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Author Topic: vhf brick amplifier  (Read 1405 times)
W4CTH
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« on: August 14, 2009, 02:23:29 PM »

There is a very good tutorial on FM LEO's with HT by Richard Handley, N1ASA.  Google his call sign and you will find it.  He recommends using a 20w brick amplifier with the handheld.  I have been trying to find a source for one.  The ones I have found range from $35 for a Japanese product on Ebay to over $200 for one by Henry radio.  Mirage makes one for a little over $100.  That is a pretty wide spread.  Does anyone have any experience with these amplifiers either with satellites or not and if so, I would appreciate any recomendations or other suggestions.  Thanks and 73
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KB2FCV
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2009, 07:52:01 AM »

I've only worked a few times with a Brick on VHF, but never with a satellite. With a decent antenna, 5 watts is plenty to get into the FM Leo's. With a handheld yagi I can work them standing on my front porch with an HT.
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KO4MA
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2009, 07:12:52 PM »

There is really no need for it on the FM satellites. 5, or even 1 watt is plenty. More power and half-duplex are part of the problem on the FM sats. Try it with just the handheld and you'll see.

73, Drew KO4MA
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W4CTH
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2009, 08:58:11 PM »

Thanks, James and Drew, for your replies. I have been successful in working the LEOs with just a HT. However, I found a very interesting primer from Richard Hackney, a professor at Western Kentucky University. Take a look at it at:

http://www.wku.edu/ksgc/sats.pdf

You will see why I am interested in the amplifier. He uses a preamp and the amplifier for the low birds. Says he gets better connectivity when they are low on the horizon and further away from the operator. I would be interested in your (or anyone else's) take on this. 73
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KB1LKR
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2009, 09:41:29 AM »

Ah, low passes -- you could also use a VHF mobile at 15-25W for the uplink (think of it as a brick amplifier w/ a low power transmitter built in) and an HT for the UHF downlink (this way you're full vs. half duplex).
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KB2FCV
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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2009, 11:28:07 AM »

Ah ok, low passes.. yeah I find I'm a bit limited until the satellite hits a certain elevation. When we change QTH's I hope to change that with some better gain permanent antennas. You can really get some distance when it's low on the horizon.
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