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Chris Jackson wrote:

> In addition, there can be quite a technical challenge in getting a station
> working to receive these satellites.  When UO-14 was launched with the
> 9600bd links, there was no commercially available equipment at that time
> capable of working with these satellites (without modification).  Many hams
> these days may prefer to purchase a number of black boxes and plug them
> together to receive the satellite, but where's the fun in that.  To set up
> an 'automated' computer controlled groundstation working the digital
> satellites can be a fun and challenging experience.

THIS is why I did it . . . . had no interest, was enjoying the pursuit of ZRO9
in AO-13 when a good friend convinced me I needed a new challenge, whether or
not I ever communicated. . . . when it was all over, I'd:
    heavily modified a commercial 70cm cross yagi
    modified a terrestrial design and built a 2m crossed yagi
    come up with a low-cost rotor controller and software to drive it
    come up with software to control my icom radios and his yaesu
    come up with a hardware AFC that works on icom/yaesu and only requires 1
frequency setting before the hardware takes over
    learned how to write tsr's in assembly language
    learned x86 assembly language
    gotten some practice in C
    learned a lot about system integration (rf, software, digital hardware,
analog hardware)
     . . . and probably a lot more than I remember anymore.

My first station has been fully automatic for years.  The second station I
assisted with is a world-class museum exhibit that introduces ham radio to
visitors daily . . .

GAWD what a challenge.  GAWD what rewards!!!!!!!!

I even communicate with it, and made some fabulous new friends.

Even the spousal unit understands the feeling when I just sit there and watch .
. . .

Yeah, it was worth it, and it was great fun. . . . even tho I never thought I'd
ever use it to communicate . . .

73, Jim

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