There are several active amateur radio satellites. (http://www.amsat.org/amsat/sats/n7hpr/satsum.html) This mode of can provide hours of fun and a real sense of accomplishment. You can find a lot of information at the AMSAT site including important information concerning the upcoming 3D AMSAT satellite project that will revolutionize amateur radio satellite work.
first thing you need to do is to download a windows
satellite tracking program; click
or Download WinOrbit 3.5 from SAT-NET. (http://www.sat-net.com/winorbit/ftp/winorb35.zip) Next you need current Keplerian orbital data elements (http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/kep/) so the software knows exactly where the satellites are. They tend to drift with time. Download current orbital elements HERE (http://www.amsat.org/amsat/ftp/keps/current/nasa.all). Now you know where the satellites are and how to listen to them. Click ARRL HERE for information setting up your own satellite station. Satellite software needs to know where you are and needs it in decimal form rather than degrees and minutes. Here is a LINK (http://tiger.census.gov/cgi-bin/mapbrowse-tbl) where you can find your location. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and enter you zip code. Then center the map and zoom in on your location. The page will indicate your latitude and longitude. If you have your location in degrees and minutes you can convert it to decimal degrees with the utility below.
Weather Satellite -
See LIVE "satellite tracking" on the web with J-TRACK (http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/RealTime/jtrack/Amateur.html) from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.
Also be sure to check out the visible path of these satellites. Read the directions on the chart and you can end up printing out a star chat that will let you see the visible satellites in the night sky in your area. If you don't know your exact lat and lon you can just use your zip code. This is a GREAT find! See itHERE - J-PASS-VisiblePasses. (http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/RealTime/jtrack/Amateur.html)
A0-27 FM Repeater satellite -
Frequently Asked Questions
UO-14 FM Repeater Satellite -
UO-14 NOW OUT OF SERVICE - DEAD
SO-35 FM Repeater Satellite -
ISS (International Space Station) Amateur Radio
Earth-Moon-Earth transmissions are possible but require a lot of work and effort.
-- From W6/PA0ZN
OD5SK's Amateur Radio Guide