Yesterday I made my first contacts using the A0-51 (Echo) satellite as it went directly over head at about 6pm local. I used my Yaesu VX-8r and the Arrow 2m/440 handheld yagi, which I just wrote a review about here: http://www.worldwidedx.com/amateur-...handheld-2m-440-satellite-antenna-review.html While hams have been doing this for years, this is a first for me and MAN WAS IT FUN!! :w00t:. The action happens fast and furious since when the bird comes into range you only have a few minutes to make contacts. I made about 3 contacts, although the action went too fast to record call signs. I know one was in Wyoming. I attached a PDF file that I found on the internet that gives you the basics on how to do it. I also downloaded Satsape for free from Satscape - Free satellite tracking program for Windows, Mac and Linux to track the birds and find out when they would be in range. A couple of first time observations: The attached PDF mentions twisting your wrist while holding the yagi to adjust for the changing signal polarity. I can't stress enough how important this is. When you start to hear stations, twisting your wrist will really let you pull in the satellite. You have to constantly adjust it also while you're tracking through the sky. It also helped a lot that I planned out the approach and path of the satellite in advance. One thing that the document doesn't mention is that you need a good compass. I use this one that I have for hiking made by Silva: Using the compass, pick an object in the distance in each direction that you will use to orient you with the starting and ending locations of the pass. If you don't know how to use one of these compasses, let me know and I'll explain it. I also understand why they recommend using a voice recorder - you can't write down the callsigns quickly enough even if you have someone helping you. I don't keep any station logs, but I would like to look up where the stations are located after the pass. The attached document also recommends a 440Mhz preamp. I can also see why this is a good idea. Rather than purchase the expensive Mirage unit recommended, I ordered this $15 Ramsey kit from Amazon that has similar RX specs. Amazon.com: Ramsey PR40 Low Cost 440 MHz Receiver Preamplifier Kit: Electronics When it comes in, I'll take better pictures of the build and report on the performance. There are other antenna ideas around on the internet for fixed or portable use also. But if you have an HT and haven't tried this yet, you should definately try home brewing or purchasing a handheld yagi and give it a try! This is just about the MOST fun I've had with radio in a while, and I can't wait to get back outside to try another satellite pass!