[amsat-bb] Re: drake 2880

Greg D. ko6th_greg at hotmail.com
Tue Feb 23 20:16:20 PST 2010

Hi Jim,

I have one, and it works ok.  Not the brightest panel lamp in the shack, but it was a whole lot better than nothing.  I was eventually able to work AO-40 at apogee with it, a good preamp, and a 30" BBQ grill.

When you say "the mod", you need to be a bit more specific.  That converter, probably more so than the others, has a long history of successful (and probably longer non-successful!) modifications, each with a different set of things being optimized for.  Personally, I went for swapping out the local oscillator's crystal, moving the LO to 2100 mHz from the original 2278 mHz.  (I had to also change a cap in the PLL to keep it in lock.)  That moved our satellite band so that it comes out inside the original 200-400 mHz passband.  It also makes the conversion math easy, and with an IF outside the Ham bands I use my all-mode scanner for the final leg in the receive chain so I can't mess up and transmit into the 2880's back side...

Other mods exist to get you an IF inside one of the Ham bands.  Be careful to pick one where the uplink is well separated from the IF, and evaluate which is best for your situation, skill (I had help!), and test bench.  For use with AO-51, well, that bird is LOUD compared to AO-40.  You almost can't go wrong.

Good luck,


> From: hartwell at hartwell.net
> To: AMSAT-BB at amsat.org
> Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2010 15:26:35 -0800
> Subject: [amsat-bb]  drake 2880
> Has any one used the Drake 2880 downconverter on the air.
> I have 2 of them 1 I did the mod on and one that has not has any thing done
> to it.
> Jim
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