Listening for the SO-50 satellite with the UV-5R and the Nagoya NA-771 antenna

Inspired by David, KK4MND’s video the other day, I thought it would be fun to see if I could at least listen to the SO-50 satellite with the UV-5R. I realised that I would most likely need a better antenna than the stock antenna which comes with the UV-5R.

Via eBay, I ordered a Nagoya NA-771 dual bander which seems to have quite a good reputation. Having read about ‘counterfeit’ antennas, I wondered what I would get, but at around £8 including shipping from Hong Kong, it would not be the end of the world if it was useless.

The antenna arrived yesterday. Some quick comparisons, inside, on local repeaters were encouraging and signals were better on several UHF repeaters that I listened to with both antennas.

This morning, SO-50 obliged with a nice overhead pass as I was out in the garden, digging out a new vegetable bed. To my delight, signals were quite audible. Rob, M0TFO had a particularly good signal and I also heard an EA7. I’m pretty sure that on a quieter pass, I should be able to make a QSO with the UV-5R.

Of course the Elk antenna is much better – but the simplicity of the UV-5R and the NA-771 is appealing.

Tim Kirby, G4VXE, is a regular contributor to and writes from Oxfordshire, England. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “Listening for the SO-50 satellite with the UV-5R and the Nagoya NA-771 antenna”

  • KB5TJI:

    I know what you mean about simplicity. I have the Arrow antenna and it can be tedious assembling the rig for a short pass. Where does one find the antenna? EBAY?

    73 de KB5TJI

  • W3FIS:

    Yes, all sorts of good bits and pieces from Hong Cong. Delivery can take a week or so, but hard-to-find stuff is there, especially stuff for the Chinese radios — replacement batteries, adapters, etc. I leave my Arrow set up on a tripod in the garage. Just take it out when I need it, and drop in the HT.

    73 /paul W3FIS

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