[amsat-bb] Why too much uplink power is bad/eggbeater antennas on xmit

David dwarnberg at verizon.net
Mon Aug 3 13:17:22 UTC 2015

	I use M2 EggBeaters, both have preamps for receive... I use no more
than 10 watts and am heard fine, if and only if the sat is on a low pass
(i.e. less than 15 degrees above horizon) I may use 15 to 20 watts to be
heard..  50 watts is way too much power and indicates another problem if
they cannot be heard..

My 2 cents


-----Original Message-----
From: AMSAT-BB [mailto:amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org] On Behalf Of Philip
Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2015 7:54 PM
To: amsat-bb at amsat.org
Subject: [amsat-bb] Why too much uplink power is bad/eggbeater antennas on

The discussion on uplink power fits right in with a conversation I had last

While I was not wearing my AMSAT badge at a hamfest on July 25, a married
couple - both hams, both fairly recently licensed - recognized me from a
previous hamfest when I was wearing that badge. Their question for me was to
why they could hear  (a) satellite(s), but no one could hear them...

The satellite in question is SO-50 (and I did take a few minutes explaining
the difference between linear birds and FM-only ones).

Before the OM joined us, his YL told me that her husband doesn't want to use
antennas like the Elk or Arrow, even on a tripod. I then suggested to her
that he consider a fixed elevation mount, so as to only have to track the

Then the OM showed up. He doesn't even want to consider the fixed-elevation,
because he'd still have to track . I suggested he leave the tracking to a
computer...still not acceptable

He then explained that they spend a lot of time in a motorhome. For his
antennas now, he is using eggbeaters. On the 440 receive side, he is
thankfully using a pre-amp, so he can hear adequately,

For the transmit, he is using 50 watts into an eggbeater, and still can't be
heard on the satellite. He told me one recommendation he was given was to
increase the xmit power to 150 watts (*I visibly shuddered*) so as to
overcome the non-directionality of the eggbeater. (And I explained why too
much uplink power is bad for both FM and linear sats, in terms of bandwidth
and power consumption on the satellite.)

On further questioning, he knew about the PL tone to turn-on SO-50, but
didn't know about the different PL to actually access the satellite on each
transmission. I explained to him that it is like terrestrial repeaters; no
matter how much power you run, the repeater won't "hear" you unless you
transmit the PL every time.

In a follow-up email the next day, I passed on the SO-50 operating guide
(PDF) from the AMSAT website, and advised him to try programming his radio
with the proper PL and frequencies for adjacent memories BEFORE consdering
increasing transmit power.

I really think his problem is not using PLs, rather than inadequate power
levels on an omni antenna.

My question is two-fold (I still need to follow-up with him). 1) For those
of you successfully using eggbeaters for the uplink (and he is adamant about
not using a yagi, despite my advice that the performance will suffer quite a
bit with eggbeaters), what output power do you typically use? I think 50
watts into an eggbeater is probably still too much power, considering 5
watts into an Arrow is usually enough for successful communications.

2) I know that various power levels are suggested for various gain antennas,
but I'm wondering what the suggested EIRP is for successful - not ones which
would hog the satellite  - uplinks.

Philip N4HF
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