PROPOSAL FOR INCREASED ACTIVITY

  • Hi All!

    I think everyone noticed that there was a decrease in activity on the air of the excellent QO-100 satellite due to the lack of new stations. I want to offer for discussion a way to increase the number of new stations and territories.

    It is about creating a gateway from one of the short-wave ranges. For example, conversion the spectrum 14010-14030 kHz (CW) on the uplink to a frequencys 10489575-10489595 kHz. Our correspondents can transmit to SW and hear themselves and us on WEB SDR, therefore QSO through the gateway is possible! It is especially interesting to place such a gate on the border of the QO-100, for example, in Brazil, and we will receive many new correspondents and new territories.

    The technical implementation of the gateway is not complicated, but it can be discussed after receiving the answer to the questions:

    - Are such gateways interesting for the amateur radio community?

    -How will AMSAT-DL react to this?

  • The transponder bandplan and guidelines already clearly say: Remote operation over Internet (Gateway traffic) is undesirable and only permitted during disaster communication.


    Personally I don't see any benefit from such a gateway no matter if it's internet or shortwave.


    We should encourage people to receive by themselves instead of using WebSDR..


    We need to more encourage and support those amateurs in remote or underdeveloped countries to get active via QO-100.

    Peter Gülzow | DB2OS | AMSAT-DL member since 1983 | JO42VG

  • This has been done once before on the SSB section of the QO-100 band. There was an 144 MHz uplink and downlink transverter (I forget the correct name). Great care needs to be taken both in design and also in time use, if memory serves me correctly it was left on during a contest weekend when 144 MHz signals were getting in and coming out on QO-100 causing confusion.


    To be effective the HF receiver will need to be sensitive, selective and low noise otherwise the noise floor will be lifted in the corresponding segment on QO-100, so constant monitoring or some active feedback of the uplink frequency to reduce gain to minimise this, a sort of AGC.


    One issue is that with HF and band openings/time of day, the signals on CW can come from anywhere in the world and not just from a local country, so unless all radio amateurs were to know about it how would it be managed, what of regulations, do all countries regulatory bodies allow rebroadcast etc.


    How would you stop a couple of hams say in the states, having a CW natter between themselves ending up on the satellite uplink completely unaware of it. It could be done but you need a way of having some form of input protection such as CTCSS or DCS signal used on FM repeaters, 'color' codes etc as used in digital what could you use for a CW signal that would be easy to implement on existing ham gear?


    Perhaps reduce the proposed 20KHz down to just a few KHz to reduce the impact etc. These are all things that could be considered.


    Then again these are all just my musings thinking aloud, I have no influence over other users or Amsat-DL or Quatar. It could be an interesting concept if all minds worked together and it is done correctly, could lead to complete chaos if done wrong. :)


    Adrian

  • Thanks to Adrian. Yes, there may be problems, but it became boring on the satellite, I already had QSO with everything :( Many listen and wait for new stations. But the opinion of Peter is decisive here 73! Alex

  • Many listen and wait for new stations.

    Perhaps this is the problem, people only wanting stations in countries they have not heard of for DX. Not wanting to make friends and chat CW or SSB.


    QO-100 is a repeater and once you have a system to gain access you can converse to almost a third of the world. As said on the A71A Wideband beacon "To receive us clearly and we will receive you 9 by 9"?

    There are digital modes, such as RTTY, FT8 and others, slow scan TV, digital voice, spectrum painting,

    The satellite could be used to arrange skeds and/or talkback for the amateur bands from HF to GHz, arranging long range tests etc. It has coverage of approx 100 degrees of the globe which makes it the best repeater we have other then the internet. There was talk of it providing limited broadband access to some parts of the world. It is apparently 1 year old and perhaps the novelty is wearing off.

    I admit I can not converse in CW my skills are lacking in that area, also I need to build back my narrow band setup again.


    Have fun, be safe.


    Adrian

  • Thanks Alex for your proposal and open discussion, which is very important to me.

    There are still a lot of "white spots" on the footprint of QO-100 and I hope there will be more activity in the future..

    On the other hand, I think we should not create traffic only to generate traffic with no real benefit..

    I did read somewhere that much more than 1000 POTY feeds alone have been sold and a lot of other solutions like Bamatech feeds too... But where are all those people ?(

    Are they scared, too shy? Did they give up somewhere?

    What can we do to help them?


