[amsat-bb] I should have thought of this earlier ....

n3tl@bellsouth.net n3tl at bellsouth.net
Mon Jun 1 17:40:45 PDT 2009

Hey everyone,

I just heard myself on the AO-7 downlink running 500 mW rf out from one of my FT-817s. Just to be sure I also tuned - and sent a quick CQ and ID - to three different spots in the passband (started just above 145.950, the moved up near 145.957, and then back down to just above 145.947). 

I hadn't planned on working the pass. I had a bit of minor surgery late this afternoon, and not feeling 100% just now. But when I saw the elevation of this pass (almost 84 degrees here), I decided to see whether I could make the trip with a half-watt and the crappy ol' Elk ... hihi. A few weeks ago, I worked K4YYL one morning on a similar-elevation pass running 1 watt out. Just for the heck of it, I decided to take that final low-power step (i.e., 500 mW is as low as any of my all-mode radios will go).

By the time I got everything fired up, engaged Doppler tuning in SatPC 32 and loosened up my shoulder/elbow/wrist az/el system, AO-7 was past maximum elevation and on her way down to my northwest. According to the computer, I heard myself when the satellite was between 55 and 60 degrees. It was a weak signal, to be sure - but it was copyable on the Elk inside my house. I suspect those guys with real antennas and preamps could have copied me ok. The next time I get a pass like this one, I'm going to think ahead and post something to the BB because I sure would like to get at least one "flea power" contact on the Grand Old Girl. She was busy just now - or, at least, it seemed that way to me. Sure was nice to hear.

73 to all,

Tim - N3TL

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