[amsat-bb] Recent AO-85 Observations

Paul Stoetzer n8hm at arrl.net
Wed Feb 17 14:13:40 UTC 2016


I have observed the same. Over the past couple of months, on directly
overhead or ascending passes to the east, I could never get in until
about TCA using about 20 watts to an Arrow antenna. On overhead
descending passes or to the west, I could not get in after TCA.

Now, over the past few days, it's been much easier to work horizon to
horizon, but the fading is much worse throughout the pass and I am
constantly twisting to try to regain the downlink. Some times, neither
polarity works.

According to DK3WN's Illum program, AO-85 will be in constant sunlight
until 2/25. We'll see if it returns to it's previous patterns after


Paul, N8HM

On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 9:08 AM, Clayton W5PFG <w5pfg at amsat.org> wrote:
> For the past several days, I have observed the following:
> - On ascending passes, I can activate the transponder at AOS very easily.
> Either polarity V or H works.
> - Previously, I needed 10-15 degrees at times on ascending passes to
> activate the transponder.  As I approached TCA, the challenge getting in
> always went away and I could get into the transponder easily.
> - Descending passes have never been an issue for me. I could access the
> transponder at AOS and activate the transponder as low as 0.1 degrees
> elevation.
> - Downlink receive polarity seems to flip almost constantly or be equal at
> times.  I'm running a V or H antenna configuration (not RHCP or LHCP.)
> - Suspected reason is the spacecraft's spin rate has changed with it now in
> constant sun.
> - As a result I'm hearing some newer stations working AO-85 with handheld
> transceivers.  I've worked 2 new stations in the last 2 days who emailed me
> directly after the pass stating they were seeing some success with an HT.
> Thoughts/comments?
> 73
> Clayton
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