[amsat-bb] Re: AO40 contacts and more

Tony Langdon vk3jed at gmail.com
Thu Feb 3 18:48:32 PST 2011

At 01:18 PM 2/4/2011, k6yk wrote:
>I saw a mention of an issue  of  folks not wanting to make a big
>investment in satellite stuff to work SSB/CW.
>ALL of the original ham satellites were SSB/CW birds. No FM.
>And most hams already had enough equipment to get started.  The
>uplinks were on 2 meters or 70CM (that took a little more doing),
>the downlinks were on HF or 2 meters.   Some of the RS birds
>where  HF up and HF down, and HF up, 2 meters down.  Interesting

70cm SSB radios weren't common here, only the serious UHF DXers and 
satellite operators had one.  Thankfully, this situation has changed 
over the last 10 years, thanks to the all in one radios that are on 
the market.  I myself have gone from no 70cm SSB capability, to no 
fewer than 3 suitable radios in the last year.  2m SSB was a lot more 
common here, has been for many years.  I've had 2m SSB myself for 
over 10 years, and have at least 4 radios now that can do it.

As you'd expect, HF is common down here, but are VHF/UHF FM only 
radios, both mobile and HTs, especially near the major cities.

>Most folks had  HF gear to start off in ham radio. I did not have an HT
>until I was a ham for probably 20 years.

I was the opposite.  Economics made it easier for me to start with a 
2m HT.  I didn't have an all band HF transceiver until 2000, when 
secondhand prices had come down enough, and I had the money to pick 
one up secondhand.  Still got that radio too. :)

>Nowadays there is a LOT of  VHF/UHF multi mode gear floating around
>the used market for reasonable prices.  Also the antennas are available,
>for real cheap, or  haul it away for free. Keep your eyes and ears open.

Many more opportunities now.  There has never been a better time to 
try SSB on the birds.

>Hams are supposed to be resourceful and innovative!
>And I went and sold my FT-847 which was about the most expensive rig I
>bought!  Don't need it for these FM birds, I just use a dual-band mobile
>rig, works
>just as well.

I've just upgraded and got radios with VHF/UHF SSB 
capabilities.  This will be used both terrestrially (I have used one 
to gather telemetry from a balloon launch on 70cm) and hopefully on 
the sats.  These days it's good how a simply HF upgrade can give one 
so much more.  And there's the bonus FT-736 as a "hand me down" from 
a ham friend, in appreciation for the help I've given him over the 
years with antennas and other projects. :)

73 de VK3JED / VK3IRL

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