Tim - N3TL
n3tl at bellsouth.net
Fri Nov 13 06:02:59 PST 2009
Thirty-five years ago this Sunday (15 November), AO-7 reached orbit. The following is from the AO-7 page on the AMSAT-NA Web site:
"AMSAT-OSCAR 7 was launched November 15, 1974 by a Delta 2310 launcher from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Lompoc, California. AO-7 was launched piggyback with ITOS-G (NOAA 4) and the Spanish INTASAT. The second phase 2 satellite (Phase II-B). Weight 28.6 kg. Orbit 1444 x 1459 km. Inclination 101.7 degrees. Octahedrally shaped 360 mm high and 424 mm in diameter. Circularly polarized canted turnstile VHF/UHF antenna system and HF dipole."
I consider it good fortune that the Grand Old Girl will be in Mode B on her 35th birthday. According to information from Hal, ZS6WB, in South Africa, her daily toggle between Mode A and Mode B has been occurring very close to 0445 UTC, when at least a portion of South Africa usually is in her footprint.
So - from 0445 UTC on 15 November to 0445 UTC on 16 November, AO-7 should be in Mode B (UHF uplink - VHF downlink). I'm hoping she stays consistent!
Let's celebrate her historic longevity and make Sunday a very busy day for AO-7. I intend to work every pass I can, and I hope everyone else who has Mode B capability will do the same.
If you're not set up for the linear satellites but have a receiver with CW/SSB capability on 2 meters, try listening to a pass. The middle of her Mode B downlink passband is 145.950 mHz, and you will find most of the activity occurring between 145.940 mHz and 145.960 mHz. Generally, you'll hear CW operators below 145..950 and SSB operators above 145.950.
Here is a link to the online log for AO-7:
Check it out.
AO-7 has lived a historic life. As I type this, the AO-7 log shows that she is completing orbit No. 160,155.
Let's celebrate her birthday with as many QSOs as possible on the grandest satellite in the current amateur fleet. That's my opinion, of course - but I'm confident it's shared by many who have enjoyed AO-7 over the past 35 years.
73 to all,
Tim - N3TL
Athens, Ga. - EM84ha
More information about the AMSAT-BB