Date   

Re: Contact! (Sort of)

CatzMeow
 

Neat, Thanks!!!

Sent from my iPod

On Oct 12, 2009, at 8:41 PM, "K6LCS" <clintbrad4d@...> wrote:

 

>> ... and I figured out "they're talking to me!!"

YOU just caught THE BUG, Ed!!!

>> ... the lightning speed these guys talk as they pass over ... I couldn't remember the call signs ...

Got a little tape recorder that you can slip into your shirt pocket? You can record your sessions, and play 'em back later to copy down the callsigns. You'll get to recognize voices after a while ...

You just qualified for an AMSAT award! I'll post details on this tomorrow.

Clint


AO-51 for JOTA this Weekend

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

Jamboree on the Air V/U repeater is now on, 145.88/435.15 @ 780 mW.

JOTA QSOs only please!

145.92/435.3 is on for general use @ 450mW.


DEMO - Victor Valley JOTA, 10/17/2009, 12:00 pm

Work-Sat@...
 

Reminder from:   Work-Sat Yahoo! Group
 
Title:   DEMO - Victor Valley JOTA
 
Date:   Saturday October 17, 2009
Time:   12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Location:   Apple Valley
Notes:   Scores and scores of Boy Scouts for this annual event. Tentative satellite pass ;ate afternoon.
 
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Which New HT to Buy?

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

Q. Clint, I&#145;m in the market to buy a new dual band handheld. What are your recommendations? I was informed Yaesu is hard to beat for the receiver part. What is your preference?

A. The only TRUE "full-duplex" HT on the market right now is the new Alinco model. But it suffers terribly with poor RX sensitivity on the sub-band nd, for the mlment, shoulnd not be seriously considered as a "true, full-duplex" HT.

A definition is in order here. "True full-duplex" means one can key the mic on one band, and hear the sub-band. Like the old Icom IC-W32a, and others. Radios like the VX-8 and TH-F6a may have dual RX VFOs, but key their mics, and you do not hear anything on the sub-band.

But as you saw at the demo, it is NOT mandatory to operate true full-duplex on the FM birds. Oh, it's better, I suppose, if you can hear yourself on the downlink. But think of how you operate on terrestrial repeaters: You wait for a break in a conversation, and announce yourself. You do NOT intentionally step on anyone. Same with the FM satellites: Wait for a break in the action, and announce yourself ...

With all that being said, my favorite 2M/440 is still the Yaesu FT-60R.A thousand memories. Receives (essentially) 108-to-a-gig. Bulletproof case design. LARGE display. PLENTY of RX audio. Strongest belt clip of any HT chassis on the market. And it does allow "split freq programming" on a channel (page 28 of the manual - "Odd Splits").

And the FT-60R has a battery situation most other HTs do NOT offer: Slap the optional FBA-25 AA Alkaline case on the FT-60R with NiMH or alkalines in it, and you have FULL TX POWER AVAILABLE if you need it. Try that on the Kenwood TH-F6a, and you have a whopping 1/2-of-one-Watt TX power!

The FT-60R isn't the most expensive HT out there ... nor the least expensive. But it is a tremendous value selling at under $200.

BUT if you need 220 capability, the Kenwood TH-F6a offers 2M/220/440 ops, each band at full TX power with the stock battery pack.

Please let me know if you have any other questions ... I *DO* have opinions ... (grin)

Clint


HANDLE for Arrow Antenna

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

Q. Where did you get that handle for the Arrow antenna, I have looked around but unable to find it?

A. You're gonna hate me for this ... But it's a simple Stanley(tm) hacksaw handle, available at your local home improvement shop!

I have since "modded" / "improved" the setup even further, by adding a little HT "tray" at that end of the Arrow boom. Pics will be posted over the weekend.

Clint


MORE: BNC-to-SMA Adapters

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

Q. Could you also tell me the name of the rigid SMA to BNC connector that was
on your radio? I cannot remember the name. Again, the demo was great and I am really excited to try out satellite communication and thank you in advance for your help.


A. Just go to the FILES section right here, and download the .pdf file I created for the Stephen Gulyas BNC-to-SMA adapters!

Clint


FT-60R Audio Accessories - Plug/Jack Design

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

... The only thing I don't like is how easy it is to pull out the speaker-mic connection a little and ground the PTT line ...
Agreed. There's no "locking" mechanism for audio accessories on the FT-60R and related HTs.

I "cured" this by using a Lance Armstrong LIVESTRONG rubbery charity/cause bracelet that fits snugly around the HT *and* the head of the speaker-mic's plug. Support your favorite charity - AND keep the speaker-mic connected at the same time!

Clint


Kenwood TH-F6a vs. Yaesu FT-60R

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

From the mail folder ...

