Which are the "Easy-to-Work" Satellites?
Yes, we were "spoiled" with the REALLY easy-to-work AO-51 and ARISSat-1 satellite projects - both, though, have recently ceased operations. BUT we still have AO-27, SO-50, and the ISS available to work with minimal equipment - equipment most hams already own!
For complete, current information on working these "easy sats" - including how to track the satellites, antenna improvement suggestions and projects, frequency charts, and more! - visit ...
Clint Bradford, K6LCS
I personally believe FO-29 is also very easy, followed by VO-52. Both require the same types of antennas as the ones you listed. The only difference is the radio modes (SSB vs FM.)
A review of the Live OSCAR Sat Status Page at ...
... shows us that there are other sats up and running, indeed! But the main thrust of my site is to get folks new to the satellites working them - with equipment they probably already own. And I keep it simple - and just focus on the "easy, FM voice" satellites.
I can receive AO-27 with my HT when it's over 25* above the horizon but I have yet to receive SO-50 and ISS.
I have a 3 element 2mtr Arrow yagi I tried on the ISS but no go and I built a 6 element UHF yagi and can't hear SO-50 but it sure works great on AO-27.
From what I can see on the AMSAT web site AO-27 and SO-50 are on the same freq. (436.795mhz DL) and latley they've been coming over almost at the same time, tho one is asending the other is desending.
For the ISS I have DL of 145.800mhz but haven't heard anything yet.
Is SO-50 and the ISS repeater actually working?
>> ... I can receive AO-27 with my HT ...
Then you know your Keplerian data is OK - and you have properly set up your tracking method/program!
>> ... I have yet to receive SO-50 and ISS ...
Try during daylight hours on the weekends for SO-50. It is a little more - well, I think the technical term is "finicky" - to work: not a consant-carrier bird, and only 250mW coming down from it.
Make sure you have the proper CTCSS tones on TX ONLY - and not on RX - for SO-50.
>> ... For the ISS I have DL of 145.800mhz but haven't heard anything yet.
For latest ISS info, go to http://www.issfanclub.com - packet has been active on the UHF freq!
>> ... Is SO-50 and the ISS repeater actually working?
SO-50 - daylight hours, YES! The ISS crossband repeater? Down for almost three years. But Flight Engineer Pettit may play with it before he leaves the ISS. Seems the SS needed the Kenwood's power outlet for another non-ham device ...
Links to all the control stations' pages - frequency charts - and much more info on working the FM sats with your HT - always at ...
I'll second Clint's comments. SO-50 is more difficult to pick up than AO-27. I'm running a similar antenna setup (4-element 2m yagi and 6-element 70cm yagi). I'm usually listening for the linear birds (AO-7, FO-29, and VO-52), but when I've tried SO-50, it is considerably weaker than AO-27. SO-50 is also less likely to have the continuous stream of traffic going through it which makes it harder to find when nobody is actively on it when you're listening.
Last edited by K7WDO; 06-15-2012 at 05:24 PM.