Joe's Ametuer Satellite Info

On March 31st, 2010 I made my first satellite contact QSO. It was an exciting moment. Little did the guy on the other end know how excited I actually was. As it turned out, WC7V up in Montana was the guy that made my day when he sent back his Grid Location of DN45 and QSl'd. Unfortunately for me, I did not have a pen or paper to write information down. I actually just went outside with my dual band homebrew yagi to test it out, because I thought I had been having antenna issues. As it turned out, Satellites AO-51 and HO-68 have not been available for FM communication on the V/U bands.

Joe's Ametuer Satellite Equipment

Left - Joe with the Dual Band Yagi built in a weekend, Right - The Simple Duplexer used with the Yaesu VX-8R
The Yagi is a 7 element 440MHz(70cm), 4 element 144MHz (2m)antenna that was designed using YagiCad. I had some challenges building this antenna, including the fact that when I cut the driven elements according to the dimensions specified.... as it turned out, the elements were short (creating a high center frequency) and had to be lengthened. This was completed by making adjustable inserts to slide into the ends of the driven element tubes and then soldered them in place. This helped get the center frequency of both bands closer to the desired 145MHz and 435MHz. The duplexer is a simple design I found on the internet. It consists of a High Pass Filter and a Low Pass Filter. After building it, I put it on the network analyzer and looked at each filter. I was pleased with the results and it appears to work pretty well.
Yaesu VX-8R, The heart of my satellite communications.

Joe's Ham Radio - Why I want to do this...

My interest in Ham Radio goes back to 1983, after finishing the US Navy Radioman C school to get on board a submarine. Then going to the USS LaJolla and communicating on HF Voice and RadioTeletype, ship to ship and ship to shore. However, I did not act on my desire to become a ham operator until just recently after going thru CERT (Community Emergency Response Training) at my workplace. During the disaster training, I realized how lacking the FRS radios we were using were.....when it came to entering buildings.....therefore, I decided to get my HAM Ticket.
Want to know more about CERT... Take a look here: Johnson County, KS EMS CERT or go here: Citizen Corps (CERT)
So, after finding practice exams online at HamClass.Org and gathering a few study references from the internet, I decided to take the Technician Exam on January 8th, 2010 and passed. Then the next day I decided to buckle down study for my general ticket. So I went online and found some study materials for the General Exam and began studying them for a few days. I started taking the online practice tests for the General License and only periodically missed a question (mainly due to not reading the answers). I found out that one of the local groups gives exams every 3rd Saturday of the month. I contacted on of the VE's and confirmed the test date and time. Then on January 16th I took the General Test and Passed.

Joe's 2m Experience

Using a Yeasu VX-8R I began to listen on the local repeaters for a couple days, while trying to learn all the features of the VX-8R. For the near future, the 2m band will be my home for Ham Radio.

HF Voice and Data

One of these days, I would like to pick up an HF transceiver so that I can expand my skills and knowledge.....but for now it will have to wait.

My QSL Cards

My current QSL card that I started using. I had one other specific QSL card that I used for a private plane trip in one of my company's plane. It featured me standing beside the Bananza B36. I will have to find a jpg of it and post it.

Links to other pages

Coming Soon


© 2010 Joe Robinson