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Re: Need quick start info please



Dave - Software recommendations are in the tutorial I cited for you.

Also, there's free info on the Web. HeavensAbove has recently  
improved their ham sat tracking graphics...and their Web site is also  
cited in that document.

You need to improve your antenna...the stock -2db rubber duck will  
not suffice. Again, suggestions for commercial and homebrew antennas  
are in that document.

Once you get to know the AMSAT grid of numbers, it is easy to figure  
it all out. FIRST, you need to subtract EIGHT hours from their times,  
to compensate for GMT.

Type in your Grid Square - DM14 if you're still in Fallbrook, and  
look what shows up for the Nov 15 pass at 15:51 (that's 3:51PM  
GMT...which is 7:51PM on the 14th California time).

DATE UTC - 15 Nov 07
AOS UTC - 15:51:14
DURATION - 00:14:20
ACQUISITION OF SIGNAL AZIMUTH - 11
MAX ELEVATION - 86
MAX ELEVATION AZIMUTH - 259
LOSS OF SIGNAL AZIMUTH - 195
LOSS OF SIGNAL UTC - 16:05:34

Take the ACQUISITON OF SIGNAL AZIMUTH and LOSS OF SIGNAL AZIMUTH  
numbers. They refer to compass points, where North is ZERO, South is  
180, East is 90 degrees, and West is 270 degrees. So this pass starts  
at 11 degrees, darned near true North. And it ends at 195 - a couple  
degrees West of due South. So you can imagine this pass as  
practically going over your house, North to South. And because its  
MAX ELEVATION is 86 degrees - it REALLY IS going straight overhead,  
as 90 degrees is straight up!

The MAX ELEVATION AZIMUTH tells you where the satellite is at mid- 
pass. This pass is 259 (darned near 270, which is due West). You  
couldn't ask for a better pass to hit with an HT!!!

So...that is the HARD WAY to visualize a pass...But that Heavens  
Above Web site will show you graphically. And then there's commercial  
software, too...but you do NOT need to spend money immediately on  
software.

Clint Bradford, K6LCS / KAF3359
909-241-7666




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