Experiments with the SSB satellites (AO-73, FO-29 and VO-52) with the V2000 vertical
Browsing around the AMSAT-UK site yesterday, I came across this article by the ever inspirational Ray, W2RS about how he had made QSOs on the SSB satellites using nothing more than a dual band mobile whip, a diplexer and SSB transceivers for 144 and 432MHz.
Well! I wondered if I could do something similar, given that I had the V2000 vertical up on the mast. In some respects, it is a ‘long whip’ as Ray discusses, putting quite a lot of radiation towards the horizon, which is what’s normally wanted for tropo, but not for satellites, but there are certainly some vertical lobes.
So, I fed the V2000 into the Diamond diplexer and then connected the appropriate coax from the diplexer to the FT847’s 144MHz port and (separate) 432MHz port.
An initial test to see if there was much desense or crackle was positive.
The first satellite around was AO-73, which was testing its’ transponder in daylight. After a bit of fiddling around, I was able to hear my CW, just as the satellite flew over the horizon! Then VO-52 came over and I was receiving good signals on 145MHz and again was able to hear my CW, sufficiently to call CQ. No-one came back, but it’s a start! I also managed to hear myself on a pass of FO-29 with reasonable elevation.
This is all quite promising and I’m pretty sure that I will be able to make some QSOs in due course, most likely on CW.
However, all of this enthused me sufficiently that I’m aiming to be able to take the FT847 out into the garden (or out portable) with the diplexer and the Elk to try and make some contacts with the yagi.
Good fun – thank you for the inspiration, Ray!
Sounds like you have made a big step forward into yet another area of ham radio. I am also getting ready for some SSB/CW and maybe FM Satellite fun soon. It took a while but I managed to get to oldies as far as radios. I picked up a TS-711A first. This gives me 2 meter all mode at about 25 watts. With a lot of searching a luck just recently picked up a TS-811A, the 440 twin of the 711. I have also purchased both the 2 meter and the 440 M2 Eggbeater Satellite antennas. With some luck I will be on the air soon running full duplex doing what you did first. Sent some CW CQ and see if I can hear myself and if anyone can hear me back. The Eggebeater antennas work from horizon to horizon with no dead spot over head. At least that was what I have bee told. Time will. Tell Sure hope I can find you on one day. Won’t that be a blast… Have a great week-end and thank you for sharing.
73 Harry K7ZOV
Wow….Great article and information. I’m still trying to come up with a effective way to access SO-50. My Icom 7000 and Arrow 2 meter/70 centimeter ground plane were ineffective….Heard maybe 2 seconds of weak signal out of 4 orbits(one of which was directly overhead the QTH). Looks like it’ll take a beam,rotator and some sort of tripod/mast arrangement The experts claim a fixed,no gain antenna wont be very effective Oncr again thanks…..73 K4BAD
Harry, you should easily hear SO-50 work that antenna. To enhance your reception did you account for doppler shift as the satellite approached and then passed you by?