Still having problems working the SATS?!

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by KJ4PSU, Feb 15, 2010.

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  1. KJ4PSU

    KJ4PSU Ham Member QRZ Page

    So....I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago trying to figure out why I could not work any satellites. For Xmas I got a dual band Arrow Yagi without the built in duplexer. I rigged one up using a spare duplexer I had laying around. Needless to say, the setup didn't work very well. I could barely hear the birds and no one could hear me at all. I finally forked over the $70 bucks and bought the duplexer from Arrow Antennas. It works great! I can hear the satellite from horizon to horizon. Only problem is, I still have not made a QSO yet since I have had the duplexer. I've worked at least 10 passes a day and still have had no luck.

    I'm using a Yaesu vx-6r handheld with the Arrow antenna. The radio is only pushing 5W out. Am I just a small fish in a big pond. I just don't see how in two weeks of trying to make a contact I still have not gotten through. I have worked low and high passes. Early in the morning, late at night. Still no luck. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

    Birds I attempt to work: ao-51, ho-68, so-50, ao-27, ISS, and so-67 when it was working. 73's!
  2. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you're hearing the bird, it may not be hearing you.

    I presume you can work terrestrial repeaters on 2 meters with that setup?

    I see that AO-51 is possibly testing a new PL function this week. That could stop you. The uplink is 145.92.

    5 watts and the Arrow should give you enough to get in. Perhaps you should see if someone else can monitor the bird while you transmit to see if you are actually making it.
  3. K2WH

    K2WH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Whats the new PL function?

  4. KJ4PSU

    KJ4PSU Ham Member QRZ Page


    Cancel that whining! I just went out and worked a pass of AO-27 and made 4 QSO's. What a feeling to hear my callsign coming back over the radio. Awesome!
  5. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Don't know - couldn't find any details on the AMSAT or the AO-51 sites - it's just a note on the schedule.

    Congrats on the 4 satellite QSO's - fun, eh?
  6. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    That sort of post isn't helpful, so CAN it about "whining." You made your Sat contacts, so BRAVO.
    . The OP wants help, not insults and derogatory comments.

    I've worked both AO-27 and AO-51 with hand-held radios, so it's more than possible; an arrow antenna is like a ten layer cake on top of a cupcake, when it comes to satellite operations with many of the LEO (low earth orbit) Amateur satellites

    The first thing IS to make sure the pass predictions are accurate. I recommend :

    for the best predictions; you can enter your location (either choose a nearby city or [better] enter your actual lat/lon if you know it by GPS.)and then you have a wealth of information, including ?Amameur Radio Satellites." You will have to go through the list to find the active satellites, and make note that satellites such as AO-51 are listed as "ECHO," , so there may be a few references to the web page. Currently, AO-27 and AO-51 are the most used birds, and they DO have "FM" type cross band repeater systems, in that they receive on 2 Meters, and you will have to monitor/receive on 70 cm. Due to Doppler effects, you DO have to adjust the receive frequency on the 70 cm side, such that the receive frequency is ABOVE that stated as the nominal downlink frequency (perhaps as much as 10-15 kHz) and will gradually shift until it's close to 10-15 kHz off the nominal frequency when the satellite is in the opposite direction.

    I' d recommend that once you get accurate pass predictions (particularly AO-27 and AO-51) you first listen to get some idea of the protocol used before just tossing out your call. Especially on mid-day passes, there will be a lot of users, but don't get discouraged. YOUR call may be the one answered by a distant station, and make the exchange (callsoign, name, ocation or grid square and leave others to make a similar contact.) When we (Amateirs) again have HEO (High Earth Orbit) satellites in operation, ragchews on the order of hours, not seconds or minutes can be the norm. But as it is, satellite contacts are still cosidered a rarity to most operators.
  7. KB2FCV

    KB2FCV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Go back and read this thread from the beginning. KJ4PSU is the OP. He came back in the later post to say that he finally made 4 QSO's.

    Oh, and congrats Will!!
  8. KB2FCV

    KB2FCV Ham Member QRZ Page


    I heard you tonight on the AO-51 pass, you sounded good from here! I tried calling but there was alot of people on tonight (these evening passes are tough).
  9. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    FWIW, contact me and I'll do my best to schedule a satellite contact when I'm at our club station, Wednesday AM through afternoon Left Coast time.:p
    It's mostly a matter of (the bird) being in the right place at the right time, and I HAVE made sat contacts from So. Cal to New Brunswick before.:rolleyes:

    I'll look forward to more in the future.
  10. N8YX

    N8YX Ham Member QRZ Page

    One of these days I'll get around to putting up a set of antennas for 2M and 432 then hooking them up to one of my FT-726Rs. Is there a lot of Mode B and/or J SSB/CW activity taking place these days?
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