[amsat-bb] Re: Fwd: VO-52 FM Operation

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Sat Dec 3 20:48:35 PST 2011

> BTW, it's impossible to access VO-52 in FM with a 5 watt HT
> and arrow antennas because for a decent QSO on CW and SSB
> we need at least 50 watt and a 13 dBi 70 cm antenna.


I don't have a 70cm antenna with that much gain. I currently use
an Elk log periodic, started working SSB via satellite with an Arrow
Yagi in 2008, and - once - I even used a telescoping whip!  My
transmit radio for the SSB birds is only at 5W (FT-817ND), and I
have worked VO-52 many times and have had many decent QSOs.
You do *NOT* need 50W into an antenna with that much gain as
a minimum for working VO-52, unless your feedline to the high-
gain antenna is very long and/or of very poor quality.

When VO-52 is very high in the sky, I can reduce my transmit power
from 5W to 500mW and keep a QSO going.  I don't normally cut my
power back on AO-7 mode B or - when available - FO-29, since
those satellites' receivers do not appear to be as sensitive as the
receiver on VO-52.

Five watts (or less) with a directional antenna on all three of these
satellites in SSB has added almost 1100 QSOs to my satellite log,
about 10% of my almost 11000 satellite QSOs.  And all of those
almost 1100 QSOs were made from portable stations working from
many different locations across the continental USA and three other
countries.  This may not be a large percentage of QSOs, especially
when compared to the percentage of satellite QSOs I've made via
AO-51 before its recent demise that I recently wrote about, but I
enjoy working SSB via satellite as much as I do FM.



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