Satellite Ops

The club has been involved in some satellite ops for many years mostly because of the mentorship of Keith Pugh W5IU (SK).  Having a permanent ground station at the clubhouse was a dream of his and he donated quite a bit of equipment to create it.   Unfortunately he left us before the job was completed, but we are forging ahead. 

Short term plan is to have a robust permanent 2M/70CM ground station, and a group of club members well versed in it's operation.  

Long term plans involve becoming a ground station for ISS telebridge school contacts through ARISS.

Our 'portable' station includes a Yaesu FT-847 radio, Yaesu G-5500 Rotor, circularly polarized 2M and 70CM antennas, and ARR preamps.  We deployed this system to our Field Day location and running QRP in a low spot (below buildings and trees) managed about 30 contacts...we could have run more power, but we really needed to stress test the system, and get a feel for SSB operations over satellite.

The permanent station will have an Icom IC-910H (with another FT-847 for backup), SPID RAS Az/El with Green Heron controller, M2 Antennas 2MCP14 and 436CP30 with polarity switchers, and more ARR preamps.

So far so good on the new ground station.  Entire assembly was tested for SWR, electrical controls, and mechanical movements at ground level, then moved to the roof.   It is on a Rohn NPRM with about 500# of ballast...mast is 10' tall...we looked into making it shorter, but the current height fits well with obstructions etc.   Note Preamp Box half way up mast.  

Next task is running the coax and moving the power/control wires to the new location...but Field Day first.