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Updated: 12/07/2017



 

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Satellite
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Satellite Terms

Modes

U/v - UHF Uplink or transmit and VHF Downlink or receive. Was known as Mode B.

V/u - VHF Uplink or transmit and UHF Downlink or receive.  Was known as Mode J.

V/a - UHF Uplink or transmit and 10 meter Downlink or receive.
Was known as Mode A.
AO-7 is in this mode alternating with U/v every other day.


Tracking

AOS - Acquisition of Signal.  Start of the satellite pass and when the satellite comes above the horizon.

TCA - Time of Closes Approach.  Middle of the pass at the highest elevation.

LOS - Loss of Signal.  End of the pass and when the satellite goes below the horizon.

Azimuth - Measured in degrees around your QTH.  Picture a 360 degree circle with 0 degrees being due north, 270 west, 180 south and 90 east.

Elevation - Measured in degrees above the horizon a satellite is from your QTH.  0 degrees would be at the horizon and 90 is directly overhead.

Tracking programs will show the Azimuth and Elevation of the satellite through out the pass so you know where to point your antenna. When working portable this is approximate and helps to track via signal strength rather than precise azimuth and elevation. 

Keplerian
Elements

Keplerian Elements or Keps as they are called are a set of numbers that indicate the orbit of the satellites.  These must be updated on a regular basis for our tracking programs to be correct. Elements should be updated weekly at a minimum.  Update methods very between tracking programs.

Amsat Keps Tutorial


Frequency

Doppler Shift - The change in frequency of due to the speed of the satellite.  VHF usually does not need adjusted if using the FM satellites but on SSB the shift is more apparent on VHF.  UHF on average is 10 khz higher at AOS than the satellites transmit frequency, on the transmit frequency at TCA and 10 khz lower at LOS. 


 


Active FM Amateur Radio Satellites (EasySats)

SO-50 FM (Saudisat 1C) 
Country of origin: Saudi Arabia

Mode V/u FM Transponder - 250 mw                                      
   
VHF Uplink: 145.850  MHz FM - 67.0 hz tone
UHF Downlink: 436.795 MHz FM

Use a 74.4 hz tone to turn the satellite on if need be.
Once the satellite is on be sure and transmit with the 67.0 hz tone.


 

AMSAT-OSCAR 85 (AO-85)
Country of origin: USA

Mode U/v FM Transponder - 400 mw                                     
     UHF uplink: 435.180  MHz FM - 67.0 hz tone
VHF downlink: 145.980  MHz FM

 I have discovered that the downlink frequency drifts on this satellite.  On a recent contact stations were hard to copy.  Tuning down to 145.975 and 970 stations were loud and clear.  On successive  orbits it does not seem to be a doppler.  Doppler should not effect VHF that much.  The uplink power needed has been advertised as 200+ watts ERP.  That is 25 watts into an Arrow or Elk class antenna.  High elevation passes 5 watts has worked for some station.  This station has yet to work this this satellite portable.   


 

 


 

 


AMSAT-OSCAR 91 (AO-91)

RadFxSat (Fox-1b)

Country of origin: USA

Mode U/v FM Transponder - 400 mw                                      
     UHF uplink: 435.250  MHz FM - 67.0 hz tone
VHF downlink: 145.960  MHz FM

Great video by Jerry Buxton N0JY,  AMSAT's VP-Engineering
"The Good and The Bad with AO-91".

Great sounding satellite and easy to work.  I have heard stations working this satellite with an extended rubber duck antenna.  If you don't yet have a gain antenna give it a try. 


LilacSat-2 
Country of Origin: China

This satellite has been reported to be more active lately. 

This satellite carries an V/u FM transponder and APRS packet  

Mode V/u FM Transponder 
     VHF Uplink: 144.350 MHz FM 
UHF Downlink: 437.200 MHz FM

Transponder is turned on Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 2200 UTC for 24 hours

Launched on September 19, 2015 along with 20 other satellites

AMSAT-UK Info on LilacSat-2        Transponder Schedule Announcement
 


International Space Station

VHF Voice                                                                             
     VHF Uplink: 144.490  MHz FM  (-1.31 mhz split)
UHF D
ownlink: 145.800 MHz FM

APRS Packet
Up and Downlink: 145.825 MHz FM  1200 baud - Use Aliases of RS0ISS or ARISS
Up and Downlink: 437.550 MHz FM (Backup frequency)

With an APRS handheld enabled radio you can beacon though ISS and see yourself on ARISS.net.  You can also sent messages to station through ISS. 

