[amsat-bb] Re: "Norm" on FO-29

Dave WØDHB dave at w0dhb.net
Fri May 24 06:59:57 PDT 2013


I worked him right after you and can confirm your QSO

Norm N3YKF/OA4 in FH18 just north of Lima Peru.

Dave W0DHB

-----Original Message-----
From: amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org [mailto:amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org] On
Behalf Of Les Rayburn
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2013 12:33 AM
To: AMSAT Mailing List
Subject: [amsat-bb] "Norm" on FO-29

Have you ever had one of those days?

We're at T -10 days and counting to the wedding of my only daughter,
Samantha, and the stress is starting to get to me. Tonight, I had a delivery
at the house, just as the pass for FO-29 started. I could hear the driver
honking his horn outside the garage door, just as I heard a station calling
CQ on the bird.

I went back to the station, "M3Y slash something"...hmm...strange callsign.
Didn't quite catch it. But no worries, I always use a small digital recorder
to catch all the audio from passes. Haven't quite mastered adjusting the
rotor, twisting the RIT knob, keying the mic, and logging all at the same

Certain that the recorder would capture the details, I proceeded with the
contact. "QRZ, QRZ this is N1LF EM63 QRZ".

Hey wait, he's coming back to me. What's that he's saying, "Try it again,
N1LF". I repeated my call and grid square. The station came right back
again, "Try it one more time. Are you on the right sideband?", A wave of
panic set in. I glanced at the knobs on the IC-910. Was I on the right
sideband? What was that callsign again? Where the heck is that? South
America, maybe!!??

I repeated my callsign---he came right back. "OK, now I got you". He sent
his grid square too, but the bird rotated, and I missed it. I doubted the
recorder had it either--so I asked for repeat. I noticed other stations were
quickly calling the DX too. He calmly repeated his grid square and I sent a
quick "73".

The horn outside honked again--breaking me from my euphoria. I scribbled a
quick note of the time; 04:05 UTC. No problem, I'll get the rest from the
recorder when I'm done with the delivery.
I yanked the headphones, and listened as other stations worked "Norm". 
They all seemed excited to log a rare grid. I was proud of myself for
finding him early in the pass, before the pileup had started.

"Maybe this rookie can show these space jockey's a thing or two" I thought,
in my self-assured inner voice. I greeted the driver with a big smile and
firm handshake.

An hour later, I plugged the recorder into my computer's USB port, and
opened the file in Sound Forge, ready to play back the pass, and fill in my
log. Alas, you can guess the ending to my sad tale of woe. I had neglected
to plug in the splitter cable!!! The entire file was completely BLANK!

So, I hate to ask, but I decided to swallow my pride and see if the gang
could help me solve this mystery. Who did I work, and where the heck was he?
Gotta get automatic rotor control working and start writing stuff down.

Serves me right for being cocky. Despite the setback, I'm still having fun
learning the birds.

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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