Reflections on the passing of VO-52

Unfortunately, our concerns were well-founded. Yesterday, on the AMSAT bulletin board, the official news of VO-52's passing was announced.

The loss of VO-52 leaves quite a gap. What I enjoyed about it particularly, was that it was the one of the linear transponders that could be used with very simple antennas. My V2000 vertical worked very well for a variety of contacts. I just wish I had started using it earlier.

VO-52 had a great downlink signal and was always in transponder mode (AO-73 is great, but I rarely hear it in transponder mode, or if I do, it's usually brief, as it switches over to telemetry). So, hopefully the new generation of satellites which will be coming on stream soon - some already in orbit doing other things, waiting to be activated into their amateur radio roles - others waiting to be launched.

A good time to remember to support AMSAT (a VO-52 lookalike would work very well, thank you...)
Tim Kirby, G4VXE, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Oxfordshire, England. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “Reflections on the passing of VO-52”

  • I never worked sats, but I clearly remember driving home one night (back in the Netherlands) with my Kenwood TH-7E and a simple whip inside the car and hearing SSB QSOs coming in via VO-52. Amazing what a little bird can do. Pity that I will never be able to work it.

  • Bill NE4RD:

    I’d really like to see the return of Mode A to satellites.

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