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Author Topic: Setting up station for satellite use  (Read 599 times)
KC0LTV
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« on: July 07, 2005, 11:20:52 AM »

Hello all.  I have a Kenwood TS-2000 (without 1.2 GHz) and would like to start operating satellites.  I have heard UO-14 and the like with an HT before, but now I'd like to get more serious and start transmitting.

I'm interested in AO-51, VO-52, FO-29, and ARISS, as these all seem like reasonable satellites for the starter.  I am unsure, however, what antennas to use.  I have heard for the stronger satellites a 1/2 wave vertical will work well.  For lower elevations, I already have some omni-angles, OA-50/OA-144/OA-432.

For the satellites listed above, will an AZ/EL rotator generally be necessary?  Any help is welcome.
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2005, 05:39:30 PM »

I use a 2M and a 70CM (with mast-mounted preamp) eggbeater from M2.  They have the radial kits and are also used for normal communications.

Dennis KG4RUL
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KC0LTV
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2005, 01:38:03 PM »

OK, sounds cool.

I hope I don't sound too stupid here, but could I mount two eggbeaters on one mast?  Or would my RX and TX interfere with eachother?  If I can do this, what spacing will I need?
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2005, 02:58:06 PM »

You need to get them on either side of a 'tee' on top of the mast.  They need to be 1 wavelength minimum apart at the highest frequency (70cm = approx 28") and at approximately the same height.  As for feedlines, you could use two or a duplexer at the antenna and/or transceiver.

Dennnis KG4RUL
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KD2E
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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2005, 07:11:07 PM »

Dennis... I was swirling the same idea in my head...to get back on the birds. I was thinking of what array and az/el setup I'd need, and how long it would take to save up for the whole thing. How well do the eggbeaters work?? Are there SSB/CW sats where the eggbeaters can be used as well? I'm not very interested in packet or even FM stuff. I guess it would not matter a whole lot on the eggbeaters height above ground...just that it has a view of the sky??
Thanks....Dave
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2005, 10:26:48 AM »

With the eggbeaters, the radiation pattern is almost a perfect hemisphere from horizon-to-horizon.  This means no null on an overhead pass.  

Of course, this setup does not have the gain of directional antennas on an Az/El rotator setup.  A good, mast mounted preamp for the 70cm antenna will narrow that gap considerably (get one with VOX capabilities to simply setup and operation).

It is also possible to mount the directional antennas on an Azimuth rotator, tilted up at 30 degrees or so.  This gives you good gain on part of most passes.

In either case, you have the added workload of keeping the antenna aimed or taking the route of investing in expensive, rotator controllers.

As far as modes of operation, I use mine for FM and SSB including terrestrial operation.

Dennis KG4RUL
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KC0LTV
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« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2005, 06:20:01 PM »

Thank you for your help.  

I think I'll go with the eggbeater plan.
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WO8USA
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2005, 04:49:42 PM »

Can you use a 2m/70cm vertical?  Quick calculations are that two eggbeaters will run about $300, most mounted preamp about $150, plus feedline (what choice with which connectors???)

I am in the same circumstance, rather than opening up another forum subject, thought I would tag along.  I have a IC910H on order, and want to get the antennas at the same time.  I am not committed either way, but have decided I want to start out WITHOUT worrying about beams and rotators.

Any help/comments appreciated (I've read the reviews and seen the other forum entries),

Chris WO8USA
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2005, 09:10:36 AM »

A vertical can be used to work sats with minimal results.  

Remember that the radiation pattern around a vertical is basically a doughnut shape, very close to the horizon.  What this means for sats is the beginning and end of each pass is within the pattern but, that is when the view to the sat is likely blocked by intervening objects.
 
To extend the coverage somewhat, the antenna can be tilted 15-20 degrees from vertical.  If the high point of the resulting pattern (the doughnut is now tilted with respect to the ground) is pointed at the azimuth where the apogee of the sat pass is reached, you will hear the bird longer.

Dennis KG4RUL
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