[amsat-bb] Re: Upcoming Scotland/Shetlands trip
rfcrow at pronetisp.net
Wed Jul 30 14:01:11 PDT 2008
Sure, I'll "shoot the Atlantic" with you. I'm assuming you'll bring
equipment to work the FM LEO(s). If so, I've worked several stations in
various parts of England and one in Madrid, Spain on AO-51. AO-51 would
be my FM LEO of choice for this.
I live near Binghamton, NY where I have a hillside location about 500
yards up behind my house with an excellent view. From this spot I can
work AO-51, and other FM LEO(s), down to 1 degree above the
northeastern horizon. In fact, anyone who can get to the seashore in
the eastern U.S., from New Jersey to Maine, should be able to do this.
Canada's Atlantic provinces and Newfoundland are even better. All you
need is a clear shot across the Atlantic Ocean to the northeast to
access AO-51 while its also in view of the extreme western edge of
To connect Europe to North America on AO-51 will, of course, require an
AO-51 pass down the center of the Atlantic. This means you'll be
working a pass with a maximum elevation of 1 or 2 degrees, as will I.
My experience has been that such a pass will give us a 30 to 60 second
time window during which we can exchange call signs. So when the time
comes, you'll need to call me often for several minutes to hit the time
window just right. I'll do the same. Perhaps if pass conditions are
perfect, we may get a couple of minutes.
In addition, in light of the comments above, I recommend you try this
from the west coast of Scotland with a solid view across the Atlantic
to the southwest. Be advised, the west coast of Scotland can be
extremely windy, so come prepared.
Also, I know you be operate QRP. But bring as much transmit power as
you can. With a pass down the center of the Atlantic, AO-51 will be
approximately 2000 miles away from both of us. My experience is that 5
watts to AO-51 at this distance is "iffy". I'll be running 50 watts, so
I'm pretty sure you'll hear me as others have before.
Since I'll have to drag my portable station into position, we'll have
to pick out an AO-51 pass and set up a schedule, or two (back-up),
off-line. Good Luck!
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