Could someone tell me what the "top 10" SSB/CW (non-FM only) birds are that
are operational and most popular these days?
Sorry, but it doesn't get to 10.... there are only four operational.
FO-29 - JAS 2
Uplink: 145.900 – 146.000 MHz
Downlink: 435.800 – 435.900 MHz (inverted)
Beacon: 435.795 MHz 12WPM with CW message
AO-7 - OSCAR 7 Mode B
Uplink: 432.125 - 432.175 MHz
Downlink: 145.975 - 145.925 MHz (inverted)
Beacon: 145.972 MHz
VO-52 - HAMSAT
Uplink: 435.225 to 435.275 MHz LSB/CW
Downlink: 145.875 to 145.925 MHz USB/CW (inverted)
Beacon: 145.860 MHz 12WPM with CW message
AO-73 - Funcube-1
Uplink: 435.160 - 435.140 MHz LSB/CW
Downlink: 145.950 - 145.970 MHz USB/CW (inverted)
Beacon: 145.935 MHz
transponder active when in eclipse
My recommendation would be to spend less on the beams and more on feedline and preamps. Those are circular polarized antennas... without wiring up relays to switch directions, you are better off just having a single polarity. It's my understanding from ops that DO have switching CP that you won't know from one pass to the next whether the bird will be RHCP or LHCP relative to your location. http://sv1bsx.50webs.com/antenna-pol/polarization.html
I am about to put up a couple of used Cushcraft beams and I consider it a bit of overkill myself; an A430-11S and an A144-10S. I plan to mount one vertical and the other horizontal to help with desense separation. I was originally working AO-7, FO-29 and VU-52 with a couple homebrew antennas tilted about 20 degrees on a TV rotor; 7 elements on UHF and a 2m 'IO' antenna... and NO preamps. The extra gain of the Cushcraft antennas will be nice for low horizon passes, but I will definitely need the AZ-EL rotor with that much gain... and with the preamps, I should be able to hear about anything.
I would recommend Davis Buryflex 9913F or maybe LMR-400 for feedline... However at 50 feet, if you have preamps, RG-213 would be just fine. I plan to mimic the preamp installation of KB5WIA... I got one of those cases cheap from MCM Electronics and picked up some used ARR preamps like he has. (25 watt transmit limit, but that is PLENTY! In fact, it's probably TOO much.) I also got a couple of MFJ diplexers to add to each feedline before the preamp to filter out the other band. But if you do add preamps, go with Davis Buryflex between the antennas and preamps... that is where you will lose receive signal.
Good luck with the frankenrotor... that looks pretty cool! I was lucky enough to find a used 5400B... I just hope it doesn't have any problems. Feel free to e-mail me for any details like the case, homebrew antenna plans, etc.
"Control is the need of the fearful mind. Trust is the need of the courageous heart."
The past 7 days there has been a noticeable increase in activity on
most satellite passes over North America due in part to a grid
expedition by AC0RA. Wyatt posted his expedition here on the BB a few
weeks ago. Over the course of this past week I understand he has made
hundreds of contacts.
Some of the grids Wyatt visited have not been activated on the birds
in several years. This was evident by the number of people who are
leading the ARRL VUCC Satellite standings needing those grids.
Fortunately Wyatt put forth an effort that accomodated many working
peoples' schedules and whether or not people who needed that grid were
in the footprints he worked.
One thing that can be done to encourage such activity is by mentoring
new stations. I cringe at the "anti-handheld in the backyard
mentality" because those operators are our future. Some of them may
take on roles in AMSAT engineering, some may focus on operations (grid
trips,) and more importantly some may desire to educate the next
generation about satellite and space communications.
Last night I worked a station who told me I was one of his first
contacts. We've exchanged a few emails and now he's looking to
operate from a rare, neighboring grid square situated a mere 5 miles
from his home.
It's been a fun week for many of us chasing these seldom-heard grids.
If you have the equipment to operate outside the confines of your
shack, I would encourage you to do so. Not only is it an opportunity
to refresh your basic skills, it attracts others to do so, and gives a
chance for you to activate grid squares absent of any regular
My dad sent me this screenshot with the request to forward it. He caught a
recent FUNCube-1 pass and our friends over at AMSAT-UK have a nice message
regarding Tony Monteiro in the Fitter message.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: *John Salmi* <kb1mgi55(a)gmail.com>
Date: Friday, March 28, 2014
Subject: AmSat Tony AA2TX FunCube
To: Brent Salmi <kb1lqd(a)gmail.com>, Bryce <bstguitarist(a)gmail.com>
Can you sent this attached file from FunCube to the folks at Amsat ?
They may like seeing it.