Steve Kristoff skristof at etczone.com
Sun Feb 15 18:52:27 UTC 2015

As a newbie, I appreciate the reminders, Clint! I've just started working 
SO-50 over the last couple of weeks. I don't call "CQ satellite" since I 
read up a little on protocol before I started. I do hope that I have not 
stepped on anybody as I learn the techniques. I very much hope that someone 
will, politely and discreetly, let me know if I screw up!
Your post does bring up a question I've been pondering for a while. You 
mention using an earpiece to monitor the downlink and also mention recording 
the satellite pass. I have been recording the satellite passes and that 
works pretty well for sorting out my contacts, but I'm not sure how to 
record the pass AND use an earpiece at the same time. Using headphones or an 
earpiece cuts out the speaker, so how do you record and use an earpiece at 
the same time?
I'd really appreciate some help with this. Thank you!

Steve Kristoff AI9IN
skristof at etczone.com

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Clint Bradford" <clintbradford at mac.com>
To: "AMSAT BB" <amsat-bb at AMSAT.Org>
Sent: Sunday, February 15, 2015 1:01 PM
Subject: [amsat-bb] CQ SATELLITE! CQ SATELLITE!

This post does NOT apply to about 99.4% of the members here ... So if you 
are a seasoned FM bird operator, just skip reading. BUT if you are new to 
the FM satellites ...

I have heard a couple hams trying to work SO-50 the past week. They have 
their sat prediction software all set up properly ... have improved their 
antennas ... and have the proper set of frequencies programmed ...

But they are not working full duplex (where you can monitor the downlink as 
you key your mic) and are stepping on other transmissions. AND they are 
simply declaring, "CQ satellite ... " over and over and over.

That is not how we should be working the FM birds.

Ideally, we should be working the FM voice satellites in full duplex mode, 
where we can simultaneously listen to the downlink as we are transmitting. 
This might mean a second radio with an earpiece (to avoid feedback) to make 
sure you are "making it" and are not stepping on others' contacts. Carefully 
monitor the downlink, and wait for a break in the conversations to announce 
yourself. You might find it helpful to record your sessions for later 
review. Even if you don’t make a contact during a pass, a recording can help 
you recognize the callsigns and voices of other operators. Pocket recorders 
or smartphone apps are great for this.

Knowing your grid square - and having a grid square map - is a quick way of 
identifying locations of what you will hear. There are also fellow satellite 
operators who are working towards awards based on the number of unique grid 
squares they contact: that is why you should know yours as you work the 
birds. The ARRL and Icom have grid square maps: Icom’s is free and available 
at better ham radio stores.

When you clearly hear others, listen for a break in the action, and use the 
ITU-approved phonetics to announce your callsign, grid square, and operating 
mode. I am K6LCS in grid square DM-13, so it becomes ...


There's a little "debate" on the necessity of the "operating mode" 
declaration. If you state, "handheld," it used to tell seasoned satellite 
operators to let you in and get your contact made - knowing you were working 
low power. Some might use "demo" as their op mode - as they operate in front 
of a club or hamfest. It is not "improper" to include an op mode - many do 

SO ... simply keying up and declaring "CQ satellite" over and over again is 
simply not the proper protocol to be using. It does not identify neither you 
nor your location.

More information on working the "easy birds" always at ... 

Clint Bradford K6LCS
909-241-7666 - cell, Pacific coast time
Sent via AMSAT-BB at amsat.org. AMSAT-NA makes this open forum available
to all interested persons worldwide without requiring membership. Opinions 
are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the official views of 
Not an AMSAT-NA member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program!
Subscription settings: http://amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/amsat-bb 

More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list