[amsat-bb] Re: ECHO duty cycle

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb@wd9ewk.net
Fri Sep 1 08:25:30 PDT 2006

Hi Pat (N2OEQ - there are a bunch of Pats in this thread now)!

> Hi gould- thanks for information. Hopefully the command team will manage
> to eeck out a little more power. I'm not just thinking of myself. As I
> recall, one of the purposes of echo was to attract new people ( myself
> included ) with an easy to operate satellite. After 2 years, I now use an
> 8 element beam and preamp to hear echo. Take care, pat

I've read your posts on other threads about the problems you seem to have
in hearing AO-51.  Have you tried other combinations of radio, antenna, coax,
preamp or no preamp, etc. to see if you are able to either duplicate your
current situation or possibly have better luck in hearing it?

Most of the time, I use an HT with a handheld Yagi.  I have also used an HT
with a long telescoping whip or long duckie, and have been able to work the
current crop of FM satellites (AO-51, SO-50, and - when operational - AO-27)
with success.  I have operated from several locations around Phoenix, one
site in eastern Arizona, and several locations in/around Dayton since I started
with AO-51.  I've never used a preamp when working these satellites.  If
something isn't working with your current setup, and others are reporting
success with similar setups (or simpler/less-sophisticated setups), maybe
some troubleshooting is in order for your station.

As for running more power, my thought is that if AO-51 was running noticeably
more power than the other FM satellites, it might be a deceptive thing to a new
satellite ham trying to get started.  If anything, the normal AO-51
is a good way to get started.  If you can get on AO-51, you can get on AO-27
when it's available, and should be able to get on SO-50 even with its lower
TX power.  I like the high-power times on AO-51, as I get to try other antenna
and radio combinations to see how small I can go and still hear and work the
satellite, but I think the normal setup isn't bad either.  And, based on my logs
over the past few months, I actually seem to make fewer QSOs on AO-51
when it's in high-power mode compared to the normal configuration.

I have worked lots of new stations on AO-51, mostly when the satellite is *not*
on high power.  Just like I was a newbie last December, trying AO-51 for the
first time while it was in the normal configuration.  And I'm
operating most of the
time near the downtown area of a large US city, with lots of RF around, and I
can sometimes hear these satellites down to about 4-5 degrees elevation with
my HT/Yagi setup without a preamp and when the satellites running no more
than 400-500mW from their transmitters.

Back to work... and looking forward to some V/S passes before the next mode
change over the weekend.  73!

Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK - Phoenix, Arizona USA

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