[aprssig] Falconsat-3 - The APRS satellite for Mobiles

Fred Hillhouse fmhillhouse at comcast.net
Sat Mar 9 18:42:11 EST 2019

Anyone running a Satgate for Falconsat-3?


The satellite is in view in NH from about 1800-2200 EST now. Of course after tonight it will be 1900-2300 EDT.


Best regards,

Fred N7FMH



From: aprssig [mailto:aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org] On Behalf Of Robert Bruninga
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2019 2:06 PM
To: aprssig at lists.tapr.org
Subject: [aprssig] Falconsat-3 - The APRS satellite for Mobiles


Work a satellite from your APRS mobile, 5 times a day:


For APRS folks just sittin in their mobile with nothing to do, you can work FALCONSAT from any APRS Mobile…  Just confirm passes using Heavens-above.com (be sure to enter your location).  Though passes now are from about midnight to 6 AM, that pattern moves earlier about 36 minutes a day so it will be in the evenings in a few days.


The Falconsat digipeater operates APRS at 9600 baud and works fine from a 50W APRS mobile with mobile antenna.  Just turn on your rig, set the internal TNC to 9600 baud and monitor the downlink.  You should see packets from PFS3-1 and or other stations.


Tune 435.110 MHz at start of pass, then clicking down steps of 5 Khz towards the middle of the pass and then ending at 435.095 by the end ten minutes later.  If you are just going to monitor overnight, set to 435.105 for the early middle of the pass and check your LIST in the morning.


Uplink takes a bit more settings.  Set your PATH to go via PFS3-1 and set TNC to TX A and  RX B and set uplink on band A to 145.84 (no need to step doppler).  Set beacon to once a minute (and turn off decay and Proportioinal pathing).  You will NOT see your own digipeats.  Although the satellite and D710 are operating full duplex, the D710 TNC is not.  By the time the TNC TX/RX turns around, you will already have missed it.  So don’t just keep TXing until success,  You WONT see it.  But when you DO see someone else doing APRS, then by all means send them a message.  If he ACKS, then success!


I just did the math.  You don’t even need no stinkin computer.  Once  you hear a pass, then just remember that passes are 36 minutes earlier each day and the next pass on any given day is 98 minutes later (unless that was the last pass of the day).  During a western trip, just jotting down the time of a pass heard, then I could predict pass times therest of the day and every day for weeks.  Always just adding 98 minuets to the next pass and listening 36 minutes earlier each day.  See this manual technique: http://aprs.org/MobileLEOtracking.html


Here is how WD9EWK describes working FALCONSAT:  



Anyway, it’s a great satellite while mobile that needs no special antennas.  Just keep up with when it is generally coming over and have the frequencies already programmed into a channel in your radio.  Actually, program four frequencies to make it easy to shift for doppler.


We will try to remind everyone when passes enter more favorable evening or morning commute hours…


And here is a note I got form himpatrick at wd9ewk.net today:



From: Patrick STODDARD wd9ewk 
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] D72 to Falconsat-3 APRS


FalconSAT-3 uplink sensitivity is good. I regularly work it

with 5W from my TH-D72 with a handheld beam… I have used a TM-D710G at its various power levels, and 5W from the mobile radio works fine. 


Downlink power... it is strong. I can hear it a few degrees

above the horizon. 


I have used a TH-D72, TM-D710G, a pair of TH-D74s (The TH-D74 cannot operate APRS crossband)


I wrote about using these different radios, and combinations

of radios, for the AMSAT Journal in late 2017:






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