[amsat-bb] Fwd: [eu-amsat] HO-68 versus AO-51

n5uxt@email.com n5uxt at email.com
Mon Apr 26 08:14:55 PDT 2010

Found this interesting from another mailing list.

-----Original Message-----
From: John Hackett <archie.hackett at hotmail.com>
To: eu-amsat at yahoogroups.com
Sent: Sun, Apr 25, 2010 3:50 pm
Subject: [eu-amsat] HO-68 versus AO-51


HO-68 v AO-51 ??.

HO-68 versus AO-51 - and the university downlink only satellites - (aka the FM menagerie).

In my honest opinion it's a 'no contest' scenario - with HO-68 winning hands down.

The two main reasons for me making this claim are ...

1) HO-68's superior orbit.

2) It's multi-mode transponders.

On a typical European pass an HO-68 orbit has a footprint the covers from Spain in the west to India in the east, Norway in the north to Sudan in the south ... and all points in between. 

Whereas AO-51 is FM only ... HO-68 has transponders for CW, SSB as well as FM.

HO-68 is (IMHO) easier to operate due to it needing less power to get into the transponders, albeit, to really take advantage of that, a knowledge of CW is required, which *STILL* shows it's great advantage as weak signal mode.

When all else fails ... switch to CW.

Igor, RW3XL has been operating cross-satellite with HO-68 to VO-52 and HO-68 to
AO-7 ... keying the up down buttons for CW since his keyer is on the blink.

For those wanting to learn, the 200mW beacon sends *SLOW* morse and it's copyable on a piece of wet string wrapped round a rusty six inch nail.

I've proved this over and over on HO-68 at the beginning of passes when the elevation is under 20 degrees and a SSB just can't make it - switch to CW - Q5 copy - (Domenico,    I8CVS will endorse that).

I believe that HO-68 is becoming the experienced 'operator's' satellite while AO-51 will remain the platform for the potential newcomer ... where they can QRM eachother to their heart's content ... more power Egon ... MORE POWER !!! ... (with due apologies to the Hollywood film 'Frankenstein').

For me at least, HO-68 has brought the fun back into amateur satellite operating, particularly on CW ... akin to RS-10, the most popular satellite ever - (judged by the amount of users) - after the veritable old AO-7.

While everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, operating FM on a satellite is about as much fun for me as watching paint dry and is, in my opinion, the worst possible way to introduce a potential newcomer to amateur satellites. My EU-Amsat co-founder, SV1BSX
(SK) first used the word 'zoo' to describe the AO-51 standard of operating.

There ought to be a sign on the microphone ... PLEASE DON'T FEED THE ANIMALS.

73 John.   <la2qaa at amsat.org>


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