[amsat-bb] SSB Operation on the Satellites

John Heath g7hia at btinternet.com
Thu Jun 9 03:23:52 PDT 2011

Hi Satelliters,
Might cause some flames with this  but here goes:
With a good few years of operating on the SSB sats, AO's-10,13,40, RS10, 
FO-20,FO-29 and 98 countries confirmed I can agree totally with the "one true 
rule" in theory. When stations at each end of the QSO use the method it works 
flawlessly, I have done it with QSO partners using Fod track and with Instantrak 
computer Doppler correction, but there is the problem.
Many of the stations that you want to work will be using manual tuning methods, 
so as you maintain your frequencies at the satellite, according to the rule, 
your QSO partner will have to search for you. Then when its your turn to 
transmit he will have to search for you. 

The practical solution that I and I believe most of the ops. I have worked seem 
to use is to have short overs and to adjust frequencies the TX to try and keep 
the QSO in a fixed spot on the receiver.
Following the other "often recommended" method of adjusting the higher frequency 
irrespective of its function, up link or down link, cause QSO's to drift across 
the pass band causing problems for other users.
The other point worth making for newcomers to the SSB birds is to start on the 
easy passes/satellites first to get the knack of manual tuning. For example, try 
VO-52 with its 2m downlink, and to pick low elevation passes where the rate of 
change of frequency due to Doppler shift is less. Don't expect to get it right 
with near overhead passes of FO-29 until you have delevop  your skills.
We were all beginners once so don't be afraid to have a  go and make a few 
I am pleased to say that in my experience the SSB satellites have a great user 
community who maintain high operating standard and welcome new ops.
Have fun on the birds
73 John G7HIA
Lamenting the loss of our lovely HEO birds, Happy Days !!

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