    73s Peter

    Peter Gülzow | DB2OS | AMSAT-DL member since 1983 | JO42VG

  • I reckon more than 1700 POTY's (kits) have been made. So there is potential activity enough. Furthermore there must be an RF incentive (i.e. make stuff for 2.4 GHz narrow band) to become active on the NB transponder. Making stuff for 2.4 GHz uplink seperates boys from men ; -)

  • Hello all,


    There were a few activitied this week that required not more activity -- just listening: V55QO had a QSO with two youngsters. Sophie, DO4QB (11) and Simon, DL3QB (14) asked him a lot of questions about Namibia and Africa in general and Charly took his time to answer the questions in great detail. It was almost like a talkshow and it was fun just to listen to them.


    A second activity took place the same day. A group of people in Hannover had borrowed a bus, installed a QO-100 ground station in it and invited hams and other interested people, including people from the local press. Highlight of this activity was a QSO with the Antarctica, DP0GVN with Felix at the mike. Felix (DL5XL) is originally from Hannover and also he took his time to talk to everyone in the bus who wanted to have a QSO with him. The press people asked many questions and Felix answered them in the same way as Charly had done from Namibia.


    For me personally, it is not the quanity of QSOs on the satellite that is important but the quality. Just listening to these two activities made me enjoy that I am a ham and that we have this wonderful satellite available for us.



    Best 73


    Holger 'Geri', DK8KW

  • I reckon more than 1700 POTY's (kits) have been made. So there is potential activity enough. Furthermore there must be an RF incentive (i.e. make stuff for 2.4 GHz narrow band) to become active on the NB transponder. Making stuff for 2.4 GHz uplink seperates boys from men ; -)

    I guess there could be a significant percentage who built two POTY feed kits.....for example myself I got two of them (one bought spontanously at Friedrichshafen Fleamarket). Using one on my permanent dish and one for my portable station :-)


    And I am still missing one important QSO in my collection - that's with DB2OS himself, hi hi


    73, Oscar

  • Personally I think that there is a lot of activity during week-ends, I started activity on QO-100 during summer 2019 only on receive first, assembling components and material for my TX/RX station, then I become fully operational in early october and since then I have noted an increasing number of active stations.

    When some "DX" station is on the satellite the pile-ups sometimes are very huge, as we are accustomed to on short waves.

    Many are only interested in working new countries and new grids, so they spend most of time listening on the band.

    I am one of them, but I like to call CQ and make casual QSO mostly in CW.

    I confess that making contacts is the last objective for me...I spent most of the time making new project and modifications, adjustement on my station and antenna, trying to optimize the performance of my system.

    Don't forget the activity on the WB transponder in DATV, many new stations active...myself working on assembling the TX section.

    All UMTS amplifiers on EBAY goes out very fast, every time they appears....

    I think that during the springtime and summer we will see a lot of portable stations, new grid activations and rare DXCC countries.

    Than the passion and knowledge are a big filter. Working on satellite and microwaves is not easy as put up a wire and a commercial transceiver on HF...and that's the way it's going to stay.


    73 de Piero, IK1IYU

  • I reckon more than 1700 POTY's (kits) have been made. So there is potential activity enough. Furthermore there must be an RF incentive (i.e. make stuff for 2.4 GHz narrow band) to become active on the NB transponder. Making stuff for 2.4 GHz uplink seperates boys from men ; -)

    Don't forget to include the girls.


    I agree with Peter.


    Mike

  • Thanks to everyone for the discussion! It seems to me that the number of stations has not decreased, just many have switched to SWL and not considering it possible to conduct repeated QSO, maybe we can find a solution together.

    73! Alex

  • You might want to initiate some sort of competition - e.g. who can receive the lowest power signal (CW from Bochum for example) or perhaps most accurately measure a frequency or collaborate to work out the location of a signal like a fox hunt- or perhaps set up some topical e.g. nets Amplifiers, Antennas, Receivers, DX, the ailments of old age,

  • in our local club U02 we are actively helping hams to install QO100 stations. Until now we have build 6 complete stations, for the cost of material only, of course. And did a huge number of LNB modifications.

    While most people can install a dish without problems, one of the biggest issues for most Hams is the modification of LNBs or SDRs, soldering a POTY or adjusting a helix because special soldering equipment (and skills) and analysers are required.

    I have modified an uncounted number of LNBs in my work shop and a couple of Plutos, but it simply takes too much time.


    I think it would help a lot if somebody (i.e. Amsat) offers ready built feeds including a modified LNB, ready to use.


    vy 73, Kurt, DJ0ABR