Thursday, May 02, 2019

TH-D72A, press [OK] for reset

This week I had a frustrating experience with this otherwise nice "HT" (handi talkie? is that still a thing?)

In trying to hit the current, active, APRS digipeating satellites: PSAT (NO-84), ISS and occasionally FalconSat-3, one has to reconfigure the Path, and BPS.  Using this HT there is a relatively simple menu system, and a few minutes prior to the pass, you can be good to go. Typically, I will set the APRS beacon to manual and use it to send up a first message (ok, I've read this is bad form, 'technically', from the AMSAT-BB reflector threads... so, I'll probably curtail this  going forward.

We send messages to each other through these sky-digipeaters using UI / unproto messages and I have several canned (preprogrammed user) phrases to be used to "complete" a QSO.

Unfortunatly for reasons unknown, the D72A stopped sending out messages. I could beacon but not send out an actual message.

I went over every setting in detail:

300 - call sign - KA2CZU-2
301 - Beacon Type - APRS
302 - APRS Locak - OFF
310 - Data Band - A Band
311 - Speed - 1200
320 - DCD Sense - Ignore DCD (only way for me to even beacon right now)
321 - TX delay - 200 ms
380 - Position Comment - Not Emergency :)
390 - StatusText - set to stuff
3A0/1/2 - QSY stuff all Off
3B0/1 - Pkt Filter OFF and Type = Weather
3Cx - symbol default Kenwood
3D0 - TX Beacon Method- Manual
3D1 - Init. Interval - .2 min (tried other settings)
3E Algorithm both decal and pathing were ON... just set to OFF... don't know what these do
3F/G Smart Beacon , never have touched these
3H0 - PacketPath - *Others
3H1 - ARISS


and for the most part, everything was correct, with the exception of DCD Sense... I was told to only use "Ignore DCD" when working the full duplex 9600bps FalconSat-3 digipeater.


Fine.


That wasn't the issue.


No change made a difference, tried another ham's MC4 file and still no-workie.


What worked?


A full reset, and then restoring my (previously saved) settings.




Remember, it's [OK] to reset, if you saved your settings like you should 😃

Friday, April 05, 2019

Rotor Control - the "next" next step

Note to self:

If I ever purchase a new rotor again, I need to "read the fine print"

I forget that these rotors are used in a variety of configurations and
that they don't assume "simple 4 wire" connections.

I needed to get a cable (or special connectors) to hook up from the controller
to the rotor. - out to the interweb and ordered a pre-assembled 50' cable.

Check.

Then go to mount the rotor.

Oops, no mast mount included. Option.

Back to the interweb.

Check.

Now waiting and waiting and waiting and....


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Rotor Control - The next step

ok, so my steal of a buy U-100 has started to act up, along with the manual controller.




Thus, I finally decided to bite the bullet and get a new rotor, for the sake of sanity and time, a Yaesu G-450A


The goal is to finally get around to building the NOS TAPR trakbox kit I bought a couple of years ago and see if that will work to control my KR-500 el rotor and this new AZ rotor together. Should be doable.



If not, then need to get another controller to finally allow some automation in the shack.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Fox In A Box

Fox in Box... no, not a Dr. Seuss rhyming story, but a pre-configured software distribution of the fox satellite telemetry software.

http://burnsfisher.com/AMSAT/FoxInABox/Building%20The%20Fox-in-a-Box.pdf
Building The Fox-in-a-Box(FIAB)Raspberry Pi Telemetry Station
Burns Fisher, WB1FJ ,Chris Thompson G0KLA/AC2CZ
 
I really don't know the full history here, but I put together a 7" screen, Raspberry Pi 3, RTL-SDR receiver, and this pre-configured SD card containing an image that was essentially plug-reboot-and-play.

I originally hooked this up to my 2m/70cm MFJ groundplane, but that seems to have been compromised and does not deliver a strong enough signal. Not sure of the coax has been damaged but I noticed a degradation of signals first when I had my HP Stream tablet setup to receive NOAA WX images.  Using this, I had only been able to pull maybe a dozen packets a week with FIAB.

Right now, I've shifted to a fixed orientation of my elk log periodic, just pointing NW at around 30 degree elevation, and am picking up dozens of packets a day across AO-85, 91 and 92, ... I think I picked up 1 packet from AO-95 when I caught a good pass and tracked the satellite directly by hand.

Eventually I'm going to change to yet another antenna and computer controlled tracking.

To that end, I'm putting my gasping U-100 az rotor to bed. Both the manual controller and the rotor itself need serious troubleshooting, and I just don't have the time. These will go into storage until I retire and can take on the project of fixing them. In the meantime, I ordered a Yaesu G-450A to go along with my nicely working Kenpro KR-500 elevation rotor.

Next up after getting that working will be to finally try building the "New Old Stock" TAPR Trakbox kit I purchased last year (was it last or 2 years ago???).

In the meantime, my current Fox Telemetry standings are:
#333 KA2CZU

and the last sat I collected data on was:

AO-92 (Fox-1D) | latest spacecraft health | Camera Images
Frames: 65,175 - last 24 hours: 6,819 - last 90 mins: 867
From ground stations:
SQ5WAF TI2RF K4OZS N8MH N9IP WA4SCA K4RGK KK4YEL KO4MA KB5SQG W8MRR KB2ESY NA5SS N5ZNL K9EK-FIAB K3ADA W2MMD wc7v-dn46 K3RLD-RPi K9JKM WB1FJ-main W1EME W2JTM KA2CZU KD8TBD


Happy Sat Hunting everyone and 73! 

Friday, February 22, 2019

SSTV Images received from the ISS

ARISS was running another special ISS SSTV event, using the transmitter in the russian module.

Received a number of images using a TH-D72A and a whip antenna (too lazy to pull out my elk log periodic :) )








Thursday, February 14, 2019

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

L/V mode

Allright, I did it!

After getting scammed into getting 2 (count'em 2) chinese 1.2GHz yagis (long story), I finally
saw the Black Friday price of an Alinco DJ-G7T on HRO and did it!

Picked up the HT and once my wife gets over it, it'll be onto AO-92 L/V mode.