Field Day 2010 Ken (KJ4CTZ), William (KJ4OWO) and Vaughn (KG4VET) work satellites as a team effort. (Photo upper right)
My Experience Working Satellites
I can make contacts fairly easy now as the antenna remains still while I am copying calls. I can see the radio face (to be sure I am transmitting on the uplink (I have made the mistake of TX on the receive frequency many times while operating in haste)). The antenna is very easy to rotate for polarity and will stay where you put it. The voice recorder allows for great playback for accuracy and self training (following exchange expectations and speed). Downfall to the design is when the satellite is directly overhead or at a very high elevations, it is somewhat difficult to write calls as the writing surface gets lower to the ground as elevation increases.
Also, I found that the pin on the tripod mount to keep a camera straight is not strong enough to support this light antenna. What would occur at times is when operating, the antenna boom would turn just enough to cause the clear communication into a severe bacon frying sound. I ended up putting a second screw in the boom/mount assembly to fix this problem. Contacts: Many and pretty much at will.
For those that would like to try satellite work, please take your time, get the right equipment, Listen to others and yourself with a recording of the pass, BE Considerate especially if someone is operating portable as that means they are NOT at their home location and may be their only chance for contacts. And the biggest suggestion I can make is do the research for each satellite you want to work. What I mean is determine what specific frequencies it is currently using and moreover what MODE it is in. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to see the satellite coming by (using orbitron or some other tracking software) and listening and not hearing a thing.
I have heard myself in several of these recordings and I got to say the Wouxun Radio sounds great thru satellite communications. Good place to see how you sound, follow proper protocol and if you are stepping on someone else or not or even if they are stepping on you. It happens...... I am having fun though and have made several equipment changes since I started playing with it. It seems like I am not the only one recording satellite communications. Check out this website; http://www.papays.com/sat/general.html