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Re: Date: Sat, 26 May 2001 14:58:31 -0500 ( don't give up :^} )

Wayne Grove wrote:
> What would help?  Activity reports such as who was worked and heard with the
> time and orbit, MA etc.
> At least if I knew I should have heard something it would take some of the
> pain away from listening to hours of frying noise.
> If I had that kind information last night I could of at least told my wife
> why I woke her up at 3:30am(local) getting up to go check AO-40.  I am not
> suggesting flooding AMSAT-BB with everyone sending their brag sheets
> everyday but a few success reports would help keep my fire going.  If you
> are shy and don't want to post your success stories send them to
> k9slq@amsat.org

First off if you have internet access , then get on the chat group ,
that in and of itself is -very- helpful , because you can ask the guys
on the group if they are hearing anything or watch the banter back and
forth between other guys who are working each other 

I can sympathize with you wayne , your lucky that you have someone else
in the household who could possibly help you ( at least in the waking
hours ;^)  ) .

Being single makes it that much harder for me , so with that said I can
say this , don't give up , you will find the "sweet spot" where
everything plays , albeit you won't find it as predictably as your local
40 meter net or 2 meter repeater , but it can be done .
I learned patience when I started doing 6meter ssb ;^}

I think a good synopsis of many of the postings since the S beacon came
on would  be something like this .

The squint angle is lousy for most of the time unless the satellite is
way out , so that in and of itself will be the test of your system
because you will be dealing with very weak signals , if you don't have a
good NF system then you just won't hear much , also S-band is
unforgiving , so any fudging you do will just kill any possibility of
hearing something consisently .

Know where your converter output is , this is important , because if you
are first using something that has a poor NF and then trying to find a
weak signal that you aren't too clear of where it is , then that can
make it a trouble , so try somehow to "calibrate " your converter , now
this one can be fairly easy , for me it was just a matter of setting the
lo-crystal on my drake to the proper frequency ( not the multiple, the
fundemental ) after it had been on for over an hour at room temperature
and then with my trusty yaesu VX-5r portable transmitting on 400.225 I
calculted that the 6th harmonic would come out on 2401.350 and then
calculated that that would come out of the converter at around 145.350
so I tuned my ft-847 in the fm mode around that frequency and there it
was at about 145.3515 ( this was using an antenna pointed right at the
portable tx'ing on a dummy load ) .

Know where your antenna is pointed , if you are like me and have to
armstrong rotate your antenna , then this can all lead up to a mountain
of frustration , because , first you have to point the antenna in the
estimated direction , then run inside and see if you hear anything (
plus or minus doppler ) then go back outside and try tweaking the
antenna some more to give it another go :^p
so if you have a rotator on your antenna then you are light years ahead
of me on this one and should have a better time of it .

Now after all that I can say that when all these conditions were just
right I had no trouble hearing s-0 to s-4 signals on the s-1 beacon with
my solid 60cm commercial dish with stock linear feed and a IF
modified/hairpin stretched  Drake converter with the crystal changed for
145MHz IF output ( no preamp on the input of the drake ) .

Heck a few weeks ago when the transponders were first turned on I was
even hearing weak voices on the downlink , now this was quite a thrill
for me , but I must make it clear that I would only get little burps of
voice , not armchair copy ......

This is with a marginal at best system , so I am rather certain , that
when I get the DEM ULNA preamp and a az/el rotor on my dish that I will
have more consistent results , but for now I have given up trying ,
because it is too much effort and the optimum passes have been during my
bedtime or worktime , so like most other things it will have to wait :)

Now unlike alot of postings I did not want to get technical , I just
wanted to let you know what it took for me to finally hear -something-
albeit not much , but it let me know that my stuff was working , but
needed improvment ...

Not sure what you are using for a setup there , maybe you could let us
know as we all like to compare notes as to who has what and what is
working or not for them :)

And please don't read this as the last word on this subject , this is
just what I have found was my experience with this neat stuff called
microwaves :^}

as they say "your mileage may vary " 

Douglas Cole   N7BFS
AMSAT#26182 , K2 # 544
Registered Linux user # 188922
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