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Re: FD AO-40: You sounded like a newbie if...

Yes, I remember the QSO (you were my third to last Sunday morning).

Funny, but with the used FT-847 in my hands less than a week, and no
experience on it, I found myself by the end of the night operating the rig
exactly as you described...  took a few hours of fumbling to get that point
(when I started, I had the uplink on the sub-band; I would have to A<>B each
time I wanted to switch from LSB to CW...  ugh.), but it's funny how you
come down to the most efficient method. Yes, a 15 min investment in the
manual would have done wonders, but it was a hellish week leading up to FD;
I barely made it as it was.

Thanks again, Art.

I also just realized that my question about the relative strength of the MB
is non-sensical, because my DEM down-converter has an adjustable IF gain
stage...  I could set it to anything I wanted. It really is the MB versus
the background noise, isn't it? I think I was hearing the MB at S7, signals
at S4-5, and noise at S2...  seem reasonable?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Art Goldman" <aegoldm@lts.ncsc.mil>
To: "Bill Acito" <w1pa@hotmail.com>
Cc: <amsat-bb@amsat.org>
Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2002 9:24 AM
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] FD AO-40: You sounded like a newbie if...

> Bill:
> I guess we were all guilty as charged, with one sin or
> another.
> One way I found to not "swish the dots", was to turn off
> tracking, key a CW tone on and off (manually -- not dots)
> and tune the receiver around until I found my tone. Dots
> tended to mess up our AGC making it more difficult to hear
> the comeback signal, so we turned the processor off and just
> keyed a tone for a second or two. Yes, we ran the risk of
> keying up on top of someone, so I usually moved well up the
> band to do this.
> Once the signal was found, I enabled reverse tracking (we
> used an FT-847) and went hunting for signals. Just before
> calling someone, I did a quick whistle into the mic and
> listened for the pitch of the return signal. By tweaking the
> Tx offset knob I could get the whistle and return signal to
> match.
> Once you have this condition, you can manually do your own
> FDT by turning the Tx offset knob 10 Hz at a time every 20
> seconds or so, to keep the signal pitch constant. it seemed
> to work quite well for us.
> We would have had computer control but I ran into a
> compatibility problem with my Unitrac box. I couldn't get
> the older version of the program to accept an AO-40.SAT
> file, and the newer program version wouldn't work with my
> older hardware. So we were destined to do things manually.
> To help with finding the downlink, I used a slide rule chart
> I made up last year. It's easier to print out on a normal
> printer. It has the Uplink frequencies down the sides, and
> the downlink frequencies on a middle slider. By ofsetting
> the slider by the amount of doppler, the downlink can be
> determined quite accurately, so we didn't have to look far
> for our signal.
> As for choppy speech -- yep, it is distracting, especially
> when working CW. At first, our CW was so bad it was comical.
> I ended up turning the audio gain all the way down while the
> other op was sending CW, then I turned it up again to listen
> for the exchange.
> I heard Leila come on a couple of times while I was just
> listening. I haven't figured out what triggered it.
> Anyway, as you said, we only learn from our mistakes. Next
> year, I'm sure we'll make different ones.
> I think we worked you from W3AO. Tnx for the contact and
> hope you had as much fun as we did.
> 73,
> Art, N3OY

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