[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] - [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

Re: no luck w/ voice contacts

Eli Criffield wrote:
> I'm not sure if my antenna is no good or if I'm just expecting this to
> be easier then it is. I've tried about 10 different passes of AO-51
> and a few ISS  passes on field day with my homemade dual band yagi
> (arrow like, 3 elements on 2meter 7 elements on 70 cm).  I use two
> handhelds so i have full duplex, a yaesu vx-5r and a vx-7r.
<major snip>
For the real short answer, satellite work is VERY WEAK SIGNAL!  It's NOT 
like working your local repeater - unless your local repeater transmits 
1/2 watt from 2000 miles away.

You said that you get full duplex using 2 handhelds.  Being full duplex 
helps a huge amount because you can hear yourself and tell if you are 
getting into the satellite.  This may sound like a dumb question, but 
are you REALLY getting full duplex?  By that I mean, could your RX 
handheld be getting desensed by the TX handheld?  In order to easily 
tell, can you still hear other traffic on the satellite while you are 
transmitting?  Handhelds generally have pretty lousy receivers, and they 
desense easily.  If you are not hearing other traffic on the satellite 
while you are transmitting, you are not really getting full duplex.  
That could fool you into thinking that you are not getting into it.

The other thing to remember is that the FM satellites are generally 
EXTREMELY busy!  Unless you are fortunate to live right along one of the 
coasts and get passes that pass well into the ocean so that only a tiny 
portion of the satellite footprint is over land, you may simply be 
getting stomped on.  If you DO live along one of the coasts (I do in the 
Los Angeles area), those are great passes for testing because you may 
actually get a couple minutes to test without being bothered by ANYONE 
else.  Back when UO-14 was operational, we would periodically get a late 
evening northbound pass that was way off the Pacific coast and the 
footprint would just barely catch the west coast.  There were a few of 
us that could actually hold a 3 to 5 minute roundtable with no one else 
in the footprint.  Later in the pass, the footprint moved well inland 
and the bird would get crowded (as it normally was), but those first 
couple minutes were great!

Jim Walls - K6CCC
Ofc:  818-548-4804
AMSAT Member 32537 - WSWSS Member 395
Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Not an AMSAT member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program!
To unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe amsat-bb" to Majordomo@amsat.org