[amsat-bb] Re: AO-51 now shutting off tx soon after eclipse

Richard Grabotin k7lwv at me.com
Sat Nov 26 20:47:46 PST 2011

Thank you for the reply. I didn't expect to hear right from the lions 
mouth! My only hope is that future birds do not have a downlink of 436.795.
I always wanted to use satellites ever since I became a ham at 14. I 
thought it was a very expensive aspect of the hobby. Recently I sold be 
beloved motorcycle and decided to go all out with satellite gear. I 
purchased the only satellite capable radio I could find on the new 
market, the Kenwood TS-2000. I wish I had known about the birdie. It 
leaves me completely unable to use AO-27.

Now with AO-51 near death that leaves me with only a half pass of SO-50. 
Thank goodness it slipped to 436.790!

Hopefully sometime soon I can figure out how to incorporate HRD and 
VO-52. In order to auto track with LVB tracker I have to have HRD 
control my VFO which makes the linear birds difficult.


On 11/23/2011 4:19 AM, Mark L. Hammond wrote:
> Hi Richard,
> Good thoughts, but the difference between "needs to be" and "can it be" is the tough part.
> Actually, 4 of the cells are good, 2 are bad.   One of the four good ones seems a bit weaker than the other three.
> We cannot do any scheduling because of the great difficulty in getting all the satellite code uploaded and running without a crash that sends it back to square one.
> We are lucky to see what we are seeing right now---basically, it's shutting itself OFF due to low voltage during an eclipse (that's the easy part...)  What's amazing is that it's coming back ON when voltage returns!  This is actually a great thing--and it amounts to primitive scheduling of sorts.   We never expected it--but we'll take it!!
> So---we have what we have.  And we don't plan to change operations until the bird forces us to do so.  It's all about equilibrium (temperature, power out, sunlight). We're balanced apparently for the time being...
> Over the next month or so, eclipse times will double from what they are right now.  We are not too excited about that...we'll just have to see how it goes.   If it means earlier shutdown during eclipse--so what?  What will be key is if it comes back on in the sun!
> 73,
> Mark N8MH
> AO-51 Command Station
> At 11:21 AM 11/22/2011 -0800, you wrote:
>> Re-post from Amsat's twitter:
>> "AO-51 now shutting off tx soon after eclipse, due to batt voltage dropping below regulator threshold. Recovers to 1w in sun."
>> Were people still using this bird in eclipse with only 2 out of 6 usable cells? Perhaps this bird needs to be put on a schedule like AO-27. Can that be done?
>> Richard
>> K7LWV
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