[amsat-bb] Noob Questions

Kevin M n4ufo at yahoo.com
Sat Mar 29 11:03:27 PDT 2014

Could someone tell me what the "top 10" SSB/CW (non-FM only) birds are that
are operational and most popular these days?
Sorry, but it doesn't get to 10.... there are only four operational.

FO-29 - JAS 2

Uplink: 145.900 – 146.000 MHz
Downlink: 435.800 – 435.900 MHz (inverted)
Beacon: 435.795 MHz 12WPM with CW message 

AO-7 - OSCAR 7 Mode B 

Uplink: 432.125 - 432.175 MHz
Downlink: 145.975 - 145.925 MHz (inverted)
Beacon: 145.972 MHz


Uplink: 435.225 to 435.275 MHz LSB/CW
Downlink: 145.875 to 145.925 MHz USB/CW (inverted)
Beacon: 145.860 MHz 12WPM with CW message 

AO-73 - Funcube-1

Uplink:  435.160 - 435.140 MHz LSB/CW
Downlink:  145.950 - 145.970 MHz USB/CW (inverted)
Beacon: 145.935 MHz 
transponder active when in eclipse

My recommendation would be to spend less on the beams and more on feedline and preamps. Those are circular polarized antennas... without wiring up relays to switch directions, you are better off just having a single polarity. It's my understanding from ops that DO have switching CP that you won't know from one pass to the next whether the bird will be RHCP or LHCP relative to your location. http://sv1bsx.50webs.com/antenna-pol/polarization.html

I am about to put up a couple of used Cushcraft beams and I consider it a bit of overkill myself; an A430-11S and an A144-10S. I plan to mount one vertical and the other horizontal to help with desense separation. I was originally working AO-7, FO-29 and VU-52 with a couple homebrew antennas tilted about 20 degrees on a TV rotor; 7 elements on UHF and a 2m 'IO' antenna... and NO preamps. The extra gain of the Cushcraft antennas will be nice for low horizon passes, but I will definitely need the AZ-EL rotor with that much gain... and with the preamps, I should be able to hear about anything.

I would recommend Davis Buryflex 9913F or maybe LMR-400 for feedline... However at 50 feet, if you have preamps, RG-213 would be just fine. I plan to mimic the preamp installation of KB5WIA... I got one of those cases cheap from MCM Electronics and picked up some used ARR preamps like he has. (25 watt transmit limit, but that is PLENTY! In fact, it's probably TOO much.) I also got a couple of MFJ diplexers to add to each feedline before the preamp to filter out the other band. But if you do add preamps, go with Davis Buryflex between the antennas and preamps... that is where you will lose receive signal.


Good luck with the frankenrotor... that looks pretty cool! I was lucky enough to find a used 5400B... I just hope it doesn't have any problems. Feel free to e-mail me for any details like the case, homebrew antenna plans, etc.


Kevin N4UFO
n4ufo at yahoo.com

"Control is the need of the fearful mind. Trust is the need of the courageous heart."

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