[amsat-bb] Southern CA Satellite Presentations

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Mon Jun 27 03:00:01 UTC 2016


Hams don't have to spend $250 to try satellites anymore. Yes, the
Chinese-made radios come with varying quality control. If you get
good examples of those radios, you might only spend $50 or $60 for
two radios. I have worked SO-50 with two Baofeng HTs - two UV-5Rs,
and one UV-5R with one UV-82. The two UV-5Rs cost about $60, and
the UV-82 was about $37 when I bought it in 2014. I even used a
Baofeng pair (transmit from a UV-82, receive with a UV-5R) for a
hamfest demonstration in May 2014 - illustrating that working
satellites doesn't cost much money for the radios.

If a ham already has a decent dual-band HT, a $25 or $30 Baofeng HT
as the transmit radio in a full-duplex FM satellite station is
(my opinion) not asking too much. Are there hams who can't afford even
$25 or $30 for another radio? Sure. But at these prices, the arguments
against actively encouraging full-duplex operation pretty much go away.

Why do I say that the Baofeng HT should be used as the transmit
radio, and not the receive radio, in the two-radio example above?
In most cases, the non-Chinese-made HTs have better receivers
for satellite work than the Chinese-made HTs. There are some
Chinese-made dual-band HTs have receivers that do a good job with
our FM satellites, and I had written about some of them when I
reviewed a few for use with AO-85 a few months ago in a series
of posts on this list.

Yes, hams don't need to go full-duplex to work FM satellites,
especially those with 2m uplinks like SO-50 or LilacSat-2.
This is a
true statement. I even worked a LilacSat-2 pass last night during
Field Day using a single Wouxun KG-UV9D HT - a radio that can work
U/V satellites like AO-85 and the upcoming Fox-1 FM satellites
full-duplex, but not SO-50 or LilacSat-2 due to desense issues
when transmitting on 2m. The audience I had last night saw that it
was possible, but also saw me working SO-50 and XW-2F full-duplex
earlier in the day, and saw the advantages of working satellites

The antennas can be homebrewed. The WA5VJB "Cheap Yagi" design is
a great dual-band Yagi, for those not interested in spending
$125 to $150 for an Elk or an Arrow. Using a 2m/70cm antenna is
desirable over the 2m-only Yagis of various designs, especially
since we now have FM satellites that require a 70cm uplink like AO-85
and the other Fox-1 FM satellites in the pipeline.

The best part about all of this - all of this gear can be used for
non-satellite activities. Local repeaters, simplex, and (when
paired up with a TNC or software on a computer) even packet. The
packet setup could be used with terrestrial packet, or with the
orbiting digipeaters on the ISS and NO-84. This is a lot better than
the situation in the past for working satellites.

And, in keeping with the title of this thread, I will give a
satellite presentation in southern California during September.
I will give a presentation at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Amateur Radio Club's monthly meeting on 23 September 2016 in Pasadena,
discussing current and upcoming amateur satellite projects.
I'm looking forward to making my second trip for a presentation
in California this year, after a presentation in Long Beach last
March. Along with answering questions about my presentation,
I'll be happy to answer other questions about satellite operating
from those in attendance at that meeting.


Twitter: @WD9EWK

On Mon, Jun 27, 2016 at 2:20 AM, Oliver Krystal <mr.soup12 at gmail.com> wrote:

> The cheap radios can have issues with harmonics desensitizing them.
> While I also agree that full duplex is very useful, I think you are asking
> to much of a new ham (at least) to spend close to $250 in radios to try
> something.  That's if they build their own antenna and have feedline handy.
> Now, if a ham happens to have two HTs of decent quality to be put to use,
> that is another story.

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