Thursday, August 19, 2010
Working Amateur Radio Satellites
It is not rocket science to be able to listen to the birds in outer space nor is it to transmit.
It dose however require some time, practice and research.
I always suggest obtaining some type of orbital plotting software; once you get it take some time to understand it.
Ounce you have achieved that then pick out a Satellite and listen to it for a few days. After you have done that then try and make your first contact. It may take you a day or a few weeks. The thing is never give up.
Equipment, that can be pricey it you want it to be. I have always been one for buying the best. I know not everyone is able to that. Heck, I fall into that boat currently.
My suggestion for equipment is a good duel band HT. I have a VX-7R; I’m hoping to get the new VX-8R soon.
Next, the Antenna, you can make one if you wish but I suggest you save the time and hassle and purchase on. Arrow makes a nice 3 element VHF, 7 element UHF with a 10 watt duplexer.
Here are a couple of videos and I hope these help those of you with questions.
HOW TO READ PROPAGATION NUMBERS
The A index [ LOW is GOOD ]
- 1 to 6 is BEST
- 7 to 9 is OK
- 11 or more is BAD
Represents the overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Ap" if averaged from the Kp-Index) (an average of the eight 3-hour K-Indices) ('A' referring to amplitude) over a given 24 hour period, ranging (linearly) typically from 1-100 but theoretically up to 400.
A lower A-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Ap-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
SFI index [ HIGH is GOOD ]
- 70 NOT GOOD
- 80 GOOD
- 90 BETTER
- 100+ BEST
The measure of total radio emissions from the sun at 10.7cm (2800 MHz), on a scale of 60 (no sunspots) to 300, generally corresponding to the sunspot level, but being too low in energy to cause ionization, not related to the ionization level of the Ionosphere.
Higher Solar Flux generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; Solar Flux rarely affects the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
K index [ LOW is GOOD ]
- 0 or 1 is BEST
- 2 is OK
- 3 or more is BAD
- 5 is VERY VERY BAD
The overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Kp" if averaged over the planet) over the past 3 hours, measured by 13 magnetometers between 46 & 63 degrees of latitude, and ranging quasi-logarithmically from 0-9. Designed to detect solar particle radiation by its magnetic effect. A higher K-index generally means worse HF conditions.
A lower K-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Kp-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
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