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Re: system comparison

on 2/6/03 12:56 AM, kevin schuchmann at kschuchm@pacbell.net wrote:

> Is this setup worthless? NO!       can it not work other stations? NO!      is
> there a probability that the person is going to need
> to run more power and need the other station to run more power up to hear each
> other? without a doubt...


Your statements are accurate.  No one has ever concluded that a small dish
and higher NF d/c are better.  I agree that with the smaller dishes you will
miss the guys who for some reason decide to run way, way, way below the
beacon.  Yes, it gives better margins at bad squints and for fading.  No
question.  We agree.

I don't know about the last sentence.  If I can work you with my setup, I
don't know how well you are hearing me.  You have a better antenna than I
do, so my assumption, is that you hear me better.  But if I can hear you
fine, then why do we both need to run more power?  The only case where a
person would need to run more power would be the guy who was originally 20
dB or more below the beacon.  But in your example, there's no need for
either guy to be above the "beacon - 10 dB" point.

My whole point for carrying on like this is that there's a lot of people out
there who have purchased BBQ dish antennas.  We all thought these would be
perfect because we anticipated using S1.  Now that's not the case.  So these
guys read on the BB that the BBQ dishes are crap and they can't hear and
they will just interfere with others if they try to use them.  I was told
the BBQ dish was "marginal."  I was concerned.  But I was pleasantly
surprised and it exceeded my expectations.

So these people with BBQ dishes don't get on.  They give up on satellite
because they don't have the space nor rotors nor microwave skills to get a
bigger dish and build a patch feed.  They resign themselves to the common
belief in ham radio that satellite operations are for an exclusive "club" of
extremely techie hams.  They are fed up with the FM birds at this point too
since you can't have a sane conversation on them.  So they "throw their BBQ
dish in the trash" as one person has suggested and never get on.

The whole fact is that it's not an idea setup.  It's a start.  But neither
is a dipole at 20 feet for HF!  Yet a lot of guys work DXCC this way.  It's
easier having an 8 element Yagi at 75 feet for sure, but not everyone can do

The whole thing is that we have to encourage operators to TRY.  At a hamfest
here a couple weeks ago, a guy I was talking to wanted to see if he could
hear AO-40 on an 18" DSS dish through a window inside his house.  I told
him, "Try it.  I doubt you'll get good results, but play around and try it.
That's what we do."

I'm quite shocked by how few people are actually on AO-40 on a western
hemisphere only pass.  The other night, I called CQ for a good 15 or 20
minutes and listened to myself.  Squints were fine, I was better than beacon
- 10 dB.  No one else.  If the guys who have been scared away had been
encouraged to try instead of just being told, "It won't work", perhaps there
would be more people on during such a pass.  I've had notes from a number of
people that because of my stance, they are going to dust off their BBQ
dishes and try to get on.

Is a BBQ dish the ultimate receiving setup?  Not even close!  Can it be
improved - sure.  Should it be improved.  It all depends on what the end
user wants.  There's lots of guys that never get a better HF antenna than a
dipole at 20 feet.  Let's not scare away.  Let's encourage people to get on
and operate properly with appropriate levels below the beacon.  But who
cares what they use for an RX antenna as long as they are happy.



Jon Ogden
NA9D (ex: KE9NA)

Citizen of the People's Democratic Republik of Illinois

Life Member: ARRL, NRA
Member:  AMSAT, DXCC

http://www.qsl.net/na9d   <- Updated on 1/22/03!!!

"A life lived in fear is a life half lived."

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