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Author Topic: SAT?  (Read 18858 times)
KQ6EA
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« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2012, 01:37:44 PM »

Ahhhh....good old VO-52! One of my favorites.

I put the radio in "SAT" mode, and then I enter the center of the downlink passband, 145.900 on the Main VFO, and 435.250 on the Sub VFO for the uplink.

Leaving the receive in the center, or moving it to a clear spot if a QSO is there, tune around with the sub while doing the "Fooooor", or "Test, test, test" routine while transmitting until you hear your downlink. Then hit the "TRACK-REV" button, and the two VFO's will track each other as you tune.

Keep in mind that this is an "Inverting" bird, so transmit on LSB, and listen on USB. Your transmit  frequency control will seem backwards, as if you tune towrds the high end of the receive passband, you have to tune towards the LOW end of the transmit passband.

I made some charts up that have the receive frequencies listed on the left side, and the transmit frequencies on the right side. For any receive frequency, just follow the line across the chart to the corresponding transmit frequency.

If I can find my "master" file, I'll send them to your QRZ email address.

SatPC32 will do this automagically for you when you select the satellite to use if you have the radio setup for CAT control.

Yes, it can be very frustrating to get started, but once you get the hang of it, it's magic!

I hate NOVA. It's not 'user friendly', and it seems the config files are scattered everywhere.

What problems are you having with SatPC32? It really is the way to go if you ever want to run full PC control, or even just have the radio under control. Even when my son flew the rotors for me on Field Day, once I had the Doppler correction working it felt like 90% of my workload disappeared, and I could concentrate on making contacts.

Last Field Day I made 37 contacts, and the year before I made 45, and on Field Day some of the birds sound like 20 Meters!

Just keep plugging away. You *will* eventually get it all together, and it's *very* rewarding.
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N5TEN
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« Reply #46 on: September 12, 2012, 03:08:22 PM »

It also doesn't help when Nova says SaudiSAT 1C is in range, but AMSAT says it's over Africa. WTF? Ridiculous.
I'll try that with VO-52..thanks Smiley Without you here I'd be bashing this sat radio in with a hammer by now.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 03:12:46 PM by N5TEN » Logged
KQ6EA
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« Reply #47 on: September 12, 2012, 04:47:00 PM »

A gross error like that is almost always caused by outdated Keps, wrong time on your PC, wrong time zone selected in the tracking program, or an error in your Lat/Lon in the tracking program.

I'm sure there are others, but those four have tripped me up numerous times in the past.
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N5TEN
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« Reply #48 on: September 12, 2012, 05:28:54 PM »

yeah, I can't get this Nova program to work right no matter how hard I try. All the settings are right. If I don't get into the HAMSAT next time it flies over my head, I'm done with that too. I'll go back to CW. That's easier.
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KQ6EA
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« Reply #49 on: September 12, 2012, 05:47:39 PM »

Just curious, but why did you throw in the towel on SatPC?

Once you understand the setup, it's rock-solid and easy to make changes in.

And other than setting up your "Observer" Lat/Lon and time zone, and getting fresh Keps, it works "right outta the box".
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N5TEN
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« Reply #50 on: September 12, 2012, 06:15:05 PM »

Just curious, but why did you throw in the towel on SatPC?

Once you understand the setup, it's rock-solid and easy to make changes in.

And other than setting up your "Observer" Lat/Lon and time zone, and getting fresh Keps, it works "right outta the box".

I tried the demo version...  I didn't really throw in the towel, I just liked the maps better in Nova...the SatPC was a goofy cartoon map, while Nova is a nice looking sat from space look. I'll go look at it again.  I'm starting to think that I don't care about the look, as long as it works right.

By the way...my 847 is going back to Yaesu on the 90 day warranty from the work they did a month ago. My VFO and the other stuff they fixed with new parts need to be looked at again.
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KQ6EA
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« Reply #51 on: September 12, 2012, 06:33:16 PM »

You can change the maps in SatPC from the "Political" map to the "Blue Marble" map.

You always been able to change the maps, Erich just made it easier by including one most people like.

It's under the "Setup"=>"Options" menu.

No, it's not as "pretty" as NOVA, but it works one H3LL of a lot better!
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N5TEN
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« Reply #52 on: September 13, 2012, 09:14:42 AM »

I tried to get into HAMSAT again today with no luck. I can hear my whistle and tune it in, but I cannot hear my voice coming through the sat. 435.225 LSB and 145.900 USB (VFO) RIGHT? My whistle came through at 145.898/435.254. No voice.

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KQ6EA
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« Reply #53 on: September 13, 2012, 10:05:14 AM »

No voice?

That's strange. Usually if you can hear your own dits or whistle to find yourself, you can tune in your voice without any difficulty.

435.250 LSB up, and 145.900 LSB down is the middle of the passband, so that sounds right.

Once you heard you whistle, what did you try to say? I know is sounds silly, but I'll keep repeating "test, test, test" and tuning until I can actually understand what I'm saying.

Well, at least you're getting close.......
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N5TEN
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« Reply #54 on: September 13, 2012, 10:23:57 AM »

No voice?

That's strange. Usually if you can hear your own dits or whistle to find yourself, you can tune in your voice without any difficulty.

435.250 LSB up, and 145.900 LSB down is the middle of the passband, so that sounds right.

Once you heard you whistle, what did you try to say? I know is sounds silly, but I'll keep repeating "test, test, test" and tuning until I can actually understand what I'm saying.

Well, at least you're getting close.......

