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Made my first HT satellite contacts yesterday - fun!

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  #9  
Old 07-12-2009, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonwatcher View Post
I have a 2m/440 yagi on the roof on a rotor. Is it possible to use this setup ?

Yes, although you're going to need to either change your rotor to one that you can adjust the elevation on, or figure out how to make it adustable manually. The polarity could be an issue, too...but you should be able to make contacts.

I JUST made a few contacts again on the pass that went over a few minutes ago. This is too much fun!

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  #10  
Old 07-13-2009, 03:32 AM
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Congrats Mole!
I remember one of my first contacts. It was feild day. Was on Ao-10 or 13. Can not remember which bird. Made a contact to Japan. Lasted about 30 seconds. Man them high orbits were fun. But many years ago.
I work a lot on AO-7 now. FM sats are nice but ssb is a trick.

As far as the LEO birds the polarity is not as important. I have worked them with omni antennas just fine.

I run Yaesu 726 and 736 rigs.

Anyway here is a pic of my homemade sat antennas.
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File Type: jpg mysat1.jpg (50.0 KB, 13 views)

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  #11  
Old 07-13-2009, 11:16 AM
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Here's a good detailed project build for a handheld yagi and duplexer:
http://www.wa5vjb.com/references/Che...ennas-LEOs.pdf

And here's another cheap build:
Homebrew Arrow Antenna

And another using PVC:
VE2ZAZ - Arrow-Style VHF/UHF Portable Satellite Antenna

Turnstile antenna for home station:
2 Meter Turnstile Antenna For Amateur Satellite Communication

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  #12  
Old 07-13-2009, 11:35 AM
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The turnstyles work ok. I have used the "Texas Potatoe Mashers" quite a bit. The biggest problem is when the bird is low on the horizon. That is when the yagi has advantage.

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Old 07-17-2009, 12:06 PM
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I was able to get on again last night and made a few contacts on A0-51 again. I'm going to start trying a few of the other birds also. I'm terrible at remember the call sign that was just spit out rapidly at me so I can call it back, though. No matter...it's still a lot of fun. I got a 440Mhz preamp kit in, so I'm going to work on putting that together to make the RX even better.

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Old 07-17-2009, 12:42 PM
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mole,
Are you only on the FM birds? If so, wait till you work a ssb bird. Now that is a blast also.

Now, I will not question you ability or anything but I have to ask this. If you are using FM only then why the preamp? Reason I ask this is because I have been using sats for a long time. And have not used a preamp since the HEO birds were up. Now not saying they will not hurt but if you are receiving a noisy signal then a preamp is only going to amplify the noise.

I started in sats before I even had my ticket. A freind of mine got me to go to feild day with him in the early 80's. We used seprate radios to work the birds. The UHF up link antenna was a home brew 64 element. (which I still have) The VHF was a 24 element. Back then we ran 400 watts uplink and ARR preamps. They were GaAsFET and high dollar back then. The rigs were single band units.

I got my ticket and my first sat rigs were the Yaesu FT-221R 2 meter all mode and a KLM Echo 70 with added crystals. I later picked up a KLM multi 2700 tranciever. That has 2 meter all mode with a 10 meter receiver built in. That was one of the first rigs designed for sats. It was great for the old spunknic birds and also when AO-7 started.

I now have 2 Yeasu FT-726 rigs and a Yaesu FT-736. I do not have a 1.2 gig module but I work all other modes. No amps and no preamps.

Oh, sorry for hijacking your thread with my boring history....
but here is a pic of the old 64 element. It was cut back a year ago for EME.


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Old 07-17-2009, 01:13 PM
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Was your EME successful?

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Old 07-17-2009, 01:26 PM
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RadioTech, that's not a thread hijack

Right now I'm FM only and am only doing it with an HT and the handheld Antenna (which is why it's FM only). Maybe if I get a Yaesu FT-817 someday I'll be able to try SSB mode using the handheld.

I'm not getting a noisy signal, but I was considering the advice of N1ASA in that document I attached to try a preamp if you're using a handheld antenna. I figured that if I could find one cheap enough that delivered 15-50db gain and only 1db or so of noise, then that would be worth a try??

I have a 2m 35 watt brick amp, too. I might try putting 20 watts or so into that Arrow antenna to see what kind of difference that makes also

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