Monday, 25 November 2013

My favourite satellite SO50

Working SO50   (A quick overview of the satellite and how to work it)

SO50 in an amateur radio satellite that can be worked by anyone with an amateur radio licence.

It was launched on 20 December, 2002 and has given many years service so far, being used by amateurs around the world on a daily basis.

If you are new to satellites then to work S050 you will need either a dual band radio with  semi duplex operation. Or two separate radios, one to receive and one to transmit.

I use an FT817 with a whopping 5 watts output in to an Elk handheld antenna.

If you are not sure about if you can receive the satellite, why not just listen for the first few passes to get to grips with the doppler shift and the speed of the pass at different heights. as a rule the higher the pass the quicker it whips through the sky. But of course it is closer to you so reception should be easier 

The satellites frequencies are.. Downlink:436.800 fm
                                              Uplink: 145.850  fm

You will also need to programme in a 67.0 Hz PL tone on the uplink, to activate the satellite.
SO-50 also has a 10 minute timer that must be armed before use. Transmit a 2 second carrier with a PL tone of 74.4 to arm the timer.


The Uplink should be fixed at 145.850. While the downlink is adjusted for Doppler as the satellite passes overhead.

It all sounds a lot harder than it is. It shouldn't take to long to get in to a routine of what you need, and what hands need to do what.
As you may think you need to be an octopus to adjust the frequency, aim the antenna, talk to the satellite and make a note of who you just called. All at the same time.


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