Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Is it possible to work OSCAR 27, the FM repeater satellite ...

Q Evan Scarborough, N1ZHD, asks, “Is it possible to work OSCAR 27, the FM repeater satellite, using 1/2 W of power on the 2-meter uplink?”

A For those unfamiliar with the bird, OSCAR 27 is a loworbiting Microsat that presently functions as an FM repeater. It listens on 145.850 MHz and repeats on 436.800 MHz. The satellite is available during daylight passes only.

You could probably work OSCAR 27 with 1/2 W, but you would need a beam antenna—possibly a long-boom model with a number of elements—to focus your power. Of course, the higher the gain of the antenna, the narrower the radiation pattern. This means that aiming becomes much more critical.

The problem with running low power while trying to work OSCAR 27 is that this satellite can only accommodate one signal at a time. Whenever it speeds over the US, many operators attempt to use it simultaneously. With the FM “capture effect,” only the strongest signal “wins.”

From QST March 1999