[amsat-bb] ISS Beacons

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Thu Apr 21 03:27:02 UTC 2016


On my TH-D72A, there are a couple of options for sending a CQ call. First,
a few settings need for the HT to be heard through the ISS or NO-84
packet digipeater...

Status Text: I use message number 1 with TX rate 1/1, and I use "WD9EWK
and VA7EWK" as the text. The TX rate determines how often this text is
transmitted, and 1/1 means everytime your HT transmits your location, this
text will also go out with that. You could use something like "CQ de
K7TEJ" or something like that to draw attention to yourself. Since I use
my HT on both the spaceborne digipeaters and the terrestrial APRS network,
I don't normally want to have a CQ call in that text field. Sometimes I
will replace the "and VA7EWK" with other text if I am at a hamfest or on
a trip, or I'll turn it into something like "WD9EWK and VA7EWK - 2016 World
Tour".  :-)

You can store up to 5 different status text messages, and then
select different messages for different situations. You could
have a CQ call in one, another message with something like your
e-mail address or the repeater you're listening to in another,
etc. I just use the first status text message, and change it as

TX Beacon: Method is Auto, Initial Interval is 1 minute.

Packet Path: Type is Others, PATH is ARISS - this will work for the ISS
and NO-84 when its 145.825 MHz digipeater is on, and then you can change
the Type value to New-N when you are using the HT on the terrestrial APRS
network instead of a spaceborne digipeater.

You can either rely on the HT to beacon at that interval you set in the
TX Beacon value, or you can press F followed by BCON (the 6 key) to send
a beacon on demand. Or press BCON to remove BCON from the display, and then
press BCON again to reenable the HT's beacon.

An alternative to using the Status Text and TX Beacon to make your CQ calls
would be to use an APRS message sent to ALL, and then type in a CQ call
like "CQ de K7TEJ". You could just put something like "K7TEJ looking for a
call", hoping a live operator in the footprint will pick up on something
different coming from the digipeater. APRS messages are normally sent out
once a minute over a 5-minute period, or you can go into the MSG (press the
4 key) menu and force an APRS message to be retransmitted on demand. This
might be useful, if you see your HT transmit but don't see something like
"My Message" or "My Message via ... " to indicate your HT heard the message
being retransmitted by the spaceborne digipeater.

I don't worry about an explicit CQ call when I work these digipeaters. I
transmit my location and status text to show up on the digipeater, and then
try to send APRS messages to other call signs I see on my HT's screen. I
updated the instructions I have on my QRZ.com page on how I work the ISS
and NO-84 digipeaters, asking stations to contact me via APRS messages when
they see WD9EWK-9. Otherwise, freeform text sent from another station isn't
shown or stored on the HT - just the call sign.

Hope that helps. 73!

Twitter: @WD9EWK

On Wed, Apr 20, 2016 at 11:58 PM, Rick Tejera <saguaroastro at cox.net> wrote:

> Patrick,
> When sending a CQ message, What call sign would you send to? I get how to
> respond with user phrases or position comments, but how do you get that
> first CQ out to whoever is listening?
> Rick Tejera (K7TEJ)

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