Where's AO-92???

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by K6LCS, May 28, 2018.

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  1. W5SAT

    W5SAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks to Craig, N6RSX, I was able to make my first L/V contact on Ao-92. We had the whole pass to ourselves. That was what I would call a successful test of the new Wimo 10 turn helical antenna mounted on the same boom as the M2 LEO pack.
    K4BAD, K3RLD, WD9EWK and 1 other person like this.
  2. KA2CZU

    KA2CZU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Haven't tried AO-92 L/V yet, but have been playing around with the DJ-G7T to get familiar.

    One thing I can say: it is a lot easier to configure than the TH-D72A ... very intuitive for the simple settings: band, main/sub, squelch, volume, tone...
    one bad thing while listening to an AO-91 pass today: lack of front end filtering (not sure). Heard a weather channel coming in loud during several parts of the pass, then changing
    antenna orientation, I'd go back to hearing only the Satellite.

    Good thing I'll only be using this for Transmit :D
    WD9EWK likes this.
  3. KA2CZU

    KA2CZU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    which, apparently, he has, for no apparent reason on my part that I can discern!
  4. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    For the past 3 weekends, AMSAT has now tweeted the mode-change announcements from the @AMSAT Twitter account, and not just by retweeting announcements made by the command station operators. This has been one of my criticisms of how AMSAT has used its Twitter account, and - after a discussion with a couple of AMSAT senior officers during the Dayton Hamvention - AMSAT finally acknowledged this complaint I have had, and took steps to change how the announcements are made.
    WE4B and KA2CZU like this.
  5. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    The DJ-G7T is a nice little tri-band HT, the only one currently in production that covers the 1.2 GHz band. Its receiver is a weak point; susceptible to intermod on at least the 2m and 70cm bands. For satellite work, 1.2 GHz is used only for uplinks, and I only have one analog 1.2 GHz repeater reachable in my area. The 1.2 GHz repeater is up and down all the time, and not very busy given its location and the band it uses. As far as I can tell, Alinco hasn't made any moves to stop its production, even though it has been on the market for 10 years.

    As I wrote earlier in this thread, I have worked AO-92 L/V using only the DJ-G7T, along with a Diamond MX-37 diplexer to connect the 10-element Yagi and Elk log periodic I use for the L/V passes. The DJ-G7T did OK for that, as I saw no desense or other interference when transmitting, and the 145.880 MHz downlink didn't run into any interference. I still prefer to use a second radio to receive the 2m downlink when working AO-92 L/V, but at least I found that I could use the DJ-G7T to work L/V FM satellites full-duplex. It can work with U/V satellites like AO-91 and AO-92, as long as you don't get interference or intermod from other nearby radios or radio systems.

    Good luck, and 73!
    KA2CZU likes this.
  6. K6LCS

    K6LCS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Wow ... took about a year ... Why the “crisis mode” when the information was so easily available?
  7. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not "crisis mode", but a simple concept...

    AMSAT wants to use Twitter to make the mode-change announcements. Not all AMSAT members (and maybe) others never saw a thing, when AMSAT simply retweeted the announcements from one of the command stations.

    Yes, it took a long time for that to be properly addressed. It finally was. For the past 3 weekends AMSAT has made the announcements from its Twitter account, instead of retweeting something from a command station.
  8. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page


    Did anyone work AO-92 L/V during Field Day and make Field Day QSOs? AMSAT put AO-92 into L/V mode on the evening before the start of Field Day (Friday, 21 June), so it could revert to the normal U/V mode for the last part of the event. I had one chance during Field Day for working AO-92 in L/V mode, a pass around 1900 UTC on Saturday (22 June). I had one other AO-92 L/V pass Saturday morning; it came by before the 1800 UTC start of Field Day, and I was not set up in time to try that pass.

