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Bob G1SAA put together a great ‘portable’ satellite station for the trip to Lewis. Bob, Pete 2E0SQL and Mark M0MJH  have been working many of the passes on  AO-7 (mode B), VO-52, FO-29, SO-50 & AO-73 :

Satellite-1 Satellite-2 Satellite-3 Satellite-4

We are rapidly approaching leaving for the Isle of Lewis and my inbox has regularly been getting requests for satellite QSO skeds especially with stations in North America – I’ve just run the predictions for the week we’re on the island in SatPC32 which has generated a nice list of possible passes which can be found at https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_1dHk8Yo754eHlkTlhBQmRsam8/edit

I’d recommend if you’d like to try a sked that you try request  satellite passes from Sunday the 27th onwards, clearly its dependant on someone being available but we’ll do our best to make sure someone’s available.

You can request satellite skeds by either emailing us at skeds-2014@camb-hams.com or sending @2e0sql a tweet. We will do our best to tweet which passes we will be on.

This year we have decided to improve upon our satellite operations from the Isle of Lewis, the original plan was to use a simple setup of a Yaesu FT-817 and a Arrow satellite yagi – although this setup works amazingly well as we proved last year on the Isle of Mull it does have the downside of making you stand outside in all weathers, and this year we are further north!

photo of the Wimo X-Quads setup for testing in G1SAAs garden.

Wimo X-Quads setup for testing in G1SAAs garden

So this year we plan to trial Bob G1SAA’s satellite equipment from the island, the new station comprises Wimo X-Quads for 2m and 70cms with SSB electronic Preamps (SP-2000/SP-7000) and a Yaesu G-5400B Az/EL rotator supported on a speaker stand.

Inside the shack we’ll be using a Foxdelta ST-2 tracker (LVB Clone) connected to the rotator & ICOM IC-910 transceiver, this will all be controlled using a laptop running SatPC32.

We’ve had a number of people asking what satellites we will be using, these will be the ones we target;

Satellite Uplink (MHz) Downlink (MHz) Mode(s ) Website
AO-7 (Mode B) 432.125 – 432.175 145.975 – 145.925 SSB / CW http://goo.gl/s2p4za
VO-52 435.225 – 435.275 145.925 – 145.875 SSB / CW http://goo.gl/wk7R1v
FO-29 145.900 – 146.000 435.900 – 435.800 SSB / CW http://goo.gl/IjuHUq
SO-50 145.850 436.800 FM http://goo.gl/ibjXyx
AO-73 435.150 – 435.130 145.970 – 145.950 SSB / CW http://goo.gl/wqq7Rt

All bar one of these are SSB/CW transponder satellites, see the AMSAT guide on linear transponder operating if you are unfamiliar with it, although our main focus will be SSB QSOs we can probably do CW as well however we’d recommend that you send in a sked, or ask on hf, so that we can make sure a suitable operator is available.

Of course if any other satellites with transponders become available we’ll of course endeavour to use those as well. And I’m sure you’ll still hear us using our Yaesu FT-817s and a Arrow satellite yagis if the weather is nice.