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RE: no luck w/ voice contacts



Eli,

 

I am new to satellite operation myself, having about 5 contacts under my belt.  However, I found operating AO-51, and even the lower power SO-50 to be much easier than I expected.  The first time I heard my voice on the downlink, it was almost unbelievable.  N1ASA repeated my call sign, and I was hooked!  I am using an Arrow handheld with a Kenwood TH-D7 and only 2 watts of power.

 

You should be able to hear the downlink for almost the entire pass unless you have an obstruction between you and the horizon.  I can hear (and transmit) until the satellites are 3 or 4 degrees above the horizon.  The ISS has a very powerful transmitter compared to AO-51 (usually 1 watt) and SO-50 (250mW).  I can't swear that these power levels are accurate.  Anyhow, you should be able to hear most of each pass if your antenna is similar to the Arrow.

 

I don't think the crossband repeater is active very often on the ISS.  AO-51 is your best bet for a first contact.

The only two suggestions I can make is to make sure you have al PL tone of 67.0 Hz on your uplink, and don't forget about Doppler shift on the downlink.  For AO51 your receive frequency should be 435.310 at the beginning of the pass.  You will need to adjust down to 435.290 before the end of the pass.

 

You will likely get much better advice from more experienced satellite users on this list.  As a beginner, this is all I have.  Keep trying.... satellite contacts are great fun!

 

Randy Armour - KI4LMR

 
________________________________

From: owner-AMSAT-BB@AMSAT.Org on behalf of Eli Criffield
Sent: Wed 6/28/2006 10:56 PM
To: amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org
Subject: [amsat-bb] no luck w/ voice contacts



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.

On the ISS passes i could hear it for probably 5 mins of the 10 min
passes. It was loud and clear, sounded like a local repeater. But i
couldn't hear myself at all, even when there was a couple seconds of
silence.

On the AO-51 passes I've tried both QRP and the regular FM. I only
hear it for maybe 1 min on good passes, over 60 degrees. Usually i
don't hear enough to make out one call sign, On one pass i could hear
it for maybe 2 mins but i couldn't hear myself at all.

So how long does a pass last when listening with an arrow atenna? Is
this going to take months and months of trying to get lucky on the
perfect pass to get one contact, or am i doing something horribly
wrong.

I think the antenna works, low swr on 2m and 70cm, and i can get to
repeaters that i can't get to with the whip, so it has at least some
gain. One repeater is at least 45 miles away.
But I have nothing to compare it to except the stock whip, so its hard to say.

Eli
k0eli
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