[amsat-bb] Re: status

Michael Mat_62 at charter.net
Sun Jan 26 14:48:20 PST 2014

Probably no one is going to believe me but I actually had an inkling for 
an idea similar to Mark's rotator system  awhile back. On one of my few 
attempts at portable sat ops, back in the days of AO-51 I remember 
thinking, "this is too much work" and thinking it would not be that hard 
to automate the small antenna tracking with DC motors.   Since my 
homebrew SAEBRTrack  tracking box uses a BASIC STAMP to control  Orion 
OR-360 TV rotators which run on DC  and change direction by switching 
polarity , this seemed entirely "doable" at the time. Unfortunately I'm 
more of a dreamer than a doer sometimes and I didn't pursue the idea. My 
latest attempts at a budget SDR receive solution using and RTL dongle  
and homebrew filters to combat desense  have met the same lack of 
motivation lately.....
Michael, W4HIJ
On 1/26/2014 4:48 PM, Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) wrote:
> Michael,
> 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?  :-)
> 73!
> Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK
> http://www.wd9ewk.net/
> _______________________________________________

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