wa4sca at gmail.com
Mon Oct 12 05:19:45 UTC 2015
This is the ham equivalent of Charlie Brown's kite eating tree. Somehow no matter what you do, a tree
limb (which hopefully you do not have in the attic), cable, or control cable will reach out and snag
<From: AMSAT-BB [mailto:amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org] On Behalf Of Jerry Buxton
<Sent: Sunday, October 11, 2015 9:03 PM
<To: AMSAT-BB <amsat-bb at amsat.org>
<Subject: [amsat-bb] Murphy
<Well, the launch and deploy went without an apparent hitch and given the
<presence of Murphy throughout the Fox-1A project up through delivery I
<thought that was pretty amazing if not downright spooky.
<My qualms were settled tonight when Murphy was back, this time on the
<first pass that I have had an opportunity to copy AO-85 on my own. I
<set up at home to do just telemetry, and when she rose the signal was
<horrible to say the least. It did get a little better as things went on
<and pretty good at 30+ degrees of elevation but still pretty weak.
<Having read reports that ranged from "outstanding" to "disappointed" I
<thought I was finally finding out for sure what we had done.
<So I tried manually moving the antennas thinking that if the keps are a
<little off that might help.
<That's when I noticed that the antennas weren't moving. Still pointed
<southwest, maybe 45 degrees elevation, even though the satellite was
<passing up high to the west.
<I ran up to the attic and lo, the very dual band Diamond vertical
<antenna that I had borrowed from the Hood County Club and placed in the
<attic for testing Fox-1Cliff/D on the air, was caught in the elements of
<my 70 cm antenna! The antenna was pointed north-northeast at 45 degrees
<elevation and the rotator had been turning the mast within the tripod so
<it thought it was pointing southwest/west. I guess I've been off the
<birds long enough that it never occurred to me that where I placed it
<was duh, not a good location when you start swinging long beams around.
<How's that for comedy? Fox-1D (current configuration in the Labs
<running on that Diamond antenna) takes down my Fox-1A pass out of sheer
<The good news was, I was copying telemetry even though the satellite was
<generally off the back or 90 degrees above the beam of the antenna. And
<when it came into the beam, it was loud and clear as I had expected,
<although it faded as it set and I could not track it but lowering the
<elevation since azimuth was hosed.
<It's good to be back in the realm of ham radio where anything that can
<go wrong, will!
<Jerry Buxton, N?JY
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