[amsat-bb] Re: A viable FD satellite operation

Stephen E. Belter seb at wintek.com
Tue May 21 18:50:07 PDT 2013


You are approaching Field Day the correct way:  Concentrate on the analog
transponder birds (FO-29, VO-52, AO-7, in that order) and don't even try
making a contact through SO-50 (the only FM sat currently working).

The FT-847 and Arrow antenna should work fine.  The preamps are not
required, but a good idea if you have them.

DO NOT bring or connect a power amplifier.  Make sure you know how to
decrease the power of the FT-847.  Once a satellite is off the horizon
(above 15-20 degrees), you can probably make your contacts with 5-10
watts.  Using more power than needed causes all kinds of problems for
everyone trying to use the satellite.

If you are at all computer literate, I'd recommend that you get SatPC32 or
other software package working to tune your radio, automating the Doppler

AO-7 doesn't work when the satellite is in darkness (eclipsed), but note
that it is usually illuminated by the sun even when it is nighttime on
earth.  The biggest challenge with AO-7 is that it alternates between mode
A and mode B, and is currently switching somewhat randomly between A and
B.  The best place to check for its current mode is at
http://oscar.dcarr.org .

My last piece of advice is to assemble your station and start practicing
*now*.  Get things working today and gain a little practice, and you'll
have no problem making a half-dozen or more contacts, especially with your
AO-40 experience.

However, if you wait until Field Day weekend to try to make things work,
you'll be hosed.  :-(

Hope to work you on FD.  I'll be helping our club as W9LDX.

73, Steve N9IP
Steve Belter, seb at wintek.com

On 5/21/13 4:09 PM, "Bill W1PA" <w1pa at hotmail.com> wrote:

>I may set up a Field Day satellite station for our local club. I haven't
>this in a while.... my last experience with a non-FM bird was AO-40.
>I'd like to avoid the futility of the FM LEO's on FD, and look to the
>working passband birds, which I understand are AO-7, FO-29, and VO-52.
>I have at my disposal a FT-847, an Arrow satellite antenna (V/U), and if
>various preamps and poweramps for 2m and 432, as well as antennas with
>I also have a Ten Tec 2510 satellite unit that does not have the "extra
>crystal board",
>which I understand makes it a non-starter for the 3 birds I mentioned.
>For those of you experienced with the bandpass birds, assuming an outdoor,
>clear sky access location, what should I bring? (i.e. will the FT-847
>amp be sufficient?
>How many elements do I need for uplink? pre-amp for downlink? etc)
>I also may only be able to work overnight (in darkness) -- that rules out
>AO-7, correct?
>Bill W1PA 
>Sent via AMSAT-BB at amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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