[aprssig] PCSAT still trucking

Bob Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Sat Oct 10 08:37:06 EDT 2009

Driving the Open road yesterday, I was surprised to see a CQ packet from PCSAT show up on my Mobile on 144.39.

Even I had forgotten that PCSAT does have a downlink on 144.39 over NOrth America, and if the channel happens to be quiet at the instant it transmits, then you can receive it on your mobile right there along with all the other local traffic!

Sure enough, I quickly QSY'd to its main downlink on 145.825, and there it was.

THen I went back to my LIST to read the packet in detail and it was GONE!  Yep, the station was beyond my POSITION LIMIT, and so my radio did not save it..  Drats...

I used to keep posiiton limit turned OFF, so that I could capture these random packets from hundreds or a thousand miles away, but have not done that in years.

A quick check of pcsat.aprs.org and ariss.net (now 24 hours later) and I cant figure out who it was.  ARISS downlink has already rolled over and th efew stations via PCSAT do not match the W1... call I thought I saw.

Oh well.  SO if you are on the open road far away from heavy activity on 144.39, do not be surprised if you occasionally hear a packet via PCSAT.  If you do, then QSY to 145.825 and try to work them.

PCSAT is basically dead, but when it DOES come over during mid-day in the Northern Hemisphere it can sometimes have enough power to relay a packet or two.  Being in DEFAULT mode, the 144.39 and 145.825 transmitters are cross-connected and that is why you can sometimes hear it on 144.39 in an uncongested area in North America.

But if you have your mobile POSITION LIMIT set to anything shorter than 1000 miles or more, you may not capture them.


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