Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Building a new station  (Read 6183 times)
N1IC
Member

Posts: 17




Ignore
« on: June 16, 2014, 02:18:20 PM »

OK, I sold a bunch of equipment and I have some funds to build a new sat station. I wanted to get some thoughts on if you had a budget of $3000/$4000 what commercially would you build. I have no antennas, I was looking at the FT-857 (would consider the 9100 only if there was a huge reason to do it) and would really like help with rotor, antenna, mounting and whatever else I'm missing. I have played with the arrow and my HT and have done some reading I can't seem to find commercial setups I find a lot of homebrew. I would like a to see what I'm missing.

Thanks in advance, N1IC
Logged
N4UFO
Member

Posts: 182




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2014, 08:31:37 PM »

As for rigs, I assume you mean an FT-847... it's a great satellite rig and what I have. (Because if you do mean an FT-857, you'd really need a second radio as it doesn't do full duplex.) You can find them used for $900-1100 dollars. Just keep in mind they are a decade or so old. But I love that you can shift them to 'Sat Mode' and they keep proper split band memories with sat labels. - I know a lot of guys that use the 910 or the 9100 and just swear by them. I've never seen one up close and seeing pictures I don't care for the layout, but that's a mustard or mayo issue.

I cover my opinion on antennas in another thread: http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,97415.0.html  But it all depends on what you want to do. I just think CP is overkill but if you have the budget and do want to go that far, keep in mind you need to have the switching in place to reverse between Left Hand and Right Hand polarity. That entails relays, phasing cables and all that. I believe K8YSE is the only one I know that has that elaborate of a setup. Some guys have Circular Polarity but not the switching and just leave it one direction. Problem with that is, on SO-50 it's just as much loss to have only LHCP when the bird is RHCP as it is when your antenna is horizontal while the bird is vertical. The bird rotates... you'll get fading as it turns 90 degrees out of phase with you. If you go CP and the bird goes to the east of you it may be RHCP and to the west it will be LHCP. (I think that's right. It also depends on other things) My point is, without the ability to switch between the two CP orientation, you might as well just be linear polarity... it's about the same amount difference.

I actually bought a CP UHF yagi that needed to be refurbished and when I found out the above, I said forget it. I also know some that bought CP antennas but sold them before ever putting them up. Because the sats today (with the exception of SO-50) just don't seem to be as susceptible to the circular polarity issues. With the Arrow you can rotate it yourself. With a longer yagi and a preamp, the polarity fading on SO-50 can likely be overcome. I think others have experimented with two yagis on each band, one in each polarity having them EQUALLY phased instead of out of phase to create circular polarity, but I've not heard if it makes that big of a difference.

My two trains of thought, depending on ones desires and budget...  1. TV rotor, small beams titled 15 degrees, maybe preamps, good coax. or 2. AZ-EL rotor, longer single polarity yagis, definitely preamps and good coax. I started out with number 1 without preamps and am going to number 2. In the meantime, I bought an Arrow and have been playing with an HT and toying with the idea of getting a small all mode radio to try the linear birds portable. It seems fun to operate both ways! -  If you have $3000-4000 then I'd say definitely start at least with number 2. As for the 847 vs 9100 I'll let a 9100 weigh in on that.   Cheesy

Between this and the other thread, did you get any useful info? Anything get missed?  Wink

73, Kevin N4UFO
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 08:39:39 PM by N4UFO » Logged
N1IC
Member

Posts: 17




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2014, 05:21:25 AM »

This was a great help thank you! Yes, 847 is what I meant and due to the cost difference between that and the 9100 is the largest challenge for me. I love the 9100 but I don't want to spend most of my budget on radio not antennas.

thanks for the info and I'm digging in now.
Logged
W5PFG
Member

Posts: 70




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2014, 12:10:52 PM »

This is about as turnkey as you can get for a ready-to-go satellite station.  The only thing you would be missing is a personal computer.

Kenwood TS-2000                           $1,500.00
Yaesu G-5500 Rotor                           $700.00
20' Mast, Brackets, Mounting Hardware   $300.00
UHF Mast-mount Preamp         $250.00
AMSAT LVB Tracker                 $200.00
Heil Headset & Hardware         $200.00
M2 2M7 SSB 2m yagi                 $170.00
M2 432-12EME 70cm yagi         $170.00
25A 12VDC Power Supply         $120.00
60' LMR-400 w/Connectors              $100.00
AMSAT Membership w/SatPC32      $80.00
Crossboom Mast (Homebrew)              $50.00
Rotor cable                            $50.00
FTDI USB-Serial for LVB Tracker      $20.00
                      Total   $3,910.00

Can you do it cheaper? Yes.  
You can also spend a lot more money.
Logged
N4UFO
Member

Posts: 182




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2014, 10:56:29 PM »

Whoever gets to it first... It's not AZ-EL, but rather an AZ and an EL. Cheap way to do it and will still require manual adjustment, but for the price. http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?440332-Satellite-antenna-package
Logged
W1MSG
Member

Posts: 85


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 05:48:23 AM »

I just noticed that this is over a month old but I will put my 2 cents worth in even if its only worth a penny.

When I built my Base Satellite station I started with the FT-847. Its a Great radio and does a good job. I recommend cross polarized Yagi's. I currently have M2 antennas and couldnt be happier. I tried the Gulf Alpha Dual bander but didnt have very good luck with it. I was lucky to find a G5400 AZ/EL Rotor new in the box for $400 a couple years ago. I purchased a computer interface from German EZ Rotor Control, pretty much plug and play after adding the plug to connect up with the rotor control box. Of course SatPC is the only thing that works well, the Satellite module in HRD is horrible. I also added mast mounted AR2 preamps I can work the Sat's from about 3 degree's on up.

So I couldnt leave well enough alone and sold the FT-847 and picked up a TS-2000 with out doing any research. Well the TS-2000 has a big issue with the UHF FM Satellites, there is a birdie that renders it useless. I did find a work around with a down converter but it just pissed me off that Kenwood would keep selling this as a Sat radio with the problem.

Down the road went the TS-2000 and I sold my Flex 5000 as well to purchase a IC-9100 and could not be happier with the purchase. Not only is it a Great Sat radio, its awesome on HF and with the optional DStar module it is a true do everything Radio. You can also add 1.2 but I haven't as of yet.

I love my set up and work mostly SSB Birds now as the only remaining FM bird gets a bit crowded with people not working full duplex.

My 2 cents

73

Craig
W1MSG
Logged
W5PFG
Member

Posts: 70




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 01:13:04 PM »

My 2 cents

73

Craig
W1MSG

Craig, if an Icom IC-9100 was only 2 cents, I'd buy one for the car :-)

Nice to work you on SO-50 today.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!