U/v FM Repeater - Active after years of being silent - 07/07/17
VHF Downlink - 145.800 MHz FM
UHF Uplink - 437.050 MHz FM adjusting for Doppler

Radios will be off during arriving and departing spacecraft activities. 

ISS Fan Club for latest ARISS activity    How to work ISS APRS Packet

Please see my packet page for information on digipeating through ISS.

Live Views from ISS        SSTV Pictures Captured from ISS

Amazing video during spacewalk with a Go Pro camera

ISS Links:  NASA Station Info    ISS Facebook Page   
ARISS
 (APRS Heard Map/List)     ISS Fan Club


QB50p2 (EO-80)

This satellite carries an U/v FM transponder and AX25 data transmitter.  

145.880 MHz 9600 bps BPSK telemetry beacon
145.840 MHz 9600 bps FSK AX25

Mode U/v FM Transponder - .5 or 1 watt (not active)
     UHF Uplink: 435.080 MHz FM - 210.7 hz tone
VHF Downlink: 145.840 MHz FM

 http://www.isispace.nl/HAM/qb50p.html

Per the AMSAT Web site 

Additionally, the satellite carries a AMSAT-F constructed repeater as a return favor for support of the use of the amateur bands for the primary QB50 mission. Unfortunately the primary transceiver was damaged during a test of the repeater, and the repeater is power negative. Further activation of the repeater is unlikely at this time.


FM Satellite Quick Reference Guide
Great article on working FM satellites by AMSAT
AMSAT Satellite Status Page

Getting Started with FM Satellite from AMSAT-UK


Active SSB/CW Amateur Radio Satellites
Remember on SSB/Linear Satellites Uplink is always LSB and Downlink is always USB
unless you are operating CW

FO-29 (JAS-2)
Country of origin: Japan

Mode V/u Linear Inverting Transponder - 1 watt
     Uplink: 145.900 145.999 MHz SSB/CW                                    
Downlink: 435.900 435.800 MHz SSB/CW  

CW Beacon: 435.795 MHz   


Oscar 7 (AO-7)  
Country of origin: USA 

Oscar 7 is a satellite launched in November 1974 that has returned to life during daylight passes. Beacons are very week.  In Mode U/v (B) most of the time.

Mode U/v (B) Linear Inverting Transponder
     Uplink: 432.1250 432.1750 MHz SSB/CW
Downlink: 145.9750 145.9250 MHz SSB/CW

CW Beacon: 145.9775 MHz
 

Mode V/A (A) Linear Non-Inverting Transponder
Uplink: 145.8500 145.9500 MHz SSB/CW
Downlink 29.4000 29.5000 MHz SSB/CW

CW Beacon: 29.5020 MHz


FUNcube-1 (AO-73)
Country of origin: UK

Mode U/v Linear Inverting Transponder
    Uplink:  435.150 435.130 MHz SSB/CW
Downlink: 145.950 145.970 MHz SSB/CW

Telemetry Beacon: 145.935 MHz   SSB BPSK (300 mw day/30 mw night)

Information on the FUNcube-1 satellite can be seen here.

Data Warehouse/Current Data/Satellite Status

Telemetry can be decoded using the Dash Board software from the above website.



EO-88 (Nayif-1)

Country of origin: UAE

Mode U/v Linear Inverting Transponder
    Uplink:  435.045 435.015 MHz SSB/CW
Downlink: 145.960 145.990 MHz SSB/CW

FUNcubeTelemetry Beacon: 145.940 MHz   SSB BPSK

Download new FUNcube Dashboard for this satellite here

Successfully launched on February 15th.  Operational in in good health. Last report is the transponder is active in eclipse.



XW-2 A-F (CAS-3) Series
Country of Origin: China

This series of satellites were launched along with LilacSat-2.  All are equipped with linear transponders.  This station has monitored the CW beacon on B, C, D and F.  

