[amsat-bb] AO-85 vs SO-50 for newbies with modest equipment

Burns Fisher burns at fisher.cc
Fri Nov 6 14:04:58 UTC 2015

Hola Felix,

I just wanted to say something about your thought that the issue with
AO-85 is U/V vs V/U.  We realize there are issues with AO-85, but this
is not necessarily related to the uplink vs downlink band.  We plan to
address the issues that have been found on future members of the Fox-1

If you are on Facebook, you might want to check out the AMSAT North
America group.  There is also an AMSAT-UK Facebook group and probably

Good luck and have fun with SO-50 as well as this great new crop of
satellites being launched all around the world!


Burns W2BFJ

On Fri, Nov 6, 2015 at 6:09 AM, Felix Paez <ea4gqs at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi everybody from Spain,
> first of all, thanks for your patience. I am a new HAM since October 2014
> and I have just begun with satellites some months ago...
> I want to add the point of view of a newbie to sat operation like me to the
> list, specially for people that could be beginning like me.
> First of all, as a newbie, I only have a Baofeng UV-5R (half duplex) and an
> Elk Antenna. I think this could be the very first beginning equipment for
> everybody (this is only 30 eur + 200 eur = 230 eur). I use ISS detector for
> tracking (it is better for me than Amsat Droid Free because it has a
> compass, so the track is really easy).
> When a SAT is going to pass near my QTH I go down to a park after walking
> 15 mins and there I connect the Elk to the Baofeng.
> With this, it has been very easy for me making contacts in SO-50 including
> not very high passes. Why? Because when I hear people I know I can work
> them. When I hear somebody calling, I am sure that when I press the PTT i
> will be in the SAT. Hearing people gives you a lot of information in SO-50.
> This is not the same when I try AO-85. I hear people all the time, but that
> does not guarantee me they will hear me. Maybe I am 5 Khz down or maybe I
> am 5 Khz up and because I am working half duplex, I can't check it. I have
> to wait for silences and try other freq. I haven't been able yet to make a
> contact in AO-85.
> The conclusion for me is that it is easy to work V/U FM satellites in half
> duplex and it is complicated in U/V at least for people beginning like me.
> I tell this because I have read in the AO-85 document all the advantages
> that U/V mode has but I don't know if that compensates the added difficult
> it has for people working with modest half duplex equipment. So this does
> not seem an entry satellite to begin with...
> This is a just beginner comment on the SAT. I am sure in next passes I will
> be able to make some contacts with some luck (I am going to buy a Midland
> CT-890 full duplex HT too).
> I want to congrat the AO-85 team for their work. It is indeed a great sat!
> :) but I wanted to share my thought about if it is not better to have and
> V/U repeater than an U/V one.
> Thanks everybody. I am learning a lot with this list.
> Felix - EA4GQS
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