Wednesday, March 30, 2005

AO-51 – what an experience

I thought I would work an amateur radio satellite, but I was reading about AO-51 and how it was workable with an HT on FM, before that, you needed packet or SSB and equipment I didn’t have. After reading up on AO-51, I decided to try and work it.

First attempt, 8:20PM EST 03/30/2005
From the deck behind my house: I tuned my scanner to 435.300, snapped on my 2m/440 whip and listened closely through my headphones w/ the squelch off. Its too bad I only had the stock 2m rubber duck on my HTX-202, I tried to make contact using 145.920 ctcss 67hz, but I didn’t seem to be getting through and heard nothing.

Second Attempt 9:59PM EST 03/30/2005
From my front steps: I again listened closely to 435.300 without hearing a thing. I called a few times on 145.920 but couldn’t hear myself or anyone else. Then, it happened, no, nobody heard me, probably because of my rubber duck, but I heard part of a QSO, man, that was cool. Just hearing those faint FM signals in what is probably one of the worst receivers I could have picked for the job (RS Pro-60 scanner). When it seemed like there was a break, I called again, to no avail. I didn’t hear much, but one I think I got one callsign, K4FRB or something like it. It was a very faint signal. I looked up in qrz, but no e-mail addresses listed.

I might be hooked! I really need to make an antenna for this, it would be very cool for N3PAQ to be heard operating through a satellite!



Anonymous said...


Dustin said...

Nice! I recently put up a nice discone antenna on top of my house, I will have to check it out and let you know how it goes.

-Dustin KE6OBK

Ned Raybould said...

I worked AO-51 for the first time on Saturday, July 9th. I bought the Arrow Antenna a couple of months ago off of Ebay. When you have it pointed at the satellite the received signals are full-quieting. I'm not sure who I worked because everything happened so quick, but the other person definitely acknowledged my call. Good luck on your future attempts. I plan to try again too, only the next time I will record the QSO.

Ned, N8OIF

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