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Re: Leo Packet?



>>> "Paul L. Eakin" <pauleakin@comcast.net> 5/25/04 1:03:41 PM >>>
>I'm interested in working packet thru the leo sats. Mostly mobile.
>Are the Kenwood radios the only way one can operate?
> What is available for standard packet?
> I have some older model TNC's ( Kantronics)

The Kenwoods D7 and D700 are by far the easiest
since they require no additional gizmo's and send and
receive APRS packets on the radio front panel.
And since the front panel is detachable and mostly
mounted for the driver to see easily, it is a great
way to casually monitor a LEO packet downlink while
mobile.  Especially for something that comes over
only a few times a day.

Also, if someone is runing APRSdata in your area, on
the national APRS channel, you dont even need to know 
any tracking information.  When a satellite comes into 
view, yoru APRS radio will display its frequency, doppler, 
direction and distance on the radio and all you have to do is
QSY to the actual satlelite frequency to operate it.

All of this while still using the BAND-B of the same
radio for normal voice, ECHolink, or what ever else
at the same time...  And it works on the 9600 baud
satellites as well (though those are few right now)

But of course, you dont need a kenwood, and you can
cobble together a rig and a TNC and a laptop, but
now it is a big kludge and requires 2 hands and a 
mouse to do just about anything.  Also, most TNC's
are not 9600 baud, so they will not be compatible
with ECHO when it reaches orbit.

So in my mind, there is only once clear option for
casual satellite packeting while mobile... the D7 or
D700.

NOTE:  All this advice is to do with UI-digipeating
and APRS and working lots of folks LIVE via satellites.  

Unfortunately, that is not what is planned as the 
primary mode on the new ECHO satellite in work.
There, the primary mode is the serious 9600 baud
1980's style BBS operation.  Typically you use a 
fully automatied  station, 9600 baud TNC, laptop, etc. 
AND then it is fully automated,  You don't get to 
"work" anyone in real time.

You simply pre-load your up-bound traffic before the
pass and "if successful" after the pass, you get
to look to see what you got.  A quite non-interactive
and boaring way to do satellites (in my opinion).
In this case, the Kenwood 9600 baud TNC will
not do well, since it cannot keep up with the
continuous full duplex 9600 baud downlnink...

We have asked for UI-digipeating and APRS style
"live qso" type operating via ECHO, but I think,
the planning still seems to prefer the  fully automated 
BBS style for turn-key operation without any operator 
present.  Not much use to you while mobile...

We hope that they will include APRS and UI-digipeating
LIVE operations during the brief "experimental periods"
on Wednesdays...

Oh, one thing they are including while in BBS mode is
that once every 2 minutes you will get one packet
giving you the status of the bird in APRS format for
direct display on your radio... and maybe a few
bulletins...

de WB4APR

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