Clint,

Thanks very much for your reply to my AMSAT BB post regarding the Kenwood TH-F6 for AO-51 and SO-50.

Prior to your reply I had not considered the Yaesu FT-60R. I ultimately decided to go with the FT-60R. I don't need a 220 HT and the TH-F6 is overkill for my needs.

The FT-60R with a speaker mic and SMA-BNC adapter was about $235 from HRO. I set up a group of memories for AO-51 and I was pleasantly surprised that it will store "Odd-Split" memories with the RX in one band and the TX in the other band……….. very similar to the Yaesu FT-817.

My first AO-51 pass was at 2240 hours on 12/13/08, a 36 degree maximum elevation pass starting south moving to the northeast. First station worked was Bill, NZ5N/6Y5, in FK-18 . First satellite contact for me in Jamaica. Once the 6Y5 pile up faded as he lost the bird, I worked 4 other stations. KD0AR, who I have worked many times, commented that I had a good signal. The RX signal was comparable to what I am used to hearing with the FT-817. I used an Arrow antenna and power was at 5 watts.

The FT-60R is very easy to use once programmed. Also, I am going to try using the "center" SO-50 RX frequency stored in a single odd-split memory in conjunction with the memory offset tuning feature and see how that works compared to a bank of memories with the stored Doppler RX frequencies.

The FT-60R is a very sturdy feeling radio, the belt clip is the best I've ever seen, and I really like the knobs on top……. Volume, squelch, and freq/channel step are exactly what should be on the top controls. The backlighting switch on the side and three power levels are also right on the money. The only thing I don't like is how easy it is to pull out the speaker-mic connection a little and ground the PTT line. I routed the mic cable behind the belt clip and that helps but it is still a poor design. Oh well, I'm not perfect either, just ask my wife!

Anyway, thanks for the great advice and you saved me about $135 compared to the TH-F6 with a speaker mic and SMA-BNC adapter.


Where's AO-51 on HeavensAbove?

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

Heavens-above.com still calls AO-51 "AO-Echo."

Make sure your longitude and latitude are correct ... and your computer's clock is correct ...

You can double-check the passes with the data at ...

http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/tools/predict/index.php

Make sure you back out appropriate hours to compensate for AMSAT's GMT data!

Clint


Operating Tips

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

From the email folder ...

- I have the squelch turned off. There is a lot of static emitted from the
HT's speaker. Would I be better off to use a headset?

Only if the noise bugs folks around you! All that noise is part of the excitement - 'cause once it starts quieting and you hear voices, the background noise drops dramatically.

- The Yaesu has a SMA connector for the antenna so I had to buy a SMA-BNC
connecter with a short cable. Would this radio work better with the Yaesu
SMA-BNC connector which has no cable?


The Yaesu CN-3 is dangerous. It offers absolutely no protection from stress to your radio's SMA connector. There's only about 1/3db loss in those 18" jumper cables. OR, use Stephen Gulyas' excellent, protective BNC-to-SMA adapters (his info is at ...

http://www.work-sat.com

- The highest elevation angle on the two passes I worked was about 30
degrees. I tried to make contacts when others briefly stopped transmitting,
but was unable to make one, or, if I did make it, I was unable to hear a
response. Should I be waiting on a higher pass over my location?

With the Arroew Sat antenna, I am successfully working passes much lower than that. Make sure your TX freq is correct, and NO PL on the TX.

- How critical is tuning frequencies up and down to compensate for Doppler
effects on the receiver? Is it also necessary to tune the transmit freqs? I
can tune this HT in steps of 5Khz on 2 meter and 70cm frequencies.

On the receive side, darned near mandatory. You WILL hear the FM birds ABOVE the posted freq as you ACQUIRE ("ABOVE - ACQUIRE" is my mnemonic device), and work them right in the middle.

Clint


Re: AO-51 Modes for this Week

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

L/U repeater is back on now. Sorry about switching back and forth twice,
I had to go back and fix something. 435.150 is at 450mw, and 435.300 is
at 630mw. Friday morning we'll probably switch back to digital for a
pass, then to JOTA configuration that evening.

73, Drew KO4MA


Re: Contact! (Sort of)

CatzMeow
 

Ok, this time for real.

It's confusing though...At first I thought everyone was messing up my callsign (KJ6BGS), but there was also a KJ6BBS right down the street (well, in the next city over).

Tonight, on AO-51, I made contact with N7DDK (I hope I got that right) but I choked and didn't get his grid square. Baby steps. He pulls up in Oregon, though.

I also found that my Diamond worked better than the smiley

Fun stuff!!

Thanks,
-Ed-

--- In Work-Sat@yahoogroups.com, "K6LCS" <clintbrad4d@...> wrote:

... and I figured out "they're talking to me!!"
YOU just caught THE BUG, Ed!!!

