[amsat-bb] FM Satellites: Good Operating Practices for Beginning and Experienced Operators

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Mon Dec 11 23:01:01 UTC 2017


Nice document. Thanks for writing it! Even the section for rare
and portable stations is putting in writing what many operators have
been doing for a long time. I don't expect to get an FM satellite all
to myself whenever I have operated away from home, and I have done
that a lot over the past decade or so from lots of locations. NJ4Y is
correct in what he said about a recent Saturday where he and I were
operating from special events. He and I have done this sort of "tag
team" operating from different rare or unusual locations on satellite
passes over the past year or so - especially during 2016's NPOTA

One issue I see is with point 4. The basic premise is spot-on - don't
call CQ. It is unfortunate that the assumption here is that the issues
are with the operator's station
if nobody has responded after giving
his/her call sign and grid locator a few times. If the station is being
operated full-duplex, the operator will know straight away if his/her
signals are making it through the satellite. A different way of stating
the last part of this section could be...

"If you have given your callsign several times and are not getting calls,
try calling other stations you have already heard on the pass. Sometimes,
many stations are announcing themselves, but few are taking the initiative
to call another station. If that doesn't work, it may then be helpful to
examine your station before transmitting again."

Many times, or dare I say *too* many times, there are bunches of stations
announcing themselves on a pass, but nobody tries to call these stations.
The equipment at those stations could be working fine, but everyone else
isn't paying attention to what could be a new operator's call sign or even
a rare grid locator. I have lots of recordings that illustrate this. Sure,
there could be other issues with the operator's equipment at play, but it
seems like jumping to that conclusion might be premature. Listening for
these stations, and calling them, may help spark an interest in this part
of our hobby. You never know what you might end up with in your log - like
a new grid locator, for example.


Twitter: @WD9EWK or http://twitter.com/WD9EWK

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