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Re: FM Satellite Etiquette

Hello Jon!

15 Apr 01 23:27, you wrote to Rip Smith:

 JO> You have to be quick and courageous.  The FM birds are not actually
 JO> "easy" in that sense.  Typical "repeater" style courtesies go out the
 JO> window.  But everyone expects that and respects that once you've
 JO> worked a few passes.  If you get stepped on (it happens), you keep
 JO> trying till you make the contact.

Quick and courageous, most definitely!  I find courtesy and attentiveness help.
Courtesy to know if someone else is in mid QSO, wait a second, attentiveness to
hear if you _did_ get inm or if someone beat you to it, so as to back off and
give their signal a chance to get through.  Also, it's a problem when you
become too efficient, there's a risk of hogging the bird, and I prefer to back
off a little at that stage.

 JO> Your definition of absurd.  To others it is not.  It was an award
 JO> developed to encourage satellite activity.  No one says you have to
 JO> participate for it.  I'm impressed that Bruce has made over 5000
 JO> satellite Qs.

That's not a bad effort!  I'm probably in the several hundred category, myself.

 JO> ERP is not the only answer when working FM birds.  The inherent
 JO> limitations of FM are also it's beauty.  It's the capture effect.  If
 JO> you can capture the bird, you'll sound just as strong and clear as
 JO> anyone else.  Also, just because someone has more power than you here
 JO> on earth doesn't necessarily mean that the satellite hears them better
 JO> than you.
 JO> The important thing when working with a handheld and an arrow is to
 JO> get the antenna pointing down.  It's quite a trick and isn't easy.  My
 JO> first try at it, I wasted a couple passes or caught the birds late.
 JO> Then I'd get the antenna off track.  It takes some patience.

And be prepared to adjust while in QSO.  I've often has to do a little twist in
mid sentance...  Full duplex is a godsend sometimes. :)

 JO> Enough of this ragging on people who have big stations.  Not everyone
 JO> runs a kilowatt in.  Yet, I can run less power than you and still
 JO> capture the bird better.  Is that fair?  Sure - it's a home station.

No problem if the "big guys" share the bird around...  The good stations also
can act as "focal points" for activity, which may add some order to the chaos.

 JO> Standard radio courtesies go out the window on FM birds.  Everyone who
 JO> uses them regularly knows it and accepts it.  People don't get mad,
 JO> they just listen and grow patient.

I find it's a strange environment, Down here, yes, you get the dog eat dog, but
at the same time, there's a courtesy of a different kind.

 JO> No, it says one of two things.  That he either didn't listen or his
 JO> practice was poor.  I've had plenty of "luck" getting into the birds
 JO> with 5 Watts and an Arrow.  Of course "LUCK" is Laboring Under Correct
 JO> Knowledge.

I've managed to edge into a dogpile on less than that, try 3.5W and a 1/2 wave
from a tram or train.  Yes, there is less QRM down here, but the early days of
SO-35 were still rather hectic, and one has to pick their moment to slip a
signal in edgewise. :)

 JO> Actually, they aren't chaotic if you just know how they work, accept
 JO> it and then do your best.

One day, I'd like to try my hand at US conditions on the FM birds, sounds like
a real challenge. :)

Tony, VK3JED

.. Modems.....reach out and BYTE someone!
|Fidonet:  Tony Langdon 3:633/284.18
|Internet: tlang@freeway.apana.org.au
| Standard disclaimer: The views of this user are strictly his own.

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