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Telemetry Beacon for HAM Sats

By Dr. T.K. Mani (VU2ITI)

The beacon controller is intended for telemetering of data available on board of the Ham radio
Satellite (originally designed for the Indian Satellite VUSAT in Morse code so that the ham radio operators can decode the info without any costly and complex equipment. The design does not uses a microcontroller or any processing circuit. The circuit mainly consists of a couple logic gates and TTL counters. A block diagram of the beacon controller is as shown:

Channel Select

8 bit mux

Morse out EPROM

Analog MUX

Signals ( 16 ch)



clk RESET Start/ Stop

Gating Circuit MORSE COUNTER Mono 2 (POR)



Mono 1 500 m sec

Figure 1. Block diagram of the beacon controller The beacons controller can accept 16 single ended analog channels of which the dc level represents the parameter to be telemetered. These channels are selected one by one (multiplexed) by using two numbers of CD 4051 (analog MUX). Voltage from selected channel is given to the analog to Digital convertor (ADC) chip for converting this voltage to its digital equivalent. A channel counter (4-bit binary counter) controls the channel selection. This counter counts every clock pulse given to it and thus gives a 4 bit binary output. This binary is given to the analog mux as address of the channel to be selected. For every clock pulse to the channel counter, successive channels are selected. The channel select clock is derived from the end of message signal (EOM), which will be explained later. ADC chip used is AD7574. This chip is an eight bit Successive Approximation type ADC made by ‘Analog Devices’. This ADC starts converting the analogue voltage input when the RD! signal goes low and the digital value is available at the output pins approximately 15 microseconds later. RD! signal is actually derived from the “EOM” signal available from the EPROM. 1

A 32 K X 8 bits EPROM 27256 is used to encode the channel name and the data into to Morse code. Eight-bit Binary output from ADC is given as the address of 8 most significant bits of the EPROM through two nos. of quad 2 input multiplexer chips. This two chips form an 8 bit 2 input multiplexer, one input is being the 8 bit binary from ADC and the other being the channel address (4 LSBs the upper nibble are made LOW). This digital MUX selects either the value of the input channel (binary from ADC) or the channel number (4 bit address from channel counter). The selection is also controlled by the control logic that derives the control from the EOM signal from EPROM. EPROM with 8-bit output stores the Morse code data in look up table form. Only one bit output is used to generate the Morse code and one more bit is used to generate EOM. The memory cells inside the EPROM are divided into two main tables. The first table is the “Channel value” table that has 256 rows. Each row represents a message that is Morse coded with binary bits. A key up condition is coded as ‘0’ and key down as ‘1’. One can encode Morse code like this and a dash (long beep) can now be represented by 1110 and a dot (short beep) can represent by 10 where as a letter space as 000. For example the first entry in this table represents the number “zero” which is actually sounded as 5 beeps (dashes) and to be coded as “11101110111011101110” . D0 bit of the EPROM is used to output the messages while D1 bit is used to indicate the end of Message (EOM) Morse digits 0~9 can be coded as shown below: Number 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Code 0111011101110111011100 01011101110111011100 010101110111011100 0101010111011100 01010101011100 010101010100 01110101010100 0111011101010100 011101110111010100 01110111011101110100

Table 1. Coding scheme for Morse equivalent of digits Table 2 contains 16 such Morse messages and start of each message can be selected with the channel number as the address. The channel can also be coded and transmitted with text in Morse say VOLT ( 10101011100001110111011100001011010100001110000). Table 1 contains 256 messages in Morse code. Message 0 is coded as ‘zero zero zero’ (11101110111011101110000111011101110111011100001110111011101110111000) and message 255 (FFH) two five five (010101110111011100000101010101000000101010101000). If we want to transmit the Morse code for an input channel number/name, then table 2 is selected and the channel address from 7493 is given as the address for table 2 to select the wanted row of 2

messages. Now the string of bits from this row is to be given out one by one sequentially. The counter IC CD4060 does this. This IC contains a multistage counter and an integrated oscillator. This counter is used as a 6 bit binary counter (counts from 0 to 63). The oscillator time period is selected is equal to the dot period (about 120 HZ). So when this counter is enabled, it starts from its reset state of 000000 and counts upwards until it is reset. This Morse counter output form the least 6 bits of address to the EPROM. Seventh address bit of the EPROM is used to select the either the table 1 (when this bit is zero) or the table 2 (this bit is 1). The EPROM memory is thus segmented to form two tables with 256 entries in the first and 16 entries in the second as shown below: Address 000000000000000 to 000000000011111 000000010000000 to 000000010011111 : : : 111111110000000 to 111111110111111 000000001000000 to 000000001111111 : : : 00001111100000 to 00001111111111 00010000000000 to 11111111111111 Data bits D0 and D1 are only used table 1: 256X64 bytes Table 2: 16X64 bytes First entry in table 1

Second entry in table 1 : : : Last entry in table 1

First entry in second table : : : Last entry in table 2


Table 2. Memory organisation for the EPROM EOM: An end of message (EOM) is available from the D1 bit of EPROM. The EPROM Bit D1 is programmed in such a way that this bit goes ‘HIGH’ at the next clock of Morse counter after the end of every message. This bit is used to read the ADC and to select the next message to be played. Circuit Operation: The Power on reset circuit resets the Channel counter and the Morse counter upon power on. IC No U13A is a monostable multivibrator generates a pulse to reset IC 7493 and IC 4060 at the time of power on. Mono stable chip U13B also resets the Morse counter for few milliseconds so that the Morse counter now starts from ‘000000’. The JK flip-flop (U2A) wired as a toggle F/F will also be initialized upon power up. The function of this F/F is to alternately select the Channel and its value to address the Morse through the8 bit multiplexer circuit (U9 & U10). The message bits in Morse corresponding to the channel selected will be 3

send out bit by bit for every increase in counter IC 4060. This will be available at the D0 pin of EPROM. An EOM generated at the end of message will then toggles the F/F and thus selecting the ADC output as address of the next message to be played. The flip-flop operation also triggers the conversion of ADC channel that was selected by the channel counter. EOM causes to trigger the monostable U13Band it in turn resets the Morse counter for a period of approximately equal to the word space. This action introduces a space of about one word space before sending the next message. After this word space the Morse counter restarts and sends out the Channel value read by the ADC. Again at the end of message, the channel counter gets a pulse advancing the channel counter to give address to select the next channel Data (voltage) for conversion. Analog multiplexing of the 16 such channels are achieved with the use of Analog mux chips U4 and U6. The channel increment pulse also resets the Morse for a period of about 4-word space duration with the aid of another monostable circuit using IC U5B. The process repeats in cyclic mode enabling to send all the channels one by one until the stop button is pressed. Message format is in the following form: <channel name><word space> <channel value>< 4 word space><next channel name><word space><channel value><4 word space>…….. and so on. The circuit was wired and tested and is working fine with excellent Morse quality. The speed set is around 10 words per minute. Anyone who knows Morse code can easily decode and understand the parameters easily without the use of extensive equipment.

Figure 2. Prototype made for testing 4