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Newbie Help

I am extremely interested in the world of satellite communications and I am
wondering if anyone out there can help me.

I currently live in the second floor of an apartment located in Gurnee, IL.
I am curious as to what kind of equipment I would need to get started with
receiving satellite voice and data communications.  Preferrably the
equipment would be inexpensive and portable as the management company does
not allow mounting of any type of antenna.  On several occasions, I have
read that it is possible to "work" a "bird" with only a small HT.  While I
am not currently interested in transmitting, I would like to be able to
receive these signals and possibly interpret some of the data.

Can anyone offer some guidance?

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