[amsat-bb] FM LEO sats on Field Day - A unique perspective

Clayton Coleman W5PFG kayakfishtx at gmail.com
Sun Jun 24 15:56:45 PDT 2012

On Saturday, I was at around 2600-3200 ft elevation going through
Skyline Drive in Northern Virginia.  I hadn't planned on working any
satellite passes since I was a portable station and not participating
in Field Day, but I stopped to listen to two AO-27 passes in the

The first pass, I was facing the west side of the mountains.
Amazingly, I heard 4 stations trying to get into AO-27 on the uplink.
I was hearing them direct on 145.85.  The funny thing is, not one of
them ever was picked up by AO-27.  Secondly, 2 of the 4 stations kept
giving their callsign over and over from AOS to LOS, even with AO-27
being on a seven minute timer.  This tells me a couple of things: 1.
They don't know how AO-27 operates and 2. They apparently weren't
listening to the bird.  I tried calling two of the strongest stations
on 145.85 after the pass, thinking they might be listening.  Nope.  I
never heard a response.  Makes me wonder how many people leave the
volume up on the uplink side of their setup (if running full duplex.)

The second pass, I was pleased to hear several "5 land" stations
making contacts through the madness.  However, I heard several
different stations on the uplink.  This time it was the usual variety
of "hello hello hello" and "test 1 2 3."  Again, I was hearing this
trash all on the uplink 145.85...  The sad part is, I never heard a
callsign.  It sounded like 2-3 different stations trying than on the
first pass.

I realize the satellite hears a lot more crap than I could ever hear
at 3200 feet, but it was a very interesting perspective I've not
encountered before.  I have been in areas when other stations (local)
were on the birds, but this is different -- one of the stations I
heard on the uplink was 200+ miles away.


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