I have been following most of the recent post's on Sat usage and I gather the main topic was the lack of use on the linear bird's. I think working the FM sat's (or lack of) are always fun and always have been. I am dying to work AO-7 for sure and VO-52, FO-29 but gave up trying to do so without the right equipment. I tried several times with an FT-857 and presets, heard people many time's but could not keep up with tuning and punching button's. Frustration overcame my desire to even try, knowing mostly that without the proper rig's I was just not going to fulfill my aching for these wondrous long passes with more than just a grid exchange.
Which brings me to the point: Lack of money, you can get on the FM bird's with an Arrow and a Hand Held, I get a minute or so on my mobile! So what is the cheapest "proper" entry on the linear birds? Full duplex I found very nice on the FM sat's though I do not always have that luxury. An 857 run's what 8-900 buck's and I do not think even two of those would be very good?
Let's change the topic a bit and ask the elmer's how to help us younger and or newer guy's get on the Linear Satellite's instead of reminiscing what once was or the lack of use of these great bird's that still live!!!
On September 15-16 Dr Chris Bridges will be giving two presentations to the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ, United Kingdom.
Chris will cover the Nexus Android Smartphone amateur radio satellite STRaND-1 which will carry both a Resistojet and a Pulsed Plasma Thruster (PPT) module and STRaND-2 which will use Microsoft Xbox Kinect controller technology.
73 Trevor M5AKA
The Funcube Dongle postings veered off into a
discussion of the current state of affairs with
the satellites that are still working. After reading
about how the activity on the linear birds was down, I
had to wonder a bit. It has not been my experience.
I really expected the activity on the FM birds to diminish when AO-51
died. We only get 7 minutes of AO-27 and that doesn't make
up for the much longer passes on AO-51. SO-50 has never been
off the air since I started in 2006 but it is the most difficult
to hear throughout the pass. For that reason, activity on SO-50
was fairly low. If you can't hear it, you can't work it. But
to my surprise, SO-50 activity dramatically increased when AO-51
went silent. Those who work the FM birds became determined to
work through this satellite despite the difficulties in hearing it.
Of course, if you are not full duplex, you don't know when you are
hearing the bird and that sometimes results in those who call but
cannot hear the responses. They might assume that there is no activity
on the bird when in fact there are many stations trying to make qso's.
I started using the ssb birds in late November 2007. There wasn't much
activity on AO-7, FO-29 and VO-52 at that time. But over the last two
years, activity on the linear birds has steadily increased. Much of the
increase can be attributed to the newer people who started on the FM birds
and quickly decided to get involved with the linear birds. I think the
availability of satellite capable radios has really helped. If you have
a TS2000 you can be on a linear bird without much effort. They are easier
to hear than an FM bird. Some are using a pair of radios to achieve full
duplex with great success. And I highly recommend SatPC32 which I have used
now since 2006. It runs 24x7 on a Vista Quad machine and doesn't crash. The
recordings on my website were made possible using the auto multi-satellite
tracking feature of this program. Recordings are made without any outside
One of the things that powers DX on the HF bands are dxpeditions. Groups
spend large amounts of money to travel to destinations all over the world
so that others can put that country in the worked/confirmed column. With
satellites today it's the VUCC award that drives the activity. When someone
shows up from a rare grid, the birds are sometimes overwhelmed. ND9M has
worked from hundreds of USA grids and has also worked from his ship on the
linear birds. UT1FG/mm has been very active over the past three
years and has created pileups on the ssb birds not unlike those on HF. To
say the activity is down on the linear birds in recent years is simply
incorrect. And more hams are operating satellites away from home than ever
before. You work with what you have and make the best of it, fm or linear.
The future of AMSAT and the satellite phase of our hobby is all about the
new people. When you hear someone new on the bird and it's a noisy signal
with an incomplete callsign, maybe without phonetics, call that station.
Giving out that first contact with a newbie far outweighs 100 contacts with
those that you have worked many times before. Sometimes the effort doesn't
result in a qso, but maybe there is a possibility to follow up with an
email or postcard with an offer of help. Just remember we all started out
at some point with no experience. Most everyone can remember their first
contact and how important it was in terms of encouraging future operating.
