It is really great to hear of someone trying to work satellites from SOTA. Myself, and quite a few others have done it successfully, and plan to do again. But I believe, all of those who succeeded were using either Arrow or Elk - which both are directional antennas. Since doing SOTA we can only take as much as our back will hold, most would be using a couple of HT's, or Kenwood D-72. And with 5 watts - you do need to be spot on with the bird. Anything that is not a directional antenna - you will be wasting a lot of RF and will have a hard time time making into the satellite. Not impossible, as there are a few people who have been successful with just a couple of HT's and rubber ducky antennas, but those passes will need to be high above you and you will be lucky to make a few contacts. I have done it once, and it was not pretty. But a few here have done it on quite a few occasions.
When I take my Arrow antenna to the summit - it adds a few pounds, but not much space. My usual antenna is vertical for HF. I just roll Arrow into the same pouch bag. So, it is about managing the weight of your backpack.
Just my 2 cents here. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any other questions.
On Sat, Jul 18, 2020 at 4:39 PM Oscar Acton via AMSAT-BB [email protected] wrote:
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) _______________________________________________ Sent via [email protected] AMSAT-NA makes this open forum available to all interested persons worldwide without requiring membership. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the official views of AMSAT-NA. Not an AMSAT-NA member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program! Subscription settings: https://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/amsat-bb