On the AMSAT-BB mailing list in 2004, Darrell Bellerive VA7TO, initiated a series of topics regarding “Rigs for FM Sats including AO-51 (Echo).” A few years ago I was invited to continue the work he started and this page is intended to be the repository for all information discovered.  I intend to utilize the same criteria Darrell used (listed below) in evaluating each radio but if you feel something needs to be modified then, please, say so.

Obviously there is no way I can access every single one of these radios and test them myself so please provide reports on your experiences and send corrections if something is listed in error. Also, please check to make sure the rigs will meet all the criteria when submitting your report.


  1. Must be capable of tuning the satellite sub-bands:
    • 144 to 146 MHz
    • 435 to 438 MHz
  2. Must be capable of transmitting sub-audible or CTCSS tones:
    • SO-50: 67.0 Hz and 74.4 Hz
    • AO-51: 67.0 Hz
    • All rigs on this list will transmit a tone in full duplex mode.
  3. Full duplex. Able to receive during transmission. While not absolutely necessary, full duplex is extremely desirable. All rigs on this list will do full duplex.
  4. Cross band memory storage. The ability to store frequencies from different bands into a memory channel. While not absolutely necessary, it makes tuning for Doppler frequency shifts much easier. All rigs on this list will allow cross band frequencies in memory channels.
  5. Power output from handhelds should be 5 watts. Some handhelds will require 12 volt batteries or external power.


  • Alinco DJ-G5T
  • Alinco DJ-580T (12V battery pack EPB-28NH works better)
  • Icom IC-24AT (Not sensitive enough on 70 cm)
  • Icom IC-W2A
  • Icom IC-W32
  • Kenwood TH-77
  • Kenwood TH-78
  • Kenwood TH-79(AD) (Mod required to receive satellite sub-band)
  • Kenwood TH-D7 (Voice and digital modes)
  • Kenwood TH-D72
  • Standard C-568
  • Yaesu FT-470
  • Yaesu FT-530
  • Yaesu FT-50R
  • Yaesu FR-51R


  • Alinco DR605TQ
  • Alinco DR610T
  • Icom IC-2710
  • Icom IC-2720
  • Icom IC-2728H
  • Icom IC-2800
  • Icom IC-3220
  • Kenwood TM-D700A (Voice and digital modes)
  • Kenwood TM-741
  • Kenwood TM-742
  • Kenwood TM-941
  • Kenwood TM-942
  • Kenwood TM-732 (bands do not track)
  • Yaesu FT-847
  • Yaesu FT-5100
  • Yaesu FT-5200
  • Yaesu FT-4700
  • Yaesu FT-8000
  • Yaesu FT-8100
  • Yaesu FT-8500
  • Yaesu FT-8800
  • Yaesu FT-8900
  • Yaesu FTM-350AR


  • Drake TR-270
  • Icom IC-820
  • Icom IC-821
  • Icom IC-910H
  • Icom IC-970
  • Kenwood TS-790
  • Kenwood TS-2000
  • Yaesu FT-726 (with satellite module)
  • Yaesu FT-736
  • Yaesu FT-847