Amateur Radio Satellites

I’ve had a lot of fun working satellites! As an example, during November 2009 alone I’ve worked contacts in not only Missouri, but Georgia, Mississippi, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Arizona, California, Alaska, Mexico, and British Columbia!

I find this activity exciting for several reasons. First, you can make contacts over large distances of the continent on five watts. Second, there’s the anticipation of the pass, and the thrill of the chase! Waiting for the satellite to come over the horizon, and being able to pick it out with your antenna, and keeping track, not only by pointing in the right piece of the sky, but by adjusting your frequency to account for the Doppler shift is a challenge. Finally, the fast pace of communication is similar to contesting, where not only do you want to be heard, you want to be acknowledged!

Over the months, I’ve made small mistakes, and gained experience. I’ve come up to speed in developing my technique to where I can be successful, and have a lot of fun on nearly every pass!

Overall, the equipment required is not that outrageous, considering I’m only using my 5 watt, hand held radio, a hand held VHF/UHF Yagi Antenna, and a digital recorder. Unless you have a photographic memory, the last item is very important to capture the call signs you have communicated with. It can be a tape recorder, but digital recorders work well on several levels, which include uploading the sessions to the computer, so I can share them with you! Click on the following:

November 7, 2009 - November 9, 20009 - November 11, 2009

(You'll note on a few of the recordings, I get excited, and forgot if my grid square is EM28 or EM29! It happens.)

This one is good! I sent the audio recording of our Satellite Contact of November 12, 2009 to WA6RSV of Las Angelas, California. He topped that by sending me a video recording of the same contact. (Note that he's operating from indoors with his hand held equipment.) That's me about 3 or so minutes into the video. After I clear with WA6RSV, you'll hear another station trying to contact me; W6FOG. He is a maritime operator somewhere out in the Pacific. I missed him, as I had already shut down!

November 12, 2009

This next one is my favorite contact! It is good enough that it has it's own page. Click on the link below.

My Favorite Satellite QSO, July 6, 2010

The specific equipment I’m using is:

 

Yaesu FT-60 Dual Band Hand Held

 
Arrow II LEO, Model 146/437-10WBP
Dual-Band, Hand Held Antenna
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Sony ICD-PX720 Digital Recorder


Satellite Links:

 

Click Here for Satellite Frequency Matrix Lists

Click Here for Hams In Space Satellite Presentations

Click Here for a Great Web Site on Satellites
by Clint Bradford, K6LCS

( http://work-sat.com )

KD0HKD Satellite Presentation
( MS Power Point )

KD0HKD Satellite Resources and Links

 

AMSAT Member

Number 37179

 

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