XW-2 / CAS-3 Satellite Frequencies PDF

AMSAT-UK Information Page    Detailed Satellite Information
 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

XW-2A 

Mode U/v Linear Non-InvertingTransponder
    Uplink:  435.030 435.050 MHz SSB/CW
Downlink: 145.665 145.685 MHz SSB/CW

Digital Telemetry: 145.640 MHz
CW Beacon: 145.660 MHz


XW-2B 

Mode U/v Linear Non-Inverting Transponder
    Uplink:  435.090 435.110 MHz SSB/CW
Downlink: 145.730 145.750 MHz SSB/CW

Digital Telemetry: 145.705 MHz
CW Beacon: 145.725 MHz


XW-2C 

Mode U/v Linear Non-Inverting Transponder
    Uplink:  435.150 435.170 MHz SSB/CW
Downlink: 145.795 145.815 MHz SSB/CW

Digital Telemetry: 145.770 MHz
CW Beacon: 145.790 MHz


XW-2D 


Mode U/v Linear Non-Inverting Transponder

    Uplink:  435.210 435.230 MHz SSB/CW
Downlink: 145.860 145.880 MHz SSB/CW

Digital Telemetry: 145.835 MHz
CW Beacon: 145.855 MHz


XW-2E 


Mode U/v Linear Non-Inverting Transponder

    Uplink:  435.270 435.290 MHz SSB/CW
Downlink: 145.915 145.935 MHz SSB/CW

Digital Telemetry: 145.890 MHz
CW Beacon: 145.910 MHz


XW-2F 

Mode U/v Linear Non-Inverting Transponder
    Uplink:  435.330 435.350 MHz SSB/CW
Downlink: 145.980 146.000 MHz SSB/CW

Digital Telemetry: 145.955 MHz
CW Beacon: 145.975 MHz
 


CAS-4A 

Mode U/v Linear Inverting Transponder
    Uplink:  435.210 435.230 MHz SSB/CW
Downlink: 145.880 145.860 MHz SSB/CW

Digital Telemetry: 145.835 MHz
CW Beacon: 145.855 MHz

Press release on the launch of these CAS Satellites


CAS-4B 

 

Mode U/v Linear Inverting Transponder
    Uplink:  435.270 435.290 MHz SSB/CW
Downlink: 145.935 145.915 MHz SSB/CW

Digital Telemetry: 145.890 MHz
CW Beacon: 145.910 MHz
 


UKube-1
Country of Origin: UK 

 Mode U/V Linear Inverting Transponder - 400 mw
      Uplink: 435.080 -435.060 MHz
 Downlink: 145.930 -145.950 MHz

145.840 MHz CW Beacon
145.915 MHz FUNcube subsystem beacon
 


QB50p1 (EO-79)

This satellite carries an inverting linear U/v transponder with 400 mW output provided by AMSAT-NL and which is similar to that on FUNcube-1.

Mode U/V Linear Inverting Transponder - 400 mw
    
Uplink: 435.035-435.065 MHz
Downlink: 145.935-145.965 MHz

145.815 MHz 1200 bps BPSK telemetry 

http://www.isispace.nl/HAM/qb50p.html

12/03/17: Transponder and beacon found to be inactive.
 


NuSat1-LUSEX (LO-87)
Country of Origin: Argentina

Mode U/v Linear Inverting Transponder - 250 mW
     Uplink: 435.935 MHz - 435.965 MHz
Downlink: 145.935 MHz -145.965 MHz

CW Beacon: 145.900 MHz at 70 mW
 


SSB/CW Satellite Quick Reference Guide
AMSAT Satellite Status Page

SSB Ham Radio Satellites a beginners guide from AMSAT-UK


Active Digital Amateur Radio Satellites


NO-84 (PSAT)

APRS Packet
Up and Downlink: 145.825 MHz FM 1200 baud - Use Aliases ARISS or APRSAT

ith an APRS handheld enabled radio you can beacon though NO-84 and see yourself on pcsat.aprs.org.  You can also sent messages to station through NO-84. 
 

ParkinsonSat (PSAT) Page


FalconSAT-3
 

FalconSAT-3 is a USAF satellite that has been released for amateur use. 

