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Re: A dish and environment question

Gee Phil...$300 per QSO is pretty grim.  You ought to be making more
contacts than that.  I don't have a computer log, but I know I've worked
over 100 grids on FO-20 and 29 and most of the more populated grids many
times.  Probably 300-400 QSO's since my first Fuji contact in April 2000.
I've honestly only been on a half dozen times when I couldn't find someone
to talk to.  (Here it comes again...) Be sure your receive end is working
well...I occasionally hear stations calling CQ for the entire pass while
other stations try in vain to contact them.  That wouldn't be much fun.

Your question about dish antennas hits the mark exactly.  BUD's are the
antenna of choice for working AO-40, no question, but they are not all that
popular with Neighbors, XYL's, neighborhood associations, etc. to say
nothing of the wind, and weather problems and managing the elevation along
with AZ.

As soon as the weather breaks I hope to get up my barbeque grill antenna and
3733 downconverter.  Not because it is the best possible antenna for the
job, but because I think I can keep it up through the weather and steer it
with my small rotors.  I also have a solid aluminum 5 foot dish which I may
use during the summer from the driveway.  Side by side it looks HUGE
compared to the 1 meter dish.  It also catches a LOT of wind.  Don't try a
4-6 foot dish on Yaesu rotators....that experiment has already been run!

You are right to wonder whether the results are worth the cost.  Most of the
people on this list think it is!  Since AO-40 is working in only a limited
way, however, it really is more complicated to get going than was originally

Grant Zehr AA9LC

----- Original Message -----
From: "Phil" <phil@spiderweb.com.au>
To: <amsat-bb@amsat.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2003 5:15 PM
Subject: [amsat-bb] A dish and environment question

> Hello All,
> I'd like to put some gear together for AO-40 but I'm not sure if the
> will be worth the cost. Each two-way contact on the LEO satellites has cos
> me about $300 each and listening to one's own voice is not a lot of fun.
> really concerned that the received signal will be just too weak to be
> I'm located in a valley with the closest wall being about 3 km away and
> distance to the furthest wall of hills is probably 20 km. The more distant
> range is, no doubt, not a problem however to clear the range to my north,
> satellite would need an elevation of around 15 degrees to be visible.
> I'm also surrounded by tall spotted gum trees (native eucalypts) and this
> my real concern. To be clear of the trees the satellite would need to be
> elevated by around 45 degrees and up to 60 degrees in some directions.
> 12 GHz satellite TV works well here despite the trees but that's probably
> a very good indicator.
> The dish that I've been offered is a 1.8 metre diameter prime focus petal
> (ex Sky TV, I think). I don't know if it's of solid or mesh construction.
> wonder if my KR 400 rotator (no break) is up to the task, even if the dish
> a mesh type? I don't think that AO-40 is always available in the same
> direction, otherwise I could use a wife rotator to make small periodic
> adjustments.
> So, what's the verdict, is it all likely to be worth the effort despite
> hills, trees and the light-weight rotator?
> --
> Regards,
> Phil
> phil@spiderweb.com.au
> ----
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