Back home to FN42. Today I took the eggbeater, preamp, and power supply
outside, along with my Kenwood F6A handheld. There was a pass that went
directly overhead. BLAM! I got a nice signal (albeit with deep fades)
essentially the entire time that the bird was above 10 degrees. (I think it
was from about 8 to about 11, but my Keps may have been a bit old). I tried
turning the preamp on and off during this time to see if it helped. Yep!
Cool! So now I know that
1) The preamp is really helpful on the horizons but by the time the bird is
high in the sky, it makes no difference at all.
2) The eggbeater is better than a rubber ducky, although doubtless not as
good as a beam.
3) I have a reasonable chance of reading a signal even on a fairly low pass
4) Most disappointing: It appears that I really can't receive well with the
antenna inside. I'm going to try again, but that is the biggest difference
I see between failure and success. Disappointing because I really wanted to
keep the antennas inside to avoid any number of aesthetic and safety
Next step: Try to get an SSTV picture out of what I recorded.
Why did I wait so long to start doing this stuff! I planned to be a ham for
something like 50 years, but never did till now!
On Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 9:13 PM, Burns Fisher <burns(a)fisher.cc> wrote:
I was visiting FN95 on my vacation; beautiful hilltop
with about nearly 360
degree visibility. I first caught a 30-degree elevation using my F6A with
stock rubber ducky. I had to twist it around a bit to find the right best
orientation (horizontal this time) but I got a nice signal the entire pass.
I hope I have recorded some SSTV that I can decode once I get back home.
That will be cool!
Next orbit (about 23:58Z Aug 29) it went directly overhead (or close).
This time I happened to hit the greeting in English, which was clearly
audible, although I did not get as much SSTV. I probably wasn't tweaking
the doppler enough or getting the orientation right.
Bonus: ISS came over 5 minutes later and I got to ooh and aaah our friends.
Now that I have a few things that work, I can eliminate some of my sources
of trouble at the home QTH, and hopefully get the signal back where I have
the decoding software etc set up!
Whoo-hoo! This is fun! And the telemetry sounds like the solar panels are
holding up well even if the battery did not!