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Author Topic: Working SO-50 Questions  (Read 23838 times)
N1IRF
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Posts: 37




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« on: November 05, 2012, 05:41:28 PM »

For the past several weeks, I have been trying to make contacts on SO-50; but, I haven't had any luck.  The equipment that I have been using is a Yaesu FT-60R handheld transceiver and the Arrow 146/437-10 satellite antenna.  I had no problems working AO-27 and I made several contacts without any issues.  It seems that I can't get anyone to respond to my calls on SO-50.  Does anyone have any suggestions or advice on what I can do to make a successful contact on SO-50?

Stephen
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N8HM
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Posts: 85




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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 05:55:34 PM »

Can you hear the satellite? Are you transmitting a 67.0 Hz tone?
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N1IRF
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Posts: 37




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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2012, 07:52:09 AM »

Yes, I can hear other amateur operators making contacts.  I also setup my Yaesu FT-60R to transmit the 67.0 Hz tone when I transmit.   
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N8HM
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2012, 11:45:19 AM »

It can be hard to get a word in edgewise sometimes (that's why being able to hear your downlink is helpful, you know if you are getting in to the satellite). Just keep trying. When a QSO is finished, key up and call one of the stations that was just in QSO.
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W5PFG
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 12:43:59 PM »

This is why I do not recommend you use a semi-duplex configuration for satellites.  You have no way of knowing if you're actually making it into SO-50 or just causing QRM.   You should consider adding a second radio (receiver) to listen to the downlink.   The FT-60R is great for getting your feet wet on the satellites.  Beyond a few contacts, you should look at improving your station by operating full-duplex.
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KD0TLI
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2012, 10:25:04 AM »

I also tried to work SO-50 and couldnt hear anything.
I'm running a Baofeng UV-8A and the Arrow 146/437-10 satellite antenna.

Its my first attempt at a satellite, but I thought I had the rig setup right (67.0 hz tone).
I'm thinking I may need to remove the .600 offset ?


I was trying it after dark, and I havent checked.....maybe its a daylight only bird.
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W5PFG
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Posts: 75




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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2012, 01:12:22 PM »

I also tried to work SO-50 and couldnt hear anything.
I'm running a Baofeng UV-8A and the Arrow 146/437-10 satellite antenna.

Its my first attempt at a satellite, but I thought I had the rig setup right (67.0 hz tone).
I'm thinking I may need to remove the .600 offset ?


I was trying it after dark, and I havent checked.....maybe its a daylight only bird.

1.  If you're not hearing anything, don't bother transmitting.  Chances are that if you can't hear and you transmit you will interfere with someone else making a contact.

2. There is no offset used on FM satellites.  They are cross-band or as some call "split."  You transmit on one band and listen on another.   Your radio should be listening on the UHF frequencies and then switch to VHF when you press the PTT.  Of course, you will need to proper tone for SO-50 to activate the repeater (74.4) and to utilize it (67.)
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N1IRF
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Posts: 37




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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2012, 08:26:02 AM »

I went back out and attempted to make some contacts on SO-50.  I used two handhelds (FT-60R as my transmitter and FT-470 as my receiver).  I choose passes that were the elevation was equal or greater than 40 degrees.  I had no issues in hearing contacts being made; but, I could not hear myself when transmitting on my receiver.  Could it be that:
1. I need more power?  I am transmitting at 7 watts.
2. I am still not aligned with SO-50?

Thanks.
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W5PFG
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2012, 10:01:48 AM »

I went back out and attempted to make some contacts on SO-50.  I used two handhelds (FT-60R as my transmitter and FT-470 as my receiver).  I choose passes that were the elevation was equal or greater than 40 degrees.  I had no issues in hearing contacts being made; but, I could not hear myself when transmitting on my receiver.  Could it be that:
1. I need more power?  I am transmitting at 7 watts.
2. I am still not aligned with SO-50?

Thanks.

If you're hearing it, then I'd suspect you're not transmitting the proper tone of 67hz.   Are you sure the tone is set right?

7 watts is more than adequate.  SO-50 years very well.  I can get into it with one watt into a 3 element Arrow all day long.
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N8HM
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Posts: 85




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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2012, 11:45:33 AM »

I went back out and attempted to make some contacts on SO-50.  I used two handhelds (FT-60R as my transmitter and FT-470 as my receiver).  I choose passes that were the elevation was equal or greater than 40 degrees.  I had no issues in hearing contacts being made; but, I could not hear myself when transmitting on my receiver.  Could it be that:
1. I need more power?  I am transmitting at 7 watts.
2. I am still not aligned with SO-50?

Thanks.

You may also be experiencing desense. In order to hear myself on the UHF downlink of SO-50 or FO-29 when using my Arrow, Yaesu FT-817, and Kenwood TH-F6A, I had to connect the output of the Arrow's duplexer to a second duplexer (an MFJ) and then the output of the duplexer to each radio.
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N1IRF
Member

Posts: 37




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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2012, 12:58:36 PM »

I went back out and attempted to make some contacts on SO-50.  I used two handhelds (FT-60R as my transmitter and FT-470 as my receiver).  I choose passes that were the elevation was equal or greater than 40 degrees.  I had no issues in hearing contacts being made; but, I could not hear myself when transmitting on my receiver.  Could it be that:
1. I need more power?  I am transmitting at 7 watts.
2. I am still not aligned with SO-50?

Thanks.

You may also be experiencing desense. In order to hear myself on the UHF downlink of SO-50 or FO-29 when using my Arrow, Yaesu FT-817, and Kenwood TH-F6A, I had to connect the output of the Arrow's duplexer to a second duplexer (an MFJ) and then the output of the duplexer to each radio.

I am not using a duplexer with the Arrow antenna.  The UHF part of the antenna goes directly to the receiver (FT-470).  The 2 meter VHF part of the antenna is also directly feed to the transmitter (FT-60R).  Do I need to add a duplexer to the receiver?
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KQ6EA
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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2012, 01:38:14 PM »

A lot of people use one-half of a diplexer to act as a bandpass filter, and keep any 144MHz energy out of the 430MHz side of things.

Details on how to do this cane be found here:

http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/articles/Mode-J/

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N1IRF
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Posts: 37




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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2012, 03:41:41 PM »

I will try it this weekend.
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KQ6EA
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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2012, 04:12:33 PM »

I've been using a Comet unit I bought from AES, and it works quite well.

I also use a 2 Meter bandpass filter on the output of my FT-847, but I don't think something like would be very practical for your simple set up.

It's almost as big as my FT-847!

I just received a Mode J filter from PAR Electronics, and I'm going to give it a try when I get back from the business trip I'm on.

It cost about 3 times as much as the Comet, but it's a much better filter, and about 1/4 the size.

Jim
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KJ6SBW
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2012, 07:59:30 AM »

I have used an FT-60 HT and an Elk Satellite antenna and have had relatively good luck on both AO27 and SO-50.
It's important to be sure that you have the satellite position correct. Most of the birds are only at a good angle for communications for around 7-8 minutes, so you have to be quick and brief. I've also discovered that the angle at which the satellite antenna (Elk) is held makes a big difference (polarity). You just have to experiment until you get the loudest signal then track it across the sky.

The higher the pass in the sky the better your success. Those that are at the horizon will be very difficult to make contact unless you're using something special and have some altitude yourself.
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