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.