[amsat-bb] Neophyte SSB transponder operation follies

Jeff A. Boyd the2belo at msd.biglobe.ne.jp
Sun Jan 3 15:51:32 UTC 2016

Today weather and winds were favorable (seriously, it was T-shirt weather in January) so I set up camp along a suburban road
with wide sky coverage, put up my Arrow antenna with homebrew tripod mount, and put in a full schedule of SSB sat passes
interspersed with the domestic JA New Year's QSO Party on 2m.


I am a complete newbie at SSB birds so you'll have to bear with my abject failure at making any QSOs through any of them so far. Dealing with trying to find my own downlink signal *and* continually adjusting the antenna has proven a handful. But I'm making
baby steps and am still confident that I'll eventually figure this all out.

1. AO-73 (https://soundcloud.com/minus2c/ao-73-pass-jan-3n-2016-0954jst)
The good: I successfully heard the telemetry beacon at S9 signal strength, immediately upon AOS. This told me I was doing
something right. Also, at 4:50 in the above recording, I heard my own downlink signal at long last, although it was a fleeting
moment of triumph. I suppose I should have taken note of what both frequencies were.
The bad: No QSOs. Also the FUNCube Dashboard doesn't seem to want to run on Wine, so I couldn't actually decode the telemetry,
only listen to it howl at me.

2. AO-7, mode B (https://soundcloud.com/minus2c/ao-7-pass-jan-3-2016-1410-jst)
The good: Hey, it's AO-7 mode B on a day I'm actually listening! I heard plenty of CW traffic, as well as station UA9UIZ in
eastern Russia calling CQ.
The bad: I'm not allowed to tx to AO-7 in mode B. The JA band plan doesn't permit transmitting on 432MHz to satellites. I have
to wait until it's in mode A, and then I need to be able to listen on 10 meters. (Ignore for a moment the fact that you hear
JS3QBP calling on CW, I think he shouldn't be.)

3. FO-29 (https://soundcloud.com/minus2c/fo-29-pass-jan-3-2016-1440-jst)
The good: Well I heard UA9UIZ calling CQ again.
The bad: Pretty much everything else. I heard nary a single peep of my own signal. I'm seriously wondering whether this old
IC-706 is having problems transmitting LSB, because this is my fourth attempt at this bird by now and I haven't been able to get into it no matter how many times I tune up, down, and sideways while saying OOOOOOOOOOOOO into the mic. Sigh.

And then the day was over. Christmas over. Vacation over. Back to work on Monday. I'll try again next weekend.

J. Boyd JR2TTS

J. Boyd, JR2TTS/NI3B
the2belo at msd.biglobe.ne.jp
Twitter: @Minus2_C

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