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Reception improvements for Oscar Echo

Greetings; de N2OEQ Patrick, LI NY

I made some changes in my station setup that improved reception of Echo
without a preamp:

Moved diamond 500 Vertical closer to shack, replaced 50 foot of 9914 with
21 feet of 9913. Antenna is mounted on 12 foot aluminum mast. Attached
short ground wire from bottom of mast to 8 foot ground rod. These two
steps resulted in sequential improvements in reception.

I also removed watt/swr meter from circuit and ran coax direct to ft-8800
dual band rig. Meter was rated .2DB loss at 430 MHz. Tried weak signal
test with friend about 10 miles away running 300 MW into unity gain
vertical. With meter in line, he was in the noise and not readable. With
meter out of line he was readable.

These steps were taken over the last few days while Echo was transmitting
at 2 watts. Reception was greatly improved. I heard CU2LX below 3 degrees
elevation and several stations below 10 degrees elevation which was new.

I'm trying to do what I can to avoid spending 230 dollars for a mast
mounted preamp. Another question: Can one transmit VHF through an RF
sensing UHF preamp? 

As stubborn as I may be, I am trying to prove that someone with a standard
home station can work the satellite.

Hope this helps.  73, patrick N2OEQ 32323
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