New Satellite Operator

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by KS0CBM, Feb 26, 2021.

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  1. KS0CBM

    KS0CBM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good evening. So I am new to trying the Sat birds and have several HT's that I figured would work great for this. I have a 2m/70cm Arrow antenna that I bought and have 2- Baofeng UV-5R's that I could use for transmit and receive. I had a good pass of AO-27 at 17:59 local time here in KC. I only tuned to the downlink and started at what I have read to start listening on 436.805 at the AOS. Throughout the complete pass and adjusting through 436.795 I did not get any response from the Sat. Squelch was all the way open. Any ideas as to what I could be doing wrong. I want to listen for awhile before I start transmitting in. Appreciate any assistance.

    Thank you!

    Clint KS0CBM
  2. W5WTH

    W5WTH Ham Member QRZ Page


    You have have not had been doing anything wrong. Some Baofengs just don't receive the sats and some do.

    Personally, my BF works great for sats everyplace BUT around my house for some reason. Not sure why; my house is RF quite, etc. it just doesn't.

    So.... if you think you are doing everything correctly relocated a few miles and try again. This worked for me, but what worked even better for me was getting a Kenwood D72A.

    Good Luck!
  3. KS0CBM

    KS0CBM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you for the reply. And I think you may be correct. I have only tried from the house and not from a different location. I have a somewhat clear view of the southern horizon but do have trees on the eastern and western portion of my front lawn. I have a park about a 2 minute drive from my house that is perched on a hill and has a great view on the horizon and zenith pretty much 365 degrees. And, I have thought hard about upgrading to a better HT, whether that be on the cheaper end from Yaesu or Icom but figured any old HT would be able to pull in the downlink. Again I am new at this so I am sure there is more to it than that. Time to post a wanted ad for a D72A! ;-)
  4. N4DJC

    N4DJC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I could easily hear downlinks on a Yaesu FT-4R and an Arrow, but it will overload since it's radio on a chip. A used D72A is your best choice until Kenwood decides to get back in the dual band handheld market with a full duplex aprs rig.
  5. KC3RN

    KC3RN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Used D72's are going for premium prices right now. One sold on eBay a couple weeks ago for almost $750. It's a nice rig, but no way is it worth that kind of money.

    I've had mine since September of 2020. Before that my sat rig was a Yaesu FT-65R and a UV-5R. I made as many contacts with the Yaesu/Baofeng rig as I did with the Kenwood... Look around for a couple of used FT's - FT-65R, FT-60, etc. A pair might cost you $200, and give you good performance. Honestly, the Baofengs aren't the best for satellite work. They're okay, but a Kenwood/Icom/Yaesu setup will give you better performance. For less than half the price of a D72.
    KS0CBM likes this.
  6. KS0CBM

    KS0CBM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would have to agree. The ones I have seen are selling for much more than I’d like to pay.
  7. N6MST

    N6MST Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use a TH-D72 and wouldn't trade it for the world at this point!

    As for a new satellite op, for $250 (currently on sale and out of stock at the moment) you can buy an IC-2730A mobile rig that does full duplex. Not as portable but not bad either.
    KS0CBM and WD9EWK like this.
  8. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    They are cheap because they use wideband SDR receivers. It isn't that SDR is a bad technolology. The problem is that they don't have hardware filtering, which is needed to prevent strong signals from overloading the receiver.
    With a wideband receive they could be anywhere (on any frequency) and cause problems because there is nothing to stop them.

    Ham band only radios work better by putting in a bandpass filter to get rid of signals outside the ham bands. This costs more.

    If you watched the Superbowl the losing team had a very similar issue.
    They had this great player who could throw the ball, but lacked players who could stop the opposing team from chasing and stopping him from throwing.
    If that great player could just have stepped back and calmly watched the field without being harassed they would have won.
    But football is a brutal sport that allows hitting players holding the ball.
    A great football team has a someone that can throw and others who can protect that player.

    A great receiver has filters to protect the super sensitive detection circuitry from overloading.

    Zak W1VT
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
    AK5B, KC3RN, KS0CBM and 2 others like this.
  9. N4UFO

    N4UFO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I always knew sat ops was a contact sport.... :p:D
    AK5B likes this.
  10. N4DJC

    N4DJC Ham Member QRZ Page

    You haven’t listened to AO-27 lately :)
    KS1G likes this.

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