For a change of pace, I thought that I would try making contacts through SO-50. SO-50 is another FM repeater satellite and until the commissioning of Fox-1 as AO-85 the only FM repeater still operational.
- Open the squelch:
- I was debating whether or not I would leave the squelch open in my last post. I’ve deciding now that I will.
- Mount the antenna on a tripod:
- I’d seen about as many people with mounts as just aiming the antenna by hand. Tracking a satellite is hard, let alone managing two radios, a recorder, a time piece, directions …. I could go on.
- I’ll be mounting mine on a camera tripod from now on. I found a piece of aluminum square stock, then I drilled a 5/8″ hole through it and then a drilled and tapped a 1/4-20″ through the side. Finally, I cut it off (about 2″ long) and drilled and tapped a 1/4-20 hole in the bottom. I find that I need a small piece of flat stock about 3 1/2″ long to put between the tripod and aluminum block. Clear as mud right?
- I cut a piece of 1/2″ copper pipe (that conveniently fits up the south end of a north bound arrow antenna). Insert it in the south end, then slide through the 5/8″ hole and tighten the thumbscrew to keep it in place. When I do a day pass and finish up a few other things, I’ll dedicate a post to the subject, with pretty high quality pictures.
- I seriously need a way to orient angles
- Like, I set of protractors or something. Its very frustrating trying to track a satellite with no clue where the angles are.
- Higher qualities recordings are only good if they’re complete:
- Oops. I noticed that my last recording wasn’t all that high quality so I tried to improve it. It worked, but I alo managed to get skips in the recording. I guess my droid 2 is getting old. Let’s see if I can’t find a decent dedicated recorder somewhere in addition to those protractors.
- Relax, it’s late night pass and there’s only a few people on:
- No, seriously. I did an 11pm CDT pass and there were only 3 people trying to trade. Chill people. I said they were going fast and furious but for a late night pass it didn’t hold true.
Anyway, that’s what I’ve learned from my last two passes. Also, congrats to this young lady on her first contact. I also made my first contact last night, and yes, I was pumped.