[amsat-bb] Beacon?

R.T.Liddy k8bl at ameritech.net
Fri Jan 11 20:02:46 PST 2013

Tonight (1/12) while getting set up for an FO-29 pass I tuned down to the
Beacon Frequency 435.795 MHz. In spite of it being more than 5 minutes
before AOS, I heard a strong CW signal at around 435.790 MHz.
It was about 0214Z and there was a series of longish dashes and some
short pauses and finally a CW "XW", then quiet. The Doppler was quite
fast compared to what I hear from FO-29 and the signal was much stronger.
The signal had moved down to 435.788 MHz in a little more than a minute
and went quiet. I don't recall hearing a Beacon move frequency that fast,
so whatever was sending it must have been much lower than the Satellites
that we expect to be operational at this time.
At 0221Z when I began to hear FO-29's Beacon, it was significantly weaker
and the CW contained a lot of numbers. It never became anywhere near
as strong as the unknown Beacon.
When I did an Internet Search of Amateur Satellite Beacons, the only one
that I found near that frequency was FO-20. I couldn't find FO-20 listed in
SATPC-32 to run an Orbit Prediction to see if it could have been passing
overhead at that time.
So, I'm curious what Satellite that could have been which was so strong and
moving so fast above my QTH at EN91hq. Could FO-20 have come back to
Anyone have comments/thoughts/guesses about this?
TNX,    Bob K8BL

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