[amsat-bb] Re: FM satellite operations again again over Europe
David - KG4ZLB
kg4zlb at googlemail.com
Tue Oct 13 13:53:16 PDT 2009
Perhaps these could be translated into Spanish!
Eric Knaps, ON4HF wrote:
> Hello all,
> I found these nice rules from VK3JED:
> 1. First and foremost is to listen before and while (if possible)
> transmitting, to ensure your transmissions don't drown out a weaker
> station who may be on the edge of a pass or running QRP. Satellites
> should be an alligator free zone. It is strongly recommended that you
> set your station up so you can monitor the downlink while
> transmitting, so you can hear how well you are accessing the satellite
> and whether you accidentally clobbered someone else. Similarly, if you
> can't hear the transponder, don't transmit. Do something else more
> productive, such as realign your receiving antenna to improve
> 2. Be brief. Because the traffic levels can be quite high, contest style
> (callsign/signal report/next station) operation is the most
> appropriate for most situations. Many stations also exchange QTH and
> first names, which is OK if time permits. If transponder activity is
> low, you can have a brief chat, but the opportunities for this are
> becoming rare now.
> 3. Take turns. If you've just worked a handful of stations, be polite and
> hand the transponder over to someone else so they can work a few.
> There may be an opportunity to call back in later during the pass and
> work some different stations as the satellite passes over different
> areas, and others will appreciate your courtesy.
> 4. When calling, a simple announcement (e.g. "This is VK3JED listening
> SUNSAT" or even "VK3JED listening") will suffice, like it does on a
> terrestrial repeater. Anyone within transponder range will hear your
> call. A short CQ call ("CQ SUNSAT, this is VK3JED") is OK too. Long CQ
> calls waste transponder time and frustrate everyone listening. Save
> the long CQs for HF, where they're appropriate. Only call CQ when
> there's a distinct lack of activity, such as at the very start of a
> pass and sometimes late in the pass after everyone else has finished.
> A well placed CQ call late in a pass might alert someone ahead of the
> satellite that a pass has just commenced over their QTH.
> 5. Wait your turn. If a QSO is in progress, wait until it finishes before
> putting in your call. Butting in too soon is rude and wastes precious
> transponder time as the stations involved in the QSO have to repeat
> themselves due to your QRM.
> 6. Don't tune up! Believe it or not, there are stations who test their
> satellite access by dropping a carrier over the top of everyone and
> perhaps announcing "Hello hello". Simply putting out a call at the
> appropriate time will provide all the signal checks you need (and get
> you a worthwhile contact! :) ), without annoying everyone else on the
> transponder. If you're really that doubtful about your equipment,
> perhaps connect your dummy load, test in the shack and try again
> another day, rather than disrupting everyone else. If you just want to
> hear your voice, well a tape recorder or a pair of walkie talkies will
> do just as well...
> 7. Reward good operation. If you're answering a call, why not reward the
> good operators and put the alligators last on your list of priorities.
> If all satellite users favour good operators, perhaps everyone will
> learn that good ops have the highest QSO rates and earn the most
> satellite awards. :-) Peer pressure is a powerful motivating force, as
> any teenager will know (but probably not admit to! :-) ).
> 8. Use the minimum power necessary. While power levels are not critical
> on FM satellites (unlike linear transponders where an excessively
> strong signal can affect other QSOs on the transponder), using the
> minimum power necessary allows you to easier tell if you're 'doubling'
> with someone else. For the South African SUNSAT satellite, you
> shouldn't need more than 5 watts into a basic (1/2 wave handheld or
> turnstile) antenna, perhaps a bit more if the antenna is setup for
> terrestrial operation, to overcome radiation pattern limitations. As
> an example of good operation, recently one station who had multiple
> beams wound his power back to 20 mW. The signal into the bird was full
> quieting, but it was still possible to tell if someone else was
> underneath his signal. If he had run 100W, he couldn't have known if
> he'd stepped on anyone else, due to the capture effect of FM.
> If everyone follows these simple guidelines (which are basically common
> sense and courtesy), then FM satellite operation can be enjoyable for
> everyone, regardless of whether you run a sophisticated satellite station
> or a couple of handhelds from the back yard. FM satellite transponders are
> like FM repeaters, only more extreme. On the positive side, they can enable
> minimally equipped stations thousands of kilometres apart to communicate
> with ease. On the other hand, the worst aspects of repeaters can be
> experienced as well, such as congestion, doubling and even the odd idiot
> dropping carriers! (I don't know how the idiots manage to always have a
> very strong signal, even when the repeater is 800 km off the ground!). The
> operators themselves (that's YOU!) have the power to determine what sort of
> experience FM satellite operation will be in the future.
> Eric Knaps
> Waterstraat 30
> B-3980 Tessenderlo
> Tel. +32472985876 (mobile)
> Gary Lockhart schreef:
> Sent via AMSAT-BB at amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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