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Re: Satellite tracking Which one to start with?



You probably aren't going to make any of the sats with a Comet Dual Band 
antenna - omni-directional antennas aren't very good unless they are 
specific to satellite use (like the M2 eggbeaters).  And your antenna is 
cut for terrestrial communications so the overhead pattern is not 
optimal.  In either case you will likely need receive pre-amps.  However 
you can probably receive some stronger satellites if they are very close 
nearby.  It will also help if you tilt the Comet 30 degrees towards the 
satellite (this moves the ground plane up in elevation.)

I would recommend that you start off with FO-29 as I think it is one of the 
clearest and strongest satellites in the sky at the moment.  Start by 
tuning to 435.850 USB and start listening to the 70cm downlink.  Tune up 
and down 10KHz and you should find a conversation and/or CW.  Once you can 
follow conversations and are comfortable with the concept of Doppler you 
can proceed to trying to find your own uplink signal.  Don't try to 
transmit if you can't hear other QSOs going on.

The procedure I would recommend for finding your uplink is to set your 
transmitter to 145.970 and your receiver to 435.840.  Transmit short bursts 
of CW if you can (or announce your callsign) and adjust your receiver until 
you hear yourself.  Then do this periodically and practice tracking 
yourself.  It's an acquired skill so practice does help (took me about 2 
weeks to learn to do but I didn't have these instructions.  Using this 
method you can probably comfortably track yourself in a few days of 
practice.  If you can accomplish this step, you are good to go.

Drop me a line if you run into any snags, but seriously the first one will 
be the antenna system.  I live in a townhouse apartment and have some 
solutions that might work for you.  You should also plan to add 
preamp/power amp options as well.

73,

Emily







At 10:23 PM 10/22/2003 -0700, you wrote:
>Could anybody suggest a satellite to start with that is opperational. I have
>a Yaesu FT290 and FT790 Mk II with a Comet Dual band Ant. With about 35 Ft
>of RG8. No preamps.
>
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