[amsat-bb] Re: My First Satellite Contacts
vk3jed at gmail.com
Tue May 17 23:29:16 PDT 2011
At 03:34 PM 5/18/2011, Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) wrote:
>Or look for the all-mode HF/VHF/UHF radios at swapmeets and
>online, and get a pair for your satellite station. There are radios
>out there that won't break the bank. Yes, more than a dual-band
>FM HT or mobile radio, but not a whole lot more. Even going
>back 15 years to a radio like an IC-706Mk2, you would have the
>option of computer control using software like SatPC32 or
>possibly HRD (among others).
The old single band radios have now come down to reasonable
prices. Another alternative is something like a FT-736 off eBay for
a base station, which can be computer controlled. Software selection
is limited, though there is an interface to make the FT-736 look like
an FT-847 to software such as HRD. I have beta tested this interface
myself and it works extremely well, and opens the 736 to a lot more
radio control software. I haven't heard if/when it's going to be
made available, but I hope it can be sold to 736 owners.
>I'm using a portable all-mode satellite station - normally two
>FT-817NDs, sometimes one FT-817ND with a Kenwood TH-F6A
>(TH-F7 outside the Americas - this HT has an all-mode receiver
>from HF up to 70cm), always with an Elk 2m/70cm log periodic.
>Other than the antenna and some accessories deemed unsafe
>for carry-on luggage on aircraft, my station fits in an old laptop
>bag and goes where I go. The 817s could be controlled by
>software, but I spin the "big knob" on each radio as I work
>stations instead of also setting up a computer to run the radios.
>You don't need a lot of power to work SSB, just as many work
>FM satellites with HTs.
I have been using the FT-736 and an IC-7000 in tandem for the SSB
birds. Unfortunately, in the shack, my antennas let me down (receive
being the biggest issue), so I haven't been able to do any more than
simply test. I'd need a setup like yours to go portable, which would
be an interesting exercise without computer control (tuning and
aiming an antenna at the same time :) ).
Unfortunately, while I was tempted, I had to stop short of buying an
FT-817ND, it's still on the wish list for portable work.
73 de VK3JED / VK3IRL
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