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Digital modes and antenna questions



Hi,
	Can someone point me to a website that explains the current digital modes
and ways to use them?
Also decoding telemetry from the birds, is there a "one size fits all"
software or does each satellite
have specialized software for doing this?
Can you use Sound cards, TNC, specialized modems?
I keep seeing references to 9K6, 38k6, and the like and have no idea what
they are.

	Also, are TNC's really necessary anymore? I've been away from amateur radio
for over 10 years
and things sure have changed.

	I'm still putting my satellite station together and am down to picking
antenna's and feed line.
I am trying to build the station up for the future HEO birds as well, so
what kind of overall db
receiving level should I be shooting for?

	Has anyone used "Gulf Alpha" antenna's? The cross polarized antenna's look
very good to me. It wouldn't
be circular polarization but I would be able to switch between vertical or
horizontal with a flip
of the switch.

All help appreciated,
TNX
73's
RoD
KD0XX

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