[amsat-bb] Re: The "Good Ole Days" are now

Paul Stoetzer n8hm at arrl.net
Wed Sep 18 17:13:26 PDT 2013

Well said, Les!

I've been having a blast ever since getting my minimal satellite station
put together, even though I'm in a really terrible situation for it (urban
environment surrounded by buildings, high noise, 152 MHz pager transmitters
a quarter mile away, and a military spread spectrum radiolocation system
crackling all over 70cm).

I'm using a Yaesu FT-817ND for the uplink, an Icom IC-R10 for the downlink,
and an Arrow antenna. I had to add a PAR Electronics 152 MHz notch filter
to keep the pager transmitters from overloading my receiver, the AMSAT
Broadband Preamp to compensate for the relative deafness of the IC-R10 (at
least on 435 MHz), and an MFJ duplexer to cure desense when operating Mode
J. I carry the radios in a small tablet bag around my neck, go outside into
the parking lot/courtyard of my building, and work the passes. It's a lot
of fun. I finally got everything going just under a month ago and have made
56 QSOs, including some DX like CO6CBF, YV6BFE, and PV8DX. Almost worked
EI3GRB and EA8HB (both of whom heard me, but just couldn't complete the
QSOs). Even made a Mode A QSO on AO-7 with AC0RA using an AlexLoop Walkham
Portable Magnetic Loop to receive the 10m downlink.

Sure a HEO would be great (I've checked the pass predictions for AO-10 and
AO-40 and my south facing balcony would work wonderfully) and I look
forward to the challenge of assembling a HEO station when the day finally
comes that we are able to get a launch. I think a great compromise would be
a bird in a similar orbit of the old RS birds (30 min passes and being able
to work deep into Europe and out to Hawaii on a regular basis would be
great), but as Frank, K4FEG, likes to say, I'll work whatever's up there
until the antennas burn off during reentry.

See everyone on the 0101Z pass of FO-29!


Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
Washington, DC (FM18)

On Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 4:31 PM, Les Rayburn <les at highnoonfilm.com> wrote:

> Like many hams (I suspect), I dreamed of working satellites for decades.
> Followed them with at least a passing interest but always seemed to put
> them off till "someday". Even during the craze of the "work satellites with
> your handheld", I was distracted by other priorities. When I got involved
> in VHF/UHF a few years ago, and purchased an Icom IC-910H, I kept thinking
> I'd finally pull the trigger. But years passed without anything other than
> weak-signal contacts being made on that rig.
> A few months ago, I finally decided to give it a try. Downloaded SATPC32,
> and updated my keps. FO-29 was the next satellite coming my way, so when I
> was inside the footprint, I tuned around a bit, and found some stations
> coming in. Cool! I was actually hearing hams on satellite---next up was
> answering a CQ...nervously I pushed the PTT on the mic.
> 82 grids and a few hundred contacts later, I'm having a ball!
> I don't miss the birds that came before, but just enjoy what we have now.
> My only complaint might be that more folks are not active on F0-29 and
> VO-52. Even SO-50 can be nearly empty after midnight.
> My understanding is that within the next year we'll have 2 or 3 more
> linear LEO satellites, and possibly another FM bird, right? While we may
> not work a lot of DX on those, we should get to the point where no one has
> to wait long for "something" to be overhead. That's exciting to me!
> AMSAT is staffed with wonderful volunteers, and seems to be doing great
> work. I'm thrilled to be a member, even if it is #38965.
> The good ole days are now. Get on the birds and make some contacts. I need
> your grid! (ha, ha)
> --
> --
> 73,
> Les Rayburn, N1LF
> 121 Mayfair Park
> Maylene, AL 35114
> EM63nf
> 6M VUCC #1712
> AMSAT #38965
> Grid Bandits #222
> Southeastern VHF Society
> Central States VHF Society Life Member
> Six Club #2484
> Active on 6 Meters thru 1296, 10GHz & Light
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