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Question about tones for SO-50



This evening I heard stations on SO-50 but wasn't able to get my signal 
through the satellite because I wasn't transmitting the 67 Hz tone.

On the next pass I had the tone enabled, but nobody else was around 
(about 2/3 of the footprint was over the Pacific Ocean).  At least it 
was a good time for me to practice using the tones and experiment with 
uplink power.  I sent the 74 Hz tone for a couple seconds, then switched 
to the 67 Hz tone and heard myself loud and clear.  I could hear myself 
well even with RF power and Mic gain controls at minimum settings!  But 
sometimes my signal randomly chopped in and out, as if the satellite 
wasn't reliably decoding my 67 Hz tone.  A few minutes later (less than 
10, I think) the downlink went dead and I had to resend the 74 Hz tone 
to get the satellite to repeat my signal.  So that leads me to questions.

1. Is it common for the satellite to NOT reliably decode the 67 Hz tone? 
      I didn't hear anybody but myself, so I don't think my uplink 
signal "collided" with other stations.

2. Does the satellite reliably stay on for 10 minutes after decoding the 
74 Hz tone?  It seemed to me that the satellite turned off after less 
than 10 minutes.

3. Is the FT-847 known to generate reliable subaudible tones with the 
correct deviation?  (I don't use tones for anything else, and I don't 
have equipment to measure the deviation)

I have been off the air for 9 months after moving to Oregon last year. 
So my technique is a bit rusty, and I'm still verifying that the 
hardware is working correctly.  I'm amazed at how much better I hear 
70cm downlinks now that I have a mast-mounted preamp for the 15x15 yagi.

Wayne Estes W9AE
Oakland, Oregon, USA, CN83ik
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