[amsat-bb] XW-2A through XW-2F satellites, around 0040-0100 UTC this evening
Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK)
amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Fri Sep 25 04:33:47 UTC 2015
Another late afternoon today, another chance to try working the new
Chinese satellites. The satellites are now starting to spread out, and
instead of hearing XW-2A through XW-2F together in a 10- to 12-minute
pass, XW-2A is now coming up several minutes before the others. This is
now making a pass for these 6 satellites last about 20 minutes or so.
I got home in enough time this afternoon to set up my gear, and also
assemble my VHF crossed dipole (the antenna sold on the AMSAT-UK web
site) and use that for the downlink antenna. The crossed dipole was
connected to my SDRplay receiver, and my Elk log periodic was connected
to one of my FT-817NDs for my uplink transmitter.
Around 0043-0044 UTC, I started hearing the digital and CW telemetry
from XW-2A. This was several minutes before I heard anything from the
XW-2B through XW-2F satellites. I was tweeting photos of what I saw on
my tablet's HDSDR screen at this point. A few minutes later, I saw the
telemetry from XW-2B through XW-2E, and some activity on the XW-2E
On XW-2E, I worked Jim WD0E and George WA5KBH. I was seeing more
activity pop up on the XW-2F transponder, so I moved over there and
worked 5 stations (Glenn AA5PK, Jack KC7MG, Robert KO6TZ, George
WA5KBH, and Clayton W5PFG). I heard others on XW-2F, so I knew that
it was the busier of the two transponders this evening.
I wrote more about this pass, and posted some photos, in a message I
left in an ongoing thread about the new Chinese satellites on the QRZ
In that post, I have a link to my Dropbox space, where you can see some
photos, along with an audio recording of what I heard when I worked the
XW-2E and XW-2F transponders. Sometime tomorrow morning, I will upload
the HDSDR RF recordings I made from this long pass (two files, totaling
about 4.6 GB in size) to my Dropbox space, as my home ISP has throttled
my upload bandwidth when I try to upload large files to Dropbox.
I hope to try more of these passes over the weekend. Unless LilacSat-2's
FM repeater is activated, I will probably try working the XW-2E and XW-2F
satellites with my FUNcube Dongle Pro+ as my receiver instead of the
SDRplay. The dongle should do fine, and its smaller maximum bandwidth
(192 kHz) is sufficient to copy the transponders and telemetry downlinks
from both of these satellites. The SDRplay has been performing well, and
I expect the same from the dongle.
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