70cm Yagi Antenna for Satellite Work

The 70cm Yagi – $18 (minus coax/connector)

Used for the SO-50 and AO-27 satsA local contact that I made on the ISS, KF4GTA, suggested that I try out working some FM “birds” when he checked into the Colquitt County Ham Radio Society’s friendly net this week. He mentioned SO-50 and AO-27, and so far I’ve worked the SO-50. At first I didn’t think that I had the right equipment, but then I remembered that my FT-60 was a dual band transceiver that did both 2m and 70cm. Shortly after that realization I was working towards working the birds.

First, I downloaded HamSatDroid on my Samsung Tab and my Motorola Razr. I then added my position and updated the Keps. I noticed there was an AO-50 pass around 10:30pm EST so I started preparing.

Second, I grabbed my FT-60 and my Arrow 146-4 (which is not optimal for 70cm, but it would work in a pinch). I connected that to my radio and then I added the satellite frequencies to it.

Third, I then had to re-enter the frequencies because I knew I needed to adjust for Doppler. I’ve never really had much interaction with Mr. Doppler except for the occasional ambulance, so I was pleased to see how well the Doppler effect worked on a 70cm signal. I have the downlink ranging from 436.805 to 736.785.

I made my first contact using the Arrow 2m antenna, but I instantly forgot the call sign. I also had a very weak audio from the downlink so that is when I started thinking about building a small directional antenna. The parts that I gathered were: Continue reading