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Re: AO-40 FD



Vince Fiscus, KB7ADL wrote:

> Yes, during field day I normally like to bring an AO-13 class station 
> which helps a lot to hook people to the satellite side of our hobby.  
> But a big station takes alot to set up, so this year I probably won't 
> take a satellite station to field day due to the poor satellite out 
> look.  Listen for me trying to get in with five watts and an omni on 
> UO-14 for the ARRL satellite bonus points.  Good luck to all field day 
> this year!
>
> KB7ADL
>
>
> At 11:18 PM 6/2/03 -0500, "Tim Cunningham" 
> <tim_cunningham@mindspring.com> wrote:
>
>> While AO-40 lingers over North America for a long period of time
>> during Field Day weekend this year, a quick run of the numbers using
>> the current transponder schedule reveals about 4 hours of operation
>> for North America.
>>
>> With many of the usual satellites out of service, Field Day operations
>> look to be rather disappointing for demonstrating the effectiveness of
>> satellite communications. Although, the event may demonstrate
>> the resourcefulness of those who brave the elements of mother nature
>> to work what is working when it is working.
>>
>> FO-20 and FO-29 will be sorely missed this year. Let's hope that
>> FO-29 is not completely out of the picture.
>>
>> Let's not forget AO-16 as a resource as a digipeater in the sky working
>> very well.  IO-26 seems to be in MBL mode and not accepting any
>> signals to be digipeated at the moment. If the controllers are listening
>> maybe they can get IO-26 up and running for digipeater operation to
>> make satellite operation a little more interesting.
>>
>>
>>
>> Tim - N8DEU
>> Huntsville, AL
>>
>> ----
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>
>
>
> ----
> Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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>
Looks like AO-40 would be the only game in town for me, but on the east 
coast it looks like it will have at least 10 hours of availability on 
Sunday, and a couple on Saturday, on the assumption we wil be back to 
Alon/Alat 0/0 by then, and normal transponder times for this condition 
(MA 40-210)

A couple of years I tried the Az/El rotor route trying to work FO-20/29 
and AO-10. I spent literally days taking the equipment off my mast at 
home, fashioning a special wiring harness (including amplifiers,  
control runs, and polarity switchers), and hours at the site putting it 
all back together, and troubleshooting the damm thing. I gave up when I 
broke some of the control wires, and after the second or third one broke 
I said the heck with it after trying to repair it in the dark. I agree 
it is a LOT of trouble, and vowed to keep it simple.

 Here is how I did it last year. First thing I did was to leave the 
fancy Az-El rotors home, and mount a 30 inch dish and a reasonable 70 cm 
antenna on a mast, and rotate using the "armstrong method". A boom to 
mast plate, a couple of pieces of EMT or PVC, some U-Bolts, and a couple 
of short runs to the antennas are all you really need, the antennas just 
need to be "bumped" a few degrees every 10 or 15 minutes. I fabricated 
the whole setup, including the boom to mast plate in a couple of hours. 
To support the mast, I dug a "cat hole" into the ground, just a couple 
of inches deep, and the mast through a bracket attached to the bumper on 
my truck. I left the bumper bracket loose enough to let the mast pivot, 
and the boom loose enough to twist the boom, but tight enough to hold it 
in place.

Location of your station is important as well.  Make sure you find a 
location where you don't have to shoot through the trees, and keep the 
antennas close to your operating position, so you or your assistant can 
make antenna adjustments easily. I was fortunate enough to have a 
covered pavillion, which I parked my truck right next to, but a solution 
should present itself with a little bit of luck and ingenuity.

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