Using space based digipeaters this weekend I had a couple of firsts. One was successfully having a packet digipeated by PSAT (Parkinson Sat – NO84). This is a 1.5U CubeSat launched in 2015 carrying a APRS transponder and a PS31 experiment.
I’ve heard this satellite before, but yesterday I had a shot at sending it a packet, I heard it digipeated, but didn’t receive it back well enough to decode it. I waited 30 seconds or so and had another shot with the same result.
I took my first road trip within range of some earthbound digipeaters and iGates tonight. The D72 was secured on the dash of the ute, but using the dual band whip on the roof. I decoded one packet just out of Narrogin, I assume via VK6-RAW (I haven’t read enough of the manual to work out how to sort the list by time yet) but didn’t get any of my own packets digipeated back to me until I got much closer to Perth.
I had the beaconing mode set to Auto, but also sent through some manual packets when I could hear good signals from other packets being repeated. Next on the list is to re-read the manual in much more detail to get my head around all the settings.
With a long weekend, and a major project at work behind me, I had a tiny bit of breathing space to play radio this weekend. What I should have been doing is putting in a couple of hours on the AllStarLink for my club (currently at about 30% finished). What prevented this was a new toy scored second-hand from eBay that arrived this week – a Kenwood TH-D72A handheld.
I grabbed this off eBay, the main attraction being it’s APRS capability, including: built in GPS, stand alone digipeating, and the ability to plug it into a PC and use it as a TNC. My first big plan for this, since I’m miles from anywhere, was to use it to get my staion on the ARISS map by having it digipeated by the International Space Station