View Full Version : Try the Satellites

02-14-2008, 01:15 PM
I just finished a very hectic pass with the newly resurected AO-16 satellite. What was originally a Digipeater has become a low earth orbit repeater. VHF-FM uplink and UHF-SSB downlink. This one will get your operating skills sharpened up real quick!
The AO-51 bird is much easier to get into. I've often spoken with hams who were using just a HT and a handheld "arrow" antenna. This isn't a lot to pack into a Motor home or Travel trailer and quick and easy QSOs around the country (and sometimes international as well) can be done from right outside the rig with no fuss or assembly. Look into it, you might be surprised how easy and enjoyable it can be. besides it may perk up some interest from the rest of the campground with no concern for RFI !!

02-15-2008, 05:08 PM
As I understand, this has a VHF FM uplink and a SSB UHF downlink? So tell me about an HT that has both FM on VHF and SSB on UHF. Or am I missing something here.

I have the required FM VHF handheld and even on my version of the IC-706. But don't have the required UHF version of the 706 to have the SSB UHF.

I'd like to try this out too but don't have the proper gear to do it. I need to look into it further I guess.

02-15-2008, 08:49 PM
The folks using the HTs are using the AO-51 satellite which is a much more conventional bird that is strickly VHF-FM up link and UHF-FM downlink. It is also a much easier to access bird in that the doppler shift is much easier to follow. There are several websites that discuss how to use a HT to get into AO-51.

The AO-16 satellite was until recently, a digipeater for data transmissions only. It ran into some software problems that almost spelled it's demise. They, the AO-16 team, found a way to use it in he very unconventional way of VHF-FM uplink and UHF-SSB downlink. It was a very clever work-around that saved the satellite. It does require a more advanced rig then a HT and really requires you to spin the VFO to keep track of the doppler shift but it is fun.

I'm sorry if I confused you but there are two fairly easy to use straight FM satellites, AO-51 and SO-50. AO-16 is an interesting work-around configuration that tests ones ability to "follow the doppler".

If I can be of any further help, just let me know..