Equipment used to track Skylab

Sven Grahn

The picture below shows the Vanguard labs converter that I used to track Skylab. It converted 230-235 MHz down to 25-30 MHz that could be tuned on an ordinary shortwave receiver glimpsed on the left below. This was in the days before scanner radios with frequency synthesized tuning.

I used a normal Channel 7-11 television antenna mounted on a tripod. My apartment was on the 10th floor of a huge apartment block in Täby, north of Stockholm. My balcony faced south, making satellite observations easy. The antenna can be seen below while tracking Skylab. I had to move the antenna three to four times during pass to follow the spacecraft signal across the sky. The beamwidth was that broad.

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