HamRadioNow: Look! Up in the Sky!

Look! Up in the Sky!The bulk of this episode is an on-location interview with two Raleigh NC area hams who gave a couple of live demonstrations of operating through satellites at the Raleigh Hamfest, April 15,  2017.

There’s some banter between hosts David Goldenberg W0DHG and Gary Pearce KN4AQ back in the studio. And toward the end Gary announces a Viewer Challenge that we’ll detail down below.

The satellite hams are John Brier KG4AKV and Tucker McGuire W4FS. At 18 years old, Tucker is a relatively new ham who first started operating satellites last summer, and quickly jumped into the deep end. John’s been around longer, but ham radio satellites and space operation captured his focus, too. He produces videos about it on his YouTube channel, Space Comms. Links below.

Gary talked to John and Tucker after they completed their second demo, and he edited a little of each demo into the interview.

There’s video of all of both demonstrations on YouTube. John shot himself operating through ‘Saudi-Sat’ SO-50, a “Mode J” FM crossband repeater (145.850 MHz uplink and 436.795 MHz downlink). John used three cameras (including a GoPro on a headband for a unique view). Gary edited the video and put it on the HamRadioNow YouTube channel as an extra bit if video.

Gary added two more cameras to the mix to shoot Tucker operating through FO-29, a Japanese satellite that uses a 100 kHz wide ‘linear transponder’ for mostly SSB and CW (and NO FM, please) between two meters and 70 cm. There’s a few minutes of that demo in this episode, and the whole thing is on John’s Space Comms channel.

Watch HRN 316: Look! Up in the Sky! Ham Radio Now

Space Comms http://youtube.com/SpaceComms1

KG4AKV’s SO-50 FM operation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dhJsfh6fYA

W4FS’s FO-29 SSB operation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEvsKN9ZSyw

John KG4AKV https://twitter.com/johnbrier
Tucker W4FS https://twitter.com/Whiskey4FoSho

BY70-1 FM transponder contact video

Christian Jacobs 2E0ICL has released a video of his recent contact with Peter Goodhall 2E0SQL via the new amateur radio FM satellite BY70-1.

The satellite was launched into orbit on December 28, 2016. This is orbit #27.

Watch New FM transponder satellite BY70-1

BY70-1 information https://amsat-uk.org/2016/12/27/by70-1-fm-transponder-satellite/

Christian Jacobs 2E0ICL has also released a video of his recent FM contact via the SO-50 satellite during a recent Summits On The Air (SOTA) activation at Walbury Hill (summit identifier G/SE-001).

A total of 13 contacts were made, mostly on 2m SSB, including some FM satellite working via SO50 with 10 watts to an Arrow dual-band antenna.

Watch Summits on the Air: G/SE-001, Walbury Hill

SO-50 satellite https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/communications/saudi-oscar-50/

BY70-1 FM transponder satellite https://amsat-uk.org/2016/12/27/by70-1-fm-transponder-satellite/

Arrow 2m/70cm dual-band antenna

Satellite Operating in TX Factor Show

Steve Hedgecock M0SHQ on the TX Factor Show operating via the SO-50 satellite

Steve Hedgecock M0SHQ on the TX Factor Show operating via the SO-50 satellite with homemade antenna

In episode 9 the TX Factor Show team visit Essex to report on the work of the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS), Essex Repeater Group, Essex Raynet and Essex Ham.

At 29:06 into the show Steve M0SHQ, who regularly explains amateur satellites at the CARS Skills Nights, is briefly shown demonstrating portable amateur satellite operating.

The last 4 minutes feature the launch by Chris M6EDF of his SXHAM1 high altitude balloon carrying a 434 MHz transmitter payload.

Watch TX Factor – Episode 9 (TXF009)

Amateur radio satellite talk near Farnham

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

This Monday, January 26 there will be a presentation on the FUNcube-1 (AO-73) and SO-50 satellites at the Hog’s Back Amateur Radio Club near Farnham.

Mike Parkin, G0JMI, will give a talk entitled: Amateur Radio Satellites: A General Overview and Understanding of FUNcube-1 (AO-73) and Saudi-Sat 1c (SO-50).

Satellite operation is not quite as daunting as it can at first appear, and Mike will enlighten the audience with some of his experiences, as well as the equipment and techniques used for satellite communication.

Doors open at 7:30 pm for 8:00 pm on Monday, January 26, 2015 at the Crondall Scout Hut, Pankridge Street, Crondall, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 5RQ. As usual the kettle will be on to provide the refreshment.

A map of the meeting place can be found on the Contact Details page at

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/Hogsbackarc/

11th birthday of ham radio satellite SO-50

Saudisat SO-50

Saudisat SO-50

December 20, 2013 will be the 11th birthday of the amateur radio satellite SO-50.

Now known as SO-50, Saudisat 1C is a Saudi Arabian satellite about 25 cm cubed that was launched by a Dnepr rocket from Baikonur in Kazakhstan at 17:00 UT on December 20, 2002. SO-50 features a “Mode J” FM amateur repeater operating on a 145.850 MHz uplink and a 436.795 MHz (+/- 9 kHz Doppler shift) downlink.

“Most hams already own the necessary equipment to work SO-50,” reports Clint Bradford, K6LCS, who maintains a Web site work-sat.com devoted to working amateur satellites with minimal equipment.

“It is preferable to work SO-50 in true, full-duplex mode – so you can hear the downlink as you transmit. This means – for most – using a second radio or the Kenwood TH-D72A and its true full-duplex capability. The new Puxing PX-UV973 is currently being tested in this mode, too, to see how it works on the satellites.”

SO-50’s repeater is available to amateurs worldwide, and it uses a 67.0 Hz CTCSS (PL) tone on the uplink. SO-50 also has a 10 minute timer that must be armed before use. If you know the satellite is there – but there is nothing heard – you may need to shoot it a CTCSS (PL) tone of 74.4 Hz to turn it ON!

The repeater consists of a miniature VHF receiver with sensitivity of -124 dBm, with an IF bandwidth of 15 kHz. The receive antenna is a 1/4 wave vertical mounted in the top corner of the spacecraft. Its UHF transmitter is a mere 250 mW, and downlink antenna is a 1/4 wave mounted in the bottom corner of the spacecraft and canted at 45 degrees inward.

“Hams just with Technician licenses [or UK Foundation] can work the satellite,” Clint continues. “We are talking about weak signals from 500 miles away – so improving both your TX and RX antennas is critical for success on this satellite.” Plans for making tape measure beams and other inexpensive, high-gain antennas is also on his Web site.

“Do not forget to accommodate for the Doppler shift (+/-9 kHz) on the 436 MHz receive side.”

Complete details – including frequency chart and sources for knowing when the satellite will be over your area, are also on Clint’s Web site.

Work-Sat http://www.work-sat.com/

Watch a video of Simon 2E0HTS working via SO-50 at

Satellite Tracking https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/satellite-tracking/

SO-50 on Baofeng UV5R

David Mercado KK4MND has produced a video showing how easy it is to receive the amateur radio satellite SO-50.

This video demonstrates how to communicate via Amateur Ham Radio Satellite using an inexpensive £30 Baofeng UV5R Dual Band Radio and MFJ dual band antenna from Amazon. Among the stations heard are Hector Martinez CO6CBF, Dave Beumer W0DHB and James Bayne KI4SIY.

SO50 frequencies
Uplink – 145.850 MHz with 67 HZ CTCSS
(initial 74.4 Hz CTCSS tone required if satellite has not already been activated)
Downlink – 436.800 MHz

SO-50 article by Howard Long G6LVB


Credit Southgate ARC