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Re: Newbie questions...

On Wed, 13 Mar 2002, Steve Olney wrote:

> thanks to those who replied to my questions.  If I got the information
> right, there are currently no sats which can be accessed by simple
> equipment (e.g., fixed turnstiles).

I'm not sure where you got that information, but it is not completely
true.  I copy all of the following satellites using only a simple 6" whip
(for UHF) and 19.5" whip (for VHF) over a groundplane on my roof:

 ISS   above about 3 deg   6 passes a day
 PCsat above about 10 deg  5 passes a day
 UO-14 above about 10 deg  5 passes a day
 AO-27 above about 15 deg  2 passes a day (daylight only)
 UO-22 above about 20 deg  4 passes a day
 NO-45 above about 30 deg  3 passes a day

That averages to almost one satellite per hour that anyone can hear.

> I guess it has gone the way of all such pursuits.  In the beginning it
> is simple and accessible to all, but the desire for a higher level of
> sophistication results in more complicated systems being required which
> the "old hands" take in their stride, but leaves the newcomer with a
> higher entry level hurdle to overcome.

More antennas, of course, helps.  But it is really very easy... If you put
a 3 element VHF and 5 or 6 element UHF array on a cheap $64 radio shack
rotator canted up about 10 degrees, then you will get 90% horizon to
horizon coverage of all of these birds.  You can even fully automate your
station by running APRStk (a DOS program) which will drive the rotator via
2 bits on the parallel port.

de WB4APR@amsat.org, Bob

PCsat WEB  page     http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/pcsat.html
ISS-APRS FAQ:       http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/iss-faq.html
Rotator Control     http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/rotator1.html
APRS SATELLITES     http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/astars.html

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