TAMSAT activity day

The idea to do something with satellites again came from my wife. She doesn’t want to participate in the radio hobby, but she does see the value of it and gives me lots of encouragement. Back in Holland I made my own Arrow style antenna and heard some amateur satellites, but I was never able to work one.

Lo and behold, right after she mentioned sats I saw a mention of TAMSAT on our local ham chat site. After the CTARL and the CRA this is the third amateur radio club in Taiwan, (although they are closely associated with the CTARL). As luck would have it they had an activity day late last month with lectures and a DIY activity, namely putting together a Mini-circuit’s PGA-103 low noise pre-amp. I went there and made some new friends as well as seeing some familiar faces from the CTARL. Here some impressions….

The opening of the day by BV2OL, who is a teacher at the Taipei City Tech College where the activity day was organized. He is also heading TAMSAT.

BX1AD came from I-lan to hold a talk about the XW-2 or Hope2 satellite range which was launched last September. This was indeed a very interesting talk. BX1AD is one of the most active Taiwanese when it comes to satellites.

BX2AI introduced webSDR receivers and since I am using those too I was able to add some information to the talk.

In the afternoon we put the PGA-103 pre-amp together. All components were of the SMD variety, so a magnifying glass and extra light were more than necessary for the – mostly – old eyes that put together the kit. Here BX2AN and BV2BJ in action.

BV2AP took care of the testing with an R&S spectrum analyzer.

22 dB gain on VHF, a little less on UHF and above.

A big thanks to BV2OL (middle), BV2AP (right), flanked by BV2FB.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to put the PGA-103 into action, yet. The reason: I don’t have a shack at the moment.

Hans "Fong" van den Boogert, BX2ABT, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Taiwan. Contact him at [email protected].

3 Responses to “TAMSAT activity day”

  • larry VE8NX:

    Good article. I have not built anything with SMD for a few years now. Makes me wonder if I would still be able to see enough to solder – even with magnifiers and bright lights.


  • Steve VE7SL:

    What a great opportunity to meet the locals and build a handy piece of gear. It is great to see so much interest from the older hams as well. Using SMD parts must have been challenging for some of them!
    I think satellite comms may be a good route for you Hans, especially if you are not able to overcome your local HF noise problems…73… Steve

  • Hans (BX2ABT):

    @Steve: Since BV2OL is a teacher he recruited some students to act as assistants and help those old eyes with these tiny SMD components. Luckily over here youngsters at tech colleges have some exposure to ham radio and we can lure in a few every year.

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