Is SO-50 Okay?

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

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  1. K3RLD

    K3RLD Ham Member QRZ Page

    It wasn't in eclipse yet, but I made 5 contacts on SO-50 last night at about 00:00z. One of the contacts was with W5CHA at 6°, with a small mountain in my way ( think I measured it once to be around 3° above the horizon). His signal was strong - hard to believe how little power this thing puts out, yet still strong, crisp audio.
    WE4B, W5PFG and WD9EWK like this.
  2. W5PFG

    W5PFG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree. The audio on SO-50 is outstanding. It never ceases to amaze me how well it hears, either.

    I made a few contacts around 01:50 UTC today on it. Worked like a champ!
    WE4B and WD9EWK like this.
  3. NJ7H

    NJ7H Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nice to work you from Middleton Island, AK BO69 on it the other day. Lots of great SO-50 passes lately from Alaska including Adak Island recently, made several QSOs over 5000km and below 1°, it’s amazing what you can hear when you adjust your polarity to match the satellite and use good coax and receivers!
    WE4B, W5PFG and WD9EWK like this.
  4. W5PFG

    W5PFG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Are you saying that people should actually aim? I've seen some videos of a space man aiming his antenna at 45° elevation for nearly an entire pass.
    W5SAT, WD9EWK and WE4B like this.
  5. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page


    SO-50 worked well on Friday (29 March) and Saturday (30 March) evening. I worked the Friday evening passes from the DM61/DM62 grid boundary in southwestern New Mexico, south of Deming - one in the late afternoon daylight, and the other as the sun set. Lots of activity, good signals, and even a nice long-distance contact on one pass with AL6D from Yakutat in Alaska. Saturday evening, I was in southeastern Arizona parked on the DM51/DM52 grid boundary. Again, two passes - one in the late afternoon, the other around sunset. Again, lots of stations, and good signals. I even had XE1AY/HI3 from the Dominican Republic calling me late in one Saturday pass.

    SO-50 was also busy during a Saturday morning pass from the Radio Society of Tucson's hamfest in Tucson AZ (grid DM42). During what was effectively an overhead pass for southern Arizona, a good demonstration for the hamfest - working 11 stations from northwestern Mexico to Indiana in the span of 7 minutes.

    SO-50 is fine. Day, or night.

    W5PFG likes this.
  6. WE4B

    WE4B Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was out and about today and had noted that there was going to be a SO-50 pass at 19:01z on 4/15/2019. All I happened to have with me was my trusty Yaesu VX-6. I was near Alabama State University and knew they had a nice parking lot near their football stadium, so I pulled into the empty parking lot and readied my trusty HT. Yes, I know, half-duplex, no directional antenna... was I going to be a lid and just mess-up the pass for those with more appropriate equipment? Nope. I listened carefully, until I could clearly hear the satellite and had heard W4ATX making contacts so I called that station and received an answer and a QSL.

    Yes, it was during the day and the bird was fully illuminated, but it just goes to show that SO-50 is still hearing and transmitting quite well. I made my QSO using just the VX-6 and a Comet HT-224 whip antenna.

    Yep, SO-50 is still doing just fine in sunlight or dark. Here's the obligatory picture with the Alabama State University football stadium in the background...

    WD9EWK, K3RLD, K4BAD and 2 others like this.
  7. KA2CZU

    KA2CZU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    outstanding... I always have a tough time hearing SO-50 without a directional antenna!
    WE4B likes this.
  8. K3RLD

    K3RLD Ham Member QRZ Page

    That IS impressive.
    WE4B likes this.
  9. W5PFG

    W5PFG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good location, timing, and "cooperative" pass are essential. If it's a crowded pass, forget it. Kudos to using a large parking lot.
    WE4B, K3RLD and WD9EWK like this.
  10. WE4B

    WE4B Ham Member QRZ Page

    And my car was behind me acting somewhat as a reflector. I learned to do this back in the early 90s to work AO-27 with an FT-50. I’ve been hooked ever since.

    I don’t recommend everyone to do this but if you have some experience and the ability not to interrupt others, it can make for a rewarding QSO or two.
    W5PFG likes this.

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