There was a nice turnout on the 0147 UTC LilacSat-2 pass over the US west coast. Stations up and down the coast, and as far east as west Texas, were on. Unlike with the first QSO I made on this satellite last week, when it was raining very hard on my operating position in the yard, I was able to have a nice and calm evening.
I used my Icom IC-2820H 2m/70cm FM mobile radio for my uplink transmitter, and an SDR setup for the downlink receiver - SDRplay SDR receiver, 8-inch Windows 10 tablet with HDSDR software - to operate full-duplex. I connected both of these through a diplexer to my Elk log periodic. I used HDSDR to make an RF recording of both downlinks - the FM repeater downlink around 437.200 MHz, and the digital telemetry downlink around 437.225 MHz. I think I had a better copy on the 437.225 MHz downlink tonight than over the weekend, and logged 6 contacts on the FM repeater.
Last week, when I worked Glenn AA5PK, I was not able to get through with anything less than 50W transmit power. Tonight was not as bad, but I found that I couldn't get away with 5W for more than a few transmissions. The mid-power setting from my IC-2820H, 15W, worked better. High power (50W) worked well, too. None of these power levels desensed my SDRplay receiver. Maybe if the satellite was higher in the sky, and closer to passing over my head, I might have had better luck using the 5W power level. I saw a mixed reaction on Twitter - one reported needing to run 50W, and someone else said 5W was sufficient.
Rather than posting the long and nasty URLs used by Dropbox for its public folders, I made a shorter URL that can take you to the recordings and other files I have been posting in my public Dropbox space:
For tonight's LilacSat-2 pass, look for the folder with the name "20150929-LilacSat2". If you have an SDR program on your computer or device, and have the bandwidth to download the RF recording, download the WAV file with the name starting with "HDSDR_20150929" in that folder. I also have an MP3 recording with the audio I heard during the pass, plus photos of my back yard setup and a screengrab from my phone's tracking app to show how the pass was for me in central Arizona.
Late last week, I made a one-page graphic with a quick-reference guide for the LilacSat-2 FM repeater. I now have this graphic at its own URL:
Please feel free to right-click on the graphic and save it to your computer/tablet/device.
This pass was the 3rd consecutive pass where LilacSat-2's FM repeater was operational over the continental USA. It was nice to see the reports from the two earlier passes, and then to work it for myself on the third pass. Thanks to the LilacSat-2 team for another FM satellite for us!
Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK http://www.wd9ewk.net/ Twitter: @WD9EWK