I just put together a small satellite station...
11 el UHF
4 el VHF
I know my grid is rare on 6 meters, maybe not so much on sats?
Heard a California station on AO-7 today, couldn't get back to him.
If you're copying AO-7, you're in good shape already. Keep in mind AO-7 flips between "mode B" (70cm up/2m down) and "mode A" (2m up/10m down) daily, between 2330 and 0000 UTC. This is typically during a pass over North America in the late afternoon/early evening timeframe.
Are you using a second radio with that IC-7000? If not, are you using software to control the IC-7000 for satellite work? That's a very nice radio, but not ideal for satellite operating by itself.
As for your grid, it is also rarely heard on the satellites. You'll be popular, once others hear you and your location on the different passes.
Hard to find a list of operational birds on FM and SSB.
Any help for a new guy?
Clint gave you the basic breakdown. VO-52, another SSB/CW satellite, should be back on the air later this week. It works like AO-7's "mode B", with a 70cm uplink and 2m downlink. It should be a lot easier to copy than AO-7 or FO-29, since it is in a lower orbit than those two satellites (around 650km/400 miles high). VO-52 has a stronger downlink transmitter and more sensitive uplink receiver, compared to AO-7 or FO-29. AO-27 is only on for afternoon passes, and SO-50 requires PL tones on its uplink (74.4 Hz to activate the satellite for 10 minutes, then use a 67.0 Hz PL to talk through it).
Good luck and 73!