[amsat-bb] Handheld for LEO satellites?

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Wed Jan 21 02:04:49 UTC 2015


I haven't tested *every* Chinese HT, but have tried a few that
can serve as a good sampling of what's on the market.   Most
of the Chinese HTs have so-so receivers with sharper receive
filtering than what we see from the traditional 3 ham equipment
manufacturers (Icom, Kenwood, Yaesu).  I have used the
Baofeng UV-5R, BF-F8HP (higher-power version of UV-5R), and
UV-82 (updated design).  From Wouxun, the KG-UV8D.  None
of these are capable of full-duplex operation with SO-50, but the
KG-UV8D will work full-duplex with the upcoming Fox-1 series
of FM satellites.

I have also used a FUNcube Dongle Pro+ with HDSDR software
on a Windows 8.1 tablet for SO-50, as well as our other current
satellites.  This is an acceptable receive setup for satellite work,
paired with another radio as your transmitter - an HT for SO-50,
an FT-817 or some other all-mode transceiver that works at 2m
and 70cm for the other satellites.  I have been putting updates
of my tests using the dongle and tablet on my @WD9EWK
Twitter feed (see http://twitter.com/WD9EWK if you don't use
Twitter), and an article for an upcoming issue of the AMSAT
Journal is in the works.

Bottom line... working satellites full-duplex is preferred.  This
allows you to hear the satellite downlink while transmitting, and
you know your signals are making it through the satellite.  Only
one HT in current production does this for SO-50 (Kenwood
TH-D72A), and a few 2m/70cm FM mobile radios will do this.
There are many HTs that aren't in production that can do what
the TH-D72A does, and some have already been mentioned.
Otherwise, the prices of the Chinese-made HTs mean it doesn't
take a lot of $$$ to have a workable full-duplex setup for the
current SO-50 satellite, as well as the upcoming Fox-1 satellites.



On Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 1:39 AM, Paul Stoetzer <n8hm at arrl.net> wrote:
> Well, I certainly wouldn't recommend that!
> I did work a guy in New Brunswick doing just that. I think he said he was
> using the hood of his car as a bit of a reflector too, but that's certainly
> not going to be adequate for SO-50 in any but the most ideal circumstances.
> An FT-817 is a great radio to get started with satellites as you then have
> lots of options for getting a second radio to use as a receiver. I started
> out trying a TH-F6A as my receiver, then moved to an Icom IC-R10 that I
> made several hundred QSOs with as my downlink receiver, and finally the
> second FT-817 that I use today. Others have gotten used UHF or VHF
> multimode radios, the FUNcube Dongle, or others.
> As far as HTs...WD9EWK has probably tested just about every cheap Chinese
> HT on the market for use as a receiver on SO-50. He'll probably kick in his
> advice here.
> 73,
> Paul, N8HM

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