Ham Radio Satellite Tracking

April 19, 2022

My favorite ham activity is making contacts via satellites. Not only is there the romantic notion of sending messages into outer space, but you have to trace the orbit of the satellite with your antenna while tuning the radio, to compensate for the Doppler effect.

The satellites AO-51, SO-50, and AO-27 orbit the Earth acting as repeaters. Repeaters are automated relay stations that allow hams to send signals over a greater distance using low-power hand held transceivers. The satellites allow hams to relay messages from Earth to space and back to other hams somewhere on the planet. The International Space Station (ISS) also has a repeater, but occasionally, if you’re lucky, the astronauts turn on their radios to make contact directly with hams on the ground.

The following instructions will get you started listening to birds (satellites) on FM, which can be done with a simple VHF/UHF FM radio with a whip antenna, without the need of a ham license. For better coverage, you can use a Yagi antenna (like the one pictured above) connected to a mutli-mode radio and a license (if you want to transmit). A Yagi antenna can also be used to improve the signal of your hand held radio.

All you need is a VHF/UHF FM receiver (like a police scanner) or a VHF/UHF transceiver (like a Yaesu VX-7) and an antenna.

1. Specifying your location
Start by visiting Heavens-Above.com to check the orbit of the satellite you want to listen to and specify your location.

2. Specifying a satellite
Check the passes of your specific satellite or the ISS. AO-51, SO-50, AO-27, ISS. Make sure that the passes are shown for your correct location.

3. Reading the chart
This pass chart shows the Start (when/where the satellite enters on the horizon), the Max. Altitude (when/where the satellite is at its highest point in the sky), and the End (when/where the satellite finishes it’s pass). Alt. is the altitude, the angle of the satellite from the observer’s horizon. 0 degrees is exactly on the horizon, and 90 degrees is directly above the observer. Az. is the Azimuth, the cardinal direction of the satellite from the observer’s point of view.

4. Picking a good pass
Satellites orbit the Earth at all sorts of angles, some that are very close to the horizon and some that are directly overhead. It is much easier to hear a satellite that passes directly overhead. To find a good sat pass, check the Max. Altitude Alt. for a pass that is 45 or higher (the higher the better). In our example, the second pass at 7:28 looks like a good one since the Max. Altitude Alt. is 77. The first pass at 5:52 has a Max. Altitude Alt. of only 12 which is very close to the horizon and difficult to pick up.

dua for exam success executive success program failure to success quotes fear of success intermittent fasting success stories iui success stories ivf success keno success kidney transplant success rate life success quotes manifesting a specific person success stories membrane sweep at 39 weeks success rate metrics of success motivational success inspirational quotes ovulation pain and pregnancy success stories pcos natural treatment success stories prp hair treatment success rate purdue success factors login quotes for success rotator cuff surgery success rate shark tank success shoulder labrum surgery success rate spelling success success group international success habit success iceberg success is when preparation meets opportunity success motivated success on 2.5 mg lexapro success poster success quotes for business the secret to my success vaccine success 16/8 diet success stories aa success rate ablation for afib success rate belly overhang success stories best success quotes birth control success rate celebrate success class room for success coca-cola’s advertising strategy has been an international success because condom success rate critical success factors critical success factors crystals for success customer success specialist customer success specialist salary drake lyrics about success ek success
Source: makezine.com
Ham radio deluxe and satellite tracking
Ham radio deluxe and satellite tracking
Ham Radio Automatic Satellite tracking system
Ham Radio Automatic Satellite tracking system
SO-50 ham radio satellite tracking
SO-50 ham radio satellite tracking

Share this Post