[amsat-bb] Re: Newbie question about AO-07

n3tl@bellsouth.net n3tl at bellsouth.net
Sat Nov 1 20:21:50 PDT 2008

Hello Gordon,

Sorry to hear that you're having a tough time on the non-QRP "pair" on AO-51. Admittedly, it can be frustrating - but don't give up on it. It can be done! I earned Satellite VUCC all handheld with a Yaesu HT and an Arrow antenna, and earned the AMSAT achievement award for 20 states and Canada using only contacts I made running 50 mW (.05-watt) rf out on the same set of 2 AA Duracell batteries. I ended up making a total of 51 contacts at .05-watt and another three at .3-watt (300 mW) rf out before those batteries gave up the ghost. I mention that because only 11 of those 54 total contacts were made on the "QRP pair" on AO-51. I was in the middle of the unorganized mayhem with everyone else for the other 43, on AO-51 and also on AO-27 and SO-50; so, as I said, don't give up. It can be done!

I've said it here before and I'll say it again - I am having more fun on the satellites than I've ever had in amateur radio. And if I hadn't had the ability to start out with a handheld station, I would not have made the necessary investments for all-mode radios, antennas, az/el rotators, etc. I'll never understand how anyone can characterize as a waste of money an activity that inarguably helps operators refine the skills they would most need in a true emergency-communcations situation -- that is, the ability to transmit and receive pertinent information quickly and accurately with minimal repetition. It also seems to me that those of us who regularly use handheld satellite stations are refining those skills on the kind of gear that is among the most necessary and utilized in emergencies. 

73 to all,

Tim - N3TL
AMSAT Member No. 36820
Athens, Ga. - EM84ha
-------------- Original message from Gordon JC Pearce MM3YEQ <gordonjcp at gjcp.net>: -------------- 

> Dave Guimont wrote: 
> > discussions and education, not by some "go to the store and buy a 
> > push button radio" to make it easy!! AO51 FM voice!! Waste of money... 
> What a good job we don't all have the same opinions! The world would be 
> such a dull place... 
> I think the AO-51 QRP FM modes are great. As a relative newcomer to the 
> hobby (I've been working with commercial radio equipment and electronics 
> for years, and my Dad was an amateur, so I'm more than familiar with the 
> concepts - it's just I've only had my licence a few months) I'm 
> currently restricted by my licence to commercially-produced radios. So, 
> for a lot of people "go to the store and buy a push button radio" is the 
> only way in. 
> With the QRP FM modes on AO-51 I can work contacts all over Europe and 
> (at least in theory) Africa, Iceland and the Nordic countries. All I 
> need to do this is a little dual-band HT and a homebrew crossed yagi. 
> The aerial and diplexer cost about £5 and took an hour to make, and has 
> rewarded me with about a dozen contacts on AO-51, SO-50 and even one on 
> AO-27 which normally seems to be switched off when it passes over here. 
> So there I have a setup that I can bungee to the back of my bike, or 
> throw on the back seat of the car, or even just carry about with me if 
> there aren't too many people about to get poked by the elements. 
> Unfortunately the "non-QRP" modes seem to be dominated by the 
> 1kW-into-four-stacked-18-element brigade, who just drown everyone else 
> out. I don't see the point in that, where's the fun in spending all 
> that money putting up a tower and buying a rotator and a set of huge 
> antennas, just to make it easy? 
> Gordonjcp MM3YEQ 
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