Satellite Topics

My interest in space satellites started back when I was first licensed (1957). I used to listen for the bleeps emitted from the original Sputnik-1 which were at a frequency very close to the 20 MHz WWV transmission. In those days there were no computers, and virtually nothing in the way of orbital predictions. One simply left the receiver running until the faint signals were detected.

Times have certainly moved on, especially with the advent of the WWW, there is now a wealth of computer software, and many web-sites providing up to the minute tracking information. I have included a few URLs to get a flavour of what's available on the Web. Maybe more will be added as I discover them.

More recently my satellite activities have included the use of the transponders in Oscars 6, 7 & 8 and even more recently RS12 to which I used to uplink on 21Mhz, and the downlink was on either 28MHz or 145MHz. Most of the contacts were on CW. One of my claims to fame, (such as it is) was to make the first 2m QSO between Europe and S America via Oscar-6. This was into YV5 Venezuela.

Although not using any satellites for communication at present, I had been, until its demise, tracking the MIR space station. It was also good to contact KC5TZQ when he was on the MIR a few of years ago, this being achieved twice using just 20 Watts and a simple co-linear antenna. I plan to follow the construction of the ISS with great interest as it progresses, and look forward to the installation of the Amateur Radio equipment on board.


Some Sites which I have found useful.  

Visual Satellite Predictions etc.
For Sats you can see!
Graphical Orbit Display
500 Satellite Display - Live


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