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I've had a lot of trouble with S band.  I'm using a K5GNA converter with
dipole reflector and either an FT817 or HT.  I've also tried a patch
antenna and a helix.  The results are always the same:  very strong signals
(and a few QSOs), but usually in very short fragments.  A syllable or two
or three and then nothing, with the signal having disappeared into the
noise.  Doppler is not the problem in this case.  I've tried an in-line
attenuator with no better results.

What am I doing wrong?

Tnx and 73,
Tony, N2UN
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