[amsat-bb] AO-16 this weekend?
n3tl at bellsouth.net
Fri Oct 10 09:00:47 PDT 2008
How about some AO-16 contacts this weekend?
I’ve mentioned in posts to the BB this week that I would like to apply for a separate Satellite Communications Achievement Award from AMSAT using only confirmed contacts on AO-16 in this unique and, most likely, “one off” operating mode of V-FM up and U-DSB down. It’s a real hoot to work, as some of you know – and there’s no guarantee we’ll have AO-16 much longer. That’s been reported in the just-arrived (July-August) issue of “The AMSAT Journal” by Drew, KO4MA. The first report on AO-16’s rebirth appeared in the March-April issue of the Journal.
As I write this, I’m one state/Canadian province/DX country away from the 20 necessary to apply for the award, but I’d like to work as many as possible before AO-16 goes silent again – and maybe forever.
Here’s the list worked by N3TL so far in AO-16’s “bent pipe” mode:
Thanks to Clare, VE3NPC, who read an earlier post in which I referred to my interest in trying for my own little AO-16 award. He made a pass later than day and we had a great contact. Thanks again for that, Clare!
I’m thrilled to have made contacts with the stations that made the very fist voice contact on AO-16 back in January (as reported in the earlier Journal article mentioned above) – N8MH and KO4MA. That’s pretty cool!
So, if you live somewhere not listed above and have the time and gear to make a pass of AO-16 that includes north Georgia in the footprint, I’ll be listening for you! As for the necessary gear, I’m routinely using a “poor man’s full duplex” station – transmitting from my Yaesu VX-7R HT into an eFactor omni antenna mounted on a photo tripod and receiving on a Yaesu FT-817ND connected to my Elk log periodic. On passes to my east, I'll use my "base" transmitter, a Yaesu FT-857D into the eFactor omni, with the RF out on the 857D routinely set to 5 watts. I’m manually tuning for Doppler on the receive side, and hand-holding the Elk to track the receive side manually. It’s a little challenging, but a lot of fun!
FYI – the frequency pair is 145.920/FM up (the same as AO-51’s “normal” 2 meter uplink) and 437.026/DSB (+/- Doppler) down. Listen in upper sideband, and start looking for AO-16 at about 437.036 at AOS, tuning down from there.
No matter where you live, you really ought to work some passes of AO-16 if you can. There’s a historical significance to this current mode and the story behind it that’s pretty special, I think, and worthy of our interest and attention.
73 to all,
Tim – N3TL
AMSAT Member No. 36820
Athens, Ga. – EM84ha
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