Wednesday, March 30, 2005

AO-51 – what an experience

I thought I would work an amateur radio satellite, but I was reading about AO-51 and how it was workable with an HT on FM, before that, you needed packet or SSB and equipment I didn’t have. After reading up on AO-51, I decided to try and work it.

First attempt, 8:20PM EST 03/30/2005
From the deck behind my house: I tuned my scanner to 435.300, snapped on my 2m/440 whip and listened closely through my headphones w/ the squelch off. Its too bad I only had the stock 2m rubber duck on my HTX-202, I tried to make contact using 145.920 ctcss 67hz, but I didn’t seem to be getting through and heard nothing.

Second Attempt 9:59PM EST 03/30/2005
From my front steps: I again listened closely to 435.300 without hearing a thing. I called a few times on 145.920 but couldn’t hear myself or anyone else. Then, it happened, no, nobody heard me, probably because of my rubber duck, but I heard part of a QSO, man, that was cool. Just hearing those faint FM signals in what is probably one of the worst receivers I could have picked for the job (RS Pro-60 scanner). When it seemed like there was a break, I called again, to no avail. I didn’t hear much, but one I think I got one callsign, K4FRB or something like it. It was a very faint signal. I looked up in qrz, but no e-mail addresses listed.

I might be hooked! I really need to make an antenna for this, it would be very cool for N3PAQ to be heard operating through a satellite!


Thursday, March 10, 2005

I’m using software from 1989

I’m putting together a packet radio station and recently bought a TNC from an eBay auction. I before I left the feedback, I wanted to make sure the thing wasn’t DOA, so I hooked it up to the PC to see if it was alive and it was.

Check out the release date for the MFJ-1278 data controller

AX.25 Level 2 Version 2.0
Release 3.3 11/08/89 - 32K RAM Multilevel
Checksum $E7

I still need a cable and a power supply. The only question is, what radio do I want to hook it up to, the HT or the mobile rig. It will make a difference both in the power supply that I need and the cable. There is also a firmware update, release 3.7 that I could get for $24.95, but I’m not sure I need it, at least not yet, I’m still learning the basics of packet radio.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Ebaying for some $

My Ebay Auctions, ending in about 7 days:

I have been bitten by the ham radio bug again and wish to purchase a decent HF transceiver so I have decided to sell off some things that I no longer have a use for. I will be sorry to see some of it go, especially the Xtant 3300c car stereo amplifier, but I haven’t used it in several years and doubt I’ll be spending a lot of money on car audio anytime soon to put it to use. Also for sale, a bunch of old computer components and some other mobile electronics, there is even an old ham radio that I never put to use. It’s a 2 meter handheld, and I already have one so, the other must go.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Pictures Missing

It seems that my personal web space url changed, now, all the pictures on my blog don't show up. Should be fixed in a few days.