I am thinking of getting into the wonderful world of satellites and the search for transverters got me here. I am a newbie on anything higher than 70cm, but willing to learn. So I read lots of websites on the subject and came up with the setup below. And yes, long post, so my apologies in advance.
As you can see it consists of a UpConv6W and Downconverter V3d. I intend to use an Icom IC-7000 as the TRX (would love to buy myself an IC-9700, but funds...). That also means I need to go single-band simplex, switching between the up- and downconverter. That is where the RF-sensing MFJ-1707B comes in (suggestions for other brands welcome).
The upconverter feeds the POTY, the downconverter is fed by the LNB and the 10MHz reference is also sent to the upconverter for stability.
What do I expect this setup to do?
1 - let me TX on 435.5 MHz with 1 to 2 Watts of power and get into the uplink of the QO-100, for either SSB or NB digimodes
2 - let me RX at 435.5 Mhz (as set by the setting on the downconverter) from the downlink of the QO-100
3 - the 435.5 Mhz frequencies need to be in sync, since the IC-7000 does not have the ability to do a linked split, where both VFO A and VFO B change at the same time. I need an IC-9700 in satellite mode for that.
4 - no full duplex, so no real time monitoring my signal in the IC-7000. But I can use the Goonhilly websdr and compare the PSK beacon strength (shown as -72dB) to my own signal and avoid overpowering the uplink that way.
5 - everything can be built into a case, attached to the off-set boom for the LNB, keeping all cables nice and short there and I only need to connect 12v power and the coax for the IC-7000 70cm signal. If the case is plastic, the GPS antenna for the GPSDO can be installed inside the case, a metal case means putting it on the outside.
6 - only minor soldering to be done, as I am not an experienced fine solderer. The odd connector is not a problem (and required in this setup), but SMD is not an option for me.
7 - be stabil enough, but I do not expect rock stable signals as the IC-7000 will drift on 70cm (not noticeable there, but probably on the uplink). I can fine-tune the VFO if needed.
8 - if I buy an IC-9700 in the future, I can remove the 1707B antenna switch, add another coax cable and reconfigure the downconverter for either 145 or 1290 MHz and go full duplex. If needed I can then also feed the 10MHz reference to the IC9700, but I probably need some way to split it between the upconverter and the 9700.
9 - I do not intend to do DATV and go on the WB transponder.
- #3 is something I cannot find in the documents, the upconverter is listed as configurable at "435 MHz", but as both are from AMSAT-DL I expect them to be in sync. But am I right?
- for 435MHz on the upconv6w I need to put a bridge over the low-pass filer (17). The documentation does not list from where to where the bridge needs to be put. Is that listed somewhere?
- is this a setup that can work? Will it meet my expectations?
- suggestions on cases to mount this in?
- any suggestions on improving this setup?
Thanks for your time and advice!