Welcome to the G6OHM Website

Ham Satellites

              

    

    Just lately i have had a renewed interest in working the ham satellites.

    Back when my dad Les G6SXB and myself got our amateur licenses.

    Dad used to work through AO-10 and AO-13 Ham Sat's.

   When the Sat's stopped working dad and myself lost interest.  

 

   Anyway a few months ago i was reading something which inspired me to have another go. 

 

I have found some of the information on the internet is very out of date including AMSAT UK !

Here is a list of the Sat's i have been working through or listening to.

 

AO-85, AO-73, ISS, FO-29, LILACSAT, AO-7, SO-50, XW-2E, XW-2F


                              

The setup i am using is not your usual amateur satellite setup.

In that i am not using an elevation rotator or antennas pointing skyward .

 

Here is the rundown of the equipment i am using.

2m Icom IC-7400. 5 element X Yagi.

70cm Yaesu ft897D. BNOS 30W Amplifier/preamp. Double Quad Beam.

On  the Yaesu FT897D i use an Adonis AM308 Desk mike this give me a punchy signal.

 

Orbit Predictions 

The program i use to predict when the Satellites are in orbit is called ORBITRON.

 

Link to Orbitron site

 Once you have down loaded the program go into location tab.

You will then need to enter your Town , Grid Locator , Latitude and Longitude co-ordinates.

 

If you are not sure about these go onto my VHF UHF Page. Find the street map link and the PW Link.

 

Once completed on the box on the right hand site of the program click Satellites Tab.

 

Tick the Satellites you wish to track. If a satellite is within range the program will make a ping noise

and will show the satellite in the bottom right hand corner .

 

If you click on the Rotor/Radio tab at the bottom of the screen this will show you Azimuth ( direction )

and elevation. Also it shows you the uplink and down link frequencies. Use the receive and transmit Doppler

frequencies.

 

If you want more info on the satellite click on Sat/Orbit info Tab. 

 I recommend listening to a few orbits / satellites to get used to how the QSO is carried out.

 

 I have read on the internet some people are having problems with Orbitron in that the Satellites are in the

wrong place. To ensure your updating the correct information first go to the Main Tab.

Click on the spanner and hammer icon.Click on TLE Updater.Click on group and ensure the following group is

used.  WWW.STOFF.PL

Make sure you have a tick in MARK THIS GROUP FOR AUTO UPDATE.

Once you have done all this the list of satellites displayed in top right hand corner of you main screen should look

something like this.

                                            

 

 

Finding Yourself

This i have found to be the hardest part of working  SSB satellites .

FM satellites are a lot easier.

Below are some help lists to help find yourself on  satellites.

 

 

 

Transponder Passband – AO-7 (non Linear Inverting Transponder) Mode-B

 

Uplink

Downlink

Mode

Frequency

Mode

Frequency

LSB

432.125

USB

145.975

LSB

432.130

USB

145.970

LSB

432.135

USB

145.965

LSB

432.140

USB

145.960

LSB

432.145

USB

145.955

LSB

432.150

USB

145.950

LSB

432.155

USB

145.945

LSB

432.160

USB

145.940

LSB

432.165

USB

145.935

LSB

432.170

USB

145.930

LSB

432.175

USB

145.925

 

 

 

 SO-50

 

  SO-50 is available to amateurs throughout the world.The Sat needs a 67.0 Hertz CTCSS tone on the uplink. SO-50 also has a 10 minute timer that must be armed before use. Transmit a 2 second carrier with a PL tone of74.4 to arm the timer.

 

 A0-85

 

 UPLINK         435.180 MHZ  FM , 67hz CTCSS

DOWNLINK    145.980 MHZ  FM

 

LILACSAT

 

UPLINK         144.350 MHZ  FM

DOWNLINK   437.200 MHZ  FM

 

XW-2E

 

UPLINK        435.280 MHZ  LSB+-

DOWNLINK  145.920MHZ   USB+-

 

XW-2F

 

UPLINK         435.335 MHZ  LSB +-

DOWNLINK   145.989 MHZ USB +-

 

 

Link to AMSAT UK

 Beginners Guide to Satellites      

Link to Heavens Above

 PE0SAT WEBSITE

 

 

VHF UHF SSB

  

                                                 

 Why SSB?


FM is the most popular mode primarily due to the wide availability of FM repeaters. These repeaters extend the range on VHF and UHF and enable low power handheld transceivers to communicate over longer distances.

FM is also used on simplex to make contacts directly without repeaters. The main disadvantage of FM is the poor performance when signals are weak, which is where SSB really comes into its own. A weak FM signal can disappear completely into the noise while a comparable SSB signal is still quite readable.

How big of a difference does this really make? Perhaps 10 dB or more, which corresponds to one or two S-units. Put a different way, using SSB instead of FM can be equivalent to having a beam antenna with 10 dB of gain, just by changing modulation types.

So this is a big plus to radio amateurs interested in serious VHF work have naturally chosen SSB as the preferred voice mode. (You will also hear them using Morse code or CW transmissions, which is even more efficient that SSB.)

 

 When starting out on VHF and UHF SSB. One of the first things you could be asked for is your QRA Locator or  your WAB Square.

To find the information follow the information below.

 

 To find your WAB Locator you can go to www.streetmap.co.uk, enter your postcode or street name.

 

The map should show your location, if not there is a function to move across so that it points to your QTH. Then look at the bottom of the map and find the words "Click here to convert coordinates". The page that pops up will give the OS X and Y coordinates, Postcode, Latitude and Longitude together with the Land Ranger National Grid Reference expressed as, for example, LR  SK113002. 

Your WAB Locator will be made up of the first two letter and the first and fourth numbers of this grid reference. e.g. SK113002  so in this case SK10 would be the WAB (Worked All Britain) locator.

Visit the Worked All Britain website here: http://wab.intermip.net

The Land Ranger National Grid Reference found above can also be used to find your I.R.A.U. Grid Square Locator by entering the grid reference into the Practical Wireless magazine website at http://www.pwcontest.org.uk



Using these functions with the above example National Grid Reference, will produce the IARU Locator of IO92CO.

 

Checking Band Conditions.

One of the easiest way to check band conditions  is listen to the beacons.

Beacons are located all over the world and can give you a good indication of band conditions.

Here below are beacons for 2m and 70cm.

 

 

Country Hits

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Propagation