Mode V/u FM 9600 baud GMSK Digital Transponder
Uplink: 145.840 MHz FM
Downlink:  435.103 MHz FM

AMSAT Inforamtion page        Work with a Kenwood D72a Handheld


LO-90 (LilacSat-1) 
Country of Origin: China

This satellite carries an V/u FM transponder and BPSK Data Downlink

Mode V/u FM Transponder 
     VHF Uplink: 145.985 MHz FM - 67.0 hz tone
UHF Downlink: 436.510 MHz FM

Launched on May 25, 2017 from ISS

This satellite is a 2 u Cubesat built on the QB50 platform

Decoding the LilacSat-1 Downlink using an RTL-SDR Dongle


Grid Squares worked via Satellites

Red are FM Satellites, the Blue are SSB Satellite, Purple both FM and SSB.

Grids Worked in the Pacific Ocean were contacts with UT1FG, Yuri, a cargo ship captain.

Program used to plot Grid Squares is GCMWIN by SM3GSJ                Grid Square Locator


Hamfest Amateur Satellite Presentations

Seaside, OR 2014 Sea-Pac Hamfest Satellite Seminar Information
Seminar PowerpointSeminar Handout and FM Satellite Quick Reference.

Spokane Hamfest Amateur Satellite Communication Presentation


Satellite Resources

   AMSAT-NA     AMSAT-UK    AMSAT-SA    AMSAT-INDIA

Work Sat - Clint, K6LCS FM Satellite Page

$4.00 Homebrew Satellite Antenna

Great Satellite Resource page by DK3WN - Member of FUNcube-1 team.
Multiple Satellite details including many cubesats  in orbit.

DK3WN List of Satellites and Frequencies

DK3WN TLE List - Includes the newest satellites

AMSAT-UK Upcoming Launch page with great Satellite Mission Database

Another great list of Amateur Satellite Frequencies by JE9PEL

JE9PEL Satellite Mode Finder


A note on my website.  I attempt to give the most accurate information as I know it about amateur radio satellites.  Amateur satellite communications is of special interest to me as I have been involved in this aspect of the hobby since the AO-10, 13 and 40 years.  I track and monitor not only amateur satellites but many others.  I try not to reinvent the wheel such as information on cubesats that is well documented other places on the web.  See the DK3WN link above and the links to the launch information above as well.  If I locate a great resources of information I will add the link to Satellite Resources.  If you have any questions not covered here or a suggestion on a link please email me at ka7fvv@arrl.net.  Thanks for visiting my page and I hope you are able to use the information that I present.  Scott, KA7FVV


Handhelds Radios for working FM Satellites

If you can program split-frequency memories in your dualband radio or your dualband radio has two VFO's your can work FM satellites.  Other than the radios listed below I have also used the Icom ID-51 with two VFO's.  The Kenwood D72a will do full duplex using both VFO, The Kenwood D74a works well using the two VFO's but will not do full duplex like the D72a I have read.  Most of the time when using a handheld you will be working the satellite half duplex. 

Make sure you can hear the satellite before transmitting.  Consider that the satellite will always here you.  Receive is the most critical part of satellite operations.


The Icom W32a is one of the best radios for satellite work since it has two VFO's and displays.  I have the memory programmed with the satellite frequencies for doppler shift as listed in my satellite frequency table linked above.   This allows me to just move through memory locations during a pass.  Using a speaker mic and having the radio set to mute the subband you will not get feedback through the satellite.
 


The Yeasu FT-60 is also an excellent radio for working FM satellites.  Instead of using dual VFO's you can program both the VHF and UHF split into a memory channel.  See Clint, K6LCS website for details on using and programming the FT-60 for FM satellites at www.work-sat.com.
 

The Baofeng UV-3R and UV-5R I have discovered work great for satellite work.  I have recently replaced my IC-W32a with the UV-5R on my portable satellite station. Like the Yeasu above the ability to program the UHF and VHF split into the same memory make this a great choice for satellites.  Even the low power UV-3R works great with my Arrow antenna.
 


Antennas for working FM Satellites

Arrow Dualband Satellite Antenna - Regular and Alaska version
Elk Dualband Antenna - Quick to assemble and smaller than the Arrow
$4.00 Ham Radio Satellite Antenna 

Programming for Doppler shift

Doppler shift on VHF is very small so this can be left on the uplink frequency.  UHF has a greater doppler shift and will be higher than the downlink frequency at AOS, approx. centered on the downlink at mid pass and will drift lower as the satellite approaches LOS.  The uplink doppler will need to be adjusted as shown per my satellite quick reference guide for Fox-1A (AO-85)


Low earth orbit (LEO) satellites in V/u or U/v FM mode that are easy to work with minimal equipment.  I have worked a couple satellites with an extended rubber duck antenna and even mobile.

