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Re: (new) Getting On The Air



Hi Scott and others

What is even more remarkable is that one of our ops, Peter ZS6JT, is 82
years old and an ex-Rhodesian (now Zimbabwe) who has not received a pension
for 2 years due to the mess currently taking place in that country, yet he
has homebrewed dishes for hinself and ZS6GBJ, and continues to survive by
doin g radio repairs for the local hams.

A recent gathering saw AMSAT South Africa reconstituted, with around 30
members. This should lead to activity on the LEO sats at last, and hopefully
a few more guys on AO-40. Incidentally only 3 ops have modern satellite
radios (ZS6GBJ and myself have 910s, ZS6Y has a TS2000). ZS2ACP (who blew
his downconverter and has been waiting several months for repair parts) has
an FT736, the remaining ops use split radios. Things like preamps have to be
homebrewed, as do dish feeds.We are fortunate to have one solitary EME
operator in South Africa in the form of Ivo ZS6AXT, who is a retired
microwave engineer. Ivo has provided several operators with preamps,
transverters and the like, but parts are EXTREMELY difficult to locate. In
the outlying cities it is even worse: 80% of the business in South Afica is
centered around Johannesburg/Pretoria area, so naturally almost the same
proportion of the local hams are in that area. In cities such as Durban or
Port Elizabeth there are no radio outlets, and hardly any electronic
component sources. Those hams need to travel to Johannesburg for their
equipment (or arrange it via a Division 6 colleague). There are no
mail-order or internet-order outlets here.

So next time you work a ZS or ZR on the satellite perhaps you will
appreciate how much effort he has had to go to to get on the air -
DEDICATION is the name of the game!

Roll on Eagle and P3E - even if the orbits are designed to suit the Northern
Hemisphere only, we will still try to work them as best possible from down
South!! Where there is a will there is a way!!!

73
Barry ZR6DXB


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Scott Townley" <nx7u@arrl.net>
To: "Barry Murrell ZR6DXB" <zr6dxb@mweb.co.za>; "AMSAT BB"
<amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
Sent: Saturday, June 21, 2003 10:20 PM
Subject: (new) Getting On The Air


> Barry and mates,
> Congratulations, you exemplify the ham spirit!
> You have 10 (TEN!) AO-40 ops in ZS?!?  That amazes me...and with all that
> difficulty.  Here in the Phoenix area (pop 2.6M) we have...lessee...four
or
> five?  And we have our own Ham Radio Outlet to boot.
> And how about Perth, VK6?  It can't be too much better there if at all,
> getting-things-cheap wise (isn't Perth the "most remote" city in the
> world?).  And I think there are at least 10 or 12 AO-40 ops there...what's
> the pop, 200k at the outside?
> Interesting (to me at least)...
>
>
>
> At 12:19 2003-06-21, Barry Murrell ZR6DXB wrote:
> >Mike
> >
> >You really should try being a satellite fan in a place like South
Africa!!
> >
> >Here we have no off-the-shelf equipment at all! We have two sources of
ham
> >equipment: one is the official Icom agent, which carries virtually no
stock
> >and takes around 6 weeks at best to bring in anything, whilst the other
is a
> >one-man business who handles Icom, Yaesu, Kenwood and MFJ products
> >primarily. Neither has any satellite accessories. I have now been waiting
7
> >weeks for the 23cm module for my 910. In order to obtain one of the K5GNA
> >downconverters I had to wait for someone to travel to the US, purchase it
> >there and bring it back - Bob will not give banking details or anything
else
> >to South Africa! Our currency is currently at its best exchange rate for
> >some time - 8:1 to the dollar. I was recently quoted $150 to ship a 23cm
M2
> >yagi worth $199 to South Africa - out of all proportion. I have managed
to
> >acquire one of them through a ham at the American Embassy here. We read
> >about things like the DB6NT and DEM downconverters and drool - they cost
as
> >much as an average monthly salary here (without shipping)! Yet despite
this
> >I AM ON AO-40, and loving it! No-one ever said getting onto AO-40 would
be
> >easy (or cheap) but since 2 February this year I have managed to work 53
> >countries and 130 gridsquares. Even managed VP2EAG this morning!! I do
not
> >have automatic tracking yet, but I will get there... it's called
> >determination - all that matters is to want it badly enough! I dream of
> >being able to browse ham shops, or attend hamfests where new equipment is
> >displayed. It will not happen here! We have 10 operators in South Africa
on
> >AO-40. To the best of my knowledge there is no-one on the LEO sats here
at
> >all - ZS6JON and myself experimented with them for a while, and worked
each
> >other but heard no-one else.
> >
> >It is really quite amusing to hear Stateside operators complain about
cost,
> >time or availability of equipment. I work a 12-14 hour day, and still
find
> >the time to work AO-40. Equipment here is at a premium price, and we have
to
> >pay exhorbitant import costs to get the stuff (even the majority of
> >components for construction projects are not available locally & have to
be
> >imported) and there is very little local knowledge to fall back on. YET
WE
> >MANAGE!!
> >
> >If we can do it here what is the problem there?
> >
> >73
> >Barry ZR6DXB
> >Johannesburg, South Africa
> >KG33xx
> >
> >
> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: "Mike Olbrisch" <kd9kc@elp.rr.com>
> >To: "'Jon Ogden'" <na9d@speakeasy.net>; <kd9kc@elp.rr.com>
> >Cc: "'Frederick M. Spinner'" <fspinner@hotmail.com>; "_AMSAT_list
(E-mail)"
> ><amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
> >Sent: Saturday, June 21, 2003 5:48 PM
> >Subject: RE: [amsat-bb] Mode-B vs Mode-J
> >
> >
> > >
> > >
> > > People.
> > >
> > > Jon here is just one example, but there are others.
> > >
> > > Jon, the name ISN'T STEVE.  Not in this message, not in the others
either.
> > > But most folks never read the whole message anyway, so don't worry
about
> >it.
> > >
> > > I am glad you have enough time to build stuff.  I don't.  Maybe when I
am
> > > old and retired too.  And so nice of you to assume your life is the
same
> >as
> > > everyone else's.  Ever start a new small-business.  You don't know
what
> > > no-time is.
> > >
> > > Since I quit using AO-40 for being an alligator (Yes, the $200
solution
> > > works, but not well) and it doesn't seem like anything better is on
the
> > > horizon except building stuff or buying more and more, I am out of
here.
> >I
> > > expect I am not the first, nor will I be the last.
> > >
> > > Maybe in the future when I get past this period in life, and I do have
the
> > > time to build, or can afford to buy, I may look to see what has come
of
> > > satellites.  I may be back, or maybe not.  No matter, I am just one
person
> > > who is tired of the same cycle.
> > >
> > > To K5OE and the others who have been helpful, thanks.  If I decide to
sell
> > > the 13 ULNA I built but didn't have time to install, I will let you
know.
> > > That goes for the bigger dish, the copper wire for the helix, and all
the
> > > other stuff too.  Maybe even the Yaesu G-5400B and the new-in-box
labjack.
> > >
> > > To those of you who have nothing to say except stop sleeping and
build,
> > > enjoy.  You drove another op away.  Big help to AMSAT you are!
> > >
> > > This will be my last message on the list.
> > >
> > > We're outta here.  HF covers more than 1/2 the world anyway.  Good
luck
> > > getting new members.
> > >
> > > BTW, DM-61 has just become a rare grid.  With my quitting satellites,
the
> > > last active satellite station in the grid is now  -GONE-
> > >
> > > > -----Original Message-----
> > > > From: Jon Ogden [mailto:na9d@speakeasy.net]
> > > > Sent: Saturday, June 21, 2003 2:26 PM
> > > > To: kd9kc@elp.rr.com
> > > > Cc: 'Frederick M. Spinner'
> > > > Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] Mode-B vs Mode-J
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Steve,
> > > >
> > > > We have the time for what we want to do.  Period.
> > >
> > >
> > > ----
> > > Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the
author.
> > > Not an AMSAT member? Join now to support the amateur satellite
program!
> > > To unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe amsat-bb" to Majordomo@amsat.org
> > >
> >
> >----
> >Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
> >Not an AMSAT member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program!
> >To unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe amsat-bb" to Majordomo@amsat.org
>
> Scott Townley NX7U
> Gilbert, AZ  DM43di
> http://members.cox.net/nx7u
>
>

----
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