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Dec 142008

Bill (KD4ISF), Diana (KC2UHB), and I (W2VV) spent a couple of hours at the shop this afternoon building a dual-band Yagi antenna for working ham satellites. Yes, believe it or not, there are multiple satellites orbiting the earth right now that are dedicated to amateur radio. All you need is a license, an inexpensive portable radio, and a weird looking antenna to use them. As of 3:00 pm today, we only had two out of the three, but by 7:00 we were on the roof listening to two different “birds”, SO-50 and AO-51.

We’re just getting our feet wet with this, so stay tuned for future updates as we improve our equipment and skills. In the meantime, why not get your license so you can join in on the fun? All you have to do is read this book (or visit one of the free online study guides) and then take a test given by your local club.

  3 Responses to “Working Ham Satellites, Part 1”

Comments (3)
  1. Hi, this looks like a version of the Arrow II Satellite Antenna. Did you use a duplexer? Was that also home-built?

    -Chris KC2SYK

  2. Yes it’s similar to the arrow and it does have a homebrew duplexer. The design is based on a document from WA5VJB. We put 3 elements on 2m and 5 on 70cm, and mounted them at 90 degrees rather than one behind the other in the same plane as recommended by WA5VJB. This gives a shorter boom length. I made two contacts with it the other day on AO-51 using my VX-7R, so I can confirm that it works.

    We’re building a larger version (4 and 8 elements) to get more gain for SO-50, which seems to have a weaker signal.

  3. Good to work you today 12-29-08 on SO50 2156 UTC
    Keep up the good work.
    73’s Mike
    Eden, Utah

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