[amsat-bb] Re: AO-73/FUNcube-1 videos, observations

Mike Seguin n1jez at burlingtontelecom.net
Sun Dec 1 04:39:53 PST 2013

If you're using FT-817's, why not install a Panadapter interface and 
then use both the 817 and a Funcube. I wrote an article for the AMSAT 
BB, but it hasn't been published yet.

The article and boards for the project are available here:


Scroll about half way down the page. Quite a few of us use the Funcube 
and FT-817 for Microwave work.


Mike, N1JEZ
"A closed mouth gathers no feet"

On Sun, 1 Dec 2013 00:46:49 -0800 (PST), Patrick STODDARD 
(WD9EWK/VA7EWK) wrote:
> Hi!
> Over the past few nights, I've been working the new AO-73
> satellite from my back yard.  Most of the time, I have been
> using my normal portable all-mode satellite station - two
> Yaesu FT-817NDs, Elk handheld 2m/70cm log periodic
> antenna. Last night, I replaced one of the FT-817NDs with
> a Kenwood TH-F6A - using its all-mode receiver to copy the
> downlink.  Tonight, I used an Icom IC-R20 receiver for the
> downlink.  I have used these radios in the past on other
> satellites, and for some hamfest demonstrations on VO-52
> I have used the FT-817ND/TH-F6A combination.  I have
> made a series of videos (satellite audio combined with
> slideshows) from several AO-73 passes I've worked this
> week, and those are available at:
> http://www.youtube.com/va7ewk
> One of the AO-73 videos I recorded contains audio from two
> passes, and is about twice as long as the others which have
> audio from a single pass.
> After working these passes, I am convinced that this new
> satellite performs as well as VO-52, for both its uplink and
> downlink.  This is a very good thing!  AO-73 hears very well,
> as long as I'm careful to match the polarization of the satellite's
> antennas.  The downlink is strong enough to allow me to use
> any of these radios as the receiver on higher passes.  For
> lower passes, I would probably use my second FT-817ND for
> the downlink receiver.  It is good to know that, at least on the
> higher passes, there are lots of options for a downlink receiver.
> On the same higher passes, I know that I can cut my power
> down from 5W to 1W and even 500mW.  High power is not
> necessary to be heard through the transponder.
> Next project for me with this satellite: using a FUNcube Dongle
> Pro+ that I have had for a few months as the downlink receiver,
> for both the transponder and telemetry, while working the
> transponder with an FT-817ND as my transmit radio.  I reinstalled
> HDSDR and its ExtIO DLL for the Pro+ dongle on my 64-bit
> Windows 7 laptop, and it is working well.  I have downloaded the
> FUNcube-1 dashboard software, and need to get that installed.
> I also have an old netbook with Linux on it, and am curious to
> see how the dongle works with that operating system.  I am
> hoping to be able to use the dongle and a laptop as the downlink
> receiver, without being wiped out by the 5W signals from an
> FT-817ND.
> If this is successful, I may have a new combination for my all-
> mode satellite station I can use for upcoming demonstrations.
> Using the dongle and dashboard software during daytime AO-73
> passes at hamfests would be something different, and a great
> thing to show off to the hamfest crowds.
> Thanks, again, to all who worked on getting this satellite built
> and launched.  Even with the transponder on only for the nighttime
> passes, it has been fun to be on a new satellite so soon after
> its launch.  Time for bed...  73!
> Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK
> http://www.wd9ewk.net/
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