Sunday, August 14, 2011

HF Saturday, Satellite Sunday



The plumber didn't come by today, but he called and promised he'd be by Monday right after work. He had quite a shindig at his place Saturday night, so I kinda-sorta didn't expect him to show up.
Saturday I spent several hours playing radio with my Flex 5000, and today I set the satellite station up to have some fun "On The Birds". I'd been wanting to try my Kenwood TS-790 on the satellites, but it was areal pain to get going. Most Kenwood radio of the vintage require a TTL-to-Serial converter, the IF-232C, but I'd never hooked up the one I had until today. I actually started out using a nifty little cable I bought some time back that integrates the converter into the backshell of the connector. It didn't seem to work, so I got out the official Kenwood interface, which also didn't work at the beginning. Turns out the TS-790 will *only* communicate at 4800 Baud, and requires the CTS line to be held high. I finally got things squared away in SatPC32, my tracking program, and proceeded to make a contact on FO-29. The Doppler correction was really bad, with the radio jumping several kHz at a time, and I had several other cockpit errors to contend with. Since I wanted to use my radios today, and not spend several hours configuring stuff, I put the TS-790 back in the shack, and dragged out my good old Yaesu FT-847, which "Just Works".
It's taken me about 10 years to get this setup to where everything "Just Works", so maybe the next time I'll spend some time seeing if I can get the TS-790 to "Just Work".
Hope you all have a great (or at least passable) week this week.

3 comments:

  1. I have a buddy back East who's getting into the HAM license thing and I sent him your URL. He's all over the place with electronics (he is CEO of a electronics/software company/business) but the radio interest was sparked by recent near-disaster events in his town. He's has a base-station and some hand-helds for emergencies - also a gunny.

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  2. I'm in 'training' all week... for something I've been doing for 20 years... sigh

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  3. The Technician Class license is good for 30MHz and up, with 2 Meters being extremely popular for doing local comms on FM and Packet radio,
    The next step up is the General Class license, which gives you access to the shortwave bands, good for 100~500 mile comms, and world-wide comms if you need them.
    Some Hams specialize in doing the local emergency communications thing, and get involved with the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army has an excellent program called "SATERN", for Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network. http://www.satern.org/
    They're a good bunch of people, and one of the few organized charities I regularly contribute to.

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Keep it civil, please....