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Success !!!!!!!!!!!

Success what a great feeling !!!!!!! Set back after set back. I have
once again heard the data grams coming from AO-40...It has been awhile
since listening to the 2 meter beacon right after the launch...

My radio is a Yaesu FT-736R and my converter is a 3733 Trans-system (3
Ft Dish). I have a 50 Ft. RG-6 run from rotors to shack...  I have
replaced the crystal to a 8.812 Mhz one and cut the stub...I then really
went out on a limb and removed the first comb filter all together and
put in its place a very short piece of rg-58 coax...

After making the mods and with some help from a friend I put it back
up... About 3 hours later AO-40 was in view but nothing except 5 S-Units
of noise !!...Panic set in about my extra mod (removing the filter) and
I started emailing Bob Seydler K5GNA (k5gna@aol.com) with a plea for
help !.. Bob got me to settle down and started to go through everything
I had done in my mind and the only thing I could come up with was the
filter removal was a bad idea...Bob in one of his emails
told me to keep trying that their were times when for what ever reason
you just couldn't get the bird, needless to say I had a hard time
accepting this concept (AO-10, FO-20, FO-29 ect..and all the times I
have worked these birds just didn't seem to matter ha/ha)...

My noise floor is a rock solid 5 S-Units and only raises about one
S-unit or so pointing right at the sun so I think removing the filter
and cutting the stub made a good difference in performance... I am
receiving AO-40 at about 2 to 4 S-Units above my noise floor with some
deep fades but only for about one second....

I am using AO40RCv Ver. 1.33 to decode the beacon and as of right now at
a range of 38175 Km I have received 294 packets with 58 packets good
this is about a 19% recovery rate not bad.
I do see the need to replace the second filter (which I will get from
Bob) and maybe build or buy a pre-amp that will fit where the first
filter I removed was at...I think that a good pre-amp would make a world
of difference.

In retrospect this has really brought home to me what amateur radio is
and about... Its not about pre-packaged plug and play but about
experimenting and learning, developing the skills to accomplish the task
required to be able to communicate through a satellite or just HF

Theirs so much more I want to write but won't bore you..just wanted to
share my experiences with AO-40...

            Guy Lemke

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