[amsat-bb] Re: Satellite Usage - 2012

Wouter Weggelaar wouterweg at gmail.com
Tue Aug 28 11:53:49 PDT 2012

Hi List,

If I may add to the conversation about linear birds, that Delfi-C3 (an
CubeSat!) has had a linear transponder which was used quite a lot.
Unfortunately, it was a short lived service, but it proves the point.

I'm not sure why people also keep saying that CubeSats are no good,
since linear transponders are perfectly possible and 6U and 12U
platforms are seen as the way forward there.

If we can not launch a fully fledged MicroSat or bigger, why not
launch some useful cubes in the mean time?

Typing this while working on FUNcube...

Wouter PA3WEG

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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