This afternoon I ducked up Red Hill on my way home from work to attempt my first reception of a satellite, and I'm happy to say I had success. VK2AY (I think) was heard co-ordinating traffic on AO-51 from all around VK land (I heard at least other VK2s and VK4s). This was done simply from my car with the FT-8900 and mobile whip. I manually adjusted the dial to accomodate doppler. All up I got about 3mins of good clear reception (probably limited more so by my doppler shifting skill) and the S meter even got up to S1 at one point.
There is a regular section in the Australian Amateur Radio magazine dedicated to AMSAT VK. I see it each month but have generally thought I probably don't have the required gear. However, this month I read a bit more of the detail and started to think, "hey, maybe this is possible!" The claim is that you should be able to make a contact with basic handhelds… So, I'm now reading up in earnest and have even started to monitor the downlink frequencies for AO-51 and ARISS. Further, there's even a cheap yagi design for amsat operation….
Well, what a good correlation of observed conditions against the IPS Hourly HAP Charts.
So instead of using a "third hand" device I've decided to go with a document clip kind of setup as per the photos (sorry about the quality, wanted to be quick so I can get on with the fun stuff).
Alrighty, today I went back to Jaycar and they'd restocked their flux pens. As a result I now have the last item I need in order to commence work on my softrock. But as per my previous post I also now finally have the items I need to complete my PA0RDT Mini Whip. Seeing I did start the Mini Whip first, I will attempt to apply a bit of discipline and finish that first.