Saturday, August 17, 2013

My watt of forlorn hope part two. Or my FT790 and its' part in a satellite setup!

I've not done much with FO-29 so far. With the FT817 being half duplex, I'm a little wary of transmitting much, as it would be easy to interfere inadvertently, with another QSO. Having said that, some simple QSOs are readily possible.

The other day, I had an idea. With the lovely old FT790 that I bought for not a lot off eBay last year, could I use that in conjunction with the FT817 and a duplexer and make a full duplex portable station?

The key would be how good the FT790 receiver would be. This morning, FO-29 was passing over to the west, so I hooked up the 790 to the Elk and had a listen. It seemed to work fine. I heard many stations on the pass: G4DOL, GW1FKY, EA3LW, EA8HB and several others whose calls I've forgotten. In fact, I got the impression that I was hearing the satellite better than some others.

I think I will try a duplexer and see if I can make this work. De-sense may be a problem perhaps, and physically managing both the FT817 and FT790 may be a challenge.

It's got to be worth a go! Also, it will be nice to use FT790 in 'anger', rather than just sitting on the bench looking nice.


MW0DNK said...

The FT-790 is a special radio indeed! I've just read your article and am glad it has a new lease of life in its new satcom role.

I was using mine last night to talk to my friend Dave, GW4JKR, who is about 5 miles away. It's a delight to move from high power (1W) to low power (200mW) to maintain a 5/9 QSO. Excellent audio quality all-round too.

Paul Stoetzer said...

You can even use it as the transmitter for VO-52. The 1 watt of output is plenty for VO-52. I have to reduce my power to 500 mW on high passes or else I'll blow my headphones off. AO-7 might be a bit tougher with a watt except at high elevations.

By the way, the 0.16 uV sensitivity spec for the FT-790 is better than the FT-817's 0.25 uV on 70 cm.


Paul, N8HM


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