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Re: field day sats

>From: K5OE@aol.com
>Howard, G6LVB, writes:
>> Whilst I agree RS-12/13 is probably the easiest sat of them all to work,
>> 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,
>> 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
>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

A few comments:

I have encountered little or no activity on RS-12/13 the few times I
listened, as well.  Jerry may have hit on the reason.  But if the HF crowd
is not sufficiently interested or motivated to obtain mode-A equipment
[principally a 2m all-mode], then they are not potential "anything other
than mode-K" operators.  I guess it is an entry-way for a few hams to other
satellite operation, but once there those operators aren't populating
mode-K or mode-A...apparently.

Mode-K [15m/10m] is a veeerrry bad choice due to the possiblity of skip on
15m and unintended repeating of signals.  I wonder if such an all-HF mode
is wanted that 24m uplink might be considered?  MUF reaches there less
often and the band is probably less populated on the whole.  The main
objection is the narrow freq band, I guess.

Trying to remember my first sat operation.  I may have tried mode-A on
RS-11, but mainly I just geared up for AO-10 directly.  EZ-sats didn't
serve to attract me at all.  First station was an IC-211 and MM432/28
converter, 5x5 Cushcraft 2m, and 416B 70cm antennas.  Armstrong rotator.
Lived in the bush and ran off of batteries.

I had difficulty hearing RS-12 this weekend using a dipole and the FT-847.
Use of 10m downlinks in high lattitudes may not work very well during solar
peak years!  So if RS type birds are good entry-level sats, why aren't they
being used like the FM-Leos?  If not populated now, why should more of them
be built?


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