2014-04-07 Trying to hear amateur satellites and the right way to make contacts
Trying to hear and work the SO-50 satellite as PD4KH portable has one downside: certain types of weather don't agree. The first pass this evening was really nice, straight overhead. But closer to earth there were serious rainclouds overhead causing a downpour so I opted to skip that one. A pass later in the evening started dry so I went outside. During the pass it started to rain again a bit so I had to dry my laptop after I was done! It was a low West-North pass and those are harder to follow from our house. But I did hear some voices and I think I understood at least one callsign, but checking the live oscar satellite status page shows no callsign matching what I think I heard. Update 2014-04-08: Another nicely timed West-North pass, without rain this time. I heard some interference, including someone who decided that whistling at the satellite was a good idea. Probably taken directly from the "what NOT to do with amateur satellites" handbook. The pages maintained by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN about amateur satellites have some realaudio samples of good and bad use of the amateur satellites: SaudiSat 41, 42, 50 - Mike Rupprecht - Amateurfunk Betrieb über FM Satelliten - Mike Rupprecht - Amateurfunk I don't agree with the quoted statement by LA2QAA in the last article of being proud of never using the "easy" FM amateur satellites. A more positive approach is needed in my opinion. One "mental" switch I have a problem with: with the squelch completely open I hear noise when I'm either not listening to the satellite or the satellite is not in use by another amateur. With listening to "earth" FM repeaters at normal squelch settings I'm used to noise meaning that someone is trying to use the repeater but failing. This means pressing the transmit button when hearing noise on the satellite is a bit "unnatural" to me.