For the last eleven years I have been heavily into amateur television, a rapidly growing part of the amateur radio world. There’s virtually no commercial off the shelf equipment so many hours and GBP’s have gone into home construction. Ninety percent of the activity has been digital television; with analogue in rapid decline due to bandwidth restriction. DATV development has been so fast and expensive that I’ve recently decided to have a break and follow another path, amateur satellite.

So here we are playing with satellites; amateur satellites with various modes of operation. We have FM voice, Linear (SSB) and data modes. Many of the satellites transmit telemetry and software is available to decode the satellite status. Schools are known to download telemetry for STEM classes, I wish all of the STEM subjects had been taught when I was at school in the 1960’s.

At present I have a very modest setup for amateur satellite operation, living in a tightly packed environment I’m surrounded by houses and trees. This wasn’t such a problem with amateur TV as I have a telescopic mast with all the antennas I needed. In order to communicate via satellite I installed a pair of fixed antenna’s known as Eggbeaters; one for the 70cm band and the other for the 2m band. My particular antennas are manufactured in America by a company M2 Antenna Systems, INC.

70cm Eggbeater

While the Eggbeater works quite well it does have a dead area, so results can be quite good from the horizon up to about 20 degrees elevation, I then find results improve once the satellite is above about 40 degrees. For those starting out with satellites I would still reccommend this type of antenna. During the spring/summer 2023 I plan to install a full system with circularly polarised beams, more to follow on that.