[amsat-bb] AO-7 milliwatt CW

n3tl@bellsouth.net n3tl at bellsouth.net
Wed Jun 3 18:18:07 PDT 2009

Hey everyone,

I worked the AO-7 pass just after 00:00 UTC here because it had a maximum elevation for me of almost 89 degrees. I wanted to see how much, if any, my ability to work would expand when runninng a half-watt if a used CW instead of SSB. 

On this pass, at least, I had a copyable signal from 30 degrees to 30 degrees, and made a partial contact at 00:15 UTC with a station whose call sign I did not fully copy - which is totally my fault. The call was WA4 (or, at least, that's what I copied), but I didn't catch the suffix. The signal faded slightly, and I didn't ask for a repeat. That's embarrassing, and I apologize to the operator for that. When he called me, AO-7 was below 35 degrees. I reported a 589 to him, and he gave me a 559, which exceeded my expectations. When we finished the QSO, AO-7 was at 28 degrees elevation to my location, and I faded into the noise.

It'll take a few more passes, at least, to say with some measure of certainty, but it appears that, for my station, I probably can expect to have workable signals at a half-watt out on AO-7 at 50 degrees elevation and above in SSB, and at 30 degrees elevation and above in CW. Given the compromises I choose to have with a fully portable station, that's not to bad for milliwatts.

73 to all,

Tim - N3TL

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