[amsat-bb] Re: first impression

Michael Tondee mat_62 at netcommander.com
Sat Sep 20 10:09:59 PDT 2008

Hi Jim,
I enjoyed this post. Lots of resources up there if we just use them. I too 
am frustrated by the almost complete abscense of any thing related to AMSAT 
or the satellites coming out of QST. There used to be a regular column that 
rotated with other ones and appeared about every three months or so but it 
has sadly disappeared. By looking in the mainstream amateur press, except 
for the occasional brief mention of P3E, you would not even know that 
satellite operations still exist.
 I will be glad to be joining you guys on the linear SSB/CW birds if I can 
jst get a couple of issues figured out here.  I'm having a devil of a time 
getting SatPC32 sorted out where I can hear my own downlink on them.  I had 
thought I had a TX antenna issue on the 70cm uplink birds and still do but 
recently I've been trying to get my downlink tuned in where it's 
intelligible to me on FO-29 and haven't been able to do it. It used to seem 
so easy to set that up in the CAT screen of SatPC32 when I had a TS-2000X 
but I had to sell that and now I'm using an Icom IC-820H and it's giving me 
fits. i guess it wouldn't be so much fun if it was easy though, would it?
Michael, W4HIJ
AMSAT # 36017
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jim Danehy" <jdanehy at cinci.rr.com>
To: <amsat-bb at amsat.org>
Sent: Friday, September 19, 2008 10:45 PM
Subject: [amsat-bb] first impression

>I operated OSCAR satellites back in 1974-1976. It was simple with 2 meters 
>up and 10 meters down. Not much doppler effect either. I got back on a 
>month ago after a lapse of 32 years. I would like to give my impressions to 
>date. I have had QSOs on 6 or 7 different birds using CW, SSB and of course 
>FM. By far the most productive mode is FM. It is also the easy way to get 
>on OSCAR. The transponders on AO7, VO52 and FO29 go aching for use. On 15 
>minute passes  you can find just one or two other users. Sadly nobody at 
>times. Of course you need to be able to manage doppler and to track the 
>bird with some degree of accuracy. I guess I have had over 400 QSOs during 
>the past month. I have worked 42 states and 7 countries along with about 
>110 grid squares. Being newly retired the XYL encourages me to stay in the 
>shack. However of the 400 QSOs I have probably only worked 120 different 
>stations. The biggest disappointment for me is the lack of information in 
>QST and CQ magazines on OSCA!
> R. I had no idea that there were that many potential birds flying and 
> providing the opportunity to make contacts. Having been a ham for 56 years 
> and always active I don't miss a lot. Oh I see the AMSAT booth at Dayton. 
> But there is little effective public relations going on to attract hams to 
> use OSCAR satellites. There is some but not to the extent that is needed. 
> I just rejoined AMSAT. It is obvious that there is plenty of transponder 
> "spectrum" going unused. It is a very modest challenge to use  satellites 
> other than FM birds, in my opinion. I have some M Square yagis that I put 
> together along with an elevation and azimuth rotators. I put them up about 
> 15 feet off the ground. I learned a few things about switching polarity 
> too. We did not have circular polarity being used in 1974 if my memory is 
> working.
> The best part about being back on is the opportunity to meet a new group 
> of hams. I have learned about SatPC32 and struggle to get it working with 
> the Vista operating system. I also got the RHCP vs. LHCP wrong on my 2 
> meter antenna. I owe thanks to K9QHO and K9CIS for helping me on that 
> issue.
> Most use AO51 as the bird of choice. I wonder why there is so little use 
> of SO50 ? It works great and is under used too. These are my first 
> impressions. There really is a lack of public relations about how much is 
> out there in the way of satellite opportunities. Of course that is just my 
> opinion. One thing for sure you do not need to count the sun spots to see 
> if you can make contacts. I would like to see folks give a little opening 
> to some of the Central American stations who come on frequency but get 
> stepped on. A QSO with a TI4 or a KP4 is still DX even for a guy like me 
> who has been around long enough to have worked them all. One day HR1LW 
> called me on VO52. What a thrill. There was no one else on. A few weeks 
> later he called me again and called me by name. Same for a few European 
> QSOs that I have had.
> My XYL wants to thank all of those that have kept me in the shack and out 
> of her hair as she adjusts to my retirement. I do too.
> 73   Jim W9VNE
>       Cincinnati, Ohio  EM79tb

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