[amsat-bb] Re: Need quick start info please
clintbrad4d at earthlink.net
Mon Nov 12 13:50:54 PST 2007
Dave - Software recommendations are in the tutorial I cited for you.
Also, there's free info on the Web. HeavensAbove has recently
improved their ham sat tracking graphics...and their Web site is also
cited in that document.
You need to improve your antenna...the stock -2db rubber duck will
not suffice. Again, suggestions for commercial and homebrew antennas
are in that document.
Once you get to know the AMSAT grid of numbers, it is easy to figure
it all out. FIRST, you need to subtract EIGHT hours from their times,
to compensate for GMT.
Type in your Grid Square - DM14 if you're still in Fallbrook, and
look what shows up for the Nov 15 pass at 15:51 (that's 3:51PM
GMT...which is 7:51PM on the 14th California time).
DATE UTC - 15 Nov 07
AOS UTC - 15:51:14
DURATION - 00:14:20
ACQUISITION OF SIGNAL AZIMUTH - 11
MAX ELEVATION - 86
MAX ELEVATION AZIMUTH - 259
LOSS OF SIGNAL AZIMUTH - 195
LOSS OF SIGNAL UTC - 16:05:34
Take the ACQUISITON OF SIGNAL AZIMUTH and LOSS OF SIGNAL AZIMUTH
numbers. They refer to compass points, where North is ZERO, South is
180, East is 90 degrees, and West is 270 degrees. So this pass starts
at 11 degrees, darned near true North. And it ends at 195 - a couple
degrees West of due South. So you can imagine this pass as
practically going over your house, North to South. And because its
MAX ELEVATION is 86 degrees - it REALLY IS going straight overhead,
as 90 degrees is straight up!
The MAX ELEVATION AZIMUTH tells you where the satellite is at mid-
pass. This pass is 259 (darned near 270, which is due West). You
couldn't ask for a better pass to hit with an HT!!!
So...that is the HARD WAY to visualize a pass...But that Heavens
Above Web site will show you graphically. And then there's commercial
software, too...but you do NOT need to spend money immediately on
Clint Bradford, K6LCS / KAF3359
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