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Re: newbie



Hi Matt,

You came to the right place!

The simplest (but not the most optimal) setup, is going to be a medium 
sized circularly polarized UHF yagi for the uplink and a BBQ dish with 
downconverter on the downlink.  Note I said this is not an optimal 
setup, but it is pretty simple to come up with all the hardware and you 
can use average sized rotors w/o fear of windloading.  In reality, you 
could use a linearly polarized yagi on the UHF uplink, but you'd then 
need to compensate by running more power out of your rig.

The BBQ dish will work, but not as well as several other types of 
antennas that are only slightly more complex to put together.  If you 
use a bigger and better dish you'll have better results, but there are 
a good number of guys that use them just fine.

The easiest place to get a 2.4 GHz downconverter from is Bob, K5GNA.  
His webpage is http://members.aol.com/k5gna.  Bob also sells the BBQ 
dishes.  The d/cs he sells work very well and are some of the best 
priced models out there.  Yes, there are "better" units but you pay a 
lot more.

If you chose to go a route other than a BBQ dish, then try to get your 
hands on an old Primestar DSS TV dish.  There's a lot of them out there 
collecting dust.  You can then build your own helix feed for that 
antenna and use it along with the d/c.  You'll get better performance 
than with the BBQ.  Another alternative is to find a 2' or 3' round 
dish.  These with a G3RUH patch feed will also work well.

Now for pointing, with the BBQ dish and a small CP yagi, you could 
literally use a camera tripod.  Even with a 2' solid dish you could do 
that.  Wayne, W9AE, uses such a set up in a portable kit that he loans 
to DXpeditions, takes to ham fests, etc.  It works very well.  If you 
want to have a permanent setup, then you'll need both azimuth and 
elevation rotors.  For the small sized dishes (2' or BBQ), you could 
use the old Alliance TV rotors and modify them.  For bigger dishes, you 
need a Yaesu G500 or similar for the elevation and another rotor for 
the azimuth or you get the big Yaesu G5500 az/el system.

Then you need a tracking program (www.amsat.com has plenty) and you 
pretty much have all you need.  There's good information on setting up 
a station as well at the Amsat web site.

This all sounds probably very daunting to a newcomer.  I don't know if 
you have worked any satellites before.  If you have AO-40 will be 
simple.  If you haven't, it isn't hard to learn.  A little bit of 
effort and you get a good reward!

I am sure most of the other folks on here will be able to provide 
additional help.

Welcome, GL, and 73,

Jon
NA9D


On Saturday, May 31, 2003, at 13:44 America/Chicago, Matt Patterson 
wrote:

> Are there any websites that will give step by step instructions on how 
> to go
> about getting on AO-40???  I just want a simple setup that will allow 
> me to
> make contacts on the bird.

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