Considering Satellites

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by NN9D, Dec 4, 2018.

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  1. NN9D

    NN9D Ham Member QRZ Page

    Been far too long off the air, between work schedules and HOA restrictions. I'm looking at working satellites along with packet and APRS messaging as a way to get some air time. Right now I have a Yaesu 857D and FT60. The other rigs in the shack really won't factor in, other than as trade material (Ten-Tec Argonaut V). I was considering trading in the Ten-Tec and the Yaesu FT60, but the more that I think about this, the more I think that it may make more sense to keep both rigs (especially since the Ten-Tec won't have much trade value, and the FT60 could be used with some of these operations, if I have that right) and go with an outright purchase of a Kenwood TH72 or 74 as a means of getting more capability and portability.

    Somehow I have the nagging feeling I'm overlooking something, however. Would like some feedback from people who have some experience with these modes.


    Ed, NN9D
  2. K3RLD

    K3RLD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Bare minimum (FM only): 2 cheapo VHF/UHF HT's, a diplexer, some coax, and an arrow or elk (or homebrew) beam antenna. Nice to have: full duplex HT or mobile.

    Note that the 857D and a new/used TH-D74 will make for a full duplex "power station" cabable of working all birds - FM, Linear, and Packet!
    WD9EWK likes this.
  3. NE3R

    NE3R Ham Member QRZ Page

    Full duplex is not listed as a feature on the Kenwood TH-D74, I'm pretty sure that has been confirmed by some owners. Get the TH-D72 if you want it for FM satellite work.
    KI2H and K6CLS like this.
  4. W5PFG

    W5PFG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not so fast.

    The TH-D74 is not full duplex.


    Full duplex in one HT is nice, but definitely not required. In fact, having had several full duplex HT's, I confess I like using two radios better. I am using a TH-D74 paired with another radio on this current business trip. No complaints. Great receiver and built-in recorder.
    WD9EWK likes this.
  5. KA2CZU

    KA2CZU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    “Everything should be as simple as it can be, but not simpler” (possibly attributed to Albert Einstein :) )
    W5PFG likes this.
  6. W5PFG

    W5PFG Ham Member QRZ Page

    The one thing I might point out is that sometimes operating satellites can get addictive. The community is very friendly, the pass schedules give some 'flexibility' for our busy lives, and it's just plain fun.
    K4BAD, WE4B, WD9EWK and 1 other person like this.
  7. NN9D

    NN9D Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have the hunch that K3RLD may be looking at full duplex being available by way of having two rigs, rather than one rig with built in full duplex.

    By the way, do appreciate the comments from W5PFG. That sort of thing would be nice. Here in central Indiana, I have been told that there is increasing interest in terrestrial packet, as well. All in all, I am starting to wonder if the TH-74 might offer more, especially with the SSB receive capability. I could see using the FT60 for an uplink while the TH-74 could be used for the SSB downlink, when operating away from the base. Any comments on choosing one over the other?


  8. AI6DO

    AI6DO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, that's correct.

    FT-60R is FM only. TH-D74 is good for FM, SSB, and packet. The latter would be far more versatile. I use a TH-D74 as a receiver for the linear satellites, and an FT-818ND for the uplink. I don't think you can find a smaller/lighter set of current-production radios suitable for working all satellites full-duplex. The TH-D74 also has D-STAR, which I haven't used much, and built-in Bluetooth, which I find works very well for the SSB downlinks.

    73, Ryan AI6DO
    WD9EWK likes this.

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