Saturday, June 16, 2012

Satellite Station Up And Running

And it was remarkably painless!
I was a bit concerned about using my newer laptop with Windows 7 this year. The 4-port USB-to-Serial converter I'd been using for years did NOT have Win7 drivers, so it forced me to get a newer version. Then Windows remapped all the ports compared to what I had been using on my older laptop, so after a bit of digging, I had the correct cable on the correct port, and was able to set up the radio, the tracking interface which tells the rotor controller which way to move the antennas, and my HP GPS clock.
And it all worked!
I could easily hear myself on the FO-29 downlink, and had a chat with a guy in San Diego. Not exactly DX from here, but the satellite's footprint was mostly over the Pacific, so I was lucky to have somebody to talk to.
FO-29 is a Grand Old Lady, having been launched in August of 1996. She's had some battery trouble, but the guys at JAMSAT have kept her running all these years. They've been turning it off during extended eclipse periods so the batteries don't go completely flat, and they've done a superb job.
Now I just have to wait for some more passes that are over this area, and see who else I can yak with.

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