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ECHO



I couldnt resist responding to the ISS operator comments;

This is Patrick N2OEQ LI NY

I have been operating both MIR and ISS along with rs-12/13 and tried
rs-15. I was always aware that that ISS and MIR were VHF and about 10
watts output. Ever since the MIR days, I have wanted to see an easily
readable repeater in space. When I learned of the new Echo satellite and
the power capabilities, I joined amsat, made a small donation towards the
launch fund and purchased both Echo books. I purchased a new full duplex
dual band rig that has an excellent reciever compared to my older radios.
I have made several contacts through echo when it was audible.
I have tried to work around the flea power downlink by optimizing my
station one step at a time. 

Originally, I believe after some reading, is that ECHO was intended to
improve membership and provide an easy to operate satellite that even a
typical home station could use. I also understand the introductory nature
of Echo and I have learned much in the past 7 months.

My present station consists of the FT8800 dual band rig, a diamond 500
high gain vertical ( tied to a fence hi hi ) and 15 feet of 9913 coax.
The vertical exhibits varying degrees of gain from highest close to the
horizon which I want for dx up in elevation to the zenith. As I have
stated previously, The gain is inversely proportional to the path loss of
the downlink signal and I have observed a fairly uniform reception from
low satellite elevations up to overhead with the best reception being when
the satellite is at high elevations. The directive pattern of a vertical
is not merely horizontal. There are other lobes above horizontal to
zenith.

My station is now recieving the analog downlink about one third of the
time with fading from a low elevation of 5 degrees up to overhead passes.
This has been a big improvement since I started last summer.

I'm well aware that a preamp would help but I have other bills to pay for
now. 

When the downlink was transmitting 2 watts, it made a world of difference!
There was lots of activity from new hams who probably made their first
contacts. With low power, I hear many of the same stations and some quiet
time. I believe there are many others beside myself having trouble with
reception. 

I did read some encouraging news in the new Echo book ( second edition )
that there may be higher power in the future. Right now, Echo seems to be
for the well seasoned and well equipped operators and not for beginners.

If there are others who wish to see occasional Higher power, please send
your request to ao51-modes@amsat.org

Thanks for the bandwidth. 

To luc: Keep your chin up! I learned.

73 to all, Patrick N2OEQ  #32323
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