[amsat-bb] Re: A viable FD satellite operation
rolf.krogstad at gmail.com
Wed May 22 04:37:10 PDT 2013
Jim makes a good point. Know where the points of the compass are.
And, depending on where you are located, that is not as simple as just
taking out a compass.
It can make a fair amount of difference if you are in the western states of
the US and not so much, if any, if you are in some place like Pensacola,
NOAA has a calculator: http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag-web/#declination
On Tue, May 21, 2013 at 11:39 PM, Jim Jerzycke <kq6ea at verizon.net> wrote:
> You're definitely approaching it in the right way, Bill!
> An FT-847 is an excellent satellite rig, and in combination with a small
> gain antenna, will be an excellent station.
> The 50 Watts the '847 provides is more than enough RF power, even with the
> Arrow, or similar Elk, antenna.
> A preamps are highly recommended, especially with a smaller antenna.
> Use a diplexer "in reverse" to help get rid of desense. It's more
> important than you'd think.
> A few other tips to help you.......
> If you're going to be running tracking software, like SatPC32, make SURE
> your PC has the correct time set!
> An error of 10~15 seconds may not sound like much, but it can cause you
> point your antennas wrong, and ruin a pass.
> Same with your Lat/Lon. I use a GPS, which also supplies an accurate clock
> to the laptop, but a lot of people get by with just using grid squares.
> Know precisely *WHERE* North, South. East, and West are at your station
> You'd be surprised how many people don't, and then can't find the sats as
> they come up over the horizon.
> Have a helper to point the antenna, as you'll be busy doing the "Doppler
> Again, if you run SatPC32, the Doppler correction is fed to the rig, and
> it's one less manual operation to split your limited time amongst.
> Keep the TenTec on the shelf, in the collection.
> And as somebody else pointed out, get started setting up and practicing
> If you wait until Field Day weekend, you'll wind up extremely frustrated,
> with few or no contacts!
> I know, as I used to do it that way every year. I think the best I ever
> got was three contacts one year.
> The next year I started two months early, and I made THIRTY FIVE contacts
> that year, just because:
> I didn't forget anything at home, requiring numerous unnecessary trips
> back and forth (I also bought some Tupperware tubs to keep all the
> satellite stuff in!)
> Everything worked because I had six weekends to practice setting up and
> operating before Field Day, ensuring all the bugs were worked out
> I was a lot more comfortable using the station because I knew it all
> worked, and the stress level was much lower.
> Good luck, get going, and listen for K6AA on Field Day, and KQ6EA the
> weeks before while I'm practicing!
> 73, Jim KQ6EA
> On 05/21/2013 08:09 PM, Bill W1PA wrote:
>> I may set up a Field Day satellite station for our local club. I haven't
>> this in a while.... my last experience with a non-FM bird was AO-40.
>> I'd like to avoid the futility of the FM LEO's on FD, and look to the
>> working passband birds, which I understand are AO-7, FO-29, and VO-52.
>> I have at my disposal a FT-847, an Arrow satellite antenna (V/U), and if
>> various preamps and poweramps for 2m and 432, as well as antennas with
>> more elements.
>> I also have a Ten Tec 2510 satellite unit that does not have the "extra
>> crystal board",
>> which I understand makes it a non-starter for the 3 birds I mentioned.
>> For those of you experienced with the bandpass birds, assuming an outdoor,
>> clear sky access location, what should I bring? (i.e. will the FT-847
>> stock amp be sufficient?
>> How many elements do I need for uplink? pre-amp for downlink? etc)
>> I also may only be able to work overnight (in darkness) -- that rules out
>> AO-7, correct?
>> Bill W1PA
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