[amsat-bb] Re: US Virgin Islands Satellite Operator

Greg D ko6th.greg at gmail.com
Sat Aug 4 10:49:34 PDT 2012

Hi Mike,

Generally, Sat operators don't call CQ, at least not like they do on HF. 
Especially on the FM birds, the general protocol is to throw your call 
sign in during a pause in the activity, when you can find one. It's more 
like working through a busy terrestrial FM repeater. The trick is to be 
able to tell the difference between a break in the traffic, where 
nobody's keyed up, and a double (or triple, or quadruple), where you'd 
just be adding to the confusion. If there's someone you want to work 
specifically, quickly injecting <their call sign> <your call sign> is 
most likely to fit. Spare the phonetics until you need to be precise; 
clarity with speed is the objective.

If there's nobody on, or in a quiet part of an SSB/CW bird's bandpass, a 
brief CQ Satellite de <call sign> is needed to let people know you're 
there, and so they can get roughly tuned to you. Hopefully you have full 
duplex capability (being able to listen while you're transmitting), so 
you can tell if someone else is keying up. Satellite contacts tend to be 
fairly quick, since the passes are so short. Round-tables are possible 
on the SSB/CW birds, and even fun, but you need to keep things moving. 
Because SSB/CW doesn't have the capture effect that FM has, full duplex 
operation on an SSB/CW bird means you can even talk at the same time and 
be understood.

As for arranging a scheduled contact, the neat thing about Satellite 
communication is that you can predict with mathematical certainty when 
the "band" will be open. Let us know when you'll be on, and on what 
bird, and I'm sure you'll have lots of company. Good luck, and enjoy!

Greg KO6TH

Michael Bales wrote:
> Hi all- I'm relatively new to sat operations/ but not ham radio(novice in 1987 then general in 1996), and noticed this message. I've been researching alot and now have suitable equipment for working birds.  How would I go about finding someone(s) to schedule a few contacts with, as opposed to calling cq to no-one inparticular?  Any info/help is greatly appreciated...  73 - Mike - k8mcb

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