New Stuff

Clearly have not posted more often even though I do, in fact, have a master's degree (in nothing RF- or computing-related!).  I did, however, attend the Dayton Hamvention for the first time.  I made a point of attending the AMSAT forum (even ducking out early from the HamNation forum to attend) and ended up being jazzed (again) about satellite operation.  In college, I contacted both the Space Shuttle and MIR as well as making contacts via AO-13 and, I think, its predecessor AO-10.  Not sure we ever operated any LEO sats, though at the time, most were packet and, for whatever reason, we weren't QRV on orbital packet (we certainly had all the pieces at the school's station).  I do remember listening to DO-17 trying to make its voice synth work.  Some stuff was hard 25 years ago.  Anyway, other than occasionally copying the Shuttle or ISS mostly by accident, I'd done nothing spacey.

I became an AMSAT member at Dayton and when I got back, I ordered an Arrow hand-held satellite antenna (with the diplexer and a mounting clamp).  They aren't expensive and they work really well.  Longer story short, I made a half-dozen satellite QSOs standing out in the yard back in June ... and then it got really hot, which took all the fun out of standing out in the yard.  It's cooler now, so I need to get back at it.  I've only been able to successfully work via SO-50, a Mode V/u FM satellite.  I've not yet been successful with AO-85, Mode U/v FM.  I need to figure out how to set up for AX.25  packet, too, since there are a couple satellites that will digipeat.

For several years, I've wanted an IC-910H multimode rig.  After considering an IC-9100, Icom's replacement for the venerable 910, I decided that the extra kilobucks needed to get that radio weren't worth the money, since I already have the IC-746Pro for HF/6/2 and had no plans to get rid of it.

Looked and looked and found an IC-910H that had the UX-910 L-Band module and a single UT-106 DSP module.  And I got it for a great price.  Before I found the 910, I bought a used CD-II-type rotator, an MFJ 6-m Yagi and a Diamond 70-cm Yagi.  I don't have the support to get all that in the air quite yet, but will soon get that 70-cm beam up in the air.  Don't have anything for 1.2 GHz, either.  If that wasn't enough, I also got an excellent deal on an Elecraft XV-222 1.25-m transverter.

So I've gone from having "weak signal" ability only on 6 and 2 but also 1.25 m,  70 cm,  and 23 cm.  This setup (once it's all set up!) will also allow me to work some of the linear transponder satellites, albeit only on near-horizon passes.

OK, off to do some repeater work.