What About AO-85?

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by KC2YBD, Feb 26, 2018.

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  1. KC2YBD

    KC2YBD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been looking around at different sites and have been able to listen to a few passes of AO-91 & AO-92. I haven't had the chance to listen in on a pass of SO-50 yet. My question is, I see tons of mention of the two new birds and SO-50, but not much mention of AO-85 on the "intro for beginner" type sites out there. Is it harder to work or listen to? I would think it's easier for a newbie to try a pass on one which may not be as busy.
     
  2. WE4B

    WE4B Ham Member QRZ Page

    What about it? I've got hundred of confirmed confirmations via AO-85. It's a little 'hard of hearing' but is still a viable amateur satellite. Thanks to AMSAST for getting it up there for us!
     
    W5PFG and WD9EWK like this.
  3. WE4B

    WE4B Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you are browsing the work-sats.com site, I encourage you to better educate yourself. The owner of that site has had trouble working AO-85 and thus doesn't list it as workable.
     
    W5SAT likes this.
  4. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    As WE4B mentioned, AO-85 takes a little more work to be heard through it. Its downlink is comparable to AO-91 and AO-92, but has some issues hearing stations on the ground. It is workable by those with HTs and handheld antennas like an Arrow, Elk, or other homebrew equivalents. But for starting out right now, AO-91 and AO-92 are probably an easier starting point than AO-85. Operating full-duplex, you'll know when your uplink signals are making it through the satellite. Probably more important for AO-85 than AO-91 or AO-92, and be ready to twist your antenna to stay lined up with the satellite's antennas.

    Good luck, hope to hear you soon. 73!
     
  5. KG4AKV

    KG4AKV Ham Member QRZ Page

    From a web page I made about this issue with AO-85:

    https://spacecomms.wordpress.com/ao-85-twist-trick-and-other-hints/
     
  6. KC2YBD

    KC2YBD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you all for the replies and answers. Hope to be on the air soon!
     
  7. N0JY

    N0JY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    FWIW John, the antenna is soldered to the Y solar panel and the solder job failed, not a connection or trace leading to the antenna. The actual antenna.

    :)
     
    KG4AKV and K3RLD like this.
  8. N0JY

    N0JY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    For sure, don't let the tales of the deaf lady scare you off! She's hard of hearing, but as you said with less traffic and a higher pass you should have a good shot at some or even many QSOs. I was on shortly after she was commissioned with my HT and Arrow working a station in Mexico on an ascending pass, since I'm in Texas I had a lead on when everyone else in the U.S. would be in the footprint, but missed the final QSL when it was up high enough for everybody and their brother to start calling without listening first. So at the same time that you are working AO-85 with your portable or low power setup don't be discouraged if you get stomped on when it's busy. :)
     
    K6LCS, W5PFG, KC2YBD and 1 other person like this.
  9. K3RLD

    K3RLD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was listening to AO-85 yestereday - it was a 15° pass to our west (I'm in south eastern PA). The pass was at 1:30pm eastern time, and the signal was maxing out my signal meter on my D72. A couple of the ops resorted to "CQ satellite" because of how few contacts were being attempted. It really is a great satellite that is relatively unused now compared to the new Fox's and SO-50.

    If you have a radio that can put out 10w into a beam antenna, it's no harder to work than the others, either.
     
    K6LCS, W5PFG, KC2YBD and 2 others like this.
  10. KG4AKV

    KG4AKV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Jerry. I will update my spiel :)
     
    K6LCS likes this.

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