[amsat-bb] Re: An amazing AO-7 QSO last week, Brazil to Belgium
n3tl at bellsouth.net
Mon Jun 15 07:07:11 PDT 2009
Well, you know, I hadn't bothered to check the point-to-point distances for any of the European contacts, the African (Canary Islands) contact or my contact with AL1F in western Alaska. I have now, and I'm surprised by what I discovered.
Specifically, DJ8NY and I have worked twice, both times in CW, on early morning passes of AO-7 coming from my north-northeast. Based on the coordinates I found for the address shown on the hamcall.net Web site (he is not listed on QRZ.com), and based on the "Miles Per Watt Calculator" on the Web site of the QRP Amateur Radio Club International (QRP-ARCI), I learned that each of our contacts covered approximately 7,124 km or 4,427 miles. I hadn't expected to be that close to the Brazil-to-Belgium contact, so that was a pleasant surprise.
FYI - In using the Miles Per Watt Calculator, I entered the six-digit grid locators for each station (EM84ha for N3TL and JO31ub for DJ8NY), then left the "wattage" set at one so I would get the actual distance between the two locations.
Now ... I'd like to offer a few paragraphs about the extensive planning and calculating I did to enable the contacts - but that would be as humorous as it would be false. All I did was use the "Simulation" mode in Orbitron to see what part of Europe would be in the footprint of our Grand Old Girl on these low-angle passes to my north-northeast. Same with Alaska, albeit for evening passes to my north-northwest.
When passes gave me a good "look" to Europe, I simply started calling CQ in CW.
I had been trying to work Alaska for months, with regular emails between AL1F, KL7XJ and me. We got close more than a few times, but no log entry. I was thrilled to work Joe, AL1F, on consecutive passes of AO-7 to get Alaska in the log here.
I believe strongly that the key to all of these contacts was my addition of computer-controlled Doppler tuning because it freed me up to concentrate on my 3-part az/el antenna system (i.e., shoulder, elbow and wrist ... hihi). Seriously, my ability to focus specifically on where and how I was pointing the ol' Elk made the difference for me in making those contacts. I watched the az/el numbers on SatPC 32 as a pass unfolded, and did my level best to be dead-on with them.
73 to all,
Tim - N3TL
-------------- Original message from "Mark Lunday" <mlunday at nc.rr.com>: --------------
> Brazil to Belgium. Hey Tim, N3TL, you have been doing some of this type of
> planning with great success. What is the longest QSO you have achieved?
> What tools are you using for planning on the low passes? Your efforts are
> fascinating and we would like to know more.
> Mark Lunday
> wd4elg at arrl.net
> Sent via AMSAT-BB at amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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