[amsat-bb] SO-67 on Flea Power!!!!

Tim - N3TL n3tl at bellsouth.net
Sun Nov 15 08:22:10 PST 2009

My profound thanks to John. K8YSE, for posting the recordings he's made of SO-67 passes over North America. His most recent recording, which he began at 15:00:38 UTC, provides proof that - even amid the chaos of a pass like that one - very low power levels can work our amateur satellites. Anyone who listens to the recording will hear the weak-signal call of N3TL at 8:51 into the recording. I'm faint, but I'm in there ... on 50mW (.05 watt) from my Yaesu VX-7R HT and Elk dual-band log periodic antenna. 

KI0G surprised the heck out of me when I heard him call me several seconds later. When he did, I thought, "He must be calling me blind. There's no way I made it through on 50 milliwatts." No matter - I spent the rest of the pass transmitting QSLs for our contact, but K8YSE's recording shows that I didn't make it back into the satellite before he (K8YSE) left the footprint. If someone farther south has a recording that includes me QSLing Bob, KI0G, by all means please email me a copy.

My signal made it into SO-67 beginning at 15:09:29 UTC and ending at 15:09:30 UTC. According to Orbitron, SO-67 was pretty much right at the intersection of 30 degrees north x 90 degrees west, or right on top of the 4-grid boundary of EM40, EM50, EL49, EL59. She was at a range of 882.050 kilometers (548.0805 miles) to my handheld station in EM84 at 15:09:30 UTC. Based on those distances, my power level translates to 17,641 kilometers (10,961.61 miles) per watt. Given how busy SO-67 has been over North America the past two weekends, I'll take that!

During that pass, I tried to time my transmissions based on Mr. Cresswell's posts to the BB on 14 November about the two passes he worked and observed that day over New Zealand. Specifically, I listened for people to immediately return calls, then have their signal drop out when the satellite's tail dropped out. When that happened, I transmitted - and on at least one occasion that K8YSE captured in his recording, flea power found its way to our newest amateur satellite.

Thank you, everyone at AMSAT-SA, for building, launching and orbiting SO-67. She is a wonderful addition to the fleet, and one I'm proud to have worked on .05-watt.

73 to all,

Tim - N3TL

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