[amsat-bb] Re: Satellite Usage - 2012

Bill Ress bill at hsmicrowave.com
Tue Aug 28 11:01:21 PDT 2012

Nicely put John and thanks for putting the time into composing and 
posting it.

Regards...Bill - N6GHz

On 8/28/2012 10:10 AM, John Papay wrote:
> The Funcube Dongle postings veered off into a
> discussion of the current state of affairs with
> the satellites that are still working. After reading
> about how the activity on the linear birds was down, I
> had to wonder a bit. It has not been my experience.
> I really expected the activity on the FM birds to diminish when AO-51
> died. We only get 7 minutes of AO-27 and that doesn't make
> up for the much longer passes on AO-51. SO-50 has never been
> off the air since I started in 2006 but it is the most difficult
> to hear throughout the pass. For that reason, activity on SO-50
> was fairly low. If you can't hear it, you can't work it. But
> to my surprise, SO-50 activity dramatically increased when AO-51
> went silent. Those who work the FM birds became determined to
> work through this satellite despite the difficulties in hearing it.
> Of course, if you are not full duplex, you don't know when you are
> hearing the bird and that sometimes results in those who call but
> cannot hear the responses. They might assume that there is no activity
> on the bird when in fact there are many stations trying to make qso's.
> I started using the ssb birds in late November 2007. There wasn't much
> activity on AO-7, FO-29 and VO-52 at that time. But over the last two
> years, activity on the linear birds has steadily increased. Much of the
> increase can be attributed to the newer people who started on the FM birds
> and quickly decided to get involved with the linear birds. I think the
> availability of satellite capable radios has really helped. If you have
> a TS2000 you can be on a linear bird without much effort. They are easier
> to hear than an FM bird. Some are using a pair of radios to achieve full
> duplex with great success. And I highly recommend SatPC32 which I have used
> now since 2006. It runs 24x7 on a Vista Quad machine and doesn't crash. The
> recordings on my website were made possible using the auto multi-satellite
> tracking feature of this program. Recordings are made without any outside
> intervention.
> One of the things that powers DX on the HF bands are dxpeditions. Groups
> spend large amounts of money to travel to destinations all over the world
> so that others can put that country in the worked/confirmed column. With
> satellites today it's the VUCC award that drives the activity. When someone
> shows up from a rare grid, the birds are sometimes overwhelmed. ND9M has
> worked from hundreds of USA grids and has also worked from his ship on the
> linear birds. UT1FG/mm has been very active over the past three
> years and has created pileups on the ssb birds not unlike those on HF. To
> say the activity is down on the linear birds in recent years is simply
> incorrect. And more hams are operating satellites away from home than ever
> before. You work with what you have and make the best of it, fm or linear.
> The future of AMSAT and the satellite phase of our hobby is all about the
> new people. When you hear someone new on the bird and it's a noisy signal
> with an incomplete callsign, maybe without phonetics, call that station.
> Giving out that first contact with a newbie far outweighs 100 contacts with
> those that you have worked many times before. Sometimes the effort doesn't
> result in a qso, but maybe there is a possibility to follow up with an
> email or postcard with an offer of help. Just remember we all started out
> at some point with no experience. Most everyone can remember their first
> contact and how important it was in terms of encouraging future operating.
> So if you're reading the AMSAT-bb and are discouraged by the fact that
> there
> are no High Earth Orbit Satellites, don't be. Times change, technology
> changes but we continue by using what we have to the max and working
> towards
> improving our situation where we can. AMSAT works very hard to explore
> every possibility for building and launching new satellites. It's a
> tremendous
> effort that most of us don't realize is happening day after day. We all
> need to support this effort. FOX I and II will be here before we know it.
> These birds should give us some room for more qso's and new operators.
> In the meantime, AO-7 continues to work at an altitude of 1450KM. FO-29 is
> at 1200 or 1300 KM some of the time. These birds provide an opportunity to
> work DX if you can see down to the horizon. If you can't, you can always
> go to a location that is better and use your FT817 with an Arrow antenna
> and work down to the horizon. There is nothing wrong with using an Arrow
> or ELK antenna to work DX. WD9EWK has proven that point time after time.
> A good ham radio operator is one that looks at a problem as a challenge
> rather than a show stopper. Ham radio ingenuity over the years has been
> amazing. So if you are having trouble and are frustrated, develop an
> action plan to move forward. The resources available to us today are
> unprecedented. And there are mentors out there that are willing to help.
> Above all, stay positive and have some fun!
> 73,
> John K8YSE
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Regards...Bill Ress
High Sierra Microwave

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