Re: New to group

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>

... KJ4QZJ ... Bryan ... new ham ... FT-817ND ...
WELCOME to the group. Looks like you, too, have the infamous "sat bug" disease ...

AO-51 and SO-50 programming charts for your FT-817 are on the support Web site of ...

You've got all the equipment. Just settle on one (or more) sat tracking systems - whether free online info or a software program - and get on the birds!

Clint, K6LCS

Re: Voice recorder / headset question

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>

I use a creative ZEN Stone MP3 player to record with.
Excellent suggestion - thanks!


New to group


Hello all,

KJ4QZJ here. Name is Bryan. I am a new ham, licensed 12/1/09. I have a Yasesu FT-817ND.

One of the reasons I decided to get my ticket was a Youtube video by Randy K7AGE working the FM sats with a arrow yagi and HT in his backyard. I thought to myself, "I really want to do that!"

I found this group via a link on K6LCS home page and am glad I did. I hope to make a arrow type yagi and take it out the park as soon as I can. Time and Weather need to cooperate with me on this.

Now I just need to read up on all the info here and get started...

Re: Voice recorder / headset question



I'm new to the group, ham radio and working SATs but I do have a suggestion here.

I use a creative ZEN Stone MP3 player to record with.

Mine is 2GB and can record for many hours and the MP3 files it creates need no conversion like some digital voice recorders do. Its tiny about 1x1.5 inches charges over usb, works like a thumb drive (just mounts up like a disk so you can store photos, log data and other files on it), has a FM radio and of course can play music. The 2nd generation ZEN Stones also have a speaker built in. I got mine at target on sale for less than $20. I think they are out of production (at least the earlier models) so look around for a good deal. Oh, yeah it has a stopwatch and a clock as well. Nice little toy.

Re: Voice recorder / headset question

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>

I left out an entire phrase in my suggested solution: Use a little recorder "and its included microphone" and see if it works out for you.

Sorry if that was obvious ... (g)


Re: Voice recorder / headset question

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>

I have a rather odd question ...
Not odd at all - this is a great question!

... voice recorder to record contacts ...
Great to keep a history of the contacts ... It's hard to hold an HT and a handheld Yagi and key the mic and write it all down with just two hands ... (grin)

... using a headset so that you can hear a bit better ...
Well, the FM birds are so easy to work (especially with your Arrow II!) that I really don't desire using my Heil headset while working them. But ...

... a way to do both? ... VX7R with a external handheld microphone ...
That's a perfect combination! A little shirt-pocket-sized recorder will do the trick. You pay more for them as the features get more extravagant, of course ...

- Just need taped conversations? Cheapest. Like a Sony M-470.

-Digital recording? A little more expensive. Olympus units are great. VN-6000 looks cool.

-Digital, with audio files that are easily transferred to your computer? Closer to $100, like an Olympus Olympus WS-500M. My Marantz PMD660 for interviews + Sennheiser mic was a little over $500.

-Wireless setup (I use one for my presentations and demos)? Can be second mortgage time. Audio Technica makes some great setups.

... I was thinking of adding something like the MFJ-288R, but was curious how I might be able to record contacts?

The MFJ-288R doesn't have an audio jack inline anywhere (as I remember - correct me if I am wrong). The Pryme SPM-4xx Series used to have an 3.5mm 2-conductor audio jack - so you would plug the tape recorder's input into it, and then use the tape recorder's earphone jack for hearing ...

Go inexpensive at first. You already have the speaker-mic and great gain with the Arrow antenna. Just borrow someone's cassette recorder (or find yours out in the garage) for testing. Look at how I have mounted my HT onto the book of my Arrow (go to PHOTOS at ) - and you eliminate the need for so many hands.

And after transmitting, you can clip the mic to the setup. Hey - mount a little clipboard and pad, and you have your own portable Arrow Satellite Office!


Voice recorder / headset question

MichaelE <k4moa@...>

Good evening everyone and thanks for reading.

I have a rather odd question. I have read several satellite articles which suggest using some form of voice recorder to record contacts. But I have also read articles which suggest using a headset so that you can hear a bit better.

Well, I was curious if there is a way to do both? I currently have a VX7R with a external handheld microphone but I was thinking of adding something like the MFJ-288R, but was curious how I might be able to record contacts?

By the way - I picked up a Arrow II over Christmas and due to our cold snap and a pestering head-cold I am yet to put it together. I look forward to giving it a shot soon and making my first contact...

Thanks in advance,

Mike, K4MOA

Sat Presentation to YOUR Club

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>

Want a lively, hour-long presentation at your club? I can give my "How to Work Ham Satellites with your HT" session via VOIP!

What I just did a couple weeks ago with a club in Minnesota was have them establish a Skype connection (or EchoLink connection) for audio. On their end, they had a projector/screen showing what I had sent them beforehand as my presentation. Each slide was numbered, so we never lost our place. I can make the file either a .pdf or a PowerPoint or Apple Keynote - whatever your club has the capability of showing.

Since Skype is darned near "full duplex," I like it better because I can hear the group more readily than with EchoLink. I don't mind a bit being interrupted for questions - and that works better using Skype than with EchoLink.

