Optionally controls one or two external Yaesu or Icom transceivers using a native CI-V or CAT interface.

Students can now set up a complete ground receiving station for many different types of satellite.

SDR Receiver

This project is a VHF/UHF Software Defined Radio. It demodulates AM, FM, LSB and USB signals. It has a frequency, mode and bandwidth control, an automatic gain control, squelch control and a waterfall display. The receiver runs on a Raspberry Pi 3 and uses an RTL-SDR DVB-T Dongle. Students can listen to the fascinating world of VHF/UHF communications.

Transmitter Modulation Monitor

This project is a dedicated SDR receiver for monitoring VHF/UHF transmitter modulation using a narrowband waterfall display. The monitor runs on a Raspberry Pi 3 and uses an RTL-SDR DVB-T Dongle. Students can see their transmitter modulation characteristics on the 3.5" LCD display.

AIS Receiver

This project lets SARC students track vessels coming into port. It is an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver. It picks up information about passing vessels and uploads it to an AIS server over the Internet. Students can check out pictures and information about the ships and costal receiving stations on a web site.

Portable Radio Terminal

This project is a self-contained, portable Amateur Radio station specifically designed for demonstrating Amateur Radio digital modes, receiving High Altitude Balloon telemetry and communicating via Amateur Radio satellites. It can be quickly setup outside in the playground, at a park or even on a mountain summit. It comprises a Yaesu FT-817 transceiver, a Raspberry Pi computer and a sunlight readable touchscreen display. Better still it can be powered from a small 25W solar panel. It can be used to demonstrate all our other projects.

Amateur Radio Direction Finding Telemetry Unit

This project lets SARC students, while engaged in a simulated search and rescue missions, send their ARDF tracker bearings back to base camp using Amateur Radio digital communication mode BPSK31. The device sends the call sign, date, time, latitude, longitude, altitude, azimuth, elevation and checksum over an HF radio link. At the base camp, the fix is decoded on our Raspberry Pi Portable Amateur Radio Terminal using FLDIGI and bearing lines are plotted on a map using OpenStreetMap and OpenLayers. 

Automatic Packet Reporting System on HF

This projects lets SARC students on outdoor missions report their GPS location using the APRS network. A commercial Terminal Node Controller and GPS Receiver are used to send the information over an HF radio link to the APRS Internet Service via a participating APRS IGATE station. Their location can be viewed using a web browser.

Remote Radio Control Server

This project provides full access and control of an Amateur Radio transceiver from anywhere in the world over the Internet. It is used to participate in SARCNET sessions, at lunchtimes, while at work or overseas. A single Raspberry Pi computer provides a Voice over IP server for transmit and receive audio and a Web server to control the rig.

Robotics Platform SARCBOT-1

This project lets SARC students learn all about robotics while designing and building their own robot. In Phase 1 we start with an inexpensive 4-WD Arduino Car Kit and make it the power supply, drive and navigation platform for all sorts of student robotics projects in the future. Arduinos are used for the all sensing and control subsystems. A student or a small group works on their own subsystems. The whole group comes together for system integration and testing. In Phase 2, we add a Raspberry Pi 3 to correlate the sensor inputs and take control of the robot. Phase 2 also adds robot vision, WiFi remote-control and Internet Of Things (IOT) capabilities. In Phase 3, the students add their own, application-specific hardware and software, code customizations and body design to complete their robot.