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An Antarctic Pacsat thank you.



Hi folks,

I arrived back home from Antarctica 3 days ago, just one month late.

We had a very successful time using the Pacsats Uo-22 and Ko-25,
uploading daily reports and one or two photos each night.

We used the Arrow dual band yagi throughout the trip, and because
of the smallness of our tent we had to do all uploads 'outside'.This
proved unpleasant in bad weather when the wind was blowing snow
or the temperature was just too cold.
(see http://www.thistle.org/dml/photos/index.cgi?rr_120~1.jpg )

Having enough power in the batteries was always a concern. We relied
on solar panels for recharging everything. Fortunately in the area of our
expedition we were blessed with much sunlight for long periods.

One of the most useful devices was the PalmPilot and a satellite prediction
program called PocketSat. Mike, KF4FDJ, demo'd this to me at the Amsat
Symposium in San Diego. This saved us from powering up the laptop, till
just before the pass. It was referred to constantly.

We encountered no software problems using Wisp or anything else on the
laptop. However, the laptop needed rebooting often when the temperature
dropped below -15F. This was usually in the middle of an upload !

Another successful part of the trip was the testing of a small weather
station. This was built by Holda, KF6VIC a student of Professor Bob Twiggs
at
Stanford University. It used amongst other things a MIM module sending
telemetry in APRS format. The station was placed high up on a nunatak, and
transmitted every 20 minutes towards our area in the mountains, up to 24
miles
away. We copied the data using a TH-D7 HT, then retransmitted it  back to
Holda on the Pacsats. (see
http://www.thistle.org/dml/photos/index.cgi?WthrSta.jpg )

Several Hams were key in helping to get our messages and photos back to
our friends and family. They were Ed, KE6IZN, Roy,W0SL, JERRY,K8SAT
and KRISTI, N8WS. A very big thank you to all of them and to all the others
who sent us messages on the birds. We appreciated reading all the messages
while we huddled in our small tent.

More on the expedition can be read at http://www.thistle.org/dml/

best regards
Ronald, KE6JAB.




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