Not quite sure how but I have recently got very interested in working satellites. I think it was all due to hearing about Tim Peak on the ISS speaking to the kids at schools through out the UK and Europe that gave me the idea but I have been doing a lot of reading on the Amsat website and watching a lot of Youtube Videos on how to make the contact. I was thinking on making myself a tape measure yagi for working satellites but in the end I ended up buying an ELK Antenna, from the Amsat website. I have been using the Amsat Predictions page to get the pass infomation.
After a week of trying to listen to them and then trying to transmit to them I have finally manage to get three contacts today on Fox 1A or AO85 using my car VHF/UHF radio, the Icom ID5100. Uplink is UHF and Downlink is VHF. The first few days were spent tracking the satellite and listening for it, and I found I had no problems with listening to it. When I tried transmitting I had no luck.
I have not had much experience with VHF/UHF and I was using a 12m long piece os RG223 cable I had. It is a good low loss cable at HF but rubbish at UHF, I looked it up and found I had almost 2.7db loss on that 12m run. I still have some Ecoflex 10 cable so I have cut a 4m length and that is much better. This morning I managed to get across two good satellite passes and I managed to get three QSOs, first with PB0AHX, DB1NT and LY1R. Very happy indeed.
Now I need to figure a good way of recording the passes so I can get the callsigns and QSO info with out having to write it down as it happens.