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Re: field day


It is nice to see that you are interested in making some satellite contacts. 
  What you are proposing is fun, challenging, and rewarding.  To learn how 
to do so in the next 3 days is pretty hard.  You may be smarter than me, but 
it took about 2 years of encouragement and some help to make my first 
contact.  I made that contact in late May.  There are a lot of others on the 
bb who have much more experience, but being a new guy I know very well the 
frustrations and joys of the first satellite contacts.

First, I strongly suggest going to the AMSAT Homepage and learning as fast 
as you can.  It is at http://www.amsat.org.  Print out the document called 
Easy Satellites.  It has been recently updated and is a very good 

The easiest satellites to use are the FM satellites.  However, they will be 
VERY hard to use on field day.  RS 12/13 or FO-20 and FO-29 may be a lot 
easier to use, but will require some equipment you will need to find in your 
shack or from fellow club members.  For these birds you need SSB on 2 meters 
and either HF (RS 12/13) or 440 (FO-20 and FO-29) It is important that you 
be able to transmit on one frequency and hear on a second frequency (full 
duplex or two radios).  Use headphones or you will start a feedback loop 
through the satellite.

If someone in the club has an Arrow Satellite Antenna it would be the 
easiest way (that I know of) to use a factory made antenna to make a contact 
at field day.

I also strongly suggest working on your procedures and equipment  before 
Field Day!  It will be much easier to make contacts at almost any other 

One word of caution, the FM satellites (AO-27 and UO-14) have very sensitive 
ears!!  Only one conversation at a time can be held on the bird (like a 2 
meter repeater)  It is considered impolite (and is illegal) to transmit the 
2 meter uplink unless you can hear the satellite and know if you are 
interrupting a contact.  UO-14 puts out a great signal which is actually 
easy to hear with a mobile 440 FM rig or with a 440 handheld.  AO-27 is a 
bit harder, and really does not sound good unless you have a directional 

That should give you a start.  (Even if the start ends up with a contact 
next year at field day!)  Stick around the bb and keep trying and talking 
and you will get this part of amateur radio mastered as well as the other 
parts.  There are lots of people who would love to help.

Best 73s

de WS8G  (Rick)

>From: "Darrell Graham" <grahamda@teleport.com>
>To: <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
>Subject: [amsat-bb] field day
>Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2000 22:03:05 -0700
>Hi guys,
>     I have been tasked to get some satellite contacts on field day. Having
>never done any sat work before I need some help. I think that I have
>adequate radios and antennas put together. What I don't know is what
>satellites are used for this sort of thing. Also suggestions for a 
>tracking program to use. Suggestions of any kind will also be appreciated.
>Many thanks in advance.
>Darrell kc7aoi
>Via the amsat-bb mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
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