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Author Topic: Portable SAT OPs - ARROW/Wouxon/iTouch  (Read 3006 times)
N6JSX
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Posts: 217




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« on: October 28, 2012, 07:00:30 AM »

In using the Arrow WBP portable antenna, I found I just do not have enough hands for portable SAT OPs.  Roll Eyes  I created a poor-mans-rotor system using a 4' ladder w/PVC.  Grin (Can be seen in the HAM-SATs Group PHOTO area.)

That was good for azimuth bearings but what about elevation angle? For this I modified the ARROW by slipping off the foam grip and over-drilled the existing hole and added another to accommodate 14"x20 'U' mast clamp. (remove the duplexer from the antenna before drilling) I drilled into the WBP the same hole pattern in both axis - allowing me to put the antenna in any configuration desired (I usually put 2m horizontal so I can lower the ARROW closer to the ladder top). I had a Roof Mount bracket collecting dust, this bracket has a unique 0-90degree capability to become a poor-mans elevation rotor, I adopted it for this function....

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RCA-Antenna-Roof-Mount-Bracket-/221030400882?pt=US_Anten\nas_Dishes&hash=item3376704372

Now I can end mount my WBP to the PVC (azimuth rotor) and easily tilt-n-hold the WBP at any elevation desired. See PHOTO area.
Notice the ample use of 1/4"-20 wing nuts!

I'm still looking for a easy to read protractor to rig an attached poor-mans inclinometer plumb-bob to measure elevation angles. Yes, I could mount my iPod but sun screen glare and sunglasses do not mix (plus I use the Touch for my tracking program APP). I just found a nice
'Angel Slope Level Meter Finder Tool Gradient Balancer for Car Vehicle Inclinometer' 5deg increments on eBay for $8 that will work well and its all plastic to minimize near field RFI for direct ARROW boom attachment.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/190699958142?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

SAT Ops does not have to be expensive but you do need a few helpers to aid your successful OPs.  Cool

My poor-mans portable SAT station consists of:
....Wouxon KG-UV3 (a true SAT Friendly 5W HT)
....Arrow-II 146/437-10WBP w/4' ladder rotor system (above)
....iPpod-Touch using "HamSat" APP (or Acer1 NB with NOVA) for SAT Tracking
....Yamaha CM-500 headset w/boom mic
....Olympus VN-90 DVR (I record the pass w/my efforts - to log later)

What do you use?  Huh

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KG4RUL
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2012, 08:31:04 PM »

I use the hole in the boom to mount it to a heavy-duty camera tripod.  I tilt the tripod head to the maximum elevation for the pass the bring the antenna to horizontal.  Aim it at the azimuth for the AOS then lock the azimuth rotation.  Rotate the antenna boom on the elevation axis to sweep from the AOS azimuth through the LOS azimuth as the pass progresses.  I have used this setup with an Alinco 70CM HT (use an earbud to listen) for the downlink and an iCOM 2M HT for the uplink.
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KD6NFD
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2012, 02:15:44 PM »

I use a FT60 handheld, Arrow handheld and iPhone running free app "Satellite Tracker".  I also use the voice recorder app on the iPhone to record audio of the pass.   Just before the pass I start recording on the voice recorder app and then launch the sat app, the recorder continues to run in the background.

I used to have one of these mounted to the boom of the arrow-
http://www.ebay.com/itm/MAGNETIC-ANGLE-FINDER-FTA-ALL-SATELLITE-DISH-ADJUSTER-/380210840130

I found after operating a few weeks that I could guess the angle and then it was a matter of moving the Arrow around for the loudest signal - I didnt pay attention to the angle finder at all and removed it.

73 Craig KD6NFD
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WD9EWK
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Posts: 249


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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2012, 02:42:27 PM »

I use a FT60 handheld, Arrow handheld and iPhone running free app "Satellite Tracker".  I also use the voice recorder app on the iPhone to record audio of the pass.   Just before the pass I start recording on the voice recorder app and then launch the sat app, the recorder continues to run in the background.

This is a great setup.  I have the Satellite Tracker on an iPod Touch and an iPhone, along with the $$$ version of that app (Satellite Tracker Plus) on my iPod.  Great little apps.  The Plus version will even show you a world map with the footprint of the satellite you are interested in, although I just use the basic setup that both programs share when in the field - or my backyard.  With both apps on my iPod, I can generate predictions for two locations.  I usually keep my home QTH in the Plus app, and wherever I happen to be in the other app.  They store their data separately, so there is no conflict between these two apps on an iPod, iPhone, or iPad. Using the free Satellite Tracker app at hamfests or other demonstrations is a great way to show that a good tracking app can also be free.

As for recording audio, I use a separate Sony audio recorder for that.  Easier than trying to connect a patch cable from my radio's speaker jack to the iPod, without buying an adapter to split out the speaker and microphone connections from the single 4-conductor jack used on the Apple i-whatever devices.  The recorder stores audio in MP3s, and presents itself to computers just like a USB memory stick.  And no iTunes to deal with.  :-)

Quote from: KD6NFD
I found after operating a few weeks that I could guess the angle and then it was a matter of moving the Arrow around for the loudest signal - I didnt pay attention to the angle finder at all and removed it.

With practice, you will figure out the best angle to point the antenna.  Twisting it as well, to compensate for fading signals.  I will eventually put my antenna on a tripod, but would still like the ability to twist the boom as signals fade.

73!
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Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK
http://www.wd9ewk.net/
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