Several of you watched the SSO-A SpaceX launch on Monday of this week. It included several satellites that are using ham radio for communications.
The one that I was most interested in launched as Fox-1CLIFF. Soon after it had it's name changed to an operational name of AO-95. I have been tracking the data from that satellite as it comes within range. I have copied 114 data frames which rank me 4th in the world now. The number one spot is held by another Idaho ham W7FWF in Northern Idaho, he has copied 186 frames as of today.
Usually by now they have finished testing of the satellite and open it for use, where we would be receiving an FM signal from it on 145.920 and transmit to it on 435.300.
The Fox Series satellites can be successfully worked with a pair of good quality handhelds and a VHF UHF handheld beam antenna. Many hams use the Arrow satellite for this and they work well.
I Was wondering what the equipment is that you use for your satellite contacts. Radio, antenna, rotor. that type of thing. Any good web sights out there with satellite information. Satellites for Dummies Birds 101
The equipment that I am using is operated at my home. I have a pair of M2 beam one VHF 22 element antenna and a UHF 36 element antenna on a 40 foot tower. I use a Yaesu az/el rotor to rotate those beams. The radio that I use is a Yaesu FT-847 which is a HF to UHF radio that will allow you to operate DUPLEX transmitting on UHF and listening of VHF and vice versa depending on the satellite you are tracking.
The control of the rotor is done by a computer program SATPC32. It points the antennas and controls the frequency that the radio receives and transmits on.
You can do the same thing with a handheld radio and a handheld antenna. Check the AMSAT.ORG website for more information on doing this.