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beginner question re: uplink power



hello,

I have a beginner question.  I am in the process of setting up my first 
satellite station.  My initial investment is minimal and I have chosen 
to start out with a pair of 2m and 70cm omni antennas on the roof.  To 
help out a bit I am also adding a mast mount preamp on each antenna.  To 
protect the preamps they will be switched out of line by a RF sense 
switch (one for each amp).  For reference the two preamps and the pair 
of RF switches are all made by Ramsey (I know there are better preamps, 
but not available in my current budget).  I am keeping this initial 
adventure limited to the LEOs (and ISS, etc.).

_The question: _ When I assemble the RF switches I must choose a RF 
range for the switch to work within.  The range is determined by the 
choice of a specific resistor.  The default three ranges suggested are 
0-10 watts, 10-30 watts, and 30-100 watts.  I would be able to change 
the range later but it would require removing the unit from the mast.

So... not having any experience (yet),_ what uplink power range is 
recommend for non-gain antennas?_  Is there one range that should cover 
the LEOs?  If not, how much should I expect the required uplink power 
needs to vary across various satellites?  Is it different for each band? 
I have read that it is always best to never be louder than the beacon 
and that's fine.  I'm  just needing to know where to start off my 
hardware choices.

Thanks in advance for any help from you folks with the know-how.  I look 
forward to a qso with you.

.paul  ac0z
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