[amsat-bb] I am doing it wrong, but not sure what...

Andrew Glasbrenner glasbrenner at mindspring.com
Sun Aug 31 04:33:41 UTC 2014

A few suggestions based on my experience. 

Don't use HRD for sats, especially to tune. SatPC32 is far superior for satellite tracking, and while some stubbornly stick to HRD, those that move to SatPC32 rarely go back. You don't have to register SatPC32 to begin using it.

Forget auto tuning to start with. Run some pass predictions and double check them with the AMSAT page. and listen, tuning around a bit. Point the antennas at the TCA heading (time of closest approach) and listen there for the entire pass to begin with. This will compensate for any clock, kep, or frequency inaccuracies. During the week and when illuminated, AO-73 has a booming BPSK beacon. FO-29 is weaker, but always there. Start with those two and see if these steps lead to any success.

73, Drew KO4MA

Sent from my iPhone

> On Aug 30, 2014, at 11:50 PM, "Mark Lunday" <wd4elg at triad.rr.com> wrote:
> Back about 7 years ago, I was able to hear and work all the birds using  a
> pair of FT817ND rigs and even my VX6R: FO-29, VO-52, SO-50, AO-7, AO-16,
> AO-27, AO-51.  It was so easy, even a caveman (me) could to it.
> I now have an IC910H, second owner.  The rig does work, I made a couple of
> EME QSO's back in 2010 on a 2M9 yagi in my back yard.
> I am now dusting it off and trying to work satellites after keeping it in
> the closet for a couple of years.
> I have a pair of Elk log periodic 2M/440 antennas, using one for 144 MHz and
> one for 432 MHz.  The antennas are mounted on a painter's pole in a closet
> right next to the roof, about 15 feet from my operating position.  I am also
> using a pair of ARR pre-amps.
> I am using the HRD satellite tracking software from v5 (free).
> I am attempting to hear CW beacon from any bird, anywhere.  The antennas are
> fixed pointing south.  So far, I have not heard a thing this evening (since
> 0100 UTC).    Attempted to hear CW beacon for FO-29, AO-73, LO-19, CO-55,
> SO-50.  Also listened for passband activity on AO-73 and FO-29.  Nada.
> The pre-amps are working, and I can pick up National Weather Service
> broadcasts very strong (as expected).   I can also hear the telemetry on
> 144.39.
> I am double-checking my sat predictions with the AMSAT site.
> Possibilities:
> 1.    The birds shut off when not in sunlight (according to AO-73 web page
> that should not be the case)
> 2.    Attenuation of the signal from the roof (unlikely, I have been able
> to work simplex out to several hundred miles on my 2M9 in the attic)
> 3.    Wrong beacon frequency (I triple checked this)
> 4.    Other?
> Mark Lunday, WD4ELG
> Greensboro, NC  FM06be
> wd4elg at arrl.net
> http://wd4elg.blogspot.com
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