[amsat-bb] CQ SATELLITE! CQ SATELLITE!
skristof at etczone.com
Sun Feb 15 18:52:27 UTC 2015
As a newbie, I appreciate the reminders, Clint! I've just started working
SO-50 over the last couple of weeks. I don't call "CQ satellite" since I
read up a little on protocol before I started. I do hope that I have not
stepped on anybody as I learn the techniques. I very much hope that someone
will, politely and discreetly, let me know if I screw up!
Your post does bring up a question I've been pondering for a while. You
mention using an earpiece to monitor the downlink and also mention recording
the satellite pass. I have been recording the satellite passes and that
works pretty well for sorting out my contacts, but I'm not sure how to
record the pass AND use an earpiece at the same time. Using headphones or an
earpiece cuts out the speaker, so how do you record and use an earpiece at
the same time?
I'd really appreciate some help with this. Thank you!
Steve Kristoff AI9IN
skristof at etczone.com
----- Original Message -----
From: "Clint Bradford" <clintbradford at mac.com>
To: "AMSAT BB" <amsat-bb at AMSAT.Org>
Sent: Sunday, February 15, 2015 1:01 PM
Subject: [amsat-bb] CQ SATELLITE! CQ SATELLITE!
This post does NOT apply to about 99.4% of the members here ... So if you
are a seasoned FM bird operator, just skip reading. BUT if you are new to
the FM satellites ...
I have heard a couple hams trying to work SO-50 the past week. They have
their sat prediction software all set up properly ... have improved their
antennas ... and have the proper set of frequencies programmed ...
But they are not working full duplex (where you can monitor the downlink as
you key your mic) and are stepping on other transmissions. AND they are
simply declaring, "CQ satellite ... " over and over and over.
That is not how we should be working the FM birds.
Ideally, we should be working the FM voice satellites in full duplex mode,
where we can simultaneously listen to the downlink as we are transmitting.
This might mean a second radio with an earpiece (to avoid feedback) to make
sure you are "making it" and are not stepping on others' contacts. Carefully
monitor the downlink, and wait for a break in the conversations to announce
yourself. You might find it helpful to record your sessions for later
review. Even if you don’t make a contact during a pass, a recording can help
you recognize the callsigns and voices of other operators. Pocket recorders
or smartphone apps are great for this.
Knowing your grid square - and having a grid square map - is a quick way of
identifying locations of what you will hear. There are also fellow satellite
operators who are working towards awards based on the number of unique grid
squares they contact: that is why you should know yours as you work the
birds. The ARRL and Icom have grid square maps: Icom’s is free and available
at better ham radio stores.
When you clearly hear others, listen for a break in the action, and use the
ITU-approved phonetics to announce your callsign, grid square, and operating
mode. I am K6LCS in grid square DM-13, so it becomes ...
"KILO-SIX-LIMA-CHARLIE-SIERRA, DELTA-MIKE - ONE-THREE, handheld."
There's a little "debate" on the necessity of the "operating mode"
declaration. If you state, "handheld," it used to tell seasoned satellite
operators to let you in and get your contact made - knowing you were working
low power. Some might use "demo" as their op mode - as they operate in front
of a club or hamfest. It is not "improper" to include an op mode - many do
SO ... simply keying up and declaring "CQ satellite" over and over again is
simply not the proper protocol to be using. It does not identify neither you
nor your location.
More information on working the "easy birds" always at ...
Clint Bradford K6LCS
909-241-7666 - cell, Pacific coast time
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