Working SO-50 with a Baofeng is a lot of fun. Programming a Baofeng for SO-50 can be tricky, but it is a little easier with Chirp, a PC and cable. Recently I purchased an Elk 2M/440L5 antenna for working satellites. I’ve been able to work SO-50, but probably couldn’t do it without good programming and some help from others.
Getting Started Baofeng for SO-50
You’ll need an antenna. In my last article I showed off my Elk and how to put it together. I think the Elk is an excellent choice. The other is the Arrow antenna. Equally as good, but a little more cumbersome. See my article, Amateur Radio Satellite Elk Antenna.
Of course you’ll need a radio and the one I am using and what many others use is a cheap Baofeng. I have the BF-F9V2+, but many use the Baofeng UV-5R. If you’re going to go all out I suggest the Kenwood TH-D72A. It has full duplex and you will be able to work other FM birds with it.
If you purchase an Elk antenna you’ll need a couple of other things. A short 3 to 6 ft piece of coax and a pigtail to connect to the radio. This takes the pressure off the small SMA connector on the radio. See: SMA FEMALE TO PL-259 PIGTAIL
Programming Baofeng for SO-50
I use Chirp because I think it is easier then trying to program these radios manually. Chirp is not without it’s issues though. The problem I have with Chirp is it sending the radio into transmit. However Chirp doesn’t have my specific model Baofeng, so that could be the problem. It does work, but I am just careful with it.
Memory Frequencies for SO-50
I programmed 8 memories into the radio and have programmed the memories for crossband. For SO-50 the receive is in the 440 MHz, 70cm band and the transmit is in the 144 MHz, 2 meter band. It works and I don’t know if you can do this without Chirp. See channels 50 through 57 in the picture below.
Baofeng for SO-50 Video
In this video you can see the trouble I have and I wonder if the Baofeng UV-5R has this problem???
Note: When attaching the coax cable to the antenna, dress the cable to extend straight away from the connector for at least eight inches.
Coming up next I’ll have a video on my homebrew tripod for the Elk antenna and more on working SO-50.
Stay in touch and best 73,
While researching, a lot of the webpages and links that I followed are non existent now. This is one reason I’m doing articles on this. I want to keep it up to date so Hams don’t run into “404 Page Not Found” errors.
Here are some good links I used and followed while learning about So-50.