[amsat-bb] Financial arguments about full duplex

skristof at etczone.com skristof at etczone.com
Tue Jun 28 23:34:31 UTC 2016

"Full duplex should be a "best practice"  and if someone is not using it
for whatever reason it should be something they aspire to and implement
in whatever type sat setup they have as swiftly as possible." 


Steve AI9IN

On 2016-06-28 19:18, Michael wrote:

> I know full well what it's like to be on a budget and not have a lot of disposable income to spend on radio. I'm not a wealthy person by any stretch of the imagination. I've known a few hams in my lifetime who could spend what they wanted when they wanted to on radio. Unfortunately, most of us are not that lucky.
> When I first got into satellite operation I had inherited a good deal of HF radio equipment from my late Father, the original holder of the callsign W4HIJ.  It was more stuff than I could use and I managed to sell it off slowly and generate enough funds to buy myself a Kenwood TS-2000X. Since it covered "DC to daylight" I figured that might be the last radio I would ever buy. I had an HF antenna to hook up to it but the problem was that since I had blown my whole wad of cash on the rig, I had no money left for a satellite antenna system. So I began scrimping and saving every dime I could and began doing lots of research on the internet. Eventually I was able to build a couple of WA5VJB cheap yagis with PVC booms and aluminum elements taken from an old damaged 11 element 2 meter beam. I found a circuit on the internet that used a BASIC STAMP to interface with the shack PC and control a couple of old Gemini OR-360 TV antenna rotators which I found a source for online. I had to buy
everything like the rotators and circuit components almost one piece at a time as money permitted but I eventually had a full fledged sat station with a  PC controlled rig and homebrew Az/El antenna control. This was during the heyday of A0-51 and I even managed to get my hands on some S band stuff although I never could get it to work.
> Unfortunately that thing called life reared it's head and I had no choice but to sell my rig to pay for a major repair on one of the family cars. Family always comes first. I left my antenna system up because it was also controlling the Azimuth pointing of an HF mini beam that I used with an old boat anchor HF rig that I had kept as a spare. Eventually the PVC booms on the homebrew sat antennas began to weaken and crack due to constant UV exposure. I had painted them but it didn't help so I took them down. It was also about the same time that something went west in the homebrew rotator control and took out the power transformer, BASIC STAMP and a couple of relays and I had no money to fix it and replace the bad components.
> I had a couple of 2 meter and 70cm HT's so I built a dual band version of the cheap yagi and devised a mount to put it on an old camera tripod I already had to work full duplex on some of the FM sats. However, I quickly discovered that standing outside on the deck in the heat or cold to work FM sats just wasn't my cup of tea. More power to those of you who enjoy it but I'm just not happy without the comfort of a base station located in the indoor shack.
> I was off the satellites for awhile and acquired a Flex 1500 which I enjoyed immensely but again had to sell to help with some family financial issues.
> Fast forward to the very recent past. We actually got a pretty good tax refund this year and after taking care of various bills and such there was enough left over that my beautiful XYL let me combine it with money I had been saving to purchase a Yaesu FT-991 and a Funcube Pro + SDR dongle. I also thought that I was going to be able to get the Yaesu  AZ/EL rotator system that I've coveted for years but again that fell through because of family financial issues. My plan was and still is to have a new full duplex satellite base station but right now I have nothing to rotate antennas even if only in the azimuth plane and foregoing elevation control. Things have gotten extremely tight again financially and I'm having a hard time saving even for a basic TV rotator.
> My point in relating this whole story is to point out and explain that I'm not trying to be some elitist snob when I'm insisting that folks need to be working full duplex. I'm actually probably worse off than a lot of you when it comes to finances and disposable income for hobbies. Maybe the word "mandatory" is a little much but it was originally Clint's word and not mine. I just picked it up out of his PDF and maybe used it a little stronger than I should have.
> Full duplex should be a "best practice"  and if someone is not using it for whatever reason it should be something they aspire to and implement in whatever type sat setup they have as swiftly as possible. If you have never used it before you will be amazed at how much simpler and efficient it makes things not only for you but for the entire group of sat operators who are on the bird at any given time.
> 73,
> Michael W4HIJ
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