Using the FT-847 to access Satellites

[The following is taken from a couple of posts of mine on the FT-847 Bulletin Board, a marvelous site dedicated to the Yaesu FT-847 (of course!)]

Post 1

In SAT mode, once I've set the downlink on the main VFO and the uplink on the sub-VFO with the unit set to [RX-TX] (as opposed to [TX-RX]), only the sub-VFO will transmit. The main VFO will receive. I don't find it necessary to press the A=B button.

For SSB, I generally have TCK-NOR or TCK-REV on too (depending on whether the sat transponder is true or reversed). Finding a free RX frequency with the main VFO, I tune my uplink more precisely by temporarily setting the sub VFO to CW and keying the TX. I then quickly adjust the SUB-TUNE until I hear the CW downlink. Then I flick the sub-VFO to USB/LSB (again depending on satellite), and more accurately tune the sub VFO (with the SUB-TUNE) calling CQ or replying to a call. The SUB-TUNE only affects the TX tuning whereas the main VFO affects both RX and TX when TCK-NOR/REV is on.

On FM sats, I don't use TCK-NOR or TCK-REV. You can generally guess the doppler after a bit of prctice and some prediction software. At the start of the pass 70cm birds will be about 11kHz high shifting to 11kHz low at the end. On 2m it's about 3kHz high to 3kHz low. I also have the sat meter set to DISC (menu option 34) all the time, allowing me to tune the downlink accurately.

FWIW, here's my SAT memories, Main VFO first then sub-VFO.

01 029.460 USB RX-TX 145.960 USB TCK-NOR RS1213A
02 029.354 USB RX-TX 145.858 USB TCK-NOR RS15A
03 145.825 USB RX-TX 435.179 LSB TCK-REV AO10B
04 435.800 USB RX-TX 146.000 LSB TCK-REV FO2029JA
05 436.792 FM RX-TX 145.850 FM No-Track AO27JA
06 435.175 FM RX-TX 145.900 FM No-Track KO23JD
07 435.120 FM RX-TX 145.900 FM No-Track UO22JD
08 436.500 FM RX-TX 145.980 FM No-Track KO25JD
09 435.070 FM RX-TX 145.975 FM No-Track UO14JA
10 145.825 FM RX-TX 436.291 FM No-Track SO35B
11 437.125 USB RX-TX 145.840 FM No-Track LO19JD
12 435.867 USB RX-TX 145.875 FM No-Track IO26JD

I've also set the packet speed to 9600 for UO22, KO23, KO25.

As you can see, the memories aren't in any particular logical order, just in the order I attempted to use them.

On linear transponders, there's a rule of thumb which says 'keep the lower frequncy fixed', so I suppose I should really have the FO2029JA mode so that the RX is on the sub VFO.

I've heard every sat above with a Diamond 2000 Triband vertical and 10m wire dipole.

The only analog sat I haven't worked yet is AO10.

With a mast preamp with the above configuration I can get about 20% of the digital sat downlink packets.

Post 2

o The Transponder sat frequencies I listed were all set to the bottom end of their RX band which is normally the CW portion. The RS12/13 entry is at the bottom end of the RS13 rather than RS12. The FM and digital sat frequncies listed are all at their center frequencies.

o I have the minimum step size set to 10 for _all_ my bands (I think it's menu setting 2 or 3). On the linear transponder sats I usually use this with the FAST setting so I can track the SUB-TUNE quickly. On the FM & digital birds I switch FAST off.

Looking at my log, it took me about 6 weeks from getting the FT-847 to actually hearing my own downlink. Major buzz #1.

It then took a further couple of weeks before I got my first QSO which was on RS13. Major buzz #2.

Mail Howard, G6LVB