|Walmart #1540 in South Haven Michigan|
The AO-91 satellite rapidly passed over the Hyde Park, NY area at over 480 miles an hour which allowed for satellite reception for roughly 11 minutes using a portable antenna called an "Arrow II" and a Kenwood TH-D74 hand held radio which also can record audio. The software used to predict when the AO-91 would pass over my location was the ISS Detector application available on the Android Google Play store.
|ISS Tracker application showing altitude, location, distance and speed from |
location of K2GOG at time of AO-91 pass on April 28th 2018
Where are satellite users located?
Stations using this and other amateur radio satellites often use a 4 digit grid square identifier to quickly let others know where they are located since it is quicker than saying latitude/longitude, ZIP codes or town names. A grid square that covers the Hyde Park, NY area is FN31 for example.
|Grid square boundaries and names in the New York area. Google Earth |
with a Grid Square overlay was used to generate this image
Another and slightly more easy way is to use the store number of a Walmart location. Walmart parking lots serve as great locations to operate a portable satellite station since there are few obstructions in the way in most directions horizon to horizon.
Not the strangest thing seen at Walmart
People waving around an antenna in a Walmart parking lots is likely not the strangest thing to see at a Walmart. Its easy to confirm this by doing a search for "strange sightings at Walmart". At least if you want to avoid "radio active amateur radio operators", you can predict when they may be at a Walmart by using ISS Detector. Other potentially "radioactive" people are harder to predict at the 24/7 hour Walmart Superstore locations at 1:45 AM!
Frequencies for AO-91
Here is a table of of frequencies to know what to program into your radio
What does satellite communication sound like on AO-91?
Here is a sample recording of contacts being made on AO-91. How many grid squares, Walmart locations and station call signs did you hear?