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Re: TZ6RD operation..

   Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2003 09:43:15 -0500 (CDT)
   From: Wayne Estes W9AE <w9ae@earthlink.net>

   The DX operator has a lot of control over this situation.  The DX
   operator is usually working full-duplex, so he should be able to
   hear when he is being QRMed.  He should repeat the callsign as many
   times as it takes to be heard clearly without QRM.  Twice is a good
   minimum.  A few more seconds spent to reliably acknowledge the
   callsign on the FIRST exchange will eliminate the stations
   anxiously calling over and over asking for their callsign to be
   acknowledged again.  QRM may have affected my hearing, but several
   times I thought I heard Doug say things like "XYZ you're in the
   log".  XYZ might go away more quickly if Doug had said "W5XYZ W5XYZ
   you're in the log".

yep, and the callsign more then once when confirming.  I need to
become a better phone op.  I tune my RTTY buffers a lot.  I need to
tune my voice buffers.  And I need to learn altrenate phonetics.

   I don't understand why so many satellite DXpeditions are having
   trouble with their uplink.  Doug told me that one of the Spanish
   operators supplied all the coax cables for the Mali operation.  So
   maybe he had a bad cable?  I believe he had a 60W amplifier for the
   435 Mhz uplink.  His uplink should have been better than it was
   with 60W to a 7-element yagi.

It turns out, a damaged Yagi.  I did not realize the reflector was messed
up untilI disassembled it.  That accounts for some wierdness.

   I think I had an excellent uplink during my FG/W9AE operation, and
   the same portable setup gave me a good uplink when I worked the
   Bali station on Monday.  That's 50W (minus a dB of cable loss) to a
   7x7 Arrow yagi, 39 inches long.  My portable uplink is never "LEILA
   bait", but I can hear it clearly on my 2-foot dish.

I could mostly hear myself very well, and I was not using my best
downconverter, either.  (.88 vs .81 NF).

   But I did 3 things to improve the audio: First, I use an external
   speech processor because the FT-847 speech processor doesn't work
   in satellite mode.  Second, I use a Heil HC-5 microphone which is
   much more intelligible than the stock Yaesu hand microphone.
   Third, I tweaked the FT-847 LSB carrier insertion point menu to
   reduce bass response and extend treble response.  This allows more
   power to go to higher audio frequencies that contain most of the
   intelligence in speech.  When using a marginal uplink on SSB it is
   essential to have clear punchy audio, and not waste power on bass

I use a HC-4, but the ICOM speech comprssor seems to dirty my voice.
I think thatos voice-dependent, and need to work on that, in a similar
manner for my radios, that Waynos done on his.  BTW, the best signal I
heard was KG6IAL, the guy with the dishes in San Jose.

   Yesterday I received some interesting comments from Neil regarding
   his AO40 operation in Lesotho and Swaziland.  His most amusing
   complaint was that a few people insisted on sending complete
   details about their station, even though there was obviously a
   pileup and he was attempting to get as many stations in the log as
   quickly as possible.  He seemed surprised at the slow rate that
   contacts were made on satellite compared to on HF (this was his
   first time EVER to make satellite contacts).  He was also surprised
   at the number of satellite operators who were unable or unwilling
   to use CW (he operates in VHF contests where CW is widely used).

I did NOT have that problem.  I am very reluctant to oprate PSK31
because of that, though.  And I have a "grump" macro on RTTY, which I
donot use much, but I set it up, about that in RTTY.

   Overall, I think the recent satellite DXpeditions have done just
   fine.  They made lots of contacts despite hardware problems and
   local obstructions.  No DX operator is perfect, and we should
   always keep in mind that they are human and they are doing this for
   fun.  Every DX operator has their own technique, style, and
   temperament.  Such is life.

But the criticism makes us better.  I need to have automatic tuning at
the DX end, too.  More on that later.

73, doug

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