[amsat-bb] AMSAT FD 2014 debrief

Bill (W1PA) w1pa at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 1 02:57:00 UTC 2014

Using a modest set-up, I was able to give our local club 
(W1BIM) their bonus
satellite contact on FO-29 Saturday afternoon (thanks to the 
team at W1AW/3).
It was on the third pass attempt.

I ran a FT-847 barefoot with  an 11 ele yagi on 436 and a 3 
ele yagi on 2m.
I ran SatPC32 with the custom exe I got from Erich to 
address my older FT847's
unidirectional CAT. Ran out of the hatch of my Subaru, 
armstrong rotor on a
camera tripod.

I have a lot of experience on the FM birds, but due to the 
lack of a home station
very little on the transponder birds, at least not since 
AO-40. A couple of questions:

For each satellite, once I dial in the correct VFO offset in 
SatPC (using the +/-
keys), does the value stay the same pass to pass, or does it 
change on each pass?

When I tried to run the  ISS passes (2m up and down), the 
2nd VFO on the FT-847
came up "reset" in the rig display when SatPC pushed the 
frequencies over -- 
is that a rig issue or SatPC issue I need to discuss with 

I had a script print out that I generated from NOVA as a 
back-up to SatPC32. I found
in comparing it that it did not show all available passes --  
if passes overlap in the
NOVA scripting output, does it have a preference and drop 
one of them?

SO-50 was pretty much non-usable except for passes over the 
ocean. No surprise.

When in the right mode, I could hear AO-7 no problem , but 
it would switch itself off or change
modes 1/3 way through the passes.

On VU-52 and FO-29, signals would start strong and then 
dive...  I assume this is
the same thing I saw from my AO-40 days on FD... as the 
bandpass fills with stations,
the available downlink output must be shared by everyone, so 
the overall signals from the birds
drop off significantly...  is that correct?

Obviously, under "normal" conditions, it does not take much 
to work the linear birds...
a quick search of "Amsat demo" on You Tube will demonstrate 
that for you -- small
linear yagi's, a 2nd person on the tripod, a couple of 
FT817's barefoot, and no PC.

FD is, of course, a different animal. I'd like to find out, 
off line, what folks were running set-up
remote (not home stations). You don't have to post here; 
please send it to me direct
(my call at hotmail dot com)

In particular:
2M: TX power, antenna type and polarization, # of elements, 
RX pre-amp (y/n)
70CM: TX power, antenna type and polarization, # of 
elements, RX pre-amp (y/n)
Single radio, or 2 radios?
PC control of rotor? (y/n)
PC control of rig? (y/n)
What was your goal: Give bonus points to FD effort, or full 

If folks are interested I will summarize and repost, but I 
will not post any
individual station info.

We had great weather in New England, and a great FD outing. 
After making the needed QSO,
I had a few more failed attempts on subsequent passes where 
I had trouble finding myself.
Spent the rest of the weekend on 20CW, and trying to conjure 
up an opening on 6M.


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