Thanks Bob and thanks to everyone else who has answered my query as well. Actually I plan on keeping my homebrew AZ/EL tracking system that I run with SatPC-32. I have a homebrew 4 element vertically polarized yagi on the two meter side of it. I could build one larger if necessary. I've never used AGWPE, I just got as far as downloading it. I also downloaded and registered UIview awhile back. I've built soundcard radio interfaces before as well. Guess I'll start snooping around my junk box and see what I can maybe cobble up. 73, Michael, W4HIJ Robert Bruninga wrote:
I'd be leaving the satellite game... but then it occured to me that maybe I could do something with 2 meter FM. I have a Kenwood TM-241 mobile rig and a Ft11R handheld. Isn't APRS done on just the two meter band?
Yes, there are two APRS satellites on orbit with 1200 baud AX.25 packet on 2 meters FM. You only need one radio since it TX's and RX's on 145.825. But they are kinda weak and do need a beam to hear them on most of their 6 passes a day. Right at the middle of one pass a day, you might decode them on an omni as long as you have a short cable and virtually no cable loss. You can see their activity and user packets on http://pcsat.aprs.org
And you can send packets to them and they will SPEAK by voice using a text-to-speech synthesizer.
RAFT has the easier to use, always-on speech system, but only hears users in the dark. Fortunately over the next several weeks we are entering a period of evening passes, so RAFT should get back to better use.
ANDE works any time day or night, but needs to be woken up. It only wakes to listen for activity 1 sec out of every 16, so someone has to hit it with a packet at the right time to wake it u p. Once awakened, it will stay awake until 1 minute after the last packet heard. For details, see the ANDE RAFT operations page: http://eng.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/ande-raft-ops.html
And for operations details see: http://eng.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/ande/ANDEcontract.txt
And of course, even with out the voice, y ou can make QSO's with other users by sending and receiving digipeated packets with others. The VIA path for these satellites is VIA ARISS, the same as the ISS uses so that people do not need to change their paths for the different satellites.
Bob, WB4APR US Naval Academy Satellite Lab