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Re: Apathy

I was a member of Amsat a few years ago, but have since left the membership 
slip after AO-40 was lasered by jealous aliens who don't have ham 

When I first got into ham radio in 1993?, hearing DOVE and MIR in my car 
with my homemade 1/4 wave antenna was a rush.  I tried a number of times to 
connect to MIR with packet, but just couldn't do it with an HTX-202 and 5 
watts into a HT whip.  (poor college student)

I finally have a real source of income and play with satellites (listen to) 
from time to time.  My only QSO through a bird was on UO-14 for a grand 
total of 10 seconds.  After purchasing a VX-1 (downlink RX) and a arrow 
antenna, I'm a little bored with fighting to make a 10 second FM QSO.  It's 
a 3 person operation anyway.... armstrong antenna tracking, tuning 2 radios 
(the HTX-202 is still pumping out RF) for doppler, writing call signs, 
watching the clock, watching the compass and the bigfattail program on the 
handspring deluxe is more than one person can handle.  While I managed to 
talk my wife into getting her ticket and she's easily trainable to assist in 
logging, it's difficult to pull her away from Desperate Housewives to help 
me make a sat QSO.

So what do I need to motivate me?

1)  I'd like to see real world examples.  Where do you get equipment to work 
these things?  I realize a lot of the equipment is modified from something 
else, or homebrewed entirely.   I have all the parts I need for a 2.4 Ghz 
downconverter from ebay.  I didn't get around to putting it together before 
AO-40 went silent.  I finally bought a IC-706 which gives me an excellent IF 
source.  I'm starting to accumulate station components but I haven't set a 
goal to get onto any one bird.  (station configurations seem to be somewhat 
bird dependent)

Can anyone give examples of their stations?  Power, rigs, coax, 
transverters, etc.

2)  If I could spend  $300 (less would be great) to talk on a sat that's a 
little less occupied than UO-14, and I'd be there in a second.  It has to be 
for more than 10 seconds though.  What opportunities does AO-7? hold?

3)  It's not out of the question for me to drop lots of dough on a down east 
microwave transverter.  Aren't those primarily for terrestrial use though?

73 de KM3G
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