[amsat-bb] Re: PCSAT still kicking

Andrew Rich vk4tec at tech-software.net
Sat Oct 10 06:51:38 PDT 2009


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bob Bruninga " <bruninga at usna.edu>
To: <amsat-bb at amsat.org>
Sent: Saturday, October 10, 2009 10:46 PM
Subject: [amsat-bb] PCSAT still kicking

>I saw a CQ packet from PCSAT show up on my Mobile on 144.39 yesterday!
> Even I had forgotten that PCSAT does have a downlink on the national APRS 
> terrestrial 144.39 over NOrth America, and if the channel happens to be 
> quiet at the instant it transmits, then you can possibly receive it on 
> your mobile right there along with all the other local traffic!
> Sure enough, I quickly QSY'd to its main downlink on 145.825, and there it 
> was...
> THen I went back to my LIST to read the packet in detail and it was GONE! 
> Yep, the station was beyond my POSITION LIMIT, and so my radio did not 
> save it..  Drats...
> I used to keep posiiton limit turned OFF, so that I could capture these 
> random packets from hundreds or a thousand miles away, but have not done 
> that in years.
> A quick check of http://pcsat.aprs.org and www.ariss.net (now 24 hours 
> later) and I can't figure out who it was.  The few stations via PCSAT do 
> not match the W1... callsign I thought I saw.  I think it was a message. 
> But the message or position report did have the words "PCSAT" in them, and 
> that is what caught my eye on the radio display...
> Oh well.  SO if you are on the open road far away from heavy activity on 
> 144.39, do not be surprised if you occasionally hear a packet via PCSAT. 
> If you do, then QSY to 145.825 and try to work them.
> PCSAT is basically dead, but when it DOES come over during mid-day in the 
> Northern Hemisphere it can sometimes have enough power to relay a packet 
> or two.  Being in DEFAULT mode, the 144.39 and 145.825 transmitters are 
> cross-connected and that is why you can sometimes hear it on 144.39 in an 
> uncongested area in North America.
> But if you have your mobile POSITION LIMIT set to anything shorter than 
> 1000 miles or more, you may not capture them.
> This national downlink to ALL mobiles in the country was a capability we 
> had hoped could be used for ALL-CALL and for emergency message delivery to 
> ANY ham anywhere even if he was not monitoring the satellite downlink.
> Since the New-N paradigm, the amount of congestion and collisions on the 
> national channel has gone down somewhat and there are some moments of 
> silence when a weak space packet can get through.
> Bob, WB4APR
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