Well, I said "four" a few times...nothing. Then my call...nothing. Then more tuning with my whistle. Then my call...nothing. I adjusted the wattage but got nowhere.
My new 70cm yagi is due in tomorrow. Maybe that will make a difference, but I am also sending my rig back to Yaesu for some warranty work and for them to calibrate my VFO so it doesn't ghost spin. Will be on my 897 for a while until the 847 gets back to me.
You should get on 40 with me one of these days so we can chat.
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KQ6EA
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« Reply #55 on: September 13, 2012, 10:43:50 AM »

*Maybe* in the afternoon when I get home from work, although I usually prefer 17.
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K7WDO
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« Reply #56 on: September 13, 2012, 06:44:01 PM »

Hang in there and keep practicing.  VO-52 was a tough one for me as well.  It was easy to hear, but I had a really hard time figuring it out when it came time to find my signal (by comparison, I heard myself on FO-29 on the first try).  Your offsets sound about right as I tend to use 435.270 up which comes in around 145.880.  The other thing that helps is slow your tuning down as much as possible as it's real easy to overcorrect and lose track of yourself.

I'm still a newbie at this myself, but I'm slowly getting the hang of it through practice.  Not easy, though, as I'm running full manual operation and rapidly running out of limbs to run the station with.  CW is working pretty well for the practice as I can usually key and tune the transmitter with the same hand.
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WD9EWK
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« Reply #57 on: September 15, 2012, 10:02:09 AM »

Having your rig under PC control to do the tuning is a great thing, especially with the linear birds, and using it to control the rotor is equally "nice".

Is it required? No, but it sure makes things easier. It can be quite frustrating to tune the radio, move the antenna, log the contact, AND try to have a QSO with someone.

Well, at least for me!

I think Patrick, WD9EWK, runs a "Full Manual" station, and he does extremely well.

Thanks for the mention, and compliment.

Yes, I operate without the benefit of computer control for my radios or antennas.  For SSB satellite work, I use a pair of FT-817NDs to have a full-duplex station.  My antenna is an Elk log periodic, connected through a diplexer to each of those radios.  For our current satellites, 5W is sufficient.  My station is also very portable, and goes wherever I go - either on road trips, or air travel.  You can see videos with my station in action on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/va7ewk to get an idea how I operate - and where I operate from. 

For some occasions, I replace the FT-817ND I use to receive the downlinks with other radios.  I have used an Icom IC-R20 handheld all-mode receiver and a Kenwood TH-F6A 2m/222/70cm HT for the downlink.  The IC-R20 can be controlled by computer, but the TH-F6A can't (you can program the radio with a computer, but it lacks the interface for controlling the radio with software like SatPC32).  I do some hamfest demonstrations with the FT-817ND/TH-F6A combination, mainly to illustrate that it doesn't take a lot to get on these satellites.  Both the FT-817 (original and ND versions) and TH-F6A have been on the ham market for over a decade, so they both are available second-hand. 

Regardless of the radio combination I use, it took me a long time - many months - before I could reliably hear myself through VO-52.  VO-52, with its strong downlink, was the first SSB satellite I tried to work through.  Once I had that down, then I worked on FO-29 and AO-7.  I originally started with the Arrow dual-band Yagi, but found that the Elk and a diplexer worked much better - especially on FO-29.  I follow the so-called "One True Rule" as it relates to manual operation - try to confine my frequency adjustments to the higher of the two frequencies, since that is where the Doppler shift is more apparent.  If the other station I'm working is making adjustments on both frequencies, I can follow along by adjusting both VFOs as needed.

73!

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Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK
http://www.wd9ewk.net/
WD9EWK
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« Reply #58 on: September 17, 2012, 01:26:20 PM »

Hang in there and keep practicing.  VO-52 was a tough one for me as well.  It was easy to hear, but I had a really hard time figuring it out when it came time to find my signal (by comparison, I heard myself on FO-29 on the first try).  Your offsets sound about right as I tend to use 435.270 up which comes in around 145.880.  The other thing that helps is slow your tuning down as much as possible as it's real easy to overcorrect and lose track of yourself.

I'm still a newbie at this myself, but I'm slowly getting the hang of it through practice.  Not easy, though, as I'm running full manual operation and rapidly running out of limbs to run the station with.  CW is working pretty well for the practice as I can usually key and tune the transmitter with the same hand.

I've seen your posts on the OSCAR Satellite Status page http://oscar.dcarr.org/ for SSB satellites, so maybe we can hook up sometime for a QSO.

As I mentioned previously, I am not using computer control for my SSB satellite activity.  For SSB, the PTT on my Heil Traveler headset is on a small plastic box on the cable leading to the radios.  I can press the PTT while adjusting a VFO.  For CW, I have a small pair of paddles on a magnetic base, sitting on top of one of my radios.  Since I'm trying to follow the "One True Rule", it will sit on the radio I would normally be adjusting the VFO on, with the higher of the two frequencies.  Otherwise, it stays on the top of my transmit radio, as a tool to get myself lined up on the transponder.

FO-29 and AO-7 mode B are pretty easy to get lined up on.  VO-52 is not using the transponder that had been operational for several years, and the current transponder's frequency relationship tends to bounce around.  Even those with computer control may need to manually adjust their uplink and downlink frequencies to get lined up on VO-52 at the start of each pass. 

Hope to work you soon, on any of these satellites in SSB.  73!
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Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK
http://www.wd9ewk.net/
KQ6EA
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« Reply #59 on: September 17, 2012, 07:16:31 PM »

Good point, Patrick.

I've had to adjust my freqs numerous times on VO-52, but never considered the bird was a bit 'off'.
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