I am new to satellite operations. I tried to access Lilacsat2 from a SOTA summit today and failed. I did manage to call into AO-92 yesterday and I was heard by four stations (but I couldn't receive the downlink).
I was using a 2m dipole to transmit (I am fairly confident I was getting into the satellite today) and a 2 element 70cm yagi. Now, I think two things went wrong. Firstly, I had no way of directing the antenna accurately (I had to guess on the angle and azimuth), and secondly, the antenna isn't very powerful, is small and isn't tuned brilliantly (it's a 70cm yagi but I get SWR of 2.2 on 70cm).
Firstly, I'm wondering how precise you need to be in directing the beam? Can I just hold it in the vague direction that the satellite is approaching from, or do I need to work out the headings?
Secondly, I am wondering if my equipment is likely to cut it. As I said, yesterday I was told that my signal was getting in - quiet but fully readable using my Diamond x30. I don't want to transmit if I can't receive in case I talk over someone or cause some interference. I won't be able to buy an arrow or a powerful beam antenna for around a year, but I am really desperate to work the satellites. Wondering if there are any ways that I can use my current equipment in order to work it (whether that be from my Home QTH or from a SOTA summit).
I have: Yaesu FT-2980 (2m only, limited to 10 watts) Anytone 868 (8 watts max) Baofeng GT-3TP (8 watts max) 2 ele 70cm yagi 2m dipole diamond x50 collinear at the Home QTH
Hoping for some advice.. I would love to hear stories of you working satellites during a Summits On The Air activation, and I would be interested to hear of your station setup (and whether you have had success with a minimal setup like mine).
Oscar M7OJA (IO94HT)