HO-68 v AO-51 ??.
From: John Hackett wrote at EU-AMSAT mail list
Sent: Sun, Apr 25, 2010 3:50 pm
Subject: [eu-amsat] HO-68 versus AO-51
HO-68 v AO-51 ??.
HO-68 versus AO-51 - and the university downlink only satellites - (aka the FM
menagerie).In my honest opinion it's a 'no contest' scenario - with HO-68 winning hands down.
The two main reasons for me making this claim are ...
1) HO-68's superior orbit.
2) It's multi-mode transponders.
On a typical European pass an HO-68 orbit has a footprint the covers from Spain
in the west to India in the east, Norway in the north to Sudan in the south ...
and all points in between.
Whereas AO-51 is FM only ... HO-68 has transponders for CW, SSB as well as FM.
HO-68 is (IMHO) easier to operate due to it needing less power to get into the
transponders, albeit, to really take advantage of that, a knowledge of CW is
required, which *STILL* shows it's great advantage as weak signal mode.
When all else fails ... switch to CW.
Igor, RW3XL has been operating cross-satellite with HO-68 to VO-52 and HO-68 to
AO-7 ... keying the up down buttons for CW since his keyer is on the blink.
For those wanting to learn, the 200mW beacon sends *SLOW* morse and it's
copyable on a piece of wet string wrapped round a rusty six inch nail.
I've proved this over and over on HO-68 at the beginning of passes when the
elevation is under 20 degrees and a SSB just can't make it - switch to CW - Q5
copy - (Domenico, I8CVS will endorse that).
I believe that HO-68 is becoming the experienced 'operator's' satellite while
AO-51 will remain the platform for the potential newcomer ... where they can
QRM eachother to their heart's content ... more power Egon ... MORE POWER !!!
... (with due apologies to the Hollywood film 'Frankenstein').
For me at least, HO-68 has brought the fun back into amateur satellite
operating, particularly on CW ... akin to RS-10, the most popular satellite
ever - (judged by the amount of users) - after the veritable old AO-7.
While everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, operating FM on a satellite
is about as much fun for me as watching paint dry and is, in my opinion, the
worst possible way to introduce a potential newcomer to amateur satellites. My
EU-Amsat co-founder, SV1BSX
(SK) first used the word 'zoo' to describe the AO-51 standard of operating.
There ought to be a sign on the microphone ... PLEASE DON'T FEED THE ANIMALS.