My solo satellite venture

KX9X, my satel­lite elmer, told me what I need­ed in order to play with satel­lites: A decent dual-band HT, An Arrow anten­na with a duplex­er, a way to track the satel­lites, and a way to record. here’s what I did…

The next day after he helped me with my first satel­lite Qs…He held the anten­na and radio, I keyed the mic…I ordered an Arrow anten­na from the man­u­fac­tur­er. Yes, it was unfor­tu­nate­ly timed with me being laid off (Meh, work is over-rat­ed). It came in a few days time. I had a basi­cal­ly unused Yae­su VX-7R dual-band hand­held radio. I say unused since I am hard­ly active on the local repeaters, and frankly there is very lit­tle activ­i­ty around Nashville any­way. At least for now.

KX9X was using GoSat­Watch on his iPad for track­ing, so I decid­ed I would do the same thing using my iPhone 6S+. It’s a bit pricey, but I did­n’t want to get too cre­ative and jeop­ar­dize my suc­cess. Basi­cal­ly, I want­ed to do it just like Sean does it.

The only place I devi­at­ed was in the use some recording/​dictation soft­ware on my iPhone.

So, after a few failed attempts in actu­al­ly mak­ing a con­tact, on 324 I made my first solo unas­sist­ed QSO through SO-50 satel­lite: KK4FEM. What excite­ment! I then con­tact­ed WO3T, WA4NVM, and KI4RO dur­ing the pass.

Now the dif­fi­cul­ties set in:

  1. Adjust­ing my fre­quen­cy for doppler
  2. Point­ing the Arrow anten­na into the right place
  3. Remem­ber­ing callsigns
  4. Get­ting a decent recording
  5. Tim­ing through the QRM

On this pass I was lucky. I did­n’t know what I was doing, and I am sure in my excite­ment my QSO tech­nique was hor­rid. But that said, I got every­thing basi­cal­ly cor­rect, albeit imper­fect, and logged the the four contacts.

Leave a Comment