April 2017…


I finally put some effort into working out how to operate through satellites starting with the nice and easy FM sat, SO-50. I treated myself to an Arrow hand held 2m/70cm crossed yagi aerial and connected it up to a Yaesu VX-6 hand held which I pre-programmed using 7 discrete frequencies to receive the satellite on which I can switch through to overcome Doppler effects. I clip the radio to my belt and have an extension mix clipped to my lapel so I don't have to hold the radio/mic all the time. I used 'Satellite Tracker Plus v3.1' on the iPhone to predict pass times and the path of the satellite across the sky. The final, essential ingredient was a small Sony audio recorder, lavalier 'lapel' clip on microphone and furry 'dead cat' cover to obfuscate wind noise...these are needed because trying to operate a hand held transceiver while pointing and twisting a yagi for best performance doesn't leave a hand free for logging. One simply records the pass and then replays the audio to log the details.



This month I gave my first 'webinar', a presentation on SOTA which was hosted by the excellent 'virtual' Chertsey Radio Club. It was tough to condense everything that is great about SOTA into one hour but I did my best and didn't make too many gaffs!

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