... the lightning speed these guys talk as they pass over ... I couldn't remember the call signs ...
Got a little tape recorder that you can slip into your shirt pocket? You can record your sessions, and play 'em back later to copy down the callsigns. You'll get to recognize voices after a while ...

You just qualified for an AMSAT award! I'll post details on this tomorrow.

Clint


DEMO/PRESENTATION - West Coast ARC , 10/15/2009, 5:30 pm

Work-Sat@...
 

Reminder from:   Work-Sat Yahoo! Group
 
Title:   DEMO/PRESENTATION - West Coast ARC
 
Date:   Thursday October 15, 2009
Time:   5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Location:   Huntington Beach
Notes:   Tentative pass at 5:35 - VS testing at 6. Meeting and presentation starts at 7.
 
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AO-51 Modes for this Week

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

On tonight's pass at 23:20 I turned the 1268.7/435.15 repeater on. We'll
run this along with the 145.92/435.3 repeater for a few days, except
when collecting telemetry, until we get the rest of the schedule sorted out.

73, Drew KO4MA


Re: Contact! (Sort of)

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

... and I figured out "they're talking to me!!"
YOU just caught THE BUG, Ed!!!

... the lightning speed these guys talk as they pass over ... I couldn't remember the call signs ...
Got a little tape recorder that you can slip into your shirt pocket? You can record your sessions, and play 'em back later to copy down the callsigns. You'll get to recognize voices after a while ...

You just qualified for an AMSAT award! I'll post details on this tomorrow.

Clint


Contact! (Sort of)

CatzMeow
 

AO-51 was passing over while I was waiting for my take-out to be ready, so I thought I'd listen in. After finding it, I threw out my call sign just for kicks, wasn't really thinking it would hit the bird as I have an almost stock antenna.

And then I heard something close to my call sign come back to me...and I figured out "they're talking to me!!"

And then I totally choked. I'm new to the ham hobby, not just to satellites, so doing a contact is new and clunky on regular radio, much less at the lightning speed these guys talk as they pass over.

I couldn't remember the call signs that were thrown back at me (sorry everyone), but I'll get better...promise.

Anyway, it was totally a "I wouldn't have believed it if I wasn't there" thing, talking through a repeater 500 miles up...way fun. Thanks for all the help, I'm sure I'll need some more help soon.

-Ed-


Re: AO-51 QRP Question

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

Does that mean it will go back to 'normal' (below) tomorrow?
It has been in V/U all month ... and with JOTA coming up, I am sure it will maintain either V/U and/or QRP V/U for the next few days.

Clint


Re: AO-51 QRP Question

CatzMeow
 

Sorry, I was looking at the Satellite Status  page on AmSat and didn't see the bit about the symposium.  Does that mean it will go back to 'normal' (below) tomorrow?

Mode V/U (J) FM Voice Repeater (QRP): Operational
Uplink: 145.8800 MHz FM
Downlink 435.1500 MHz FM

I'm still figuring everything out, like checking the command team news,  so I certainly appreciate your time.

Thanks,

Ed


--- In Work-Sat@..., "K6LCS" wrote:
>
> > On AmSat, they show a QRP freq of 435.150...would that be better for the FT-60?
>
> That's the downlink if you're working 1.2gHZ on the uplink.
>
> Per the Operations Calendar -
>
> October 5 - October 12 AMSAT Symposium week
>
> FM Repeater, V/U
> Uplink: 145.920 MHz FM
> Downlink: 435.300 MHz FM
>
> 9k6 BBS, L/U
> Uplink: 1268.700 MHz 9k6 FM
> Downlink: 435.150 MHz 9k6 FM
>
> Clint
>


Re: AO-51 QRP Question

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>
 

On AmSat, they show a QRP freq of 435.150...would that be better for the FT-60?
That's the downlink if you're working 1.2gHZ on the uplink.

Per the Operations Calendar -

October 5 - October 12 AMSAT Symposium week

FM Repeater, V/U
Uplink: 145.920 MHz FM
Downlink: 435.300 MHz FM

9k6 BBS, L/U
Uplink: 1268.700 MHz 9k6 FM
Downlink: 435.150 MHz 9k6 FM

Clint


AO-51 QRP Question

CatzMeow
 

Ok, so...

AO-51 had a pretty good pass just now (for me, anyway >30 degrees).

I was able to hear pretty clearly with just my FT-60 and a Diamond SRH77CFA antenna. I have a smiley on order, and I'm thinking of the Arrow, but dunno if I'm ready to drop 100+ yet. I tried transmitting, but really, there wasn't enough of a break in the action for anyone to hear me.

My question is this:

On the document "Work Satellites with your HT", Clint lists the RX frequency for AO-51 as 435.300.

On AmSat, they show a QRP freq of 435.150...would that be better for the FT-60?

Thanks for your help.

-Ed-

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