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Author Topic: SAT?  (Read 20411 times)
N5TEN
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2012, 08:21:23 AM »

I did try to make contact through it a few times with no luck. Nothing but quiet dead air out there. I'll try again today. When I do, I'll report the time and direction of my beams.

73
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N5TEN
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« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2012, 09:25:12 AM »

I heard people talking on 145.901 USB today at 0915hrs pacific time with my beams pointed due west. I had to follow their doppler and use my rotor to keep them. I'm trying to figure out what sat that is and how to track it. I never got call signs or locations, as it faded on me pretty fast.
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KQ6EA
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« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2012, 09:37:15 PM »

Just curious, but are you using a tracking program at all?
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N5TEN
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« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2012, 07:32:51 AM »

Just curious, but are you using a tracking program at all?

Nova, which just expired. And I use the AMSAT trackers. But I hadn't set up any of my sats or tracked them yet. I'm busy and haven't had time to get all this programmed in and figured out yet. Yesterday, I did a bunch of tracking and programming for when it comes around overhead this morning. By the time I figured it out yesterday, the sat was too far out on the next pass.
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KB1PVH
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« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2012, 10:05:13 PM »

I heard people talking on 145.901 USB today at 0915hrs pacific time with my beams pointed due west. I had to follow their doppler and use my rotor to keep them. I'm trying to figure out what sat that is and how to track it. I never got call signs or locations, as it faded on me pretty fast.

145.901 USB would be in VO-52's passband.

Dave-KB1PVH
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K7WDO
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Posts: 20




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« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2012, 10:38:09 PM »

Were you trying again today?  I think I heard N5TEN on VO-52 this morning (about 9:40AM PST, 9 Sept).
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N5TEN
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2012, 10:45:56 PM »

Were you trying again today?  I think I heard N5TEN on VO-52 this morning (about 9:40AM PST, 9 Sept).

Yes, I tried very hard but could not get in very well. You guys heard me and then I was way off frequency and after a few seconds that was it...no ability to get into the sat.

I think I need some help with getting into it better. I'm in need of a better 70cm yagi and maybe a cross boom so I can angle them better. I have no trouble hearing the 2m side with my 10 element beam, but lots of trouble getting into it with my little 5 element 440 beam. I have a 10 element coming, but I think I'll need a real gain yagi for 432.

I hope I'm tracking the pair correctly with my 847.
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KQ6EA
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« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2012, 06:22:12 AM »

How much power are you running?
5 elements on 70cm should be more than enough even if you're running just a few Watts.
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N5TEN
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2012, 06:54:15 AM »

50 watts.  Five Zero. Should I be on the flat or vert side or does it matter because it's spinning?
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KQ6EA
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« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2012, 07:08:54 AM »

50 watts and 5 elements is way more than enough to get into the bird.
In fact, it's too much. I wouldn't run more than 10~15 Watts with 5 elements.
Polarization shouldn't matter. I run linear, and while I get *some* fades on *some* satellites, it's more than adequate.
How are your antennas set up? Are they on the same mast? What are you using to position them?
Sorry if you already told us, but I don't feel like digging through all the posts to find it.
;-)
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N5TEN
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2012, 07:14:03 AM »

50 watts and 5 elements is way more than enough to get into the bird.
In fact, it's too much. I wouldn't run more than 10~15 Watts with 5 elements.
Polarization shouldn't matter. I run linear, and while I get *some* fades on *some* satellites, it's more than adequate.
How are your antennas set up? Are they on the same mast? What are you using to position them?
Sorry if you already told us, but I don't feel like digging through all the posts to find it.
;-)

It's okay...  they are in a staked configuration. They are both horizontally polarized with the 2m beam on the top because it has vertical elements as well for another radio. The 70cm is below.
I think the match on the 70cm ant is off too. I need to check the swr for that part of the band.

Same mast, stacked on a rotor and no angle up.
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KQ6EA
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« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2012, 07:31:34 AM »

That's almost the same configuration I used when I got started. I was using (and still do!) an M2 2M7 on 2 Meters, and an M2 420-450-11 on 70cm. I had the 70cm antenna on top, azimuth only rotor, and was able to work all the satellites I could hear.

I had to chose my passes carefully due to no elevation control, but if the pass was 15* or lower, I could get into the satellite.

You should be OK with that set up as long as you pick your passes carefully.

What kind of feedline are you running? Are you using any preamps?

If you have a limited budget, ALWAYS spend your money to improve the receive side. Better coax, better preamp, etc will allow you to hear things you couldn't before.

On Field Day my son would run the rotor, while I fought with the Doppler. So much nicer to have full control now!
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N5TEN
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2012, 07:39:23 AM »

That's almost the same configuration I used when I got started. I was using (and still do!) an M2 2M7 on 2 Meters, and an M2 420-450-11 on 70cm. I had the 70cm antenna on top, azimuth only rotor, and was able to work all the satellites I could hear.

I had to chose my passes carefully due to no elevation control, but if the pass was 15* or lower, I could get into the satellite.

You should be OK with that set up as long as you pick your passes carefully.

What kind of feedline are you running? Are you using any preamps?

If you have a limited budget, ALWAYS spend your money to improve the receive side. Better coax, better preamp, etc will allow you to hear things you couldn't before.

On Field Day my son would run the rotor, while I fought with the Doppler. So much nicer to have full control now!

I'm not running any external preamps, just the one in the 847. I got into the satellite, but couldn't stay in it for more than a few calls and was way off frequency but by the time I adjusted, I couldn't get in anymore. I think there is an SWR issue in that antenna, so I will fix that and I bet I do way better. I found a 10 elem 70cm beam on sale and grabbed it. I'll replace the one on there now and use the other one on my tower for local FM repeaters or my house repeater.

My coax is all LMR400.
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KQ6EA
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« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2012, 08:10:41 AM »

The FM satellites are a lot more forgiving on the uplink as the receivers are kind of 'wide'.

If you 'lock' the transmit and receive together in your '847 it will eliminate turning two knobs to keep on frequency.

Since you said your copy of NOVA 'expired', I'd suggest getting SatPC32. The download is free, but you have to enter your station location and a few other things every time you start it.

License keys are available through AMSAT, and 100% of the proceeds goes to AMSAT as the author donated it to AMSAT.

SatPC32 will control your FT-847 *perfectly* using a null-modem cable to the rig, and will also control your rotor(s) if you have a rotor interface.

Sounds like you're making good progress!
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K7WDO
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Posts: 20




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« Reply #29 on: September 10, 2012, 09:19:58 AM »

If you were running 50W, that certainly explains the bad signal.  You were probably overloading the transponder and FM-ing.  Drop your power down to 5W and see if your signal quality improves.  And sorry to ask the obvious, but were you transmitting LSB or USB?

For reference, I'm using a M2 440-6SS 6-element yagi indoors for my uplink and it only takes about 7W for me to get in to VO-52.  As for orientation, I have the 2m antenna horizontal and the 70cm antenna vertical.
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