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flex 6600 and satellite ops

James Kennedy-WU5E
James Kennedy-WU5E Member ✭✭
I have many radios and trying to trim down.. I currently run SATELLITE ops on TS-2000X one evening I ran into a using his FLEX 6600 on satellite. I started to ask question how to do it.
I currently have my TS-2000X up for sale so I can fund two transverters. The question I have is this a wise decision? what advantage will I gain? Having a waterfall on Satellite would fantastic!
thanks in advance 

Jim
WU5E

Answers

  • KENT HUFFORD
    KENT HUFFORD Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    I upgraded from a 6500 to a 6600 so I could run two transverters at the same time. Bought a UHF and VHF Ukrainian transverters and got them working ok. The water fall is nice.


    I had an ICOM 910 for SATS, then a ICOM 9100 for SATS later. The 6600 was nice. I LOVE the 6600 for HF.

    I bought a ICOM 9700 VHF/UHF/SHF/SDR/water fall/SAT tracking/DSTAR/100 watt radio. GREAT SAT transceiver. 


    Sell your TS-2000x and buy a ICOM 9700 for $1450 on sale.


  • Robert Lonn
    Robert Lonn Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    I agree with Kent, I also sold my IC-9100 and got a new IC-9700, a radio that is designed to operate Satellite Comms!!! I use Ham Radio Deluxe with the 9700..

    That being said, Transverters for the Flex is also a good option for relatively BASIC VHF and UHF operation.. Glad Flex gave this option especially when operating remote,, but a decent HT radio can also serve one well...

    Having a dedicated radio like a IC-9700 has a ton of operational advantages, not to mention the Terminal Mode and D-star operation + Picture Mode you get when on the XLX Gateway!!

    But in the end it is what "YOU" think is best for your daily and weekly operational needs!
    Robert

    http://xlx227.hamnet.ro/




  • Dwayne_AB6A
    Dwayne_AB6A Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    Full duplex is the feature that matters the most.
    I have my Flex-6600 for my base station and use a IC-7300 for portable ops together with an IC-9700 for base/portable satellite ops. 

    I know this is a dream but what I would like -

    - 2M/70cm/23cm full duplex "box" from Flex
    - Flex SDR software would support both radios... One UI but local/remote radios would support respective bands.- Full duplex between different bands.
  • Joel N9LQ
    Joel N9LQ Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    I have a 25W, Q5 transverter for 70cm, and one of the Ukrainian 2m transverters hooked up to my Flex-6600.  This works very well, and you will really love the panadapter for visualizing what is happening while running full duplex.  I thought the Ukrainian transverter was underpowered on 70cm, so upgraded to the Q5.  It is a very nice unit.  Getting the transverters working with the Flex is very easy.

    I use PstRotator for tracking the satellites, controlling the G-5500 Az-El rotator, and providing doppler frequency control for the Flex.  A very powerful software tool for very little $$.  Good luck!

    73, Joel
    N9LQ


  • James Kennedy-WU5E
    James Kennedy-WU5E Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    Thanks Joel, tonight I paid for the PstRotator and have got a agreement on my TS-2000X , when ordering the Q5 I see a lot of selections I have a 2m amp for the birds that have 2m uplink, but the T/R rate is a little slow. thanks for the info.

  • Dwayne_AB6A
    Dwayne_AB6A Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    Can you share the purchase parameters you used for the Q5’s ? There are a bunch of options!
  • Alan
    Alan Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2020
    I have a Flex 6600, so a configuration that works well for me:

    - Common RF
    - Common IF
    - Keying, PTT-L
    - Power - your choice, low power for Sats, Higher for terrestrial work.

    The common RF and IF allow you to plug and play without adding external relays.

    Alan
    WA9WUD
  • Mack
    Mack Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    I can highly recommend using a Flex 6600 or 6700 for full duplex satellite operation. You can see my setup here: https://www.qrz.com/db/W4AX . I use DEMI transverters for 220, 440, 900, and 1296. For 144 I use a DEMI amp on the 6700. If you use FlexSatPC32 as the software driver it is a great experience. You of course have two panadapters to see all the voice and CW signals.

    Good luck,

    Mack
    W4AX
  • Joel N9LQ
    Joel N9LQ Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    Here were my Q5 ordering choices: Common IF Common RF IF Drive level : 0dbm to +20dbm PTT polarity : Low Filter Tuning: Wideband 430MHz to 450 MHz (so I could also use it for repeaters if needed) Local oscillator stability : standard Standard IF : 28 MHz Good luck! 73, Joel
  • Dwayne_AB6A
    Dwayne_AB6A Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    Sweet - How many watts - i suspect 50W yransvertwrs to be more than adequate?
  • James Kennedy-WU5E
    James Kennedy-WU5E Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    where on the web can you find FlexSatPC32 ?

