Thursday, June 16, 2016

Field Day is NEXT Weekend too busy on the Iowa and messing with the Supra this year, and now Field Day is one week off.

SO....that means tomorrow I'm going to have to drag out the generator and fire it up, go through my "Field Day" tool bag and round up the usual suspects that always turn up missing, drag the antennas, preamps, feedlines, and control cables out, and set everything up.

We have three new satellites this year, so I'll have to make sure that they show up properly in SatPC32 (my tracking program), and make three new uplink/downlink frequency "cheat sheets" that I use to keep track of the frequencies used for each satellite.

Here's an example of the one I made for FO-29:

My tracking program is set to tune the radio to the middle of the downlink passband, in this case, 435.850MHz. The corresponding uplink frequency is 145.950MHz, +/- any Doppler shift. If the middle of the transponder is busy, and it usually is, I'll tune up to 435.870, or until I find a clear spot. The transmit VFO in the radio should tune to 145.930, but if it doesn't, I'll hit the "unlock" button on the radio which separates the two VFO's, and tune to what the corresponding uplink frequency should be, and do a "1,2,3" transmission to find myself, and center my signal through the satellite to my downlink frequency. Then I "lock" the two VFO's back togther, and the tracking program will send frequency corrections to both the transmit VFO and the receive VFO, keeping my signal properly tuned.

The chart just helps me keep things straight, as FO-29 uses an inverting transponder, which means the signals come back through the satellite on a different sideband (LSB up, USB down), and with the tuning direction reversed.

I'll be back at Angel's Gate Park this year, working with my other club, URAC. We ran Field Day on the Iowa last year, and although we did rather well, lugging all the satellite gear aboard, and getting placed in the location we were allowed to set up in, made satellite contacts difficult.

More to come as the week progresses......


  1. Good luck with it, hope you get a lot of contacts!!!

  2. If I can duplicate the 45 contacts I made one year (#4 in the USA!), I'll be ecstatic.....


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