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Amateur Satellite

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Couple guys were giving a demo of working the sat at a meeting last week.


Echo is very easy to hear and contact. One of the guys was able to hear it with just the rubber duck. Needed a better antenna to transmit though. He made a contact with a guy about 1400 miles away at one point. Not bad for using a HT in a parking lot. :rolleyes:


I got a dual band HT and the antenna needed to work satellites on my wish list now. I want to contact the ISS as well.

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A friend of mine has a portable beam that is hand held. The balun is in the handle and the thing has a bicycle grip hand grip and is made of aluminum. If I remember correctly, it was from Arrow and was in a Yagi configuration with about 6 elements. He was able to talk on it quite nicely by his report using his HT. Tempting, but with the big stations pumping out the watts, in the US, you would get blown off the sat more often than not.

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Talked to the local satellite guru up here (he is quickly becoming my elmer on several subjects).


He said that all you need to work the Echo satellite is a beam for UHF and you can use the rubber duck or telescopic antenna on a VHF HT.


He was able to work Echo from his truck using his VHF mobile with mag mount antenna to transmit and a hand held yagi style beam to listen on a UHF HT.


Sounds like a somewhat cheap way to work satellites if you dont have a dual band radio or a duplexer antenna.

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Uplink is on VHF and downlink is on UHF.


Dual band radio or two seperate radios are needed to do it. All you are doing is listening on the UHF side, but you need a better antenna than a rubber duck to hear the satellite very well. A handheld yagi style does the trick. Here is a neat little antenna that I plan on building. Would be a good fit for a geocaching pack.


One guy up here actually uses an old police scanner to listen to the downlink.

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Spend you $$$$ on the antenna.



You cna have a $2000.00 doller rig, if You have a LIGHTBULB (Ive used one before for a DX contact though) antenna, your not going to perform as well as an antenna designd for the mode you want to use. Either home brew (which is fun) and commercial bought....


Desert Warrior could not have said it better

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Arrow Antennas


That is the antenna on my wish list.

yep... I've seen one on ebay over the past 6 months or so... BIN price of $75 (including the duplexer) and it finally sold for like $130.


I hate being broke.

Its 132.00 at ARROWS websire..... with duplexer.

yeah, but the bag isn't included in that price.



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and don't forget that just the other day, they turned on of the ARISS rigs into an FM crossband repeater. Should be running for at least a few days.


437.80 up, 145.80 down

I entered 145.8 on my scanner on the 14th. This morning at 1:03am cdt, while reading the newspaper, I heard activity. I didn't have my tape recorder set up or pen and paper handy to copy call signs. It seems that someone from Martinsburg, WVA was making quick contacts with hams in the Chicago area. There was real clear communication for about 2 mins then I could hear mics keying until nothing at 1:07. My antenna is indoor and is adjustable length center loaded from Radio Shack.


I am at N42deg 25min x W087deg 50min. Is there a way to find out when this satellite will be near me? Btw, I did hear ISS link, or something like that..

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Thanks for the software link Bilder. I DLd it last night, and gotta say that i liked what I saw initially. Still have to get into it deeper, to understand what it is telling me. Cool graphics, etc. I have a Micro-Duplexer on its way to me too. Now I have to hit my favorite scrapyard to get some aluminum to build an antenna.

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and don't forget that just the other day, they turned on of the ARISS rigs into an FM crossband repeater.  Should be running for at least a few days.


437.80 up, 145.80 down

I entered 145.8 on my scanner

I heard one from Iowa and another from Toledo,Oh at 17:35 cdt today(Sep 29). It only lasted for a minute. Notice that I'm about half way between those two. Apparently this is going to last for more than a few days.


Btw, thanks for the tracking links. They look great for someone who would be trying to make contacts. I'm just a casual listener and have no set schedule. :D

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