    I was next to a small lake near Williams AZ in DM35 for Field Day, and set up to work AO-92 next to the lake away from the trees. Using my normal two-radio, two-antenna setup for AO-92 L/V, I heard Chris VE7CEW initially. I was not able to get through and work him in time. I then worked Brad W5SAT in Las Vegas and Tom N6NUG in San Diego, but neither of them answered me with a Field Day exchange. Finally, late in the pass, Ryan AI6DO in Los Angeles was there and ready to make a Field Day exchange with me. Thanks, Ryan! I posted my audio recording from that AO-92 L/V pass recorded by my Kenwood TH-D74 in my http://dropbox.wd9ewk.net/ Dropbox space.

    AI6DO likes this.
  9. AI6DO

    AI6DO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Why, yes, I did. Thanks for my first QSO of the day!

    In the past, I've used an Elk antenna with a 23cm 10-element Yagi from China attached to work L/v mode. It worked, but was rather heavy and a bit unwieldy. I then drilled holes in the 23cm Yagi to accommodate the driven and reflector elements from an Arrow antenna. That was much lighter and easier to handle; it was like switching from a claymore to a saber. Unfortunately, that came at the price of reduced receive gain, and I had difficulty using it on lower-elevation passes. It worked fine on higher-elevation passes, so it was a decent compromise at the time. I then found that strapping the DJ-G7T HT to the handle of the antenna, with the antenna connector pointed in the opposite direction of the Yagi, made it easier for me to twist the VFO knob (which is located too close to the antenna connector) with my free hand.

    After a few months' hiatus from L/v mode work, I decided to get back into it, but wanted to try something different. Besides, I had installed my Elk in my attic on a rotator, so I was forced to try something different... I took the 23cm Yagi and strapped it to a standard Arrow, sans 70cm elements. The gain improvement from the extra 2m element was noticeable, but it was still a little heavy.

    When I learned that the AO-92 L/v mode change schedule was going to be changed for this Field Day weekend, I decided to try something different, to avoid perturbing my main Arrow antenna, which I was planning to use for 20 or more passes that day. I figured I'd try to "dual wield" two separate antennas. This would reduce the weight that I had to hold up for the entire pass (to receive the downlink).

    I also found that if I strapped the DJ-G7T to the handle of the 23cm Yagi in the other direction (with the antenna connector in the same direction as the Yagi), I could easily twist the VFO knob with my left thumb and forefinger, and easily press the PTT switch with my left thumb. This photo shows what it looks like. I used two Velcro OneWrap straps to attach the radio, between the PTT switch and the on/off button.

    So that's the configuration I used on Saturday for that ~20 deg western pass, which I think is the lowest L/v mode pass I've ever successfully worked. I normally leave my writing hand free to log in real time during a pass, but as this was an FM satellite on Field Day, I wasn't expecting to be running a pileup. I figured--if I was lucky--I'd make a QSO with one of only about a dozen or so stations west coast stations that are active on L/v, none of whom I'd have difficulty remembering. Thanks for the many contacts on Saturday, Patrick!

    73, Ryan AI6DO
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  10. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Our AO-92 L/V QSO was my second Field Day QSO, having made a contact on the SO-50 pass about an hour earlier. Again, I appreciate you being there with a Field Day exchange. Otherwise, I don't think there would have been any Field Day QSOs on that pass - at least the portion I heard.

    Nice! I haven't tried that sort of configuration, but might do so in the near future. That would get me closer to what I had with the small 5-element Yagi I started with for AO-92 L/V, but with more gain. Thanks for posting the picture!

    That pass had a maximum elevation of 11 degrees for DM35. I was beaming across the lake next to my Field Day station, instead of through trees and into hills that would have been in other directions. I had more trees around me at the spot I used last year, about 15 miles east of this year's spot between Flagstaff and Williams. Hills to my north probably contributed to not working VE7CEW early in that pass, but AO-92 was up enough later for me to get through with few issues (i.e., more time to focus on uplink tuning).

    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
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