OBSERVATIONS FROM NORWAY. February 2008.
Based on SV1BSX's comments about receiving a *THUNDERING* signal from AO-51's S-band transmitter on a patch antenna 'without' a reflector - I decided to chuck together a few components to see if somebody as 'thick' as LA2QAA could manage it.
The attached pic is the ... 'fruits of LA2QAA's labour'.
Starting at the top right we have a silver covered brass plate 2.4Ghz patch antenna (note the real gold SMA connector, folks) mounted 3mm over a (ditto) groundplane, via a short length of high quality (fell off the back of a North Sea Oil industry lorry) coax feeding the input of a 2.4G 70 70cm converter ... the output of which goes to the IC-E91 dual mode handheld and a pair of 'cans' ... (headphones, to you!).
To the right of the IC-E91 is a Nokia N70 mobile phone - (not shown in this pic because I was using it to take the picture) - with the 'SATme' tracking software ... which is very !! useful for tracking S-mode signals from LEO birds with the 'slight' doppler thus received.
The phone also contains a compas as well as GPS software so there's no excuse for ... 'but I can't find north' ... (not always easy in 3 feet of snow, null visibility and cloudy conditions) ... and there's *NEVER* a brownie or a girl guide around when you want one.
S-band signals in those conditions? ... you'd be surprised - we don't all live in satellite friendly climes you know.
Mak (SV1BSX) is right. A 60cm dish is overkill for AO-51 mode-S ... though of course, there are! those that think you need a personal Jodrell Bank to hear anything above 70cm.