AO27 Satellite info

AO-27 QSL Page 1
AO-27 QSL Page 2
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The beauty of working the AO-27 satellite is that you don't need a lot of expensive equipment, or complex antennas to work it. This satellite is nothing more than a repeater that is really high, and moving really fast!

My first QSO on the AO27 satellite was on a Saturday. Initially my plan was to just listen and see if I could hear it, as I knew that the signal from AO-27 was very weak. But just in case, I figured I would at least have some way of talking. So, I took our van, which has a 40 watt mobile rig, and quarter wave vertical on its roof, and parked it in the front yard of my house. To receive AO-27, I used my 70 cm. HT, and a homebrew 7 element yagi that was made out of half inch copper pipe for the boom, and 14 ga. Wire for the elements. The satellite tracking program told me when and where AO-27 was going to come "into view", and sure enough I heard it! (ALWAYS listen first. If you don't hear it, don't transmit. It just messes up the satellite's uplink, and makes AO-27 completely useless for everyone) After listening to a couple of exchanges, there was about one second where nobody was talking. So I thought "what the heck", and keyed the 2 meter rig in the van. Suddenly I heard a carrier into the AO-27 satellite! WOW! It was MY signal! So I (very nervously) gave my call. Sure enough, I was in there. It was really quite different because I could actually hear my signal into the AO-27 satellite as I was transmitting. Chuck, KI0AG came back to me. What a thrill! I told him my name, where I was located, and he was my first QSO via AO-27. He was very kind, and welcomed me to the world of satellites. There is a great bunch of people on AO-27. Now I have an Arrow antenna and just use an HT to work AO-27. It's great fun. As you can see from the photo on my main page, you can go just about anywhere, and work AO-27. Hope to work you there!


AO-27 Frequencies:

Uplink Frequency: 145.850 Mhz
Downlink Frequency: 436.800 Mhz


The Doppler-shift-shuffle

This can be a bit tricky. What is happening is that as AO-27 is moving and transmitting, you have to have to adjust your receive/downlink frequency. It is the same phenomenon as a passing train blowing its whistle, and you hear the tone of the whistle drop as it passes by you. In the case of AO-27, what you have to do is to listen a little bit higher when it is coming at you. I usually start at 436.805. As it is more overhead, you will hear it become noisy in your receiver. Just tune down to 436.800, and you wil hear it. As the satellite moves away from you, you will have to change to as low as 436.790.

So where is it at?
You will also need to know when AO-27 is coming over, as well as where it is in the sky. For this you need a satellite tracking program. There are several good ones, I just happened to end up with Winorbit. For more info on where to download a copy and set it up, click here.

So what does a QSO sound like:
Click on the link below and you will hear me working W7VEW portable running two watts of power. My side of the QSO is how I sound into the AO27 satellite...full quieting! This is an MP3 file, and is 118K in length. The level is a bit low as well.

AO-27 QSO audio

This is what the AO-27 satellite looks like,