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RE: BEST satellite radio?

> In my opinion, the Yaesu FT-847 seems to fill the bill for 
> most amateur
> operators. Kenwood has announced a new radio that could challenge it,
> but at this point it's not on the market. 

I have had the pleasure of using an 847 on the odd occasion.  I've found it
a pleasent radio to use on the birds.  The tuning is nice, and the satellite
mode works well.  However, there are a couple of minor quibbles.  Firstly,
there are some 'birdies' when running Mode J, and you may hear yourself
internally, instead of via the bird (I have heard that on an 847 around
435.850).  Can also get a small amount of noise if tuning while
transmitting.  But that one isn't really noticeable.  I'm just being picky.

> Having full-duplex with tracking VFOs makes operation a breeze and
> having used it, I'd never want to go back to dual radio 
> operation. (I've
> always thought there should be an award for any Sat Op who 
> manually runs
> the rotors and adjusts for Doppler on two radios while 
> working FO-20!).

Hmm, I might have to go for that one, when I fire up on the Fujis. :-)

> As for the various modes, I'm guessing Mode "B" will initially be the
> most popular just because most folks are ready for it. But I'd wager
> that very soon after it becomes available, lots of folks will rush to
> Mode "S" and they will very likely get there by using converters so I
> don't put much added value in a radio just because it offers 1.2 or
> 2.4Ghz operation. In the case of the older FT-736 you could 
> buy a 1.2Ghz
> module for about $700 additional,,, or you could buy a converter for
> $249. It wasn't a difficult choice for most! :-)

I'm looking for transverter options for Mode L/S myself, as the antenna
requirements for that mode suit my situation better.  Probably involve a
number of hours with a soldering iron. :-)

> As for uplink power, I wouldn't purchase an amplifier until 
> after you've
> worked P3D and decide you need it. Because of the very high orbit
> (47,000km at apogee) it will require more signal than any of the
> LEOs you may be used to working, however, P3D has a unique design
> quality that will *penalize* a signal that is too strong so 
> I'd be in no
> hurry to buy an amplifier until you try it. A higher gain antenna,
> lower-loss feedline, and good mast-mounted receive preamps are a much
> better investment.

I have to agree.  I think try it with good antennas and modest power first,
then see how it goes.

> Sorry for such a long reply but I am just thrilled to finally see some
> P3D chatter on the list! Keep in mind that the value of this 
> advice is 
> equal to what you paid for it! :-)
> Can't wait to see you ALL on P3-D.

Looking forward to it.  Reminds me, I must order that rock for the 2m
transverter, so I can use it in the satellite band. :-)
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