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Re: field day sats


Howard, G6LVB, writes:
> Whilst I agree RS-12/13 is probably the easiest sat of them all to work, for
> some reason I was left there on my own on several passes calling CQ.

..and Claudio, CT3KD writes:

> It simply gets full of unintended signals from high power HF dxer 
> stations (at least on my part of the world) saturating the transponder, and 
> not a single satellite operator coming from 15m! IMO DON'T do it, I think 15m 
> is basically useless nowadays as a satellite uplink. 
> Further, the path for future in satellites is UHF and > Microwave bands, not crowded noisy HF bands...

RS-12 was the first satellite I ever worked. I worked it in mode K using my HF transceiver in "split" mode.  It was low tech.  I could not hear my own downlink.  But, I made lots of contacts, had lots of fun, and was given the incentive to try other satellites (I did not even own a 2 m FM radio at the time).  The only reason I even got interested enough to try was because of an "easy sat" article in QST--much like the ones Steve Ford and Ed Krome have written recently for AO-40.

Without an introductory path available to the mainstream HF crowd, lots of potential satellite operators just will not ever try.  This is directly analogous to the argument for "easy" FM sats for the HT crowd.  There are lots of V/UHF satellites available, both analog and digital, but no mode K satellite at all right now.  One of the reasons Howard finds RS-12 empty is because a large portion of the dedicated users were/are HF ops using their HF rigs.  With the bird now in mode A exclusively, these ops have NO satellite to work.  As the current sunspot cycle wanes, the unintentional HF interference will decrease, but so will the opportunity for over-the-horizon DX contacts.  

There is no easy answer, but I do believe there is room for satellite operations in the entire spectrum available to us as amateurs.  Having only SHF birds in the future is no more beneficial than having only FM mode J birds.  

FWIW, I logged 6 phone and 1 CW FD contact on RS-12, and was surprised by the less intense (crowded) atmosphere compared to FO-20/29 and the lack of CW opportunities.  Interestingly, I heard some PSK31.
Jerry, K5OE
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