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Author Topic: SAT?  (Read 21518 times)
N5TEN
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #30 on: September 10, 2012, 02:11:15 PM »

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.

Okay, I'll try lower power. I had no idea. LSB
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N5TEN
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« Reply #31 on: September 10, 2012, 07:30:09 PM »

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!

Looks like SAT32 is $45 bucks off AMSAT. Not sure where to get the free version. Ideas?
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KB1PVH
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« Reply #32 on: September 10, 2012, 07:37:36 PM »

Download it from here   http://www.dk1tb.de/downloadeng.htm

Dave-KB1PVH
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N5TEN
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« Reply #33 on: September 10, 2012, 08:11:23 PM »

Download it from here   http://www.dk1tb.de/downloadeng.htm

Dave-KB1PVH

Okay. I downloaded it. Will let you know
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 08:19:42 PM by N5TEN » Logged
KQ6EA
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« Reply #34 on: September 10, 2012, 09:36:40 PM »

Grab the manual for it, too. It covers a lot of information that you'd otherwise rip your hair out trying to figure out.

I've been using SatPC32 since it first came out with my '847, and a couple of years ago I finally got a rotor interface box. My son "gripes" he doesn't have much to do at Field Day anymore, so I let him do the logging now.

My setup uses a Keyspan 4-port USB-to-serial converter, with one port to the radio, one port to the rotor interface, and a third port for a Motorola GPS clock so my laptop time is always one microsecond or better relative to UTC.

That's another thing people tend to overlook when first using a tracking program....the time the PC is set to. If you're even a few seconds off, you can miss a big part of the pass.
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N5TEN
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« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2012, 09:51:09 PM »

I have the SteppIR cable coming for radio control of the antenna, so unless I can figure out a tee or split for that CAT port, I won't be using that part of it. I am already pulling my hair out. ha ha
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KQ6EA
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« Reply #36 on: September 10, 2012, 09:59:03 PM »

SteppIR antennas are for HF. Are you planning on using your PC to control your rig on HF, too? You can always add a serial port card if you need more serial ports, or are you running a laptop?
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N5TEN
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« Reply #37 on: September 10, 2012, 10:36:40 PM »

SteppIR antennas are for HF. Are you planning on using your PC to control your rig on HF, too? You can always add a serial port card if you need more serial ports, or are you running a laptop?

"SteppIR antennas are for HF".. that came out all wrong. LOL.

So...I'm only going to control my SteppIR antenna controller with my computer (band changes). My computer is a laptop PC with XP. I have a new Win7 desktop but probably not going to use it much for ham stuff....more of a work computer and other-stuff computer.  Maybe though.

What are we talking about here? Connect to the CAT port and software control?  It sounds cool and all, but I'd rather do it manual, like my 1966 "cootie". Some of this stuff has to be clutched you know. Smiley  (laptop)
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KQ6EA
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« Reply #38 on: September 11, 2012, 06:05:08 AM »

I wasn't sure why you mentioned the SteppIR the way you did, but I guess I understand now.

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.

I tend to get kinda all crossed-up....... Grin

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N5TEN
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #39 on: September 11, 2012, 07:05:19 AM »

I wasn't sure why you mentioned the SteppIR the way you did, but I guess I understand now.

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.

I tend to get kinda all crossed-up....... Grin



Good points.... I guess it's more of a question of resources with the purchase of that SteppIR. The SAT station upgrades and all that will have to wait a while. Smiley

What is your take on eggbeaters? I wouldn't have to rotate those...takes one more thing out of the process.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 07:07:10 AM by N5TEN » Logged
KQ6EA
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« Reply #40 on: September 11, 2012, 07:30:38 AM »

WELL......I had a pair of M2 eggbeaters I used when I first got started. Like a lot of beginners, I felt I didn't have the room, and couldn't afford the complexity, of steerable antennas.

They work....kind of. You WILL need preamps, at least on the 70cm side, to get the best use out of them. At our Field Day site I set them up on 15' of mast, with SSB preamps on both antennas, and made a few contacts.

I was not impressed, but others have used them with reportedly good results. It's critical to have them in the clear, and if you can't use preamps with them, then run the absolute best quality feedline you can get your hands on, and keep the run short.

Like I said, they work, and are better than nothing, although some people may disagree with me.

I recently sold the 70cm one, and the 2M one is still hanging in the garage, with very little use.

These are just my observations from using 'name brand' eggbeaters, mounted high and in-the-clear, with excellent preamps, and short (20' runs) of good quality coax.

The first time I tried using my "terrestrial" VHF/UHF antennas (which I still use, but on an Az/El rotor) on a pass where I was confident the bird would be in the antenna pattern, I was blown away.

If you have a gain antenna, by all means use it, you'll be stunned at the difference.
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N5TEN
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« Reply #41 on: September 11, 2012, 11:04:08 AM »

Gotcha.
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N5TEN
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« Reply #42 on: September 12, 2012, 08:55:24 AM »

Frustrating!!!!  I cannot get into this satellite. I hear people, but I can't get into it!!  I think my tracking and frequency pairs must be messed up. I don't know. I'm about to throw this radio across the room.
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KQ6EA
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« Reply #43 on: September 12, 2012, 11:15:43 AM »

OK, take a deep breath, calm down, and approach it methodically.

WHICH bird are you trying to use?

FM or Linear? The approaches are a bit different.
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N5TEN
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« Reply #44 on: September 12, 2012, 01:06:06 PM »

OK, take a deep breath, calm down, and approach it methodically.

WHICH bird are you trying to use?

FM or Linear? The approaches are a bit different.

HAMSAT. USB downlink, LSB Uplink.

Let me first get the tracking of those pairs right. My radio will track as I VFO. It's the same radio you have. What frequencies should I enter directly into each vfo before I push track?
I hear everyone great, but I cannot hear myself at all with sometimes hearing myself way off frequency or messed up. I turned the wattage down, but so far I have had no luck even hearing myself now. Maddening!  I gave up on SATPc32 and paid for NOVA since it's the one I've been using. It's giving me all sorts of trouble with access and doesn't automatically track my SAT's frequency pairs.

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