[amsat-bb] AA5UK/KH6 operation from Hawaii

Tim - N3TL n3tl at bellsouth.net
Sat Apr 3 16:50:17 PDT 2010

At 0331 UTC on April 3, AA5UK/KH6 and I made a quick CW contact on FO-29 – from his vacation location in BL02ic and my home in EM84ha. According to the Tiny Locator program from ON6MU (http://users.belgacom.net/hamradio/tinylocator.htm), our contact covered 7,399 kilometers/4,621 miles. 
Adrian’s commitment to activate Hawaii – during a vacation trip with his significant other – enabled me to put state No. 50 in the satellite log. He did the same for several others – among them Rick, WA4NVM; George, WA5KBH; Alex, KC7MG; Damon, WA4HFN; Matthew, KC7EQO; and Dave, KN4OK. I believe I speak for all of them when I offer my sincere thanks to Adrian for what I suspect he found was a fun – but, ultimately, Herculean – effort. 
Thanks, too, to Domenico, I8CVS, for his April 2 post to the AMSAT-BB about FO-29 currently being at or very near apogee during passes from north to south. That prompted me to look into whether we might have a chance on this satellite. During the contact, Adrian had about 2 degrees elevation with the satellite rising at his location; I had 1 degree with the satellite descending here in northeast Georgia. We worked the contact like one in a DX pileup on HF – brief and to the point!
We tried unsuccessfully on AO-7 during three different Mode B days. The elevations were roughly the same as what we had on FO-29. However, FO-29’s Mode J configuration enabled each of us to use higher power on the 2 meter uplink than we could on AO-7’s Mode B uplink, on 70 centimeters. I suspect that made the difference.
Our stations were identical, and included Yaesu FT-857D radios for transmit; Yaesu FT-817ND radios for receive; and the Elk 2M/440L5 log periodic antenna. All four radios were battery-powered. 
Thanks again to Adrian for making the significant time and effort to activate Hawaii as much as he has on this trip. Thanks to Dale (KL7XJ), Craig (KL4E) and Joe (AL1F) for activating Alaska so often on FM and linear satellites. Thanks to all of the satellite operators in most of the lower 48 who make their states available so often. And thanks to the rovers who have activated lower-48 states that have proved tough (Delaware immediately comes to mind), and for so many rare grid squares. In particular, many of us owe significant debts of gratitude to Patrick, WD9EWK; John, K8YSE; and Jim, ND9M. Finally, thanks to everyone else who takes the time and makes the effort to activate so many places.
Tim – N3TL
Athens, Ga. – EM84ha

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