Transceiver - bps or satellite tri-band?

Aloha! I am looking for opinions, views, and experiences about transceivers as we are looking to upgrade to a better transceiver for a satellite ground station.

There seems to be a trade-off with the IC-9700 : It is tri-band, specifically tuned to satellites, which enhances its receiver, but is not rated at 9600 bps, which many operators have said is problematic, since satellite passes are relatively brief.
By comparison, the FT-991A is “all band,” yet can receive at 9600 bps, as also the IC-705.

I’m sure there’s no right answer, but I’d be grateful for anyone’s past experience with these radios - or any others. I’m still a noob who has a lot to learn.

use a SDR for receiving. Problem solved.
Lars Thunberg

FT-991A is not a full-duplex transceiver … i.e. you can’t emit on VHF and receive on UHF simultaneously for example. FT-991A is also a HF transceiver … not useful for CubeSat :=)
I used an FT-991A for 9600 bps GMSK with a nanocom AX100, it was ok but no way to go higher rate… and it’s not possible to decode 9600 bps BPSK (In USB mode the bandwidth is limited to 3 kHz)

I agree with Lars, for reception an SDR is more versatile … but for transmission …

It’s why I think that IC-9700 is more suitable for satellite communication (especially for amateur radio satellites)
I am not sure that the third band (1296 MHz) provided by the IC-9700 is also useful for CubeSat …
Be careful also with Audio via USB … I have an IC9100 and the USB audio link is limited to 3kHz also … so you must connect directly the ACC connector on the transceiver to an audio input on your PC if you want 9600 bps. It is the same for transmit …
I was ready to change replace the IC-9100 with an IC-9700 … but I didn’t find any improvement for a Cubesat ground station.
And last but not least … you must have an Amateur Radio License to transmit :=)

PS : last update : IC9700 do not support 9600 bps… TBC

Aloha @SM0TGU and @F5MDY .

Forgive my late reply. My co-teachers went with the ICOM-705. I forwarded your replies to them (as we are all still learning here). I think we will still consider the 7500 in the future.


Hi, I’m very surprised that your co-teachers went with the ICOM-705. What I know it is not possible to transmit 9600 BPSK in any way with the IC-705.
Also see the comments from @F5MDY

Effectively … but what a beautiful rig for SOTA !!! 73

Yes the IC-705 is a fantastic rig and I’m using it for SSB and FT4 satellite communications, for narrow BW communication it is perfect.