Sunday, September 15, 2019
A cheap way of using SSB satellites with a cheap handheld for a transmitter
Many of us have used the FM satellites. They're are basically an orbiting single channel repeater. All you need is a couple of cheap handhelds (and preferably some small yagis) and you can have contacts through them.
However their pass times are short and you can only have a single contact at a time. This is where SSB satellites come in. They have a linear translator. Thus they can support multiple contacts simultaneously. The only problem is they need two SSB-capable transceivers. And you need to retune to account for doppler shift.
CW is a bit easier. You just need one SSB receiver to receive the downlink. In a pinch you can use a cheap handheld (keyed) to send slow morse. And a bit of frequency drift is OK as it makes the signal less readable than what would happen with an SSB signal.
I haven't had a contact in this fashion. But I have done some tests to prove it would work. Here's a video showing it.
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