[amsat-bb] Re: AO-51 pass at 22:06 UTC 2011-10-01

N0JY n0jy at lavabit.com
Sun Oct 2 08:48:52 PDT 2011

An interesting account, Clayton.  It reminds me of my shipboard contact 
with my ham radio club back in 2008.  We had a contact on AO-51 
scheduled, and at the appointed time I gave my call (between the current 
QSOs) and a handful of stations answered, I asked them to please stand 
by while I completed the scheduled contact and they were quite nice and 
did so.  As soon as I finished the contact with the club I asked for the 
others and the contacts were fast and furious but really quite orderly.

Whether that is testament to the perhaps fewer ops on AO-51 back then, 
or the courtesy of the operators, could probably be argued.  I believe 
it was the latter, and coupled with the fact that there were fewer 
stations that could not hear the satellite, trying to call it anyway 
(which seems more common these days, just my observation) made it work.

Being a "rare" grid (FL66) at the time everybody wanted to work, but a 
lot more people got to work because everybody was courteous and waited 
for the short QSO exchange to be completed.  Even though my callsign 
VP9/N0JY/MM felt like about a 10 second mouthful... :-)

My summary thought is the same as yours:  If I don't work this 
station/grid right now, is it really the end of the world?  A growing 
number of people (good ops) have satellite VUCC.  And I probably wasn't 
planning on selling or throwing away my Arrow and HT (or home satellite 
station) 10 minutes after the contact opportunity, so since that guy is 
on a ship nowhere near land I'll bet he'll be out there on the air again 
when the satellite is in view of that area if he had a pleasant 
experience the first time.  Or, if someone drove out to Armageddon Grid, 
if I really really need THAT grid, I'll bet someone will do it again if 
they had a pleasant experience the first time!  It's all about the 
pleasant experience, the fact that the op is out there in the middle of 
nowhere is because they ENJOY doing that!


On 10/2/2011 8:56 AM, Clayton Coleman W5PFG wrote:
> Since I am relatively “green” myself to FM satellite rover operation,
> I will share an observation from a recent grid expedition in West
> Texas.  I’ve observed a behavior that I refer to as “Armageddon grid.”
>   This means the rover operator is activating a grid for the last time
> before the world meets a fiery demise and doesn't know it until he
> gives his call and grid square.
> This is an overview of an Armageddon grid activation:
> 1.	Rover station calls one of his friends or scheduled contact.
> 2.	Up to five stations immediately call the rover station in rapid
> procession, not allowing a millisecond between calls for anyone to
> answer.  Never mind the opportunity of the rover’s original station
> called establishing contact.
> 3.	At this point, the rover station tries to complete his original
> call (if/when the dust settles.)
> 4.	Typically what occurs is step 2-3 wind up in a loop for a period of
> 2-3 minutes thus effectively reducing the usable time for other
> stations to make contact on the pass by one-third or more.
> If operators would not treat working a rare grid as if the world is
> coming to an end immediately after the pass, I believe rover stations
> would have a much more pleasant time handing out new grids.
> If you miss that desired grid today, doesn’t that leave opportunity
> for you to work it on another day?
> 73
> Clayton

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