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Re: HT question...

Quoting "Dave G." <dmg@bossig.com>:

> Due to old growth trees, residential power lines, cable 
> drops, etc., etc., I cannot 'see' any bird that is below 45 
> degree elevation except for a small 55 degree segment to the 
> east where I can get down to 30 degree.
> . I have decided that I have to get out into the open to try 
> to work them... I already have my Arrow antenna   :^)
> So now I'm looking at getting a (handheld) portable rig...
> Not wishing to start any 'Flame Wars' but I need to resolve a 
> question before committing my hard-earned (Social Security) 
> cash to a dealer.....
> The FT-817 is out as I know it is not dual RX.
> That (according to the catalogues) leaves the ICOM IC-W32A, 
> Kenwood TH-F6A and the Yaesu VX-7R all listed as being dual 
> receive...
> >From reading the archives... Am I correct in saying that the 
> IC-W32A is the only one that can transmit on one frequency 
> for the uplink  and simultaneously monitor the downlink and 
> is therefore usable for the birds ??
> And (probably a stupid question) does any one have one they 
> wish to sell ??
> Please reply direct to me to save burning up bandwidth...
> Thanks in advance 
> Dave KK7SS


I know from previous times that this important question has come up that
many others are very happy with the job that their Kenwood TH-D7AG is
doing. I can say that I am, too. Even if, like me, you didn't think the
digital modes would be of interest, I think you'll find that the high
signal strength of ISS and, when working, PCSat, make them very fun to work. 

Others have complained that this rig doesn't do 'true' dual band. By this,
they mean you don't have two tuning nobs that you can turn at the same
time.  However, it does allow you to listen to 435 Mhz while transmitting
on 145, and by pre-programming some frequencies, you can compensate for
doppler on the downlink (which is all that's needed on FM birds) while
holding an antenna. This is quite sufficient for AO-51 style QSOs.

Whatever rig you choose, I'm sure you'll have a great deal of fun on AO-51.
I know I have, especially using an hand-held antenna out-of-doors. Somewhat
contrary to expectations, I've found QSOs on the FM sats to be friendly and

(I emphasize AO-51 here because it is by far the easiest of these birds to
work. SO-50, though usually operational, seems to have a short transmission
timeout, so aiming the antenna requires someone to be transmitting.
Furthermore its signal is considerably weaker than AO-51. The timing on '27
can be tricky, and its power is less, too.)

Bruce Robertson, VE9QRP 
Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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