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AO-40 Portable Tests This Morning

Here is a picture of the system I had setup on my driveway this morning:http://members.aol.com/k5oe/TS2000_03.jpg
AO-40 is now workable late in the orbit, up till MA=230, so the range is short (less than 40,000 km) when the squint is low.  I wanted to test the dual-band L/S patch setup using the TS-2000 and SSB on the 18" DSS dish (my previous setup used the FT-100 and a varacter trippler on CW only).  You can read all about this suitcase-portable setup in the AMSAT-NA 21st Space Symposium Proceedings (thanks N1JEZ for making the presentation in my absence) and the AMSAT-UK 2003 Colloquium Proceedings.
Signals from the bird were very strong, with the beacon S3-S5 above the noise and W, VK, and JA SSB stations easily 57-59.  With 10 W on 1269 MHz from the TS-2000, my CW signals were about 579, but the SSB was weak copy, maybe 53.  With a little bit more power (I do have an amp!) I think I could have been solid copy to anybody on the bird.   Alas, it was MA=228 when I finally got everything together:  I had cable troubles (its always the cables) and forgot I had to swap out the 2401 MHz d/c to one with 144 MHz IF since the one I used with the FT-100 has 123 MHz IF :-)  While I was tuning around looking for somebody to talk to, the transponder switched off at MA=230.  I wish I had more time to finish this testing, but I proved to myself the setup is workable for SSB under good conditions.  Sitting on a small tripod, this setup would be usable from an apartment balcony (my expected operating conditions next year).  I am not sure I can get my TS-2000 in my roll-on suitcase along with the antenna (the FT-100 fits), so I hesitate to consider this combination also "suitcase portable."73,Jerry, K5OE
Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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