[amsat-bb] Re: Active FM Sats

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Tue Jul 5 10:40:37 PDT 2011

Hi John!

> Belcom used to make (and might still make) all mode HTs that cover a wide
> variety of bands.  Santec imported one as the LS202 in the 80s, it was an
> all mode 2 meter HT.  I found one at a hamfest with 2 new battery packs a
> couple of years ago for $80!  AEA imported the 10 meter version (and the 6m
> version but that doesn't help with the satellites) back in the 80s, calling
> it the "DX Handy".  Around 2000 Eagle made the Eagle 454 Spitfire which was
> a 10 meter all mode HT (mainly aimed at the CB and Freeband crowd), and
> another company has recently started marketing a 10 meter all mode HT
> again.  Belcom also made a 70cm all mode HT.

Other than whatever company is marketing that new 10m all-mode HT,
which would only be useful for AO-7 mode A at this time (assuming it
tunes up to 29.400-29.500 MHz and not just around the lower end of
the 10m band), you would be looking for the smallest needles in the
largest proverbial haystack to get those old all-mode HTs that are no
longer in production.  This is why I referenced radios that are currently
in production and more plentiful on the secondhand market in the
FT-817/FT-817ND and the TH-F6/TH-F7 - even if the FT-817 is
slightly larger than "HT size".

> I have been waiting to comment on early threads on this post as well.  While
> the linear satellites do hold more possibilities, they are more expensive to
> get on, and unfortunately in the States, there just isnt' that much activity
> on VO52 which is unfortunate since it is a such a great satellite.  The FM
> satellites are just cheaper to get started on.
> I can do one linear sat right now-AO7 in Mode A-using my Icom 706 original.
> I bought the rig for $260, got a Mirage B108 amp for $40, and a 2M9SSB for
> $40 (plus the gas and tolls to pick it up).  The light duty rotor  was
> already up but it was about $80 new.  The 9913 copy coax was $38.  For the
> 10 meter downlink I already had a dipole up, but that would cost $30 or so
> to build-including coax.  Overall, I got very good prices on this setup, it
> would usually cost more.

All you need now is something that will transmit and receive in all modes
at 70cm.  Maybe an old FT-817, or IC-706Mk2/Mk2G, would be a good
fit for your station.  You're not that far away from working all the SSB/CW
birds, and you seem to have a way of finding all sorts of radios (seeing
your for-sale posts on different lists and forums over the years).  As for
the numbers of operators on VO-52 and the other SSB/CW satellites,
that number is slowly growing.  It may never match the numbers working
FM simply due to the cost and availability of FM gear, but people are
out there working those birds.  Maybe we'll hook up on VO-52 sometime,
or I will get my mode A situation worked out and join you on AO-7 that
way.  :-)



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