So if you're reading the AMSAT-bb and are discouraged by the fact that there
are no High Earth Orbit Satellites, don't be. Times change, technology
changes but we continue by using what we have to the max and working towards
improving our situation where we can. AMSAT works very hard to explore
every possibility for building and launching new satellites. It's a tremendous
effort that most of us don't realize is happening day after day. We all
need to support this effort. FOX I and II will be here before we know it.
These birds should give us some room for more qso's and new operators.
In the meantime, AO-7 continues to work at an altitude of 1450KM. FO-29 is
at 1200 or 1300 KM some of the time. These birds provide an opportunity to
work DX if you can see down to the horizon. If you can't, you can always
go to a location that is better and use your FT817 with an Arrow antenna
and work down to the horizon. There is nothing wrong with using an Arrow
or ELK antenna to work DX. WD9EWK has proven that point time after time.
A good ham radio operator is one that looks at a problem as a challenge
rather than a show stopper. Ham radio ingenuity over the years has been
amazing. So if you are having trouble and are frustrated, develop an
action plan to move forward. The resources available to us today are
unprecedented. And there are mentors out there that are willing to help.
Above all, stay positive and have some fun!
I'm changing cell phone carriers and I can choose either an Android phone
or an iPhone as my next smartphone.
I haven't decided which phone yet, but I'd like to know which
satellite-related apps other operators are using on both types of phones.
Are there any apps for satellites other than for tracking? (I'm interested
in tracking satellites too, of course).
So I'm looking for recommendations and ones to stay away from. Any
particular features to look for in these apps, or any bug-a-boos to avoid,
especially when installing an app?
Reply to my email, N4HF(a)AMSAT.ORG, or to the BB (since others might be
interested too), although I don't want to be "blamed" for starting one of
those threads that seems to run on forever. :-) If there are any websites
which discuss satellite (tracking) software apps specific to smartphones,
that would be great!
Thanks. Gracias. Merci. Danke. Efxaristo. Spasibo, Obrigado
90 % of the people posting here I have NEVER heard on ANY satellite, I
have contacted several about schedules and all I get is that the antenna
system is down, or their dog ate their microphone cable or they don't
have an angle on the satellite, but they sure got time to make postings
on the BB, the linear birds are alive and well, the FM birds are crowded
and I have never heard a Cube Sat.
With no HEO satellites I work all 50 States in 8 months on the birds
that are flying, I have worked 660 grid squares and have almost 600
confirmed in 12 months and 3 weeks.
Fix your antennas, repair your mikes and cut your trees and get on the
UT1FG works half duplex on the linear birds as a maritime mobile and
does a fantastic job, on his last voyage on the open ocean I personally
worked him in 170 NEW grid squares, There is plenty of activity. Pick a
bird, Pick a mode, Pick a satellite or pick you nose, but at least pick
up a microphone and get on the satellites they are still up there!
AO27 is flying!!! BYE!
The answer is yes, TDMA voice can and has been used on commercial satellites; LEO,MEO and GEO for years. Commercial GEO satellites, for the most part, are just high powered frequency translators. All the TDMA part is generated on the ground. The complication is that all users will have a different path length and therefore a different transit time to the satellite. Compensating for this different path length is usually done by adding a timing offset to each user. For GEO satellites this is fairly simple. For orbiting satellites it must be done dynamically. It is also quite common to see VoIP transported inside TDMA frames since most current commercial TDMA modems have native Ethernet/IP interfaces.
If amateur satellite is going to make the most of digital technology, I think we will see a trend away from boxes added to analog radios and see a movement toward the method used commercially, which is have all the data handling and modulation done at a low IF frequency that feeds the appropriate up and down converters. There are many bright and talented hams doing amazing work in DSP. I would not be surprised to see a cubesat using this technology supporting numerous QSO's on a single frequency sometime in the not so distant future.
>say the activity is down on the linear birds in recent years is simply
>incorrect. And more hams are operating satellites away from home than ever
Since my Board of Directors report from sometime ago was used as evidence, let me state that activity on the linear transponders -is- up from when I wrote that at least a year (or more?) ago. It's not uncommon to hear 4-5 qsos going at once now. That hasn't always been the case in years past.
73, Drew KO4MA