Products & Product Reviews

Product Spotlight: Satellite Antennas

The last couple of months, OnAllBands has gone to the birds—that is, Amateur Radio satellites. Be sure to check out Sean Kutzko, KX9X’s, excellent video series on the fun and challenges of making QSOs by contacting FM and linear satellites. Search on “Satellite” at OnAllBands for videos and articles on the subject. It will be well worth your time.

EAntenna DUOSAT Handheld Antenna

One of the aspects of satellite operating that Sean explores is the equipment you’ll need to effectively transmit and receive signals. In the field, that means taking along a handheld antenna like the lightweight 2M/70cm DUOSAT from EAntenna, a great choice for satellite operations without undue strain on your arm.

Weighing only 22 ounces, the hand-finished DUOSAT is made of T5 6061/6082 aluminum and features stainless steel hardware, 3 LFA elements for VHF and 5 for UHF, and 50-ohm coaxial cable output. The antenna boasts low-interference operation and 8.9 dBi gain on 2M and 11.4 dBi gain on 70cm.

A duplexer is not included, but DX Engineering carries many duplexer, combiner, and splitter options. For a satellite-friendly base station setup, the ICOM IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1.2 GHz All-Mode Direct Sampling Transceiver—with normal/reverse tracking and 99 satellite channels—makes a welcome addition to your shack.

Satellite Eggbeater Antennas from M2 Antenna Systems

Equally effective in a base or mobile station, these antennas (for either 2M, 70cm, or packaged for both with a cross boom VHF/UHF kit) produce smooth, omni-directional horizontal polarity patterns at the horizon. Above the horizon, the pattern transforms to right-hand circular for excellent OSCAR communications. The small physical footprint of these antennas allows many mounting options at a budget-friendly price.

What do Hams think?

Five Stars: “Very good for a simple satellite installation. I am not in an area where I could get away with an alt-az rotor and beam system, so I had to go with an omni-directional system. They work very well, and I have been able to work every satellite down to nearly the horizon. A preamp has certainly helped and if I can hear it, I can work it on these antennas. They need to be up fairly high with a clear view to be an effective alternative to a beam.”

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