[amsat-bb] Re: status

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Sun Jan 26 13:48:28 PST 2014


Thanks for the quick and calm response.

Well I don't know but it seems like to me that same
 handheld antenna mounted on a tripod  and  using small
 DC motors to track the satellite in both the azimuth
 and elevation planes ( something like Mark Spencers
 latest creation) along with full blown doppler correction
 being provided along with it from some type of  "black
 box" transceiver and/or interface which was assembled
 from a reasonably inexpensive kit and is being run by an
 iphone , droid or tablet  with an app or possibly by a
 laptop and the whole shebang being powered from a
 reasonable sized cluster of li poly batteries is much
 more impressive than a guy with an HT pointing an antenna
 in the air with his hand.

That may be the case, but that - like beauty - is in the
eye of the beholder.

I was expecting to see a response with something that
hadn't already been proposed, but this is something
more than just saying that we need to do something
different without finishing that thought.

Mark Spencer, a long-time satellite operator, has done
a lot for this corner of our hobby.  He's also an all-
around good guy.  :-) 

 IMO that also would not seem unattainable and  monetarily
 out of reach to the average joe ham  who has somewhat
 bothered to keep up with the technology available to him
 or her today.  I know I would love such a system.  You
 could also have a demonstration of the simpler hand held
 station going and let people make up their own mind which
 had more appeal and "cool" factor.  My idea isn't so
 complex that it overwhelms but is not so simple that it
 totally takes away the "wow" factor either.

Agreed.  Mark Spencer's idea (using his WRAPS rotator) is
cool.  When it becomes available, I will probably buy one
and incorporate that as part of my hamfest demonstration
station - which will also be motivation to finally use
SatPC32 to control my FT-817NDs.  I may not use the rotator
when I go out to unusual locations to put them on the air,
but it will be interesting to see those rotators in action.
I saw one at the AMSAT Symposium where he gave a presentation
about it (a video of that is on my YouTube channel), and
I like it.

What others perceive as "cool" depends on what they are
looking for.  Some like the hi-tech setups, others like the
simpler setups, and some like both.  
I think John K8YSE has
written an article about his remote-controlled satellite
stations that will appear in an upcoming AMSAT Journal, as
an example that might closer approach what you're looking
for.  John may not be using SDR radios as is your preference,
but he now has two complete satellite stations he can operate
when sitting in front of the radios, or from anywhere he has
Internet access.  Then there are hams like me who are pushing
the limits with a simpler and very portable station - yet
have opportunities to experiment by trying different station
components (different antennas, radios, etc.) without
breaking the bank.

Living in a rental house in an HOA-controlled area, I can't
put up antennas on the house or property.  I can stay active
using my portable gear and have a fully-functional station
for satellite operating, even if it is at the opposite end
of the spectrum from what you are interested in.  And I'm
having fun doing this.  Maybe I need to go to a support
group...  "Hi, my name is Patrick, and I enjoy working
satellites and doing demonstrations at hamfests with a
simple station."  Or am I in one right here?  :-)



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