[amsat-bb] Re: Two Questions

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Fri Sep 23 09:18:16 PDT 2011


WB9SBD commented:

>> "Are the linear sats too complicated?
> NO!
> As far as doppler correction,,, we turned the large knob on the front of the
> radio,  thats our doppler correction system.
> Simple and very effective  thousands of hams did it for decades, no reason
> it won't work now.

It still works in 2011.

Until very recently, I did all my satellite operating with portable stations in
the field - city parks, parking lots, hamfests, the proverbial "middle of
nowhere", or wherever I could set up and operate.  I intentionally started
out without relying on a computer to control my radios, and have stayed
with that for the past few years I have been on the SSB birds.  For me,
a computer would add to the complexity of operating in the field - have
to power it, be able to see the LCD display (a problem with many laptops
that use glossy LCD panels like my Acer netbook), and hoping it doesn't
suffer a failure.

Now that I just moved into a house, I hope to take some time to finally dust
off my SatPC32 and USB/serial adapters and see how things are with
computer control, working initially from my back yard.  I'll probably still deal
with the antenna by holding it, and then getting a tripod it can sit on.
Down the road, I *might* look at an az/el rotator setup that can break down
and fit in the back of my truck, as well as work from the back yard at home.

K5TRI also added:

> But again, bashing on the newcomers doesn't help anything. If they're only
> shown how to work a satellite with a HT and a store bought antenna then
> that's  what we get. Let's help these folks get to the next step and show
> them that you can actually have a real QSO on a satellite but in an
> informative way, not talking down on them.

I hope you are able to be on VO-52 on Saturday, 22 October, when I am doing
demonstrations on FM and SSB satellites from a hamfest in Tucson AZ that
morning.  If there are FM passes available that morning, I will be on them -
as well as the VO-52 passes.  At the hamfests I have operated from, the SSB
demonstrations usually attract the larger crowds.  When they see it does not
take much more equipment to work SSB than FM via satellite, that turns out
to be a pleasant surprise for the audiences.

I use a pair of FT-817NDs (or sometimes I substitute a TH-F6A in place of the
FT-817ND I use to receive the downlinks) and a "store bought antenna" (an
Elk log periodic) for my all-mode satellite station.  This station, except for
the Elk, fits in an old laptop bag that has seen tens of thousands of miles
of travel in the past couple of years around North America and - recently -

Working SSB via satellite is like working FM via satellite - you need the right
equipment, and need to allocate time to practice with all the gear.  More time
is usually needed for the SSB birds compared to FM, but it will open up more
satellites that you can work.  And it is fun!



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