[amsat-bb] Looking for activity where there is little.
tjschuessler at verizon.net
Sat Jan 15 09:07:35 PST 2011
With all the rumblings about excessive, rude and uncivil activity,
especially on AO-51, there are passes from both SSB and FM satellites that
go completely unused. For the last few nights, I have drug out in the late
evening to attempt to make a few QSO's on SO-50. On both nights, last
evening was a 05:51 AOS 1-15-2011, I could hear the satellite via an
occasional retransmitted carrier, but there was no one else on. Tonight in
North Texas I have a great 70 degree pass at 04:38 AOS and would encourage
others to give it a shot, especially if you are newer to the FM birds.
SO-50 is available 24/7 but pass times vary due to the nature of it's orbit.
It can be a bit challenging in different ways compared to other sats. First
it is relatively low power, 250mw. Second, it does require a PL and I even
forgot that it requires a different PL to activate than to just use so I
will have to try that tonight. (Perhaps that was the issue for me last
night, I will check my memories). Also it does seem to me that it does
downlink about 5Kc below published frequencies. SO-50 does seem to need a
bit more switching of the polarization, (For me and my arrow, that means
quit a bit of spinning), to hear and get in. Additionally, it is not a bent
pipe, retransmitting noise even if it hears nothing like AO-51 does so
manual aiming is trickey if you do not hear anything coming down.
All in all though SO-50 is a good bird to work and it would be nice to see
some activity on it during the odd hour passes.
I will hopefully see some of you on for the 04:3x Z pass Jan 16.
73 de N5HYP
2713 Lake Gardens Drive
Irving, Texas 75060
n5hyp at arrl.net
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