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RE: AO-40 Transponder Noise and effects on system sensitivity

If you don't have a problem with such numbers,  I will report my full system
quieting values. I feel that to evaluate a system, you need to view the
complete chain. I have a Daven 1.5db per step attenuator on the audio output
connected to a Triplett VU meter. These numbers represent the real quieting
you will observe from any system. Let me know if this is a problem.
My first set of values:
Poliz:	Circular
Antenna:	1.2m
Feed:		Miller Patch
Downconverter:	UEK-3000
IF Radio:		Icom 910H
Cold Sky:		-6db
Sun:			-1db
Transponder:	-4db
MB Maxima		+18db
MB Minima		+11db (Spin)
Squint:		37.1
MA:			39.8
El:			34
AZ:			231
Time:			21:33:00Z
Date:			12/14/01
Orbit:		517

Gunther Meisse

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-AMSAT-BB@AMSAT.Org [mailto:owner-AMSAT-BB@AMSAT.Org]On
Behalf Of Charles Suckling
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2001 2:13 PM
To: amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org
Subject: [amsat-bb] AO-40 Transponder Noise and effects on system

In response to a number of recent postings on the BB regarding beacon
strength, transponder noise etc, I am working on a spreadsheet to calculate
the effect of transponder noise on system sensitivity.
As the quality of a receiving system increases, either due to a larger
antenna or a lower system noise figure, the contribution of the transponder
noise to the overall receiver noise increases, to the point where the
transponder noise becomes dominant. When this happens, there is little
point in improving the receiving system as the overall signal to noise
ratio is more or less set by the satellite transponder, not your receiver.
The spreadsheet, when finished, should enable this point to be determined
for individual systems. It will hopefully enable stations to determine how
much more improvement they could make in their receiving systems during the
forthcoming off-pointing season.
During the next few passes, I am hoping to take some reasonably accurate
measurements near apogee of the transponder noise relative to cold sky, and
the level of the beacon. It would be very helpful to this study if others
could do the same, to add more data points to refine the model.
The data needed is
Date/time of measurement
Squint (if known)
RX noise level with antenna pointed towards clear sky
RX noise level with antenna pointed at the satellite with transponder ON,
on a clear frequency as near as possible to the beacon (say 10-20kHz below
the beacon)
Level of the beacon (either dB relative to clear sky or dB relative to
transponder noise)
System noise figure or type of downconverter
Antenna gain or type of antenna (eg dish diameter and type of feed)
Antenna polarisation (linear or circular).
Sun noise (if known)
Any data will be useful - especially if you have a calibrated S-Meter. If
not, I will assume 3dB per S-point. This seems to be representative of many
rigs and will probably be close enough. The S-meter should be reading
something off the end stop with the antenna pointed at clear sky (say S1 to
Even if you cannot detect transponder noise, the level of the beacon above
receiver noise will still be useful.
All inputs will be acknowledged and a summary of the information published
here when the study is complete (hopefully early in 2002).
Charlie G3WDG

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