Technical Articles

Satellite Basics (Part 4): Operating a Linear Satellite Demonstration

In our fourth installment of Sean’s video series, he follows up on his previous video, “Getting on the Linear Satellites,” by operating a recent pass of the XW2A linear satellite using his portable station from central Illinois.

You’ll get inside Sean’s headset as he calls CQ (notice use of phonetics!), adjusts transmit frequency to account for the Doppler effect, adjusts his handheld Yagi to avoid polarization fading, and makes contacts with U.S. and Canadian Hams as far as 1,800 miles away. Watch to find out how you, too, with a little practice and a basic station, can start using the “birds” to fill your logbook with QSOs.

Want to operate like Sean, KX9X? DX Engineering carries the Yaesu FT-818 HF/VHF/UHF All Mode Portable Transceiver. You’ll see two comparable FT-817 models in the video—one used for receiving and the other for transmitting.

Also available from DX Engineering is the EAntenna 2M/70cm DUOSAT Handheld Antenna, perfect for operating satellites. Weighing only 22 ounces, the antenna has three elements for VHF operating and five for UHF.

Coming soon: Look for part five of the series, in which Sean discusses operating satellites from a base station. Want to get a head start? Check out Icom’s satellite-friendly IC-9700 VHF/UHF/1.2 GHz Transceiver at

To view all of Sean’s videos, enter “Satellite” at OnAllBands.

Editor’s Note: Welcome to OnAllBands’ new video series on the fun and challenges of making contacts through Amateur Radio satellites!
Your host is Sean Kutzko, KX9X, OnAllBands blogger, former AMSAT Volunteer Coordinator, and experienced satellite operator.

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