[amsat-bb] Re: Satellite choices on Field Day

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Fri Jun 22 08:35:41 PDT 2012

Hi Joe!

> We have been able to do it with a handheld for the last 5 years.  But we may
> have geography in our favor :-)

If I pick my "battles" (passes) right, I also benefit from geography here in the
southwest.  I won't even bother with any AO-27 passes to the east of me, and
will hope to sneak in a QSO on SO-50 before its footprint covers much of the
US.  I operate 1B/1-Op/Battery at 5W on HF and 6m as well as the birds,
so you can imagine the challenges in getting through without the benefit
of higher power.  Operating experience does play a big part in making the
QSOs, especially with the conditions we will hear this weekend.

On the SSB birds, I may try to work some eastern passes.  I was not as
successful on SSB last year compared to 2010.  The high-power stations
that monopolize the FM birds cripple the SSB transponders, unfortunately.
But that's part of the challenge, getting through in less-than-ideal

> Has anyone considering re-examining the FM satellite rule?  I would like to
> propose the following:
> Contacts on the FM satellites can only be made with W1AW and K6KPH.  Those
> stations could get on with solid signals and pass out contacts.  No other
> contacts would count.  I believe more contacts would be made, and it would
> be better to listen to as well.  We would have to get the word out early and
> often.

If you are going to limit stations to contacts with a very few stations on the
FM birds, that would put those satellites in a completely different class
compared to the SSB birds or other bands.  At that point, you might as
well exclude the FM birds like 3 HF bands (12m, 17m, 30m) are excluded
from Field Day and most other HF contests.  I'd rather not see that
happen, even with the chaotic conditions on many of those FM satellite
passes.  Again, that's part of the challenge.

During last year's Field Day, there was a very nice AO-51 pass over the
west coast late on Saturday afternoon.  Stations were able to make their
Field Day QSOs, and a couple were even looking to exchange grid
locators and not participating in Field Day!  Geography played a big
role in that pass, with not much of the footprint going east of the Rockies.
Good operating by all on that pass also contributed to that pass not
being crazy like others were.

I'll try to make my 1 QSO on AO-27 and SO-50 tomorrow.  If other
stations call me after I've logged my single QSO, I will attempt to
respond and get the other station a satellite QSO.  I never score
the additional FM satellite QSOs when I submit my reports to ARRL
and AMSAT, but the QSOs are listed so I have a complete log of
my Field Day effort in my reports.

I will be in the forest somewhere around Flagstaff AZ for Field Day,
probably in grid DM45.  I should be able to work some passes before
the 1800 UTC start of Field Day at the DM35/DM45 grid boundary for
those wanting log a QSO with either - or both - of those grids
(probably in the 1430-1730 UTC timeframe).  Keep an eye on APRS
at http://aprs.fi/wd9ewk-9 to get an idea of where I am for those
earlier passes, and updates will also be posted on Twitter using
@WD9EWK or at http://twitter.com/wd9ewk



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