[amsat-bb] Frustrated--not hearing ARRISat

Burns Fisher burns at fisher.cc
Thu Aug 18 17:04:28 PDT 2011

Hi everyone,

Ok, I'm getting very frustrated and I think I need some Elmering.  I have
not heard ANYTHING from ARRISat-1, at least nothing intelligible.  I'm a
pretty new ham, so I'm getting into it one piece of equipment at a time.
 Figured I'd play a bit with a handheld, and then figure out what I needed
next step by step.  It's been several steps so far with nothing to show for
it except some pretty hardware and a smaller bank account.  I know a few
more things I can do, but I'd really like to know if I have some major
problem here.  I'll tell you what I'm trying, and I'd like to know if anyone
has had success with anything similar.

First, I have an M2 2-meter eggbeater antenna.  It is inside the house (my
shack is on the 2nd floor, sadly).  It has an SSB 2-meter pre-amp, followed
immediately by a Diamond 2m/70cm duplexer into a 25-foot feed line.  At that
point it is connected via an adapter to my Kenwood F6A handheld.  I also
have an FCD, but with its poor 2-meter filtering, I wanted to eliminate one

A few minutes ago, there was a nice pass from ARRISat-1 here in FN42
(southern NH ); it was in sunlight and had been for some time, should have
been up over 50 degrees elevation.  Turned everything on, (oh, yes including
a 13.8V power supply for the preamp, fed separately).  My radio tunes in
.005MHz increments, so I started out at 145.955 and tweaked around up and
down, shifting to 145.950 and 145.945 as the sat reached and passed max
elevation.   I *may* have heard vaguely down in the static a voice.  I *may*
have heard vaguely down in the static some data that might have been SSTV.
 I may have imagined it.

I *know* I would get better reception outside; I know I would be better off
with a directional antenna that had more gain.  I can see improving things
that way, but is NOTHING a reasonable expectation with this setup?  I can
receive the NOAA weather station on 162ish MHz (outside the pre-amp's curve
but I still get it);  I have received the ISS without the preamp (I know
that is a lot more power than the sat).  So I don't think something is
wildly broken.  So my question to you is:  Have any of you been able to read
the sat with anything similar?  An eggbeater?  I thought I remembered
someone receiving on a handheld with a rubber ducky?  BTW, someone previous
mentioned that I should try listening to some of the other lower-power sats;
many of them are 70cm downlink and I have not gotten a 70cm antenna yet.

Thanks for any advice or comparisons.


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