Range of handheld Ham Radio

May 30, 2022
Why Do You NEED a Ham

I was tinkering with my radio today while doing some research on communications, when I made a discovery. you can do Long Range Communications using handheld Ham Radios and Satellites!

As long as there are satellites orbiting the earth, you can communicate hundreds of miles using a handheld radio (HT). This really expands the abilities of the handhelds.

How To Get Started

Here are some simple steps to get you started down the satellite communications path.

Start with a satellite that’s easy to work, SO-50.

SO-50SAUDISAT 1C (or SO-50, Saudi-OSCAR 50) carries a mode J FM amateur repeater experiment operating on 145.850 MHz uplink and 436.795 MHz downlink. The repeater is available to amateurs worldwide as power permits, using a 67.0 Hertz PL tone on the uplink, for on-demand activation. SO-50 also has a 10 minute timer that must be armed before use. Thus, first transmit an initial carrier with a PL tone of 74.4 to arm the timer.

Find out where SO-50 is currently located

Upgrade your Handheld’s Antenna

Your stock antenna probably won’t have the resonance you’ll need to talk to space. You can try the antenna we recommend, but you’re mileage may vary, so please do your research.

For the or other handhelds that need SMA-Female Connector antennas:

If you’re using the, or another radio (Icom, Yaesu, but check your manual for verification) that utilizes SMA-Male Connector antennas:

By adding a better and longer antenna, to your handheld, it can greatly increase the transmit/receive range of the radio over the stock rubber-duck antenna.

Do your background research

Here is a website, , dedicated to HAM FM communications via Satellite Communications.

They have 2 files that will be very helpful:

Baofeng using SO-50 to communicate from Florida to Texas

See how easy it is to do some long range communications using handheld ham radios and satellites. Now we have viable comms that can cover hundreds of miles in an emergency or bug out situation!

Links to help you get up to speed on Budget Ham Radio Gear:

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