Arrow Antenna with duplexer and dualband handheld (Baofeng UV-5R) and LEO FM Satellites and  ISS.  This setup will assure clear signals to and from the satellites.  A little more challenging if you don't have a beam is  a handheld with a extended rubber duck antenna.  I have worked AO-51 handheld portable as well as the older UO-14 and SO-35.  I have seen videos on eBay that show satellite contacts made with an extended rubber duck and the UV-5R.

Portable satellite station.  Baofeng UV-5R and Arrow Antenna on a tripod mount.  Tracking program running on the iPhone is GoSatWatch.  Radio bracket is modeled after Randy, K7AGE model.  He has great YouTube videos about many aspects of amateur radio including satellites.

videos by K7AGE about working AO-51 and mounting the Arrow Antenna on a tripod.



Works great under XP.  Vista and Windows 7 requires it to be run in administrator mode or the tracking element updates will not save.


Track ISS in real time via NASA

Has a nice zoom feature

Other online satellite tracking resources

N2YO Tracking   Heavens Above   Amsat Predictions


Satellite Tracking for the PC and other devices


Satellite Tracking Links

Orbitron Satellite Tracking Page (Windows - Free)  #1 Recommended easy setup

WxTrack Satellite Tracking Page (Windows - Free)  Nice satellite icons - Setup is a little tedious

GPredict - (Windows - Free)  Another nice free program

   Satellite Pass Predictions from Amsat

AMSAT-AR Online Satellite Tracking

Celestrak Satellite Tracking Software Index   Celestrak for up-to-date tracking elements


Satellite Tracking in your Pocket


Pocket PC, Palm and iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad.

TrackSat - Satellite Tracking for Windows CE 3.0 ($)

There is an update to this program: TrackSat/WM that runs under WM5.

This is a program I have always wanted on a Windows CE device.  Here it is finally.  It runs under Windows CE 3.0 (Windows Powered Pocket PC's).  Very nice program and works very well.  It is always within a minute or two of my desktop programs.  It is right on with the Pass Predictions from the web site link above.  If you are into satellite tracking and own a Pocket PC it is worth a look. It is written by Andrew Davidson,  ZL3TPL in New Zealand.  New version is now out.  With a wireless connection you can update keps right from your Pocket PC.  Great Addition. 

Click on the screen shot to visit his web site.


Pocket Sat Tracker - Pocket PC

I found this program after I purchased a Pocket PC to play with just for satellite tracking after not owning one for several years.  Great program for the PPC.  Download the tracking program form the web site by clicking on the graphic above.  You will need Net Framework 2.0 as well to install.  Click on the link below to download the cab file.

Net Framework 2.0 CAB file for ARM processor

 


Pocketsat+ for Palm OS, Pocket PC and iPhone ($)
(This program is very over priced for the Pocket PC and iPhone)

Track satellite with your Palm.  OS 3.1 or higher required.
(I do not have a Palm device so I have not tried this program)
Pocket PC version will work with PPC 2002, 2003 and WM5.


Sat CE - PPC 2002, 2003 and WM5

This program is a nice addition to the other Windows Mobile tracking programs listed here.  Updates elements directly from the internet.


iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad Satellite Tracking ($)

These are both great programs for the iPhone/iPad.  I have them both and a couple different versions of the Vosworx programs.  I prefer the GoSatWatch functionality.

 

Three programs written by Vosworx and available for purchase from the Apple apps store will tracker ProSat, Hamsats and ISS.  Another great program is GoSatWatch.  This is a great program to use during a pass and will alert you when a pass is close..  
If you have one of these devices take a look in the Apps Store.


Tracking Programs for Android Devices

There are two great tracking programs for Android devices.  I run them on a Nexus Tablet. 

Amsat Droid Free - Very nice easy to use program

 

ISS DetectorNice feature rich program.  To track other than ISS and add on must be purchased for under $2.

If you have an Android device take a look in the Google Play Store.
Note: This program is also now available for IOS devices as well.