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Re: P3D information

Hi Jeff,

I would imagine that knowing the keps prior to launch is a bit like playing
roulette. The more I think of it it's exactly like playing roulette! There's
too many uncertainties to make an accurate prediction.

IMHO I think that getting a tip top station together in time for launch day
may be a let down because the vast majority of modes won't be operational
for a while. Indeed, it may even work negatively in that your friend gives
up because the station he/she's built is inoperative for so long, waiting
for P3D to become active. Even worse, if the mode(s) that the station is set
up for fail on P3D, that would be a huge disappointment.

My QTH is in a built up area (Central London), and I took the 'build it
quick' route a year ago - and it was a big, expensive mistake.

Indeed, the reason for going to satellites for me was precisely _because_ I
live in a built up area where there's quite serious antenna restrictions, ie
they cannot be visible from the street (technically I'm not supposed to have
any, but if you can't see them what's the problem?). If someone was to tell
me a year ago that you can get reliable transatlantic contacts with an Arrow
antenna (3 elements on 2m, 7 on 70cm), I'd have taken it with tongue buried
deeply in cheek!

My mistakes (which are plenty!) were down to lack of planning and also due
to lack of operating experience and understanding. The exhilaration you get
when you get it right are awesome though. My first successful downlink and
QSO were on a $50 vertical and a 10c wire dipole. And I had an arsenal of
expensive yagis stuck in a cupboard which I couldn't put up.

However many books you read on the subject and exchanging of ideas there
are, I've found satellites (like the whole of Amateur Radio) to be largely a
self-learning process which is still on-going. That's not to say that there
some very good texts, like the Satellite Handbook, which give numerous ideas
and practical examples. And the help of all on the BB has been second to
none - but just don't expect all the answers on a plate!

My recommendation would be to start off small with equipment you may already
have. I'm guessing your friend may be surrounded by buildings if in a built
up area, and therefore their visible horizon may be high. This can be a
disappointment because most satellite passes barely break 30 degrees of
elevation. Your friend may already have a vertical, and that should be
sufficient to see when during a pass he/she can expect to hear. I suffer
from a 10 degree horizon to the south, which makes AO-10 operation very
tough for me.

A good start would be to concentrate on the receive side like preamps and
some good coax. After all, if you can't hear 'em you can't work 'em.

Just a few thoughts.

Best of luck to you & your friend on P3D.

73 Howard G6LVB

----- Original Message -----
From: "jeff w griffin" <kb2wqm@juno.com>
To: <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2000 6:41 PM
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] P3D information

>                  Bruce Paige <kk5do@AMSAT.Org> wrote:
>                  >it still makes me wonder....
>                  >why do some require actual transponder activation times
> now? why do
>                  >some need to know pre-launch keps?
> I have a friend who want's to put up a satellite antenna system. He lives
> in a very congested area. He is trying to determine, if and for how long
> he will be able to see the bird. That seem's to me to be one valid reason
> for pre-launch Kep's.
> 73 Jeff kb2wqm
> ________________________________________________________________
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