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Re: S-Band Newbies

Ed- glad to see you informing S-band Newbies and setting them straight-
that so many of us started out with nothing- and had to learn how to put our
stations together from odds and ends that we acquired from here and there.
No one ever said it was going to be cheap to copy S-band downlinks. The
first thing that most of them need to do is: learn the fundamentals of noise
figure, gain, noise bandwidth, polarization loss - and how to compute a link
margin- for otherwise they will be wasting their time and money using
antennas with too little gain, downconverters with too high a noise figure
and not enough gain, and using front-end components with too much insertion
loss. How many are using a  low loss bandpass filter and a low noise pre-amp
before their downconverters ?  Not  many !  Then after spending several
hundred dollars without knowing their link margin  - it's amazing to hear
them say " what did I do wrong ? -  for I still can't hear anything " ! Do
know how to build a low insertion loss, S-band interdigital bandpass
filter ( out of a piece of  brass - with a few brass tuning screws)-
that will reduce their front-end noise bandwidth and improve their received
signal to noise ratio ? Have they had the experience and joy of building
anything ? I doubt it.

All the Best,
Jim., N6MV

----- Original Message -----
From: "Edward R. Cole" <al7eb@ptialaska.net>
To: <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
Sent: Saturday, June 09, 2001 12:52 AM
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] Newbies! Hard-Sats destroy AMSAT.

> >From: "John Stephensen, KD6OZH" <kd6ozh@gte.net>
> >Yes, but getting on AO-40 is like buying an Altair computer. You bought
> >$700 kit but then you had to buy the extra memory to run BASIC, the "TV
> >Typewriter" to use it and the floppy disk to store your programs.
> >
> >The COTS solution for AO-40 is a $400 S-band antenna plus converter
> >a $100 VHF antenna, a $1500 transceiver, a (perhaps optional) $600
> >and $200 of cables in addition to a PC.
> Maybe if you are totally a new ham with absolutely no equipment and
> completely clueless.  {if you are one of these you are going to buy a 2m
> and have someone show you how to turn it on and change the channels}
> BTW I was once brand a new ham, and only 13 years old...I learned.  I
> my first radio!  I couldn't afford ready-built.  Saved my allowance all
> summer [1957*] and paid $26.95 for a Knight "Ocean Hopper" 3-tube regen
> receiver.  My Dad bought me a $7 solder gun for my birthday so I could
> it.  It didn't work.  A freind helped me re-solder the "cold" solder joint
> {see nobody showed me how to solder; I had to learn it on my own}.  I had
> blast with it for three years.  I'm still learning {now I'm building a
> 10 GHz eme station...with help}
> Many hams have some of the necessary parts, thus only need to add the
>  No one says you must buy brand new equipment.  Being a ham means putting
> together your station.  You buy or build the various "blocks" and put them
> together.  I've never heard of a complete station with everything
>  This is part of the fun, individuality, and creativeness of the
> hobby...YOU put it together.  If you need help...ask!  Can't afford "NEW"
> then buy "USED".  Sheesh, already.
> My AO-40 station:  bought three Drake's for $100, bought 18 inch dish for
> $10, had coax lying around $00, upgraded to 4-foot dish "Free" from gas
> company, bought G-5400 used for $350.  About $20 for the helix
> materials...total=$480.  I already had the 432 antenna.
> Yeh, I have a FT-847 and a FT-817 and bunch of other stuff, but in 1996
> I had was a 1970's era IC-215 2m portable rig [I converted it to a 2m Rx
> conv using the 10.7 MHz IF output].  Bought a Tentec Scout, a FRG-100, and
> a DEM 432/28 xvtr to get on AO-10, had an old 2m yagi and built a 432
> helix.  Traded the scout for a used FT-840.  Traded the FT-840, FRG-100,
> and DEM xvtr for the FT-847,...etc.  And I'm not denying that I now have
> >$15K in ham gear, but I didn't start there.
> Ed
> *PS:  In Oct 1957 I heard Sputnik with that little radio.
> ----
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