I finally got myself a handheld satellite antenna – an Arrow II. It packs away quite small and is easy to put together, albeit you need to remember the size of the 2m elements when waving it about if constructing indoors like I did first time. I got the one without the diplexer because I plan to use two handhelds for full duplex rather than acquire a full duplex radio.
Of course, the first order of the day was to try to bounce APRS off the ISS, in which I failed while waving said antenna about the shack. I received APRS easily enough but it was just too hard to try to track the ISS from the shack. I missed the good pass because the FT2D was refusing to see the GPS and I had not stored local coordinates – I have now.
So, day 2 and I assembled just the 2m elements outdoors. Turned the FT2D on and it found the GPS almost immediately. I wonder just how much lead paint is on the shack walls! After figuring out where the ISS was on what was quite a low pass for us I picked it up and, finally got a call in. The following are screenshots from ariss.net:
The actual ‘raw’ data as reported on ariss.net was “20210414100126 : M0RVB-7]USUPTS,NA1SS*,WIDE2-1,qAU,DB0NU-10:`w?pl [/`Hello from IO93_(“
Next time I will try to reply to APRS ‘calls’ but this time was just a trial run to see how many arms you actually need. I can well imagine the complexity of tracking and calling through a LEO satellite, and logging as well. Anyway, this harness, which came via Amazon and was only just over £8 may work… not properly adjusted yet but seems to fit the bill: