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Re: AO-16 reconfigured.



Hi!

> With that explanation, I'm happy to open the satellite to general use on
> voice for a test period. Please submit reports either to the -bb or to
> ao16@amsat.org . The uplink is 145.920 FM, and the downlink is 437.026 SSB
> +/- Doppler shift. Please restrict your uplink power to a reasonable level,
> and do not transmit without being able to hear the downlink. All the general
> single-channel guidelines apply. Enjoy this bird's new life!

I tried on 2 AO-16 passes Saturday afternoon (26 January, 2221-2234 and
2359-0014 UTC).  Very easy to hear, sometimes hard to get through, but
fun.  All of this was done without computer control, with the gear in the
back of my truck parked in grid DM44ha in north-central Arizona, holding
the antenna in one hand while holding and mic and adjusting the receiver
with the other.

For the first pass, I used an IC-2720H mobile radio at 5W for TX and an
FT-817ND as RX, connected directly to the respective feedpoints on my
Arrow Antennas handheld 2m/70cm Yagi.  I already had the IC-2720H
out for AO-27 passes around this time, so I just stayed with that.  I
could have put an HT in place of the mobile radio, but at its lowest
power level (5W) I didn't bother with swapping it out with another radio.

I could hear the satellite from about 1-2 degrees above the horizon,
but as the first pass covered most of North America it was crowded
and I didn't make any QSOs.  Still, a fun time trying to work an SSB
downlink for the first time, although a single-channel SSB downlink.  I
was switching between USB and LSB, finding USB easier to
understand although I could follow the Doppler easier on LSB while
tuning down manually.  I could hear it until the last minute of the
pass, when the satellite was around 2 degrees elevation.

Later, for the pass around 0000 UTC, a slightly-different setup.  Same
antenna, same TX radio, but now using narrow FM on the IC-2720H.
I didn't do that on the earlier pass.  I changed radios for the RX side,
now trying an AOR AR8200Mk2 handheld 100kHz-2GHz all-mode
receiver.  Again, an easy-to-copy pass, but not as crowded as the
earlier pass.  I ended up using LSB on the receiver, which helped
me hear where to put the radio as I adjusted for Doppler, and made
5 quick contacts during the pass.

This was fun, and now I have added motivation to get a portable setup
for the SSB/CW satellites.  The AOR receiver worked well on anything
I tried except for SO-50's weak downlink.  I had used it on an AO-51
and an SO-50 pass in the morning, plus two VO-52 passes (heard the
satellite OK, heard myself through it, but no QSOs during those passes),
before AO-16's passes this afternoon.

73!



Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK
http://www.wd9ewk.net/
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