Working satellites was something which took shape some time around September 2009. It was chance encounter with VU2RMS from Bangalore at VU2AF home QTH at Nerul, Navi Mumbai. I had gone to test a home brewed 4 element UHF QUAD with Adolf (VU2AF). Was introduced to VU2RMS & an update on the satellite communications(also referred as bird watching) was provided by VU2RMS. The idea was planted. Then came an input by my friend VU2SGW about VU2GUR from bangalore and his expertise in the satcom. Did have couple of telephone sessions with VU2GUR to understand finer aspects of SATCOM. Received an SMS from VU2GUR about the availability of VU2SWG (SHANKAR) from bangalore at Mumbai in January 2010. Had an eye ball and understood the practical basics of communicating through satellites. Also was informed that a horizontal di-pole and slimjim should be good enough for the satcom. Homebrewed following antennas for the satcom:-
1. Cross Yagi (Arrow) [2m & 70cms]
2. Slimjim antenna for UHF (70cms)
3. Dipole mounted horizontally East west direction for UHF(70cms)
4. Egg beater for UHF using a 12 gauge bare copper wire.
Currently using 5/8 antenna for 2m.
First success on the Satellite was on VO-52 on 23rd Jan 2010 during its pass duration 21:55:04 to 22:08:04, copied VU2SWG (SHANKAR) from Bangalore and VU2GPS (PARTHSARATHY) from Chennai. The signal report was 5/9. Could not transmit ( the uplink freq was 235.259 Mhz), the antenna used was an egg beater.
The same story repeated for 24th Jan 2010.
Copied VU2GUR on VO-52 in the morning pass.
Copied VU2SWG & VU2GPS on 31st Jan 2010 on VO-52.
Copied VU2GUR on VO-52 in the morning pass. Copy report 5/9
All through the copies on down-link through my 5/8 antenna and ICOM 2200 was working wonders. The issue was uplink through my Yeasu FT-60R handy. The battery was getting drained after 3 to 4 transmissions, the antenna was egg beater for UHF.
Finally two developments or experimenting took place. Changed the antenna for UHF, installed the slimjim made of brass rods 5mm. And got a step down voltage supply of 7.5 volts dc for my Yeasu Handy made with the help of VU2AF. It worked fine and i could transmit with the input from this supply uninterrupted.
The evening of 5th Feb 2010 was a great moment in my journey of HAM radio. Made the 1st DX contact. The stations contacted were E21EJC from thialand, copied 5/9 and for more than a minute. VU2GUR, VU2ZUB.
Waiting for this weekend to see the progress and success.
Also thanks to all the HAMs from Mumbai & Bangalore who helped me in this venture by supporting and motivating all around. And some HAMs in particular for bearing with all my experimentation :-