On the Air

On the Air

Operating Amateur Satellites

November 10, 2022

Even if you’re accessing a repeater, the range of your VHF/UHF handheld can be a bit constraining. You’ll probably never achieve coverage of, say, the entire US Eastern Seaboard or the Continental Divide in the lower 48. But with a couple of handhelds and the right Yagi antenna, you can access satellites in low Earth orbit that will provide you with a much wider “footprint” than just about any repeater.


Sean Kutzko, KX9X, characterized satellite operation as “a bit of a competition. It’s a bit of a game. It’s a bit exciting.” In this month’s episode, he talks about how to get started using satellites and details the reach that satellites beyond low Earth orbit are only now making available to every licensed amateur radio operator.