I have conducted four such VOIP meetings recently. I need about 40 minutes for the show - then take all the questions the group might have. And as always, it's usually the Q&A session that's the most enlightening. The show is not "fomal" nor stuffy. We'll have a great time.

If interested, please contact me at - I'd enjoy speaking to your club!

Clint Bradford, K6LCS

FT-817 / VX-8

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>

From the In Box ...


Hope this is not a bother but I want to work satellites and just not sure which radio to buy. I know I need crossband and I could use either a mobile or portable. I note in your website an FT-817 and that would be great for the HF that goes with it, but I've heard it is a poor choice for satellite work. I also saw the attached video and I think the fellow is using a VX-8R Yaesu. So, what do your recommend? I do quite a bit /p with my HF, and it would be great to have multi-capabilities. Also do all these radios account for doppler through memory usage. I've tried the HRD program and it tracks, but I may not always have a notebook with me. Appreciate it if you have the time to answer some questions from a newbie to satellites.

My reply ...

... FT-817 ... HF, too ... but I've heard it is a poor choice for satellite work ...
The FT-817 is a great rig for QRP HF work, FM satellite work, and SSB satellite work. It's all in the antenna ...

... VX-8R ...
The VX-8R is nice ... but NOT a true duplex radio, either. (True duplex means you can hear the sub-band while transmitting on the other band - NOT mandatory, but many prefer working that way. Personally, I haven't felt the need to hear myself ... (grin).)

... what do your recommend? I do quite a bit /p with my HF, and it would be great to have multi-capabilities ...
Then you might like the FT-817: 2M and 440, plus HF! But if you don't have a 2M/440 handheld in your collection, the less-expensive FT-60R is a great performer.

... do all these radios account for doppler through memory usage ...
None automatically. But I get around that by simply programming multiple channels for each satellite. Only the 440 side needs doppler correction on the FM birds ("acquire = ABOVE" is my mnemonic device ... ACQUIRE the signal as sat is rising ABOVE the center frequency).

Clint, K6LCS

SO-50 Frequencies

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>

From the In Box ...

re: Doppler programming
in your example AO-51 has memory channels 101 through 105.
(that template is how I have the fm sats programmed in the FT60R, and it works fine)
question is this, in your example for SO-50, you extend your memory channels out by two or three more channels. (I am not talking about the 74.4 CTCSS, I understand that is for activation) Is this just to extend workable time on the sat? do you recommend that spread for all FM sats?

ANSWER: SO-50 is a little off-frequency, that's all. That's why there's more of a spread in my programming chart than there is for AO-51!

Satellite Presentation - Fullerton, CA - 01/20/10

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>

AMSAT area coordinator Clint Bradford, K6LCS, will be
presenting his "Working Amateur Satellites With Your HT"
multimedia session at the January 20, 2010 meeting of
the Fullerton Radio Club. All are welcome to attend.

"Tentatively, we'll have a workable pass of AO-51 at
5:12PM that evening," Clint reports. "If you would like to
show up early, I'll be working the satellite from the
Ruby's Diner parking lot ... " - which is where the
club informally meets before the 7PM meeting.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010
5:15PM - dinner before the meeting
Ruby's Diner
1301 S. Harbor Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92832

7:00PM - FRC Club Meeting
Fullerton Senior Center
340 West Commonwealth Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92832-1711

Attendees should download Clint's four-page tutorial and radio
programming matrix before the meeting from ...

And Clint welcomes pre-presentation questions - call him at
909-241-7666, or send email to

If you'd like this lively, hour-long presentation to be held at
your club or organization - just contact Clint.


AO-51 Schedule for Rest of January

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>

AMSAT-NA VP Operations, Drew KO4MA says AO-51 is back in to its normal configuration between January 4 - January 31:

FM Repeater, V/U
Uplink: 145.920 MHz FM
Downlink: 435.300 MHz FM (570 mw)

9k6 BBS and Telemetry
Uplink: 1268.700 MHz FM
Downlink: 435.150 MHz FM (450 mw)

Sometime in early January the AO-51 Operations Team plans to use the reversible magnet to reorient the spacecraft to the normal polarity favoring the northern hemisphere.

Toward the end of January 2010 the schedule may allow for L/U voice configuration on the 435.150 downlink between telemetry collections. The AO-51 schedule will be updated when this mode becomes available. Please address all AO-51 e-mail inquiries to the Operations Committee via the ao51-modes list.

AO-51 Back to "Normal"

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>

AO-51 is back in to it's normal configuration with the 145.920/435.300
repeater at 570 mw and the 1268.700/435.150 9k6 PBBS and Telemetry at
450 mw.