  • Mack
    Mack Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    Search for FlexSatPC32 on google. It can be found on the FlexRadio website. Mack
  • Mack
    Mack Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    50 W is plenty and is it’s good operating practice you should always use the minimum required power to communicate. The power is going to vary based upon the quality of your antennas, coax, and the elevation azimuth of the bird. Mack W4AX
  • Alan
    Alan Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2020
    It depends on your antenna gain.  My antenna, as I recall, is an 8Dbi yagi.  For that, I never use more than 3 watts on the uplink.  Often I need to reduce it to near zero to keep from overloading the Sat.   Antenna gain is really only useful on receive, considering the SAT's TX outputs are in the 10 milliwatt range and coax losses on the ground to the receiver.

    Currently, on the AMSAT discussion group, there is a lengthy discussion on this same subject.

    For terrestrial, I read that on 2M, anything over 25 watts is wasted due to the necessary power for a line of site range.

    Alan
    WA9WUD
  • Justin_KL2D
    Justin_KL2D Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    Hi Mack - 

    I see the article copied from AmSat on the Flex website, but is there anywhere that FlexSatPC is available? Or do you have to get it directly from W0DHB?

    id love to try this out, I’m currently using MacDoppler which works great, but I’d like to try this out too. 

    Thanks!

    Justin
    KL2D 
  • Robert Lonn
    Robert Lonn Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    Mack,,, 50 Watts????? I want to be sure my Rubber Ducky antenna will hit the Satellite so I up my power just a bit!!! LOL  :-)

  • Mack
    Mack Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    That’s funny! I too love my gold dust twins.
  • Norm - W7CK
    Norm - W7CK Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    I'll also 2nd buying an IC-9700 for Satellite use.  Its simple, clean, gives you everything you need all in a single box.  I'm into keeping things simple and clean these days.
  • James Kennedy-WU5E
    James Kennedy-WU5E Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    all it is a PDF about something that 2016 at Amsat

  • James Kennedy-WU5E
    James Kennedy-WU5E Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    when I ordered my IC-9700 , it came I upgraded to 1.21, then I tried to connect to SATPC32 on Win-10 computer and it was not successful until I change the radio from IC-9700 to IC-910H and then everything worked. I sent a email to the German that wrote SATPC32, 3 weeks later I trade a guy for the IC-9700 for TS-2000X. 
  • Dwayne_AB6A
    Dwayne_AB6A Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    So just a follow up to this thread. I have been using a IC-9700 for remote satellite ops and have been happy with it. I was considering the purchase of a second 9700 as a base station with my existing 6600.
    When others mentioned that they are using transverters with their Flex for VHF/UHF/Satellite operations, I deployed the two transverters I have had sitting on the shelf but not being used. I purchased them 2nd hand as they seemed like a good idea at the time but did not get around to installing them.
    Long story short, I am a dork... Transverter use on my Flex has been an outstanding experience and although the current units I have are 10W units, they hit all my simplex and repeater stations in my geography with no issues. I will start working on Satellites in the short term with the Flex. 
    Thank you Flex Radio!
  • KF4HR
    KF4HR Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    I'm a big Flex fan (own a Flex-6700 and PG-XL) but on this matter I concur with Kent's comments.  Sell your TS-2000X and buy a IC-9700.  It's a much simpler way to go.  The IC-9700 is an excellent Sat rig. 
  • James Kennedy-WU5E
    James Kennedy-WU5E Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    to all I just sold my TS-2000X , you never get what you want for it . next transverter for 432 MHZ

  • Dwayne_AB6A
    Dwayne_AB6A Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    Icom destroyed the used radio market with the IC-7300. I ordered Q5 transverters for my 6600. Started with 2M/70CM to upgrade my Ukrainian transverters and will add 23CM in the near term. 
  • KF4HR
    KF4HR Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    Me too!
  • James Kennedy-WU5E
    James Kennedy-WU5E Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    just ordered a Q5 432 transverter and going to use transverter-stores for the 2m I have a pre-amp to plus up the signal
  • Kevin Rich
    Kevin Rich Member ✭✭

    Catching up on this thread and also have DEMI/Q5 transverters for 2m and 70cm on my Flex 6600. What software are people using for tracking and rig control with this setup?

  • Joel N9LQ
    Joel N9LQ Member ✭✭

    I also have a Flex6600 with Q5 transverters for both 2m and 70cm. I am using PSTRotator software. It works well for automatic doppler correction of the radio, and controls my Yaesu G5500 Az-El rotator as well. I think the program can be tried for free, but it is only $20 euro to register it, and I think it is a real bargain.

  • Alan
    Alan Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2020

    I have tried them all and keep coming back to SatPC32.

    • Ham Radio Deluxe - Poor tracking, must enter Sat Data manually. Poor support
    • Mac Doppler - Will not interface with Smart SDR or Maestro. Works well with DogPark SDR. Excellent Support. I built a "connector" to work between MacDoppler and my Maestro. However, frequency changes all comes from within MacDoppler (Maestro cannot command a frequency change which would be nice when working linear satellites.

    Also, in support of the Flex Smart SDR/SatPC32 configuration, look at FlexSatPC as a nice tool to enhance the Flex. However, does nFSPC ot work well using Multiplex or with a Maestro.


    I built my own interface:


    Alan

    WA9WUD

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