[amsat-bb] Re: Satellite choices on Field Day

Mark L. Hammond marklhammond at gmail.com
Fri Jun 22 03:50:21 PDT 2012

Hi Philip,

Happy to hear you are getting active again!  Great. 

One small precaution, based on personal experience during Field Day---be careful about creating expectations that can't be delivered...in other words, using the handheld system to listen to an FM bird is pretty easy, but on Field Day, it might be impossible to get a signal into the bird for a real contact.  

When I've done demos on Field Day, I warn my observers that it's going to be quite busy, and while we certainly will hear the bird, it's unlikely with 5 watts that I'll make a contact *today*.  But letting them hear the busy bird gets them interested, and has led to invitations to give a presentation/demo at a local club meeting---which CAN more easily lead to making some contacts (especially if you announce the event here on the BBS.  People will look for you specifically, in order to make your event successful).

If you're going to have both the TS-2000x and the little radio, you could have somebody else waving it around to listen, while you operate the transmitter.  It's fun to have audience participation!

Not sure I'll be on the air on Field Day, due to work---but best wishes for a great day.

Mark N8MH 

At 11:03 PM 6/21/2012 -0400, Philip Jenkins wrote:
>Thanks, Drew. I didn't realize AO-27's status, and I wasn't really looking
>forward to getting up in the middle of the night anyway :-) (although SO-50
>has an excellent pass around 330 am :-) )
>I did play around with AO-27 and SO-50 most of the day Wednesday, but yeah,
>I haven't really been active on the sats since a 1993 AO-13 DXpedition to
>The reason I'm planning on using the HT and Arrow is to show them the
>(nearly) minimum equipment that can be used to work a sat - that they don't
>have to have a fancy radio (IC 910, IC-9100, TS-2000) and a big antenna
>array to work the birds. (I do have switchable CP yagis on 2M and 440 at
>home, with an az/el rotor, but transporting all that would be too much
>logistically AND I thought it would be overkill and too intimidating for an
>audience whom you're trying to attract into ham radio.) But yeah, I'd much
>rather have full-duplex like I did on AO-13.
>On Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 10:36 PM, Andrew Glasbrenner <
>glasbrenner at mindspring.com> wrote:
>> -
>> >I'm leaning towards AO-27 for listen only, as I know the bird will be jam
>> >packed with ops that weekend (although I do have a decent pass at 230 am
>> >local Sunday, and an even better one at 4 am) and actually trying to make
>> a
>> >contact on SO-50, although I'm sure it will be busy too.
>> Let me save you some sleep. AO-27 is only on for the ascending passes in
>> the afternoon, and only for 7 minutes starting at about 30 degrees
>> latitude. This means the first several minutes of the afternoon pass will
>> be silent from your QTH, and all of the overnight passes.
>> >  Definitely AO-7 for my linear choice, as I know the linear birds won't
>> be
>> >as busy as the FM ones. FO-29 is my next choice.
>> FO-29 and VO-52 will work better on FD, as AO-7 tends to get overloaded
>> easily.
>> >
>> >I'm planning on using the Arrow antenna with my VX5-R for the FM birds,
>> and
>> >I have an M-Squared 2M/440 (same boom, but offset 90 degrees) with an
>> >"armstrong" az/el control for the linear ones with my TS-2000X.
>> Why give up full duplex and the TS-2000 to use the VX5 on FM? Half-duplex
>> is a poor choice for satellite on normal days, let alone Field Day. If it's
>> because of the birdie, use the TS2000 as the transmitter and the VX5 for
>> receive only.
>> Good luck. If you aren't a regular satellite user, try some passes outside
>> of Field Day to improve your chances of success.
>> 73, Drew KO4MA
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