[amsat-bb] Does one 847 equal two 817's?

Kevin M n4ufo at yahoo.com
Fri Nov 21 03:26:02 UTC 2014

I learned satellites 'old school' on RS-12/13 with manual tuning and I have been using my 847 for a while now, sans computer. I finally got the cable to even hook the rig up to a PC this week. I plan to try 'computer tuning' for the first time after I figure out the software.

As for split VFOs on an 847... it doesn't really operate that way. To operate manually on the 847, you first go into SAT mode which changes the function of a number of buttons, the memories, and several other things. The easiest way to use the rig is to set up the SAT memories... It stores the uplink and downlink bands (in the last position used) along with the tracking direction (inverted or non-inverted) and labels them with the Sat name you enter.
 One band will be in the main window and the other band in the sub window. Once you find your signal on the downlink, you hit the 'Track' button and the two VFOs then move simultaneously in the appropriate direction (same way if non-inverting, opposite way if inverting). There is a sub tune knob, but it moves at a much slower rate and is really just to keep up with doppler changes. So no, it doesn't really operate the two VFOs separately like having two radios. The closest you could operate like that is to adjust one band, hit the VFO  'A-B' swap button and then adjust the other band. But there is no need to do that since you only need to adjust one to first line up the frequencies, then 'sync them' and move to whatever part of the passband you want to operate. After that, you will only adjust the Sub band as the doppler changes... Because while the Main tuning knob will adjust both VFOs while in 'Track' mode, the Sub band knob only adjusts the VFO in the sub window.
 Before I got the 847, I had two separate rigs... Not a couple of 817s, rather a Kenwood 751a and an Icom 451a. Trust me... the 847 is MUCH easier!
Why didn't these guys get an 847? Easy... it's a hundred watt rig that requires a big power supply and is heavy by comparison to a couple 817s. Kind of hard to hang an 847 around your neck and strap a car battery to your belt. I make jest, but I think I am making a clear point. Even though I have an 847, if I could afford it, a couple 817s along with my Arrow would be fun to take grid hopping, do demos, etc. Sorry, but I'm not dragging my 847 to a hamfest for a demo or even out to my car to just drive up the road. =^)


Kevin N4UFO

Pictures of my shack and antenna farm: http://www.qrz.com/db/N4UFO
The fun of putting up satellite antennas: http://n4ufosat.blogspot.com/

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