When conditions are poor for other forms of communication, as Ham Operators, we have alternative means at our disposal. Satellite communication is by no means, a new operating mode, but today we
have many new ways to explore. While at Hamcation, Paul, K3PG, attended an AMSAT
demonstration and brought back a report from the host.
Trying new things is what Ham radio is all about. Please read Paul's article below.
One of the most exciting times I've had in ham radio was when I made my first contact through an amateur radio satellite. It was a Russian amateur satellite called RS-10. You would transmit up on VHF and listen for your signal on the satellite portion of the 10 meter band. To hear my own signal and knowing it was coming down from space was exciting enough, but after that I actually made contact with another ham and that topped it off.
That RS-10 contact was many years ago, and making satellite contacts now is much easier. All you need is a dual band (2M/70cm) HT and a dual band 5/8 whip and your on the air. From there, your next step would be accessing what we sat operators refer to as the "linear" satellites. These are a little more challenging since you have to use SSB or CW to work stations through them. You also have to continually "bump" your frequency as you operate due to something called Doppler shift, but don't let this scare you. Its really not all that hard to learn and its a lot of fun.
If this sounds exciting, you can find out more information about the amateur satellites be going to
. There is also an email list you will find listed there that you can subscribe to and ask questions of the seasoned sat operators who will be glad to help to bring you up to speed.
Hope to hear you on the air."