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newB needs some sat help

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by N2JFD, Sep 2, 2010.

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  1. N2JFD

    N2JFD Ham Member QRZ Page

    ok, i am new to sats, i have made 2 contacts on AO-27 but thats all i can hear for some reason and latley not even that. i have not been able to hear so-50 (nor find an operating schedule for it) and AO-51. i am using a kenwood th-f6 into an arrow antenna with a duplexer (came with arrow antenna) the antenna is built correctly (hence my 2 AO-27 contacts) but i am also not able to hear the ISS (and i have confirmation from a station not to far from me that they were on) i know the list of problems can be long so let me start disqualifing some. i am using 2 different tracking programs so both say the pass is at the specified time. i have confirmed north and i am aiming in the correct direction. i am trying to do this from the 3rd floor of my firehouse. there is some metal furniture and siding around (not sure if this is going to affect it) also there is a radio tower (for the FD) less that 1/2 mile away. i am able to connect to local repeaters on both 2 meters and 440. so i think the duplexer is working. let me also say i made both AO-27 contacts from a different location (my home) and that is over 70 miles away. can my location really be stopping me from receiving any signals at all? any and all help would be appreciated.

    jim N2JFD
  2. N9SOX

    N9SOX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Jim-

    Make sure you keep your squelch wide open when listening for the Birds. If you have your squelch turned up it's not likely your going to receive anything as the downlink from the Bird is not likely to break the squelch if you have it turned up. I'm not familiar with your Radio so I cannot provide much help there.

    This may be one reason. I'm sure others will chime in with tips and ideas.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2010
  3. KD8KSN

    KD8KSN Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is an interesting issue(s).... Are you compensating for doppler? (start 10kHz below the downlink frequency at AOS, tuning in increments of 5kHz until LOS when you should be 10kHz below the downlink frequency.) Until the issue is resolved, I would also go outside to do the passes. I know this is an odd question, but do you have the locations correct on you sat prediction sofware (you said you operate from 2 different locations, so could your home QTH location and the FD location have been mixed?)? I would also go back and make sure your frequencies are correct - I always like to double check my frequencies when I put them into the radio. Lastly, have you heard anything??? Any brief moment where you could hear someone, maybe a packet burst on some of the sats? I am thinking that your location (inside the buliding) might be your problem. I would assume that it is a brick building - what type of roof does it have?

    I apologize for my unorganized thought above - they are truly "thoughts". Another thing - SO50 does not transmit a constant carrier like AO27 and AO51, so you may not here it even though it is in range (unless there are others on, which is generally the case). SO50 does have a 10 minute timer, and then it will shut down. To arm the timer, transmit on 145.850 with a CTCSS of 74.4Hz for about 2 seconds.

    Please post how your upcoming passes go, and if you hear anything.
  4. WA2ACV

    WA2ACV XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    DID YOU MEAN........start 10kHz UP on the downlink frequency at AOS???

  5. N2JFD

    N2JFD Ham Member QRZ Page

    i am happy to say, that my frequencies and my home location are both correct. i am also not doing it from inside the building, thats one of my quandries, i am 3 stories up. on an outside balcony. with a great view of the sky. but the entire balcony is metal, if anything i would think it would be a good reflector. but who know, maybe its acting like a ferreter cage.
  6. AA0CW

    AA0CW Ham Member QRZ Page

  7. VE5CTM

    VE5CTM QRZ Member QRZ Page

    Hi mike try this link out. Clint has done a real nice job in putting toughter this nice web site. On the right side you see a link for Click here for the four-page .pdf tutorial that will get you working FM birds

    very nice how to

    hopes this helps ya

    one outher thing the iss down link to packet is 145825 fm you should be abull to hear the packet without any problems. The iss is alot closer to earth then the outher LEo birds and it be a good starting point

  8. VE5CTM

    VE5CTM QRZ Member QRZ Page

    i am leaning towords your location to the firehall you are at is set wrong in your sat tracking soaftwear can you confrim were you are with a gps and use the gps info to update your tracking soaftwear
  9. KD8KSN

    KD8KSN Ham Member QRZ Page

    My bad - I knew I shouldn't have been up typing that late. *Correction* start 10kHz ABOVE the downlink frequency..... Thanks Mike
  10. KD8KSN

    KD8KSN Ham Member QRZ Page

    The balcony should not hurt you to the point of you can't hear anything. That is odd..... Is there any way you can give me the street address of the FD? Also, where are you getting your predictions from?
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2010
  11. KB1PVH

    KB1PVH XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  12. KD8KSN

    KD8KSN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank Dave!
  13. KD8KSN

    KD8KSN Ham Member QRZ Page

    James -

    Here are the next 20 AO51 passes for the FD QTH (approx. 40* 43' 34.85" N; 73* 56" 24.36" W). Please compare these predictions to your predictions and tell me if there is a difference. Attached below...
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2010
  14. AI3V

    AI3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is there something that looks like this in the neighborhood?


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