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Why can't I get through on the satellites?

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by KJ4PSU, Dec 26, 2009.

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  1. KJ4PSU

    KJ4PSU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Merry Christmas!

    I got an arrow II antenna for Xmas this year and have been really excited about working satellites. I have all the FM birds stored into my VX-6R with the proper PL tones and splits (while also taking into account for doppler shift) and 5 watts of power. I am using external duplexer, not the optional one that comes with the antenna, and have all the cables hooked up to the proper connections. I get perfect reception of all the birds I have been tracking, but have had no luck with breaking through and getting any contacts on the birds. I know there are larget pileups and its tough to get through, but on SO-50 earlier today, there was basiclly two guys talking and thats it. I tried to call CQ and got no response. I have the pl tones programmed and the proper frequency. What can I do to break through and make some contacts? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  2. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I may not be understanding your setup, but only one FM bird (SO-50) uses a CTCSS tone.You should have the tone OFF for all other satellites. You should also be operating your radio SIMPLEX on each band. Current practice is to transmit on the uplink frequency (disregarding dopplet shift) and you should be able to hear your signal on the downlink.
  3. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Will -

    IF you are trying to work the new Chinese satellite XW-1, Oscar 68 --- you will need an Arrow style antenna or beam antenna.

    On its N -> S pass this morning over Chicago, I could not hear ANY FM signals on my dual-band vertical. A bit unusual, since I had not problem with this same antenna with AO-27 years earlier.
    I pulled out my 6 element UHF yagi and aimed in sky where the bird was --- a signals appeared !

  4. KJ4PSU

    KJ4PSU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I do have the arrow antenna with the complete setup. I can hear the sats just fine, my problem is that I never seem to get a response when giving my callsign. I understand that some of the birds are busier than others and it will just take patience to get through on them. However, on the so-50 today, there was only three operators there carrying on a qso. I called several times and never got a response. ??????

  5. NE3R

    NE3R Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Will,

    I'll start with the bad news. The radio you have is less than ideal for working satellites. The problem is that it is not full duplex. I don't think there are any handhelds on the market these days that are. That doesn't mean that you can't use it, it just means that you might just be making someone else's QSO noisy and you wouldn't know it. If you could hear on your receive frequency while you were transmitting, you would know if you are getting in or not.

    If you can hear SO-50, you can work it with a watt or two, but of the other guys are running 10 watts and high gain yagis, they might not even know you are there.

    It sounds like you have a good idea what you are doing with the satellites though, except for the half duplex :). Keep trying.

    Maybe there is some other problem. Try to work a distant repeater through your duplexer and antenna. If you can find one with multi-band configuration (so you can transmit on 2m and receive on 70cm, just like the satellite) that would be great!

    73 de Joseph M. Durnal NE3R
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