[amsat-bb] Memories of OSCAR 10

Bill Dzurilla billdz.geo at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 5 16:08:11 PST 2011

I've been enjoying the posts regarding our last HEO satellite, AO-40.  I was inactive while AO-40 was going strong, but the posts brought back memories of our first HEO, OSCAR 10, my first experience with satellites until a couple of years ago.  You can't find much about the glory days of AO-10 on the web, but I remember them well.

Passes lasted for 8 hours.  Always Q5 copy everywhere in the huge footprint, very little QRM or QRN.  I worked over 100 countries from 1983-85, but never got enough cards for DXCC.  My rig was a Yaesu FT-726R with a Mirage D-1010 amp.  It was 70cm uplink, 2 meters downlink.  I attached the antennas to a small mast on my chimney.  I had a surplus cavity bandpass filter that wiped away all the birdies; it was needed because I lived in EL49 in New Orleans.  The antennas were small crossed-yagis (KLM?), circularly polarized, on separate booms.  I can't recall the make or model.  Also must have had a mast-mounted preamp and an az-el rotator, but I can't remember them.  I got the tracking info from a program that ran on my Commodore 64 and printed it out on my Gorilla Banana printer.  

Those were halycon days, with AO-10 supposed to be just the beginning.  The grand plan was to put up 3 linked ham sats in geosynchronous orbit, which would enable any ham to work any other ham anywhere on the globe 24-7.  Will we ever see anything like that again?  How did AO-10 compare with AO-40?

There was a fire at my home and all my logs and QSL cards from those days were lost.  If anyone out there happens to have an old AO-10 QSL card from me, I'd sure appreciate a copy.   

73, Bill NZ5N


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