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Re: FM Satellite Etiquette

Tony Langdon wrote:

> First thing is to make sure one's receiving station is top notch.  While it is
> true that an experienced operator can work the FM birds without the luxuary of
> full duplex (heck, I've even done it with _manual_ band changes between Tx and
> Rx and back - ever seen someone work an FM bird with a IC-T81A while driving?
> Not exactly a good ad for road safety!), full duplex will make it _much_ easier
> to know when to transmit and when you're doubling (so you can back off and give
> the other guy a chance to get his QSO).

I can't emphasise that enough. When I first got my FT-847, one windy 
nasty night I stuck it in my car and drove to a parking lot (I was an 
apartment dweller at the time). I stuck the same Arrow on it that I'd 
been using with a VX-5 (while cussing out the "clique" and the 
"good-old-boys" who wouldn't let a poor newbie girl in). I plugged in a 
set of headphones (oh, I guess it seems obvious, but you *do* need to 
use headphones to do this!), hooked it up to a big battery pack, and 
squirted some signal at UO-14 while *listening* to the downlink.

It was very enightening. Sometimes I was getting in. Sometimes I wasn't. 
But I wasn't getting in when I would have thought I was, and conversely 
I *was* getting in sometimes when I would have thought I wasn't. Nobody 
answered my calls that night, but I realized that if *I* only heard what 
was showing up in the downlink, I wouldn't have answered me either, 
because usually there wasn't enough information to figure out who I was, 
or who I was calling.

Now that I'm set up in a permanent location with better antennas, I've 
honed the technique of getting off the key quickly when I haven't 
captured the bird,and riding on when I have. A boom mike and a footpedal 
are *invaluable* to free your hands for logging or antenna pointing 
(yes, I still do that manually...need to find a cheap FODtrack 
someplace), too.

Once you've got the techniques down, as ony said, a trained ear can get 
by without the full-duplex. Proof of that is the UO-14 contact I picked 
up in 2-land on my perfectly ordinary dual-band mobile while driving to 
work the other day.

Of course I didn't manage to log it, because I wasn't even expecting a 
pass...I'd kicked the radio into scan and it stopped on the UO-14 
downlink, so I grabbed a quick one. By th etime I could stop the car 
saefly, I'd forgotten the callsign. :-)

73 de Maggie K3XS

-----/___.   _)   Margaret Stephanie Leber    / "The art of progress  /
----/(, /|  /| http://voicenet.com/~maggie   / consists of preserving/
---/   / | / |  _   _   _    `  _AOPA 925383/ order amid change and /
--/ ) /  |/  |_(_(_(_/_(_/__(__(/_  FN20hd / change amid order."   /
-/ (_/   '  K3XS  .-/ .-/    ARRL 39280   /___ --A.N.Whitehead ___/
/____ICQ 7161096_(_/_(_/__AMSAT 32844____/ <maggie@voicenet.com>

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