Working satellites with handheld

Joined
Jun 21, 2018
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#1
Been listening to SO 50, and AO 85 with a Baofeng handheld and Nagoya 771 with pretty reception. Just curious if anyone has ever worked satellites with a handheld rubber duck antenna, or if it is even possible. I know the Arrow antenna would be a better choice, but I am intrigued in the possibility of trying this with the rubber duck. Anyone have any luck doing this?
Thanks
 

vagrant

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#2
I have worked SO-50 using a Baofeng and stock antenna. You will find that a near overhead pass will be most helpful in that endeavor. Also, angle the radio/antenna so that the side of it radiates along the satellite path; specifically toward the satellite position as it moves would be prudent.

Your biggest issue will be stations running more power and or using directional antennas that will suppress your carrier.

There is nothing wrong with an Arrow antenna, but I prefer the Elk Log Periodic myself. It is not as focused and easily catches and sends a signal to the birds. You should consider it as well.
 

belvdr

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#4
I used my Arrow yagi many times without issue connected to a Yaesu VX-7R. I never had any luck with the duck.
 
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#6
Which Elk do you use?

….There is nothing wrong with an Arrow antenna, but I prefer the Elk Log Periodic myself. It is not as focused and easily catches and sends a signal to the birds. You should consider it as well ....
Which Elk do you use? I took a look at their website, I only see 3 antennas, and none are dual band. Is there more than what shows here?

http://elkantennas.com/shop/
 
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#7
Which Elk do you use? I took a look at their website, I only see 3 antennas, and none are dual band. Is there more than what shows here?

http://elkantennas.com/shop/
Actually, the first of the 3 antennas on that page is the 2m/70cm dual-band log periodic:

https://elkantennas.com/product/dual-band-2m440l5-log-periodic-antenna/

As for the OP's message, on some satellites it may be possible to work them with a longer duckie or telescoping whip antenna. On the highest passes (when satellites are over your head), the stock duckies might even work. A directional antenna of some sort - dual-band Yagi, dual-band log periodic, etc. - would be a great help, and avoid frustrations from trying to start working satellites with inferior antennas. If you don't want to buy an antenna, you can build one. AMSAT has links to a bunch of helpful documents, including WA5VJB's "Cheap Yagis for LEOs", at:

https://www.amsat.org/station-and-operating-hints/

Have you tried AO-91 and AO-92? These two have a 2m downlink like AO-85, but don't require as much power to normally get through, and would be easier to receive than SO-50's weaker 70cm downlink.

Good luck, and 73!
 

vagrant

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#8
Which Elk do you use? I took a look at their website, I only see 3 antennas, and none are dual band. Is there more than what shows here?

http://elkantennas.com/shop/
No worries, you simply overlooked it. The antenna is labeled as "dual band" on that page. Here is the direct link to the VHF/UHF antenna. https://elkantennas.com/product/dual-band-2m440l5-log-periodic-antenna/

Specifically, I use the Elk 2M/440L5 Dual-Band Antenna.

The Arrow should have slightly more gain (more elements), whereas the Elk, specifically a log periodic, provides bandwidth. The Elk also handles more than 10 watts, which is nice as I use it for terrestrial contacts as well. Arrow offers a duplexer for an additional $59, but it can only handle 10 watts max. Still, 10 watts may be plenty. Basically, with the Arrow you can choose the model that works with two radios, or purchase the 10W max duplexer and use one radio.

That Elk works best for my operating style with one radio and up to 100 watts when needed. (Do not hand hold that! haha :))
 
Joined
Jun 21, 2018
Messages
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#9
There was a scheduled pass this morning from SO50 and went out to listen. Temptation got the best of me and made a call into the bird. After a couple of attempts I established a QSO with a VA3 station.. I am still in shock that this was even possible given the set up I was using at the time. Now that I have had a taste of this type of mode it is time to invest in a better setup.
Thanks to all for suggestions.
 
Joined
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Brownsville Texas,On The Border By The Sea.
#11
There was a scheduled pass this morning from SO50 and went out to listen. Temptation got the best of me and made a call into the bird. After a couple of attempts I established a QSO with a VA3 station.. I am still in shock that this was even possible given the set up I was using at the time. Now that I have had a taste of this type of mode it is time to invest in a better setup.
Thanks to all for suggestions.
Wow you must of had a very high pass over with any low pass the rubber duck might not work,back in the 90s i worked AO-27 from a mobile so anything is possible....
 
Joined
Jun 21, 2018
Messages
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#12
I think because it was early in the morning, and a somewhat high pass that worked in our favour. Been away from ham radio for 15 years and just bought a cheap handheld to try it out again. Now i think it's going to to become a obsession after talking on the SAT.
K3RLD the call here is VE3TSV. Hope to talk to you sometime on the bird.
 

k4fx

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Apr 24, 2012
Messages
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#14
I’ve never tried with a rubber duck, but mobile with a dual band antenna I worked them with no problems. I think you could do it, but a longer antenna might make it a little easier.
Good luck!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

w4amp

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Dallas, Georgia
#15
Been listening to SO 50, and AO 85 with a Baofeng handheld and Nagoya 771 with pretty reception. Just curious if anyone has ever worked satellites with a handheld rubber duck antenna, or if it is even possible. I know the Arrow antenna would be a better choice, but I am intrigued in the possibility of trying this with the rubber duck. Anyone have any luck doing this?
Thanks

I have. wanted to work the ISS on UHF APRS and found out my FT100DM does not let you change the digi path for space. That left my FT1DR. I had a high gain duck and held it over the BBQ grill for a reflector. It was a near overhead pass so it worked well.

73 and Good luck
Jim
 
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