[amsat-bb] Re: AO-73/FUNcube-1 videos, observations

Mark L. Hammond marklhammond at gmail.com
Sun Dec 1 19:03:48 PST 2013

Hi Patrick,

Quick response---the 500mW reference was mentioned for 2 reasons--first, you said it could work ;) and second, I suspect if you're using an Elk full duplex, you'll see some interaction at higher powers (whatever that is...).  So, you might be fine at 5W. Let us know how it works!

73 and have fun...

Mark N8MH 

At 02:32 AM 12/2/2013 +0000, Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) wrote:
>Hi Mark!
>Thanks for your e-mail.  Since I do lots of satellite
>demonstrations and get the questions about what it
>takes to work satellites like the new AO-73, I figured
>I'd put together some information in those videos and
>my -BB posts.  I'll use your message as the one I reply
>to, but acknowledge the others who replied to my late-
>night post on the -BB and in direct e-mails today.  No
>radio tonight, since I have to be in the office early
>tomorrow, but I will probably be outside tomorrow night
>for at least one of the AO-73 passes.
>AC0RA mentioned last night on the western AO-73 pass
>that he could receive the transponder and use the
>dashboard to receive telemetry at the same time.  Wyatt
>didn't go into detail on what he had to do on the laptop
>on the air, but he mentioned he used HDSDR with the
>dashboard software.  I may follow Hector's (CO6CBF)
>suggestion of working the transponder and recording
>everything during a pass, then run that through the
>dashboard using whatever configuration I need so that
>the playback can be piped into the dashboard and decoded.
>I may be able to work SSB/CW satellites without a computer
>from almost anywhere I go, but the SDR stuff is something
>I am trying to (quickly) learn.  Especially when the
>dongle's namesake is now in orbit and operational.  :-)
>Since I will be at a hamfest on Saturday morning, I may
>work on just using the dashboard by itself to copy the
>telemetry, to have something else to show off at the
>hamfest on AO-73's morning passes (if the transponder is
>not turned on), then "worry" about trying to hear the
>transponder and receive telemetry with the dashboard
>You mentioned that I could work the transponder and
>receive telemetry at the same time if I transmit at
>500mW.  This would be possible on higher passes based
>on my tests in the past week, but is there a reason
>why 5W would be too much with the Pro+ dongle and its
>filtering along with a diplexer between the radios
>and the Elk antenna?  I'm not looking to run more power
>than 5W, since I'm not planning to add an amplifier or
>replace one of my FT-817NDs with something like an
>FT-857 at this point.
>To those who suggested I modify one of my FT-817NDs to
>have a panadapter interface and then use both the 817
>and dongle on the downlink, what advantages would I
>have in doing that, instead of just using the dongle
>as the downlink receiver?  I apologize if this is a
>silly question, but I'm wanting to learn more about
>what I can do with this dongle, by itself or alongside
>my existing gear.  I'm looking forward to seeing N1JEZ's
>article in an upcoming AMSAT Journal, and will look at
>the link Mike suggested to learn more about this option.
>I haven't even started thinking about getting SatPC32
>mixed in with all of this SDR stuff, but know that I
>could do that.  I still need to get it working my two
>FT-817NDs, something that remains on my satellite "to
>do" list.
>Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK
>On Sun, Dec 1, 2013 at 2:12 PM, Mark L. Hammond <marklhammond at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Hi Patrick,
>> Great sharing of your experiences---thanks!  Nice to have AO-73 operations
>> futher characterized.
>> Regarding the Funcube Dongle Pro Plus (FCDP+)---you should enjoy the
>> experience of learning how to use it!  It's such a neat receiver.
>> Some quick thoughts/pointers/questions:
>> Are you planning to capture telemetry and work the transponder
>> simultaneously during evening passes?  It might work, depending on your
>> antenna system, especially if you can get buy with only 500mW uplink.  I'll
>> be interested in your experiences with this...
>> There is one thing to remember--you'll need two audio streams decoding at
>> the same time.  SDR-Radio V2.1 will do this, with "VFO A" and "VFO B".
>> They each have separate audio out selections, so you can pipe the telemetry
>> to something like VB Audio Virtual Cable into the Dashboard, and the other
>> VFO and audio stream to your laptop speakers or headphone jack.  SDR-Radio
>> V2.1 also has built in satellite tracking for doppler correction, and you
>> can record the pass at the same time!
>> On the other hand----if you don't want to try to do telemetry and the
>> transponder simultaneously, you have some more options...
>> SatPC32 has great DDE support, and you can use that with either HDSDR or
>> SDRSharp to tune your FCDP+ as a separate receiver.  It works great, and
>> it's pretty easy to do, if you want your receiver following the
>> Doppler/frequency from SatPC32.
>> Now, if you want to use your FCDP+ as a receiver AND be able to click on a
>> frequency and have the transmit match it---that's another trickier setup
>> involving HDSDR, SatPC32, and virtual comports.  It works and is slick, but
>> it's not for the faint of heart.  You can read about that setup here:
>> http://www.tomdoyle.org/FUNcube-SatPC32/FUNcube-SatPC32.html
>> I did similar to that writeup by Tom, but found I could do 56k serial port
>> speeds just fine.
>> Have fun!
>> 73,
>> So, lots of options..
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