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Re: Dayton, Transverters, S band antennas and a bunch of other stuff

At 07:42 AM 5/25/2005 -0400, Timothy A. Holmes (W8TAH) wrote:
>Good Morning!!!
>First off, I would like to congratulate the gang from Dayton -- you 
>folks did a wonderful job with the booth, and I really enjoyed meeting 
>all of you .  To the guys who ran the 10:30 demo with FO29 and AO51 -- 
>NICE JOB, You showed me how easy it is do do some of that stuff, and I 
>was very impressed. 
>While at that demo, they showed off a little switchable transverter for 
>2.4 (I think it was)  they mentioned that it came from Italy, and could 
>be switched so the output was on either 440 band or 2 meters, can 
>someone enlighten me about this piece of equipment,  Also -- I noticed 
>that the S band antennas were much smaller than I had invisioned, I 
>would appreciate comments etc,  (they were using a small corner yagi, 
>and another guy there had a patch of some kind.
>Right now, my shack consists of a Yaesu VX5-R, a VX 7R, an ICOM 
>706MKIIG, and an old Kenwood TS520.  I would really like to start 
>getting on the Sats, but like everyone, money is a problem.  My plan 
>right now is to build a set of Texas Potato Mashers (i cant afford an 
>EL/AZ rotor) and start trying to get on (right now all I have is a 2m / 
>440 vertical.  (But I did hear hamsat on it the other night, however i 
>havent yet heard AO51 --- Gotta keep workin on that one -- LOL
>I heard someone mention a transverter that would go to 10m from either 
>440 or 2 m the other night, and i suspect that that might work nicely 
>for the Sideband birds, using my 706 for uplink and the TS520 for 
>downlink -- It has great ears, but I seem to have lost the e-mail
>I guess what I need is some suggestions of directions etc, as well as 
>the most cost effective (read cheap) ways to get myself on the air.
>Thanks for your time
>Tim Holmes
>Amateur Extra Operator - W8TAH


I never got around to making one but the "potato mashers" would be a good
begining antenna that is fairly cheap to make.  I believe the IC706 will
run 2m and 70cm SSB, so that is a good start.  One of your Yaesu's could be
used on 2m-FM for AO-51 with the IC706 and those antennas.

Another way to go is to look at Bob Bruninga's simple antenna tracking
using a inexpensive Radio Shack rotor and fix the antennas pointing
30-degrees elevation...just rotate in azimuth.  You could build some
inexpensive small yagis, say 3-4 element on 145 and 6 element on 435
following Kent Britain's designs from CQ VHF Magazine...basically some wire
and a wood boom.  This would work well on just about everything up in orbit
right now.

You might thing of getting a 28/144 xvtr for the TS520 for 2m-SSB.  They
are often sold used on e-bay or even here on amsat-bb.  You only need about
10w for now.  Hamtronics makes low cost xvtrs and so does Tentec.

Then as you can you could improve, you set up to get ready for P3E, being
launched as soon as next spring!  For P3E you will want full az-el and
bigger beams on 145 and 435.  Trade for used equipment is my advice.  After
a dry spell on ham radio, I started re-building my ham shack in 1996 with a
tentec scout and 432/28 xvtr and a HF Rcvr tuned to the 10.7 MHz IF of an
old 2m FM mobile radio.  I had remnants of old cushcraft antennas and
manually set my elevation with an old CDR-44 azimuth rotator.  In a couple
years I traded the Scout for a used FT-840 and bought a 28/144 xvtr.  A few
years later I traded everything and bought my FT-847 with only $600 added.
The FT-847 cost $1600 then....now can be had for $1200 new and less used.
Or get a used FT-736R in the $1000 range.

Going to s-band will take a converter and small antenna for AO-51.  But for
P3E you will want a small dish 2-foot or bigger and full az-el.  Why not
get a patch which you can use as a dish feed, later?  I will leave
suggestions on s-band converters to others.  The dual-IF Italian convertor
is spendy if memory is correct.  K5GNA was selling a decent converter for
under $100.  Add a preamp for P3E.

But working your way up, gradually, you can keep costs to a minimum by

I am sure others will give better ideas on how to use what you have.
Ed - KL7UW  <new call>
BP40iq,  Nikiski, AK      http://www.qsl.net/al7eb
Amsat #3212
Modes: V - U - L - S
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