Folks here I am not speaking from experience as the idea germinated while indulging the interest in doing satellite work that of one of my sons has (he a University Junior).
Surveying the available gear to do something better than our initial HT and an Arrow Antenna setup, it sure seems that those folk adding transverters to their Flex-6700s are onto a good thing, but could the SmartSDR software and the Flex-6000 hardware be the basis for a dedicated Satellite setup out of the box?
Might already be good solutions out there - we've made two appointments to get a chance to see other setups and get some Elmering which might suggest present solutions. It is just everything we've seen so far for Satellite work is not as elegant and capable as the Signature Series is for HF work.
I think they should extend the Freq. range to 500 MHz at least, and even 1300 MHz with 20 watt RF output minimums so you could use multiple slices, full duplex for cross-band satellite work with no add-on boxes.
Add features in the software to auto-track antenna systems and auto-doppler.
That might get a few more $$$ out of me . . .
73, Happy Holidays
But there are a few features I'd like to see FRS incorporate into a future software build that would enhance satellite operation:
* The ability to sync two slices together so the uplink and downlink frequencies track each other (both positive and negative)
* The ability to adjust for Doppler Shift
* And a nice feature found on the Kenwood TS-2000, TS2000X, and TS-990S, the ability to have the Flex frequency display indicate the actual transverter (or downconverter) frequency
If Flex ever incorporates the above 3 features my satellite rigs (Yaesu FT-736R and TS-2000X) will be going up for sale.
Have Unfollowed my own thread, as I'll return to it after getting some hands on instruction and enough QSOs to feel comfortable fleshing out this idea.
Everyone has pointed out the most serious cons, which do need consideration:
Costs could be excessive
You can build up a station from a variety of radios you've integrated
Many potential owners are heavily invested in transverters
Amps/Transverters at the Antennas is a superior configuration avoiding in-the-radio/shack feedline loses
There are ways to build up the software outside of what FRS does
I'd really like to spend some time with some of the community who have operating integrated satellite stations as part of my learning process - I'm good at QRZ or the @arrl.net works too.
The key differences now vs. the discussions back then is that wide band sampling ADC's were off the radar for consideration at that time. And similarly the role of in-radio signal processing as well. The desire for Ethernet connectivity was certainly there already, though the existing radio SDR hardware at that time didn't have that capability.
It is fun to re-read those threads again and to see and recognize just how much of the concepts and goals discussed back then that have already found thier way into what the 6K's and SmartSDR are today.