[amsat-bb] back on the birds after 15-year absence - want tips on antenna system

William Hein bill.aa4xt at gmail.com
Mon Dec 28 10:20:52 PST 2009

I was an active Satellite operator back in the AO-10, AO-13 and Radio Sputnik days (as AA6TT) and am just getting back on the birds after a near 15-year absence and am getting used to today's LEO sats.  I completely missed AO-40.  VERY surprised to learn AO-7 is QRV!

I presently have an Arrow antenna on a tripod located indoors.  Rig is a FT-847 with MacDoppler tracking software.  I successfully heard the 70cm CW beacon from HO-68 earlier today so it's nice to know everything works. Will be attempting QSOs on future passes on this and other LEO birds.

I will be building a more robust outdoor antenna system in a few months and want to make sure I am prepared for the satellites which may be launched in the next few years.

Here is what I am thinking (overkill for LEO birds but I want to be ready to MEO & HEO sats):

	10m	Dipole
	V		M2 2M-CP14 or Gulf Alpha 2M-8ELSat and SSB Electronic mast-mounted preamp
	U		M2 436CP-30 or Gulf Alpha 70CM-16ELSat and SSB Electronic mast-mounted preamp


(1)  RHCP for the V and U Yagis?  Any reason to have switchable polarity?

(2)  Anyone who has used both M2 and Gulf Alpha satellite antennas please comment on their relative merit.?  I find M2 on-air performance to be very good however I have had problems with M2 feed-point failures.

(3)  Will next gen ham satellites have S-Band downlinks?

(4)  Will next gen ham satellites have L-Band uplinks and/or downlinks?

(5)  Other bands to be prepared for?

(6)  Are these the satellites currently available for 2-way QSOs?  AO-7, AO-27, AO-51, SO-67 & HO-68.  Did I miss any?

(7)  Any pattern to when AO-7 is in Mode A and Mode B?



William Hein, AA4XT

mobile:  +1 (615) 967-1226
email:  Bill.AA4XT at Gmail.com
Loc:  EM65PS
Web:  AA4XT.com

6752 Owen Hill Road
College Grove TN 37046-9122

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