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PCsat Status and Planning for FULL SUN!

Starting about 7 January, PCsat will enter full sun for about 2 weeks and
we should have enough power to run the GPS some and do some other
experiments as originally designed.  These full sun periods only occur for
a week or so every few months, so now is s a good time to focus on some
APRS Satellite experiements.

We need more permanent IGates monitoring the downlinks feeding the
worldwide network.  Also, we need more exciting things to track... so
If any of you are going to be traveling or be offshore or in remote areas
or need to give high profile demos, this is the time....

The B side (144.39 downlink) works perfectly, but no one has applied for
special access to use it.  So if you have a VIP mission, let us know..
Keeping PCsat in DIGI mode on the A side (145.83) has been labor
intensive, so I look forward to  this better power budget... and doing
some interesting things with PCsat...


As background if you want to dig deeper, Here is something I wrote about
what it has taken this last week of XMAS vacation to keep PCsat going for
users... Thanks also to the 4 other caommand stations in the southern
hemisphere (where the sun has been for PCsat)...

I brought a beam and tripod on my 10 day 2000 mile christmas trip to my
home in Alabama.  Six times  a day, I back the car out into the road, put
up the tripod and try to command PCSat back into its user mode.  50% of
the time or so I am successful.  It really controls everything my family
does everyday.

I am not complaining, this is what satellite operations are all about,
but I think many people dont realize that 6 passes a day are a lot of
work, and unfortunately, this is only 40% of the total orbits.  Thus if
PCsat resets during other times, it may be 8 orbits and 12 hours before I
get another chance...

When in user mode, PCsat will digi via APRSAT, RELAY and WIDE.  Those are
to be used normally.  When it is not in user mode, users should not use
it.  But if someone is doing an immportant demo, with people watching,
and for which the lack of activity would cause the amateur satellite
service to appear in a bad light, then for these special cases, then I
would not object to a few packets via W3ADO-1.  But such use should only
be under special cases.

For each orbit as "W3ADO-1" then PCsat is not in low power mode and it
will deep discharge the batteries in the next dark side.  Each of these is
shortening the life of PCsat.  At 14 per day, it doesnt take long to use
up the 500 or so deep cycles that a NICAD is worth.  COnversly, when it is
in low power mode (00111111) then the discharge depth is less and we may
get 10,000 cycles out of it.  (If we had met our design goal of 20%
discharge, then we would hope to get 20,000 cycles(orbits)..(4 years))

So, be aware of what is happening and use it accordingly...



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