Amazing How Many Satellites Are Active Now

I can remember back to the days of AO-6 and AO-7.  One satellite in the sky, 4-6 passes in a day, calculations done graphically using the Oscar Locator and weekly elements sent via W1AW bulletin (no PCs or public internet back then).

Today the sky is jammed full of satellites, with a new one (EO-79) being turned over to amateur use as I write this.


The above is “The sky at a glance” output from the GPredict.exe program; showing satellites visible in my area between about 1 PM and 9 PM today.  That’s 23 opportunities for me to work a satellite in an 8 hour window.  I have worked all of those with simple equipment (egg-beater antennas with mast mounted preamps) — some, like FO-29, are much easier than others (like AO-85 which doesn’t hear me well, or AO-73, which can be difficult to locate one’s downlink on).

Being a satellite guy no longer means waiting half the day to make a contact or two.  You can pretty much be sure there will be a satellite in view no more than every other hour, and often several in an hour.


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