Saturday, August 28, 2021

Satellite Thrills

 In October of last year, I managed my first confirmed OSCAR contact. OSCAR stands for "Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio". So far it's been awesome and heartbreaking, like everything else I do in ham radio, LOL.

First Pass Where I Made a QSO

My gear, a Kenwood TH-G71a and Baofeng GT-3


Things I've learned so far:

  • Weekend operations are a challenge. It's hard to hit the FM birds with a 5w HT and rubber duck antenna, even if the antenna is a "gain" antenna. Persistence and high angle passes are essential.
  • Don't forget to QSL! Lots of people are on LOTW, and confirming your contacts for awards is easy.
  • Move around a little. People like it when you activate different places.
  • The satellite community is an amazing group. They all know each other, and have been very welcoming to me so far.
  • Everyone gets testy when the birds get swamped. It helps to take a minute to listen.

 Projects I need to do for the birds:

  • Hand held tape measure yagi. I'm pretty close to achieving this. I've built a tape measure antenna for 2m before, and  have cut the booms, I have a tape measure, and need some dowel rods, and other odds and ends.
  • Really could use a Yaesu FT-818. Actually could use two ( the "Yaesu FT-1636" ) to work the linear birds. I especially want to work AO-7.
  • It would be nice if i could get my mobile radio working again to get 10w into AO-27. 

Here's where I've worked and activated so far:


it's pretty common for people to use a grid tracker spreadsheet to mark what they have.

So far, I've worked 3 countries (USA, Panama, and Mexico) with my HT's. I can't wait to work something else!

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