Flex, Transverter, and Satellites!

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This is going to cost me some money soon!

After finishing up 8 Band DXCC and 9 Band WAS this month....i needed some else to do...

So I just started playing with my little Ukranian 2 Meter transverter on the satellite downlink bands on 2 Meters.

I am currently receive only, but what fun! 
It is amazing to watch the birds show up on the display as they come into range, and peak as I turn the antenna.  Even without a mast-mount preamp, circular polarization, or AZ-EL rotation, I am getting excellent copy on many of the birds, especially when they are at low angles.  
I can't think of a better way to get the downlink signals than a Flex 6000 rig!

Now I need to get a simple transmit antenna up for 435/6 MHz so I can transmit with my IC-706MK2G and get online with full duplex satellites. 

This is likely to get expensive.....but what fun!
If only my neighborhood wasn't filled with VHF garbage RFI....

Anyone have a recommendation for a good sat tracker program that will interface with PSTRotator so I can have it turn my antenna automatically?  I am currently using Orbitron.  It is old but works.  I haven't been able to get Nova running on my Win 10 Machine,

Ken - NM9P
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Posted 5 months ago

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N8SDR

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Hi Ken, I ordered those transverters last week for 2M and 440M they should be here within the following week or so, inside HRD there is a satellite function I have not used it yet , but recall it being there, if you already have HRD you might want to check and see if it fits your needs. 
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I currently only have the 2 Meter one, but saw one used on this forum for 70cm.  I may order one anyway.  Even at low power, I may be able to make a few contacts Full Duplex.  It has been done by others with a 6500, using a switching matrix to determine which one is TX and which one is RX.  It shouldn't be a big deal to create, since you are only switching milliwatts of power at 20-32 MHz.   It will also require modifying (or ordering) the units to have separate TX in and RX out instead of using the same line.  Then feed the RX from the transverter into the RXA and the TX out from the XVTR port to the transverter.

BTW, I don't use HRD.  I use a lot of other programs.
(Edited)
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Bob G W1GLV

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It took eight weeks for my transverters to get here (Florida) from the Ukraine. I must admit they work great.
(Edited)
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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It took me abou six weeks for the two meter, all assembled, back in April.

The work well, but drift as they warm with tx heat. Also must watch power out, because they can get dirty beyond a few watts.

There is a review about checking the bias voltage on the final transistor that I haven’t done yet.
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Cal Spreitzer

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I wonder if anyone with a Flex 6600 has tried running full duplex (XVTR A and XVTR B) for both TX and RX to work the birds?  Seems that may be possible? 

Cal/N3CAL
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Marc Lalonde

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yup  it work i do this in last ARRL HF contest .  
my only observation is that it not have ton of isolation from XVRT A to B while in RX mode  ,so strong station on A  may appear as weak station on B.
for SAT int not a problem  but in weak signal  all band have SSB and CW portion  on start of the band so transverter IF @ 28MHz overlap  ,so need to check if it not a image before try to make a QSO on wrong band ;-)

and since 2.2.8  have persistence bog need to double check witch slice is on witch XVRT port since it not remember it !!!!   ,not test it whit new software since not run on my VPN ...

while TX  i not see particular issue 

so yup VHF / UHF  in FDX kick ass ;-)
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Cal Spreitzer

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Thanks for the info Marc!
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Set up that way here, too. Works well. Using bandpass filters on the inputs of my Elecraft 2m and 70cm transverters. High RF environment really crushes their front ends.
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Kirk

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Ken - The best of the best for tracking is PST Rotator:  http://www.qsl.net/yo3dmu/index_Page346.htm
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I forgot to mention that I use and E.R.C. interface to my Yaesu G800DXA rotator, and PST RotatorAZ  (I LOVE that program!).  But I don't have a satellite tracking program that will tell it where to point.  There is supposed to be an add-on for Orbitron, but I haven't found it yet.  More work on the project tonight.....
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Codrut

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Hi Ken,
You can use the PstRotator program instead PstRotatorAz. PstRotator has a satellites tracking module embedded, so you don't need another tracking program. The same license works for both PstRotator and PstRotatorAz programs. If you have any question, just send me an email.
73, Codrut - YO3DMU
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Thanks, Codrut. I discovered that yesterday after I reread your web page. I hadn’t realized PsrRotator had a tracking module built in.

I played with it for a few hours last night and it works really well. Now I am really hooked. I need to read up some more to try additional settings. I may switch permanently from the AZ version. Except that the AZ version can shrink down to the bare minimum needed.

I love your programs!

Ken - NM9P
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Joel N9LQ

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Hi Ken, I have a 6600 and also recently purchased two transverters from the Transverter store, but do not have a rotatable antenna setup yet.  Hoping to make some progress on that later this year.  I really like Orbitron's user interface, but it seems there might be more current support for SatPC32.  If you are able to get Orbitron interfaced to a rotator, I would be very interested in your lessons learned.  
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KF4HR

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Ken - If I remember correctly NOVA will run on Windows 10, but you have to run it as Administrator. 
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I ran the patch, but haven't tried running as administrator.  I'll give that a try.
Thanks.
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Amlan - AI6XN

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SatPC32 seems to be the one if you use Windows. Works with PSTRotator.
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Lucas - W6AER

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It also integrates nicely with the green heron controller as well as others. Had zero problems with it, although it does take a few hours to figure it out if never used it before.
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Mark - WS7M

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Ken,  Does your family realize you will soon have a large tower supporting an azimuth and elevation pointable set of circular polarized antennas with lots of cables running back to the shack to automate satellite tracking?

Do they realize this array will periodically fire up and track a satellite across the sky, perhaps right in the middle of your backyard BBQ?  And that when that happens the burgers will burn on the grill as you run into the shack to capture yet another satellite QSO?

You see where this is headed right?   <grin>
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Besides.... that is what the iOS remote is for....no need to leave the back yard....
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Oops. Deleted my first response by accident.....

Can’t afford the dream system yet. Must wait till I retire and move to a new home. Probably will only get a small beam for 70cm tilted up, another transverter, amps, and my TV rotor...or perhaps a pair of egg beaters.....

But I can dream!
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Mark WS7M

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But Honey... We don't really need a Gazebo or that new car... How about a Az/El tower and beam instead?  What do you say honey?  The car can wait still I work all satellites and all states right?   <grin>
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Lucas - W6AER

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I am also using SatPC32, works well. Never got the HRD software to work correctly with my setup for satellite work. They also have a known bug (over a year now as of today) with the Green Heron RT-21 AZ EL computerized controller which I use. Does not show elevation in their software. So that makes it problematic.