[amsat-bb] Re: FO-29

Michael Heim kd0ar at sbcglobal.net
Thu Sep 25 04:45:23 PDT 2008

I consider myself a newcomer to trhe satellites like Tim, but in all actuality, I'm not really.  I operated AO-10 and AO-13 for a short time back in the 1980's.  They were great fun, but...
I could never put up the kind of antenna system today that I needed to work those birds where I am located now.  I had an 11 element CP yagi on 2, and a rather large helix on 70 cm.  Even with that size of an array, signals were on the weak side, and could not hit the birds at apogee reliably.  The FM birds gave me the opportunity to get back on the air from this new QTH with a minimum of antennas.  
I am working towards a couple of goals here, one is the capability to work AO-51 in mode S mode, and will be starting work on a mode L transmit converter soon.  AO-51 offers a nice test bed for equipment that most likely will be used on P3E and others.  When AO-51 goes into mode U/s, Ill be ready to work that mode, I hope.  I have a 1296 transverter, but it isnt working properly at this time, and I do want to continue using it for terrestrial work once I can get things working there.
As far as operating the SSB birds, I'm also working on that too.  Actually, I have everything I need to do it.  I do have 2 multimode rigs that cover 145 and 435 MHz.  Only thing getting in the way is a preamp situation that I installed on 435, as well as a mast mounted diplexer that I installed without any foresight of where I want to go next.  It wont be hard to remedy, and I hope to have it all working soon, so I can operate these birds, hopefully in a week or 2.  I have listened in on them, they are relatively quiet, few signals on, and the capability of having an extended QSO on them.
I built a new antenna (U/V), and am currently debugging it.  145 has a high SWR which I'm currently working on.  When I get that worked out, I'll be coming down with 2 feedlines so I can operate both radios at the same time.  If it all works out, I should be on the SSB birds soon.
Mike, kd0ar

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