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HAMSAT portable success

Thanks to K5MAN for my first portable HAMSAT QSO from the front yard. Equipment was a FT-817 on the uplink at 5 watts max, FT-290 for the downlink, packed into an Icom backpack designed for the 703 and running on a 7ah SLA battery I saved from the Radio Shack used battery recycling bin. Antenna was a standard Arrow, no diplexer. I've never been a big fan of tripods for Arrows, but with this setup it may be mandatory. The problem is when you need to tune, talk and point all at the same time. I may see if I can get a DTMF mike for the 817 which would let me tune and transmit a tone at the same time to find myself.

The downlink was very strong, and the signal seemed to be very circular with no great advantage when I rotated the arrow. When pointed well, the uplink was very good on 5 watts. I did hear a chop several times from someone ditting with way too much power. If you are running more than 10 watts with a directional antenna, it's probably too much!

HAMsat rocks! Job well done! Maybe our VU friends would consider a Mode A bird next?

73, Drew KO4MA
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