[amsat-bb] Hector CO6CBF EL92

John Papay john at papays.com
Wed Apr 27 10:59:53 PDT 2011

Hector, CO6CBF, made his first satellite QSO back on
January 27th, 2011 on the AO-51 satellite.  He didn't
have much help getting started but he read and built an
antenna and made that contact after he could successfully
hear others on the satellite.

I've only worked 3 Cuban stations, CO8TW in FL20, CO5LU in EL93
and Hector CO6CBF in EL92.  EL92 is rare.  I did not have it and
neither did KO4MA, K6YK or NI7P/exN7SFI.  I sent the card to
Hector before I did any research on the mail issues.  It turns
out that mail from Cuba to the USA has been suspended by the
Cuban government due to delays with our TSA screening incoming
mail.  Cuba feels that this delay is unacceptable.  You would
think that mail from the USA to Cuba would be refused also but
that is not the case.  Hector reported being very surprised to
receive a card from me with an IRC in tact. The mail from the
USA to Cuba works.  Sending IRC's is acceptable.  Green stamps
would not be acceptable.

Now the problem was how to return cards from Cuba to the USA.
Hector has friends that live in the US but visit Cuba from time
to time.  He was finally able to send a number of cards back with
his friend and they in turn mailed them to me for distribution.

There are 75 QSL cards in the mail now from Hector, CO6CBF.  Just
two of them are in envelopes received by Hector, however, he reports
that since that time, he has received several envelopes from the US.

There were a few cards with incorrect callsigns.  I did my best to
determine the intended recipient but there may be some errors on my
part.  If you get a card addressed to you for a contact you made with
Hector but your callsign is wrong, simply send a card to him and he
will send one back via the above mentioned process.  Be patient.

Please remember that Hector's first language is not English.  If he gets
your callsign wrong, it is likely due to your not using phonetics.  There
is no need to discuss phonetics; just use them when making a QSO with Hector.

The QSL cards are smaller than the standard QSL, 3-1/2" x 5-1/2".  That is
because the only printer that Hector has right now will not print that
size.  He is trying to fix another printer that will allow the full size
card to be printed.

Hector has shared his plans for future satellite grid operations.  He
will be trying to activate every grid in Cuba and may do some water grids
as well.  His biggest problem right now is a portable UHF radio. He has
2 meter portables but nothing to take on the road for UHF.  It is unfortunate
that we cannot send him a radio due to restrictions, however, other countries
like Canada and Mexico could.  If there is anyone outside the US that has
a UHF portable that would cover the satellite band and would like to help
Hector, please consider sending it to him.  He is trying to
build a uhf to 2meter downconverter that could be used with a 2m HT but the
outcome is unknown.  Anything you build for UHF receive has to be very
sensitive as satellites run very low power.  An HT would be the best

So if you are one of the lucky 73 who gets a QSL card from Hector, unsolicited,
please take the time to make one out and return it to him.  He is trying to
get his VUCC and it's a lot more difficult for him than it is for us.  An
IRC always helps.  Please do not send cards to me.

Thank you Hector for getting on the birds from Cuba.  You have given many of
us a new grid as well as a new DXCC entity!

John K8YSE

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