[amsat-bb] Re: TNC options?

Jeff Mock jeff at mock.com
Fri Dec 28 10:31:32 PST 2007

This is a great question, I'm interested in the answer as well.  If I 
can slightly hijack the question and expand it to radio choice as well. 
What are the best radios for general amateur satellite work?

The IC-910H looks great, but is it overkill for amateur satellites?  It 
seems like a lot of transmit power for most applications. Does you lose 
anything by going with something like the IC-706MKIIG?  I would really 
appreciate some expertise on choosing the right radio.


Kevin Hartley wrote:
> Greetings & Happy Holidays to all,
> After a 3yr hiatus, (IC910 sold   & packed away G3RUH dish & patch ant &
> down converter after AO-40 died - plus I moved from ZL-land to VE7-land
> which was a big distraction), I recently decided to get back into chasing
> birds.  One of the deciding factors was my neighbour lost several big cedar
> trees in his back yard in last year's wind-storms and I gained 120 deg of
> unobstructed sky to the SW as a result! Re-joined AMSAT last month & signed
> up to the BBS to watch & learn now I have a question to ask.
> Hope to start with LEOS (i.e. Echo) and other easy-sats, to get my skill
> level up.  Seems to be absence of VE7s on Vancouver Island to ask for help
> but I'm taking the plunge anyway!   Ordered a IC-910 & 23cm module & UHF
> preamp as my Xmas present to myself, still waiting on Icom Canada to
> deliver, but soon!  Starting out simple with an Arrow 2m/70cm antenna & a
> 23cm loop yagi at a fixed 40deg angle, on a cheap TV rotor, with some good
> info from Chip W7AIT who sent me all kinds of emails (thanks Chip!).
> My question is, I want to try packet/data on sats once the IC-910 arrives.
> Have an old AEA PK-900 1200b TNC on the shelf unused.  Wondering if its a
> good idea to spend the $$ to get Timewave upgrades to give it 9600b
> capability?  OR perhaps better to pick up a new KPC-9612PLUS  for about the
> same $$?  The brochure I read indicates the 9612 goes up to 34000 baud?
> Really? Or are there other off-the-shelf options I'm not aware of that are
> better? Want to give myself maximum flexibility for present & future birds
> on packet, but not too complex, a radio engineer I'm not.
> I've ordered the AMSAT Digital Sat handbook a month ago, along with some
> other books from the AMSAT store and they haven't arrived yet. But this is
> more a real-world type question where I'm looking for answers from people
> who've had experience with working sats and can recommend packet gear to buy
> or tncs to stay away from?  Don't mind putting some time & effort into it,
> but an off-the-shelf solution would work best for me.  Suggestions anyone?
> Hoping to be on the air soon from CN88!
> Thanks & 73,
> Kevin  VE7OVY 
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