This is a continuation/review/progress report from my previous Workin’ The Birds post. The reason is to talk a little bit about the new bird on the block, Fox 1-A and notate what I learned while I tried to listen in on one of the passes.
Amsat just put in Fox 1-A into orbit and gave it the designation AO-85. I was able to use the AmSat Prediction Tool to find out when the passes would be. I have a recording of what I was able to hear at the bottom of the post for you to listen to if you like.
My simple setup to get the recording was as follows:
- A uv5r set for receiving, locked to 145.980. Placed on my left pocket with the volume cranked to max. I had the squelch set to 2.
- A BF-F8HP setup to transmit to AO-85 w/ doppler shifts, using medium power, at 4 watts. I didn’t really have anything to say, and my tracking was so sporadic (as you can hear) that I didn’t try to get into the sat. I was prepared for transmitting with my throat mic however. Using a throat mic will prevent the echo crossing on the two radios. I had thBF-F8HP sitting next to the uv5r, clipped onto my left pocket.
- For recording, I launched a sound recording app on my droid, then slid the phone mic out into my left pocket, underneath the baofengs. It should still have been able to pick up my voice.
- I used an arrow antenna directional antenna.
What I learned tonight:
In my previous post, I mentioned that I thought magnetic declination might be an issue. NOAA has a website showing magnetic declination and for my QTH magnetic north is … only off by 2 degrees.
Rotating the antenna along the boom can make quite a difference in receiving ability.
I would debate the value of leaving the squelch open. In the future, I’ll set it to 1 or 2. When you get close to the satellite it will open the squelch, letting you know you’re in the neighborhood of what you’re aiming for.