For the month of January we expect to leave the satellite in this
configuration. Sometime next week we expect to use the reversible magnet
to reorient the spacecraft to the normal polarity favoring the northern
hemisphere. This is dependent of the timing of some personal issues
including the impending birth of my son :-) . Towards the end of the
month I expect we can run some L/U voice on the 435.150 downlink between
telemetry collections, but that is not yet reflected on the official

Please address all AO-51 inquiries to the Operations Committee vi

73, Drew KO4MA
AMSAT-NA VP Operations


K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>

This morning AO-51 was changed over to our Kid's Day configuration,
145.88/435.300. The official ARRL Kid's Day window is 1800 to 2400 UTC,
which fits nicely with the afternoon AO-51 passes. Mode change back to
normal will likely be Monday morning EST.

While in the 145.88/435.300 configuration, please yield to any Kid's Day

73, Drew KO4MA
AMSAT-NA VP Operations

2009 ...

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>

After a flurry of satellite presentations September through November, it's been an uneventful, quiet holiday season. Which, at my age, is just fine ... (grin)

Over in the AMSAT messagelist, a participant posted this earlier this week ...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
My first contact on satellite was 29-Dec-08 via AO-51 and the QSO was
appropriately with Clint Bradford, K6LCS. It is appropriate that it was
with Clint because Clint is the one that sparked my interest in working
satellites. I remember reading about amateur radio satellites in my
Technician exam preparation book where it was discussing the various forms
of amateur radio. I also distinctly remember the impression that the author
said working satellites was challenging and not easy to do. Along comes
Clint to do a demo at one of [our club's monthly meetings] with his
Arrow II and an HT and showed just how easy it can be.

At that point I was intrigued enough to put an Arrow II on my Christmas wish
list and a few days after Christmas, I got myself on AO-51. I remember that
first pass seemed very busy but Clint and I had pre-arranged to work it and
having that successful contact fanned the fire ...
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Cool. Or, as my sons would write, "Kewl." I intend to keep "infecting" folks with this "satellite affliction" in 2010. Already have a couple of dates for presentations lined up.

I picked up a "net control" position for the South CARS VOIP Pacific Coast Connection net on Tuesdays at 7PM Pacific / 10PM Eastern on EchoLink Node 96140. If you have EchoLink capability, please drop in and say hello. It's a newer net for the SCARS folks - and we need son participation from - the Pacific side of the continent.

VOIP has been interesting. For the first times ever, I gave my sat presentation over VOIP to audiences I couldn't actually see (Skype and/or EchoLink). I prepare a .pdf file of slides for the club to project on their club's screen, and work the presentation. It has proven to be effective ... and I still have a great time with the Q&A sessions afterwards.

SO ... THANK YOU ALL for a great 2009. Hope your 2010 is peaceful.

Clint, K6LCS

AO-51 Mode Change

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>

This morning I switched the satellite back to "normal" mode for a bit
with the 145.92/435.3 repeater on, set power levels on both 435.3 and
435.15 transmitters to 450mw and 500mw, and reenabled the SSB/FM
repeater. I believe the higher power on the SSB/FM repeater running
alone was causing some of the interference issues and odd behavior we
have been hearing and getting reports about. I did also briefly listen
to the 145.88 uplink in FM and there was non-amateur QRM there.

Let me know if this sounds more like the way this mode sounded last time
we ran it.

Twitter and the AMSAT AO-51 schedule page also updated.

73, Drew KO4MA
AMSAT VP Operations

AO-51 Mode Change

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>

December 29 - January 2

SSB/FM Repeater, V/U (CW QSOs only on Straight Key Night)
Uplink: 145.880 MHz USB
Downlink: 435.150 MHz FM

January 3

Kid's Day users ONLY please.

FM Repeater, V/U
Uplink: 145.880 MHz FM
Downlink: 435.300 MHz FM

73, Drew KO4MA
AMSAT-NA VP Operations

Re: AO-51 Back Up - Er, "On"

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>

Good catch - you are absolutely correct.

V/U Mode of 145.920 / 435.300 is correct.


Re: AO-51 Back Up - Er, "On"


Did you mean 435.300??

In a message dated 12/23/2009 3:05:34 P.M. US Mountain Standard Time, clintbrad4d@... writes:

AO-51 software reload just completed. V/U repeater again operational 145.920 / 435.500. PBBS to be opened soon.

12/23/09 1:50PM PST

Tape Measure Yagi

K6LCS <clintbrad4d@...>

With Southern California under STORM WATCH again earlier this week (we were expecting at least 0.03" of precipitation), I decided to build one of those cheap "tape measure 2M Yagi" antennas from plans seen all over the Web.

I mean, I mention them during my satellite presentations as an affordable entry into high-gain ... I have a couple links on my Work-Sat Web site for plans ... I can see in theory where they should work - but I've never built one myself.

So I stuck the PVC pipes together ... soldered the matching element ... straightened it all out, and took it outside for a test.


This is something that EVERY ham should do. What a dramatic increase in a handheld's performance a couple dollars' worth of stuff can accomplish! I heard a NOAA WX station (technically, out of range for this 2M Yagi) in San Diego that I have never heard from the house before. Every repeater of the six I immediately hit were received more clearly than with even the best of HT antennas ... and as good or better than my Cushcraft A148-3S (retailing for sixty bucks).

Plans at the regular site ...

And if you click on PHOTOS on the top menu, there's a couple photos of the finished project.


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