Is SO-50 Okay?

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by KR0SIV, Dec 13, 2013.

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  1. KR0SIV

    KR0SIV Ham Member QRZ Page

    The past few nights I've been trying to monitor SO-50 during its eclipsed passes...

    This isn't usually a problem, I realize it's about 1:30AM but even then usually someone is on the bird.
    Did it finally die out on us, or do I just need to get my butt up in the morning when it's more active?

    I'm guessing it's probably the latter, though when I can hear the new Funcube-1 satellite at 2:30AM it makes me wonder.
  2. AC0RA

    AC0RA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Are you operating full duplex? If so you should hear yourself no problem. If not then I suggest you do. I see on the Oscar satellite status page that oz1my heard so50 after you reported not hearing it. I suspect that no one else was on at that time in the morning. The weekend might be a better time for the late night early morning passes. I personally haven't had a chance to work so-50 this week due to pass times.
    N5WD likes this.
  3. W5PFG

    W5PFG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I haven't worked graveyard-shift SO-50 passes in a while. In the past when working the ones after midnight (Central time,) on a weeknight, they were a ghost town. Most of the time I had to turn on the transponder's 10-minute timer by transmitting the 74.4 Hz sub-audible tone.

    One interesting thing I have observed in the past on late-night passes: Sometimes when I turn the transponder on, there is a station or two trying to get in but they never had tried turning on the timer. This happens during the day, too, but more common at night.
  4. KR0SIV

    KR0SIV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks guys, I had a feeling that was the case.
    Maybe I'll head out with a spare radio and try full duplex and see if I can hear myself on the downlink.
    My new job keeps me working during the daylight passes so I've not had the chance to check it when there are more people on the air.

    I only recently obtained the hardware required for SSB satellites and haven't yet tried working those so I was concerned we lost our last FM bird.
  5. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just make sure to be ready to transmit to SO-50 on 145.850 MHz with the 74.4 Hz PL tone, in case nobody else has already done that before you should hear the satellite. It is usually on as it approaches North America for passes in the daytime and evenings, but may be off at night if nobody is up to turn it on. Then transmit on the same frequency with the 67.0 Hz tone, and you should be able to hear yourself through the satellite - day or night.

    What gear do you have for the SSB satellites?

    As you've probably seen in other threads on this forum, a few of us are working those satellites - especially the new FUNcube-1 (AO-73) that was launched 3 weeks ago. They offer different challenges, but are also fun to work.

    Good luck, and 73!
    AK5B likes this.
  6. AC0RA

    AC0RA Ham Member QRZ Page

    SO-50 is working fine as expected. Worked N5JB and WB9SVK on the 7utc pass and on the previous pass I worked W2SKI.
    KM5LY likes this.
  7. KG4ULT

    KG4ULT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello all,

    Is this satellite still operable. Id like to get back on the LEO's now that i am living near the beach and HF is kind of dead to me being as which my apartment antenna is no good for 40 HIHI.

  8. K6LCS

    K6LCS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    >> ... Is this satellite still operable ...

    Absolutely - in daylight passes! Make sure you accommodate for Doppler on the RX/440 side ... Programming freqs / chart and other stuff for you published at ...

  9. W5PFG

    W5PFG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Again SO-50 must be operating strangely over California because it works great in eclipse over Texas.
  10. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    SO-50 is also available at night. Not just in the daytime. The web site shows when hams around the world have heard it, and other satellites, in the past few days.

    SO-50 does not transmit all the time, and may need to be turned on by transmitting on the 145.850 MHz uplink with a 74.4 Hz PL a couple of seconds. This turns it on for 10 minutes, and you can then transmit through it on the same 145.850 MHz frequency but with a 67.0 Hz PL tone. Receive the downlink around 436.795 MHz +/- for Doppler. The satellite only transmits when a signal is received with the proper PL tone, so don't expect to hear a steady carrier when the satellite is on and idling.

    SO-50's passes are not around the same times every day. There is a cycle to the passes, repeating over a period of a few weeks at a time. Web sites, computer programs, and smartphone/tablet apps can show you upcoming passes for your location.

    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
    GW0UDJ likes this.

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