[amsat-bb] Re: equal time

Sebastian w4as at bellsouth.net
Sun Jun 14 17:31:24 PDT 2009

Adrian, first I would like to thank you for taking the time to operate  
from a DX location, in order to give others a chance to work you!

Next, I think because of the things you have said, and the recent  
issue with the K5D operation, we have learned that attempting to put  
up a rare country on an FM satellite just doesn't work out.  There are  
simply too many stations on AO-51.  Why - because it's easy to do.   
SO-50 because of the timer and PL tones, is more difficult.  A lot of  
hams don't realize that FO-29 is back in service, let alone AO-27; and  
AO-27 is only on for about half the pass on the USA.  AO-16 has been  
off the air for months, and hopefully we will get it back sometime.   
The SSB birds are more difficult since it requires additional  
equipment, as opposed to an HT or two and a small handheld antenna  
(with the exception of Tim who could probably work Japan on AO-51 even  
though it's not in his footprint!) Tim knows I'm joking.

AO-51 is over used.  And yes there are a lot of people who may not  
necessarily run high power on there, but have large antennas of which  
I am one of.  I won't apologize for having outdoor directional high  
gain antennas controlled by an LVB tracker.  My antennas are from the  
days of AO-10 & AO-13, and I don't have the ability to change to RH,  
LH circular polarization; I use axial polarization.  Yes there are  
some who are using handheld antennas with roughly the same amount of  
power that I am; but who's going to be heard (even with my 115 feet of  
LMR400)?  Then there are those who believe it's a trivial task to  
setup a full duplex HT with a hand held antenna and be heard.  It's  
not easy.  I've tried it, and have concluded that it takes a lot of  
time to learn the 'tricks of the trade'.  At least once a week, I hear  
a newcomer on one of the birds calling CQ.  And people come back to  
them, but that newcomer can't hear them, because they aren't aware of  
doppler, etc.

Then there are some who use 'high' power, I would say 50+ watts, but  
perhaps they need that power because they are using vertical antennas  
or eggbeaters, with 150 feet of RG-58 Radio Shack coax.  And there are  
some who either use high power, or have defective rigs (or both), and  
make it difficult for others to hear due to their spurious emissions  
because they want to have more contacts than anyone else.

So what's the answer.  Those who aren't active on the birds because  
they are fed up will say we need a HEO.

Those that are active on the birds don't have to say anything.  They  
already know the problem.

I would like for someone to explain to me why they disagree that what  
we really need are more LEOs.

73 de W4AS

On Jun 14, 2009, at 6:03 PM, Adrian Engele wrote:

> As many of you know I operated as ZF2AE from EK99 back in late March  
> and early April during my vacation from Grand Cayman and Little  
> Cayman. I received numerous direct requests to have a sked as EK99  
> was needed for their VUCC awards. I made a big effort to meet all  
> these requests received prior or during that trip and in most  
> instances I was successful. As a portable, I worked AO-51 and SO-50  
> with just an Arrow Antenna with an ARR preamp and 5W with my VX7R. I  
> also worked other stations on AO-7, FO-29 and VU52 using the same  
> setup but with my FT857D with 10 Watts instead. Let me tell you  
> setting up as a portable station to work the linear  birds is time  
> consuming and required a big effort everytime. I was on vacation and  
> Hamradio was a secondary activity.
> After my return, I went  through my recordings it was clear that  
> there were many missed opportunities to work certain stations for  
> their requested skeds . Why was this? In most cases, it came down to  
> stations both domestic and international that are NOT LISTENING or  
> not leaving enough space between calls. Also it was clear these same  
> stations were calling the same stations day in and day out. What is  
> the sport in this, working the same stations and the same grids over  
> and over again; especially when a DXpedition is ongoing and others  
> need to work that grid. I had numerous passes where I could not get  
> once into an FM satellite during a planned sked. In some cases, I  
> only managed one or two contacts. It was frustrating to say the  
> least. Out of the 45+ passes I completed during my trip there was  
> only one satellite pass that was disciplined, operators listened,  
> called in order and over 15 contacts were worked in sequence with  
> zero interference and many happy
> operators.
> I encourage operators with deluxe satellite stations running power  
> with full computer and rotation tracking to let more modest stations  
> have their fair share of opportunities to get into the satellites.  
> You may disagree with this concept, but I would like to remind the  
> readers the FCC mandates that minimum power should be used to make  
> at all times in to establish a contact.
> During my trip and upon my return, I received countless emails and  
> QSL cards thanking me for activating a new country and a new grid.  
> In the end, that was the biggest satisfaction of the whole  
> DXpedition giving out a new one!
> 73,
> Adrian

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