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Re: Winning practices for the Easy Sats, (no whiners)

Another option to keeping transmissions short is to use a short APRS
beacon at the end of your voice transmission.  I am not advocating
everybody run out and do it, but it does solve many issues that have
been posted and opens more bandwidth for contacts.

1. The callsign is in the beacon.  If you missed what the person said it
     is now on your screen (TH-D7A, TM-D700, Palm Pilot connected
     to radio/TNC, Computer connected to radio/TNC, etc.)

2. Location and Grid Square could be in the beacon as well, and thus,
    no need to repeat that information either.

3. Even your email address could be include in a short packet burst
    to respond via e-mail after the satellite pass.

Increased efficiency = more contacts..

This may seem unlike the traditional contact, but there is nothing
with these FM birds.  With APRS you reduce the redundancy and simply
make a call and confirm you heard them.  The rest is data in your hand or
on the screen.  Then, there is no need for rambling to waste bandwidth
when you can see it in front of you.

Mixing data and voice communications seems to be another avenue to
open minds for future technologies.  The world just seems to keep

Just a thought....


Tim - N8DEU
Huntsville, Alabama

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Gilchrist <kf4fdj@AMSAT.Org>
To: amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
Date: Sunday, February 27, 2000 10:03 AM
Subject: [amsat-bb] Winning practices for the Easy Sats, (no whiners)

>1) Operators who only put their call out are seldom picked out of the crowd
>and engaged in a QSO. Instead, pick a station and call them specifically.
>Try to time your transmission so you jump right in when the last QSO
>2) Rehearse what you're going to say. When the bird is yours, speak loudly,
>clearly, and to the point. Excess "umm, ahh, well, ah" transmissions will
>only cause other operators to ignore you, especially on a busy bird.
>3) Don't call CQ. If there is at least one other operator out there, they
>will hear you. Reserve calling CQ for the linear birds where one must hunt
>up and down the transponder for a signal. If you are calling CQ, most
>operators assume you can't hear the bird.
>4) Use email and posts to the BB as an effective means to increase your
>chances. Pick a regular, and send them an email. You might want to tell
>them you are going to be QRP portable on AO27, SO-35 or UO14 the second
>pass tomorrow, and ask then to listen for you. Many times such a technique
>will open the door, and other operators who have heard your call and grid
>will call you as well.
>Usually, when an operator posts they are going to be working a special
>events stations, or a rare grid, or from a unique operating position, they
>generate traffic. Try announcing you will be working mass transit
>portable.  :-)
>5) Use a gain antenna, properly oriented and pointed at the satellite. Move
>around and optimize your position. Many times unseen elements affect the
>antenna pattern, and moving a few feet makes all the difference.
>6) Invest in a preamplifier. Many times it makes the difference between
>being able to work the bird or not. If you can't hear it, you can't work
>it! (see #3)
>7) Be polite and thank the other operator for the QSO. Nice guys DO win,
>and will be given a second chance.
>8) If another operator calls a station, and you hear them, wait a second
>before "grabbing" the bird. If you jump in too soon, you will acquire a bad
>reputation and other operators will avoid you.
>I think many times the case is an operator does NOT hear the initial call,
>instead of a callous disregard for decorum, which stems from having a poor
>downlink. (see #6) There are several frustrated operators out there who fit
>this model, and believe me, they ARE ignored. There IS a culture on the
>easy sats, and a little time spent monitoring and learning this culture
>will be time well spent.
>9) Don't whine. If you whine here, or on the satellites, you might acquire
>a bad reputation and other operators will avoid you. If someone else tries
>to engage you in negativism here or on the birds, dismiss them. Do not
>enter into negative dialog, period.  Generally negativism comes from
>failure. Encourage them to improve their lot, and become a winner.
>So, the well equipped operator, who is polite, persistent, speaks clearly,
>and gets to the point is the operator who will have most success as a
>portable satellite operator.
>73, and think positively -  Mike
>                                        __\/__
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