ARR Preamps for Satellite Operations
With the module for working satellites positioned on the steering wheel of my mobile, I am running tests on one of the ARR (Advanced Receiver Research) preamps that I just installed.
This ARR preamp covers 144-148 Mhz and the ARR preamp above it is for the 70 cm band.
My take-down 2 meter yagi lying on top of the instrument panel is connected to this 2 meter preamp and my Kenwood D72 seen mounted on this module. I use the Kenwood TM-D710A mounted in my radio-stack for uplinking with the Larsen 2/70k antenna mounted on my mobile.
Just a comment on my take-down yagi utilized this way, it is a joy to use working sats from my mobile, as you can leave the antenna assembled, and you cannot damage it while pushing it through the window full assembled, or pulling it back in, as the elements flex as required!
When I'm done using it, I just throw it in the backseat fully assembled till the next pass.
If it is required that I use the 70 cm preamp like for working SO-50 for example, I have several 70 cm handheld yagis stored in my mobile available to choose from for this purpose, and once I have connected the D72 to the 70 cm preamp, I'm good to go.
As simple as this system may appear to you in regards to working orbiting satellites, the simplicity of this system allows for working satellites coming up on the horizon within 60 seconds of pulling over to the side of the road.
Years ago I had a elaborate station at home for working both the FM and SSB satellites in a low earth orbit, however when I was away from home I wanted the means to work the LEO's without resorting to using an arrow antenna requiring some assembly, or setting antennas up for a 10 minute pass, and found this is the way to go.
That's why many of the guy's working satellites use simplistic means such as this, because a system such as this one allows for quickly deploying your equipment to work a pass coming up on your horizon, and then getting on down the road, and that's what you want.
I've worked hundreds of passes this way, and have a dozen certificates hanging in my ham shack to remind me of the several years that I lived for operating orbiting satellites.
One final note on working the satellites with two separate radios from my mobile as opposed to operating with either one of these two transceivers separately.
I find it makes for a simpler system to operate when using two radios, one for the uplink, and the other for the downlink, as the radios are programed as such, and there is no messing around making changes to settings with radios also being used for multiple methods of operating from the mobile.
Its a full-duplex system using two radios, that has absolutely no-desense, allowing for exceptional satellite contacts with crystal clear receive audio.
When it comes time to work a pass of a orbiting satellite, its much quicker to prepare for the pass, as all you have to do is position the satellite module on the steering wheel, connect up one power plug, connect the receive antenna, power everything on, and your good to go.
Now if I was using a dedicated full duplex all mode satellite transceiver like the Yaesu FT-847 that I operated with while working the birds from my ham shack at home, then that's a different story, and the superior way to work the birds.
Click on the photo for a closer look.....
Field Day Satellite Contact.....