[amsat-bb] Working FOX-1A

James Duffey jamesduffey at comcast.net
Sat Jul 4 15:05:25 UTC 2015

Clint and the list - Not sure how many AMSAT members in California are members of the Klan and are also passionate enough about half-duplex to burn crosses on your front lawn, certainly not me, but I do agree that we should be teaching that working the FM birds in Full Duplex is preferred, not just for the operator, but for other operators on the bird as well. We probably shouldn’t be dogmatic about it, as that turns people off, but I think we should encourage all FM satellite ops to work towards operating full duplex.

I suspect that the operable word in AA4KN’s article is “adequate”. What may be adequate for getting the 100 extra FD points, is really not suitable for long term development of skilled satellite operators. I think the chaos one hears on the FM birds during FD is testimony enough to the meaning of adequate in this context. 

It is easy to work most of the FM birds, so easy that it can be done with half-duplex. Many never progress beyond that. But there are lots of advantages to full duplex: hearing your own signal, knowing its quality, hearing who else is on the bird, not stepping on them; learning to wait in turn to call DX and in short, knowing when to talk and when to shut up.

Teaching full duplex is not hard; a second rig can be inexpensive these days and loaning one to a half duplex op who wants to go full duplex is on possibility of easing people into full duplex. When some one mentions they are having problems working the FM satellites, I always ask if they are working full duplex. Most of the problems that a novice has can be identified and easily remedied by themselves if they go to full-duplex.

Another less obvious reason is that full duplex is almost mandatory on the linear satellites, and I think we should be trying to move newcomers from the FM birds to the linear birds. If they use Full-Duplex on the FM birds that is one less skill they have to learn when they go to the linear birds. The FM birds, while easy to work and loads of fun, offer only a fraction of the capabilities of which amateur radio communications are capable.

But I suspect that I am preaching to the choir. - Duffey KK6MC  

On Jul 3, 2015, at 11:18 PM, Clint Bradford <clintbradford at mac.com> wrote:

> I was startled reading AA4KN's proclamation in his July, 2015 QST article 
> that " ... a half-duplex rig will be adequate for the Fox satellites, but a "full 
> duplex" transceiver is even better ... "
> Gawd, if I had published that, I would have crosses burning on my front lawn.
> Confirming we should still be teaching that "Working FOX-1A in true, full 
> duplex mode is preferred ... " - and suggesting methods to accomplish just 
> that?
> Clint K6LCS
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