[amsat-bb] Re: Satellite Usage - 2012

Wouter Weggelaar wouterweg at gmail.com
Tue Aug 28 11:49:52 PDT 2012

Hi List,

If I may add to the conversation about linear birds, that Delfi-C3 (an Cube

On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 8:01 PM, Bill Ress <bill at hsmicrowave.com> wrote:
> Nicely put John and thanks for putting the time into composing and posting
> it.
> Regards...Bill - N6GHz
> On 8/28/2012 10:10 AM, John Papay wrote:
>> The Funcube Dongle postings veered off into a
>> discussion of the current state of affairs with
>> the satellites that are still working. After reading
>> about how the activity on the linear birds was down, I
>> had to wonder a bit. It has not been my experience.
>> I really expected the activity on the FM birds to diminish when AO-51
>> died. We only get 7 minutes of AO-27 and that doesn't make
>> up for the much longer passes on AO-51. SO-50 has never been
>> off the air since I started in 2006 but it is the most difficult
>> to hear throughout the pass. For that reason, activity on SO-50
>> was fairly low. If you can't hear it, you can't work it. But
>> to my surprise, SO-50 activity dramatically increased when AO-51
>> went silent. Those who work the FM birds became determined to
>> work through this satellite despite the difficulties in hearing it.
>> Of course, if you are not full duplex, you don't know when you are
>> hearing the bird and that sometimes results in those who call but
>> cannot hear the responses. They might assume that there is no activity
>> on the bird when in fact there are many stations trying to make qso's.
>> I started using the ssb birds in late November 2007. There wasn't much
>> activity on AO-7, FO-29 and VO-52 at that time. But over the last two
>> years, activity on the linear birds has steadily increased. Much of the
>> increase can be attributed to the newer people who started on the FM birds
>> and quickly decided to get involved with the linear birds. I think the
>> availability of satellite capable radios has really helped. If you have
>> a TS2000 you can be on a linear bird without much effort. They are easier
>> to hear than an FM bird. Some are using a pair of radios to achieve full
>> duplex with great success. And I highly recommend SatPC32 which I have
>> used
>> now since 2006. It runs 24x7 on a Vista Quad machine and doesn't crash.
>> The
>> recordings on my website were made possible using the auto multi-satellite
>> tracking feature of this program. Recordings are made without any outside
>> intervention.
>> One of the things that powers DX on the HF bands are dxpeditions. Groups
>> spend large amounts of money to travel to destinations all over the world
>> so that others can put that country in the worked/confirmed column. With
>> satellites today it's the VUCC award that drives the activity. When
>> someone
>> shows up from a rare grid, the birds are sometimes overwhelmed. ND9M has
>> worked from hundreds of USA grids and has also worked from his ship on the
>> linear birds. UT1FG/mm has been very active over the past three
>> years and has created pileups on the ssb birds not unlike those on HF. To
>> say the activity is down on the linear birds in recent years is simply
>> incorrect. And more hams are operating satellites away from home than ever
>> before. You work with what you have and make the best of it, fm or linear.
>> The future of AMSAT and the satellite phase of our hobby is all about the
>> new people. When you hear someone new on the bird and it's a noisy signal
>> with an incomplete callsign, maybe without phonetics, call that station.
>> Giving out that first contact with a newbie far outweighs 100 contacts
>> with
>> those that you have worked many times before. Sometimes the effort doesn't
>> result in a qso, but maybe there is a possibility to follow up with an
>> email or postcard with an offer of help. Just remember we all started out
>> at some point with no experience. Most everyone can remember their first
>> contact and how important it was in terms of encouraging future operating.
>> So if you're reading the AMSAT-bb and are discouraged by the fact that
>> there
>> are no High Earth Orbit Satellites, don't be. Times change, technology
>> changes but we continue by using what we have to the max and working
>> towards
>> improving our situation where we can. AMSAT works very hard to explore
>> every possibility for building and launching new satellites. It's a
>> tremendous
>> effort that most of us don't realize is happening day after day. We all
>> need to support this effort. FOX I and II will be here before we know it.
>> These birds should give us some room for more qso's and new operators.
>> In the meantime, AO-7 continues to work at an altitude of 1450KM. FO-29 is
>> at 1200 or 1300 KM some of the time. These birds provide an opportunity to
>> work DX if you can see down to the horizon. If you can't, you can always
>> go to a location that is better and use your FT817 with an Arrow antenna
>> and work down to the horizon. There is nothing wrong with using an Arrow
>> or ELK antenna to work DX. WD9EWK has proven that point time after time.
>> A good ham radio operator is one that looks at a problem as a challenge
>> rather than a show stopper. Ham radio ingenuity over the years has been
>> amazing. So if you are having trouble and are frustrated, develop an
>> action plan to move forward. The resources available to us today are
>> unprecedented. And there are mentors out there that are willing to help.
>> Above all, stay positive and have some fun!
>> 73,
>> John K8YSE
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> --
> Regards...Bill Ress
> High Sierra Microwave
> _______________________________________________
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> Not an AMSAT-NA member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program!
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