[amsat-bb] Re: FD Mess

James Duffey jamesduffey at comcast.net
Mon Jun 27 21:08:19 PDT 2011

On Jun 27, 2011, at 9:13 AM, wa4hfn at comcast.net wrote:

> It took me 5 satellite passes before I could make 1 contact There were too many ops making what sounded like HI POWER multi contacts .This should not have happened. Maybe someone with good writting skills could send the ARRL world above 50 an artical on how to work the birds during FD
> WA4HFN em55  Damon

Damon  - If this bothers you, or others, there are several things one can do to address this issue. 

1. Use the linear birds. You can make more than a single contact per satellite, and the bandwidth available supports dozens of contacts in a pass. The linear birds are not without their problems, mainly different ways of dealing with Doppler shift and QRM, but the short nature of the contacts make coping with these problems much like dealing with HF QRM. One can easily make 5 or more QSOs per pass on a linear satellite with even primitive satellite operating abilities. You do the math, particularly after waiting for 5 satellite passes before you could make a contact. That is a 25:1 ratio in favor of the linear birds. To me it is lots less hassle to deal with the Doppler than to deal with the single signal nature of the FM birds and the payoff is significantly greater for not that much more effort.

2. Report the offenders. Field day rules specify one contact per FM bird per transponder. If you hear someone making more than one contact per satellite per transponder, write down the offender's call and the calls he works and send it to the ARRL. If you can make an audio recording of the offender so much the better. With this information the ARRL should be able to verify the offense from the logs and take action, at the least changing the entry to a check log and at the most DQing the entry. If the satellite ops cost a club a valid entry, I suspect that peer pressure will prevent it from happening again. 

3. Contacts through the FM birds could not be counted for FD credit at all. This would exclude the newcomer with only FM HT capability, but I am not sure that trying to work an FM bird on FD is a good introduction to satellite operation anyway. 

4. The FM transponders could be shut off during FD. 

5. Satellite FM contacts could be limited to portable stations only. This would reduce the big station's capabilities to dominate the satellites. Their absence would not be 

The FM satellite problems on Field Day are really just a concentrated version of the problems with FM satellites in general. While they are ideally suited to the beginner with minimal equipment, and hence a good introduction to satellite operation in general, the beginner who gets introduced to satellite operation with the FM birds really needs to move on to the linear birds to fully experience what satellite operation is capable of. If they do not move on, then the enticement of FM satellites has failed. And the resources used to launch then have not been used to their fullest. - Duffey KK6MC
James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM
< jamesduffey at comcast.net >

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