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Portable Satellite Operations
I have been active on amateur radio satellites with a portable station for a few years now. I started portable because I was not able to mount moving directional antennas on top of my previous apartment. At my current house I am busy to get my satellite base station operational.
Portable Satellite Operation Setup
I am once in a while active on LEO satellites AO-51, SO-50, SO-67, HO68 and VO-52. I am using the following equipment:
Read all information about the setup in my multi-purpose portable setup article.
- Two times a FT-817ND.
- A low pass filter for VHF-TX for mode V/U satellites.
- An Arrow dual band VHF/UHF antenna, without duplex filter.
- A Heil Traveller dual side headset (this makes a REAL difference in microphone audio! Great stuff, high price, bad service).
- A 2.2 Ah dry cell battery pack.
Ook meer informatie in mijn Dutch presentation about portable satellite operations.
In September 2011 I visited Denmark for holidays and took my portable satellite radio equipment with me again. The call sign I used this time was OZ/PA1IVO/P and I was active between 31 August and 3 September 2011. I was active from one location, JO46EW - Stenbjerg, in the North West of Denmark.
I used the following portable QRP setup: two FT-817s (with extra LPF), manual tuning/Doppler compensation, Arrow antenna without duplexer, battery powered (2.2 Ah), and a Creative ZEN nano plus mp3 player/recorder. A small Asus AAA laptop (with horrible QRM from the switched-mode power supply) was used for predictions.
Several QSOs were made using LEO voice sats (FO-29, AO-51, SO-50 and VO-52), several times up to six per pass (and without taking the entire pass for myself). Best DX was EA8HB from IL18BP (Tenerife)!
The special QSL card for this occasion is shown on the right. The main picture was taken during a walk near Lodbjerg Fyr (Lighthouse), which in visible in the distance. The two small pictures were taken at the camping in Stenbjerg at our cabin.
In May 2008 I visited Scotland for holidays and took my portable satellite radio equipment with me. The call sign I used was MM/PA1IVO/P and I was active between 20 and 31 May 2008. I was active on LEO voice sats, AO-51 on the second repeater when available, SO-50, and sometimes on VO-52.
I used a portable QRP setup: two FT-817s (with extra LPF), manual tuning/Doppler compensation, Arrow or dual band HB9CV antenna (Wimo), battery powered (2.2 Ah). Printed out predictions, no laptop unfortunately.
- 20 - 22 May: IO87DD, Cairngorms mountains (Glenmore Caravan & Camping Site)
- 23 - 25 May: IO89KC, Orkney Main Island (Eviedale Campsite)
- 27 - 28 May: IO78IE, Near Lochinver (Achmelvich Camping)
- 29 May: IO86DQ, Pitlochry (Milton of Fonab campsite)
- 30 May: IO85RK, Near Jedburgh (campsite south of Jedburgh).
The special QSL card for this occasion is shown on the right. The main picture was taken at the Glenmore Caravan & Camping Site, the small picture at the bottom right at the Eviedale Campsite on the Orkney Main Island.
In 2006 I visited Norway for holidays and took my portable satellite radio equipment with me for the first time. This was a great success; being in Norway makes you to be at the right side of the DX QSOs!
My equipment was only a single FT-817ND, so I was not able to listen to my self yet. Arrow antenna with duplex filter, and the 2.2 Ah sealed lead-acid battery.
The special QSL card for this occasion is shown on the right. The picture was taken at a small campsite in Geilo. The pole at the right is a quarter wave fishing pole 20 m ground plane antenna.
At the AMSAT-UK Colloquium 2007 I gave a short presentation about my experiences in Norway.
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