[amsat-bb] Re: The Ham Radio Bucket List

Michael Hatzakis lists at hatzakis.net
Sun Apr 14 19:37:13 PDT 2013

What a great story, thanks so much for sharing this.  What an awesome
concept, a "ham radio bucket list"...  I need to write one...

Oh yeah, I take issue with just one comment, " I wasted 35+ years on HF", HF
is also awesome, and fueled my excitement in Ham radio.... but in a
different way, so hope you really didn't mean that one...

Michael K3MH

-----Original Message-----
From: amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org [mailto:amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org] On
Behalf Of Les Rayburn
Sent: Saturday, April 13, 2013 11:12 PM
To: amsat-bb at amsat.org
Subject: [amsat-bb] The Ham Radio Bucket List

I've been a ham well over 40 years, since my childhood. Back then, I could
barely afford the Heathkit transmitter, Halicrafters receiver, knife switch,
and longwire antenna that made up my shack.

My elmer used to let me borrow his copy of QST and I'd dream about all the
great adventures that I'd have "someday" in ham radio. Being a child of the
Space Age, key among them were anything related to the New Frontier.

EME (Moonbounce), Meteor Scatter, and satellites all seemed like the stuff
of science fiction---and I longed to experience them all. But they were
exotic, and required equipment far beyond my reach. I resolved to accomplish
them all someday and added them to a sort of ham radio "bucket list" that I
hoped to accomplish before my ham career was over.

Five years ago, shortly after getting started in weak signal VHF work, I
checked off the first item on that list. Working meteor scatter contacts
with the aid of WSJT software, and during a Perseid shower, even using SSB.
What a thrill to make contacts off the ionized gasses of those tiny rocks.
Thanks Joe Taylor!

Tonight, I managed to check off a second. I worked Art, K4YYL on FO-29, a
Japanese amateur satellite!

My journey to the "birds" started about a month ago when I joined AMSAT,
determined that 2013 was going to be "the year" when I finally got active on
satellites. I purchased a copy of SATPC32 software, because I knew that it
could control my IC-910H--hopefully making it easier to get active.

After listening to a few passes on both the FM and the SSB/CW birds, I
decided to try my luck on the less-crowded FO-29. A brief CQ was quickly
answered by Art. I adjusted the tuning knob just a bit to correct for the
Doppler effect, and voila! there he was clear as a bell.

We had a brief QSO of perhaps ten minutes or so, and then we signed. I was
quickly called by K4FEG near Memphis in EM55---who just wanted to welcome me
to the birds!

Man, what a thrill! And it wasn't tough at all.

I'm using a 7 element 432 antenna tilted up to 15 degrees (fixed) and a
6 element 2 Meter beam tilted up to about 10 degrees (fixed) both inside my
crowded attic. The SSB Electronics pre-amp helps a ton on 432, and the 1/2"
hardline makes sure that I don't lose too much signal. So far, I've been
able to copy the birds down to about 2 degrees above the horizon using this

Now to attempt that EME contact! I've got a 12 element Yagi just waiting to
deploy in the driveway once the weather warms a bit. Hoping to use WSJT to
work one of the monster stations on EME. All this in a deed-restricted HOA

I wasted 35+ years on HF----man, all the fun really is in the World Above 50
MHz! Thanks for helping to make a boys dreams come true at age 51!


Les Rayburn, N1LF
121 Mayfair Park
Maylene, AL 35114

6M VUCC #1712
AMSAT #38965
Grid Bandits #222
Southeastern VHF Society
Central States VHF Society Life Member
Six Club #2484

Active on 6 Meters thru 1296, 10GHz & Light

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