QRP on satellites


From: F. Kevin Feeney (fkf1@cornell.edu)
Date: Wed Jul 28 1993 - 04:52:33 EDT

>Is there such a thing as working satalites with QRP homebrew equipment?
>If so which satalites? Can it be done with reasonable antennas(small
>managable)? Thank's Rod


It's pretty routine to work the low orbit satellites with moderately low
power outputs, say 25 watts or less. The main problem would be contention
on the digital and FM repeater satellites like AO21 or the pacsats.

On Oscar 13, which has got much higher path loss, I've heard people
claiming to run 1 watt or less, heard the ZRO tests when the power to the
antenna was well below a watt on the higher levels (Z8), and have worked
stations on CW with 5-10 watts, and heard my own return at 1 watt. You need
high gain antennas for Oscar 13, but they are physically small. My helix
cost about $40, is 10 feet long, and has about 15 db of gain.

For the HF satellite like RS12/13, I imagine you can get away with pretty
low power too, but I haven't tried it.

If you can make a couple of watts on 435 mhz, and want to whip up a quagi
or something for an antenna, I'd say go for it. A couple of us have tried
working through AO13 using our 440 HT's and doing cw with the ptt switch.
Ugly, but you *can* hear it. (short the mic plug to keep the FM out - you
don't want to take up 30 khz of transponder space, even qrp)

Hope that was useful

72 de Kevin, WB2EMS (fkf1@cornell.edu)

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