[amsat-bb] Handheld for LEO satellites?

Paul Stoetzer n8hm at arrl.net
Wed Jan 21 17:45:06 UTC 2015


Since FM handhelds are so cheap, there's not much downside to starting out
there, even though SO-50 is the only operational FM satellite at the
moment. I do enjoy the linear transponders and it's worth it in my opinion
to get the equipment necessary to use them. They are a much more relaxed
environment than the FM satellites, at least when a rare grid or country
isn't on! AO-7, FO-29, and AO-73 don't require a ton of expensive equipment
at all, but it surely will run more than the $30 for an HT.

I strongly suggest operating full duplex, using a second HT as the downlink
receiver. When operating full duplex, you know if your transmission is
making it through the satellite and if you are doubling with someone else,
which is extremely helpful.

Hopefully, three more FM satellites will be available for our use by the
end of this year:

EO-80 (European-OSCAR 80, QB50p2) - In orbit, but currently completing a
test mission for the QB50 project. When activated for amateur use, it'll
have a 435.080 MHz uplink (210.7 Hz PL) and a 145.840 MHz downlink (
http://www.amsat-f.org/spip/spip.php?article82)

Fox-1A - Launch scheduled for August 27, 2015 from Vandenberg Air Force
Base with the NROL-55 mission as part of NASA's ELaNa program. Uplink will
be 435.180 MHz (67.0 Hz PL), downlink will be 145.980 MHz.

Fox-1C  - Launch is scheduled for the third quarter of this year. AMSAT
purchased a slot on Spaceflight Services' inaugural SHERPA mission (please
donate to the launch fund here if you can
https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/6pz92/ab/f3qmG9). No frequencies announced
yet.

The radio is only half the battle, you'll also need an antenna. There is no
shortage of construction projects if you want to build one and there are
two main commercial models, the Arrow and the Elk. I find the Arrow to be
superior to the Elk for receiving the 70cm downlink of SO-50. Any
omnidirectional antenna such as an extended whip is likely to be useless on
SO-50 except in the very best of operating conditions.

73,

Paul, N8HM



On Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 12:06 PM, Steve Kristoff <skristof at etczone.com>
wrote:

> Thanks to all for the info on the handhelds. I appreciate your quick
> responses and personal insights and experiences. After a little more
> research on the subject, it looks like SO-50 is the only operational FM
> repeater satellite? Is that correct and,if so, is a dual-band FM handheld
> still a reasonable option for getting started?
> Looks like the upcoming FOX satellites are going to be FM repeaters, so
> maybe it's still worth it? Again, as a newbie, I appreciate your thoughts.
>
> Steve AI9IN
> skristof at etczone.com
>
> On Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 10:08 AM, <jerry.tuyls at telenet.be> wrote:
>
> > Steve
> >
> > The Yaesu FT-60 works FB on FM sats, just 1 memory needed.You can tune
> the
> > downlink from the stored memory which works great, so no need to program
> 10
> > channels
> > with different freqs.
> > Or u can use 1 FT-817ND with the interface on ARRL store to tune freqs by
> > pc. Can work all sats!
> >
> > 73's
> >
> > Jerry,ON4CJQ
> >
> > ----- Oorspronkelijk bericht -----
> > Van: "Steve Kristoff" <skristof at etczone.com>
> > Aan: amsat-bb at amsat.org
> > Verzonden: Dinsdag 20 januari 2015 23:18:11
> > Onderwerp: [amsat-bb] Handheld for LEO satellites?
> >
> > I'm new to the list and have been listening to some satellites. I'd like
> > to move on to QSOs. Can folks recommend a handheld that will get me on
> the
> > most commonly used satellites? I'd be grateful for multiple suggestions
> and
> > reviews.
> > Thanks!
> >
> > Steve Kristoff AI9IN
> > skristof at etczone.com
> >
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