[amsat-bb] AO-73 QSOs on 0523 UTC pass tonight!

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Mon Nov 25 22:20:38 PST 2013


I was able to be in the yard for an AO-73 pass at 0523 UTC this evening. 
Following advice on which element set to use (2013-066B) and to go up
10 kHz higher than the originally published uplink, I was able to quickly
find myself and work a couple of stations from my yard in DM43bn. 
Angelo N5UXT in New Orleans (EM40) was my first QSO on this bird, then
Jack KC7MG south of me in DM42 called for his first QSO on the bird.
This was a high pass, maximum elevation of 72 degrees, covering much
of the continental USA at this late hour. There was some CW sweeping the
transponder, but I was able to stay around 145.965 MHz on the downlink
with nothing more than adjustments on my uplink frequency. High power 
is definitely not needed for this satellite.

My station was my usual portable all-mode setup - two FT-817NDs, Elk
handheld dual-band log periodic antenna. Transmitting at 5W, I could
hear myself early in the pass. I need to do better twisting the antenna at
both ends of the pass to have an easier time copying the downlink. At 
the midpoint of the pass, I cut my power down to 500mW. I could barely
hear myself, weak but readable. I will try the other two power levels the 
FT-817ND has on other passes, to get a better idea on how sensitive the 
satellite's uplink receiver is. I should also be able to hear the transponder
on my TH-F6A HT, my backup radio for satellite work.

I hope to publish a little video in the next day or so with the audio I 
recorded and photos I took. No rain tonight, but the temperature was 
around 50F/10C when I was on the radio.  My dog didn't want to stay
in the house while I was playing radio, so she ran around the yard.  I
will put a photo or two of her in the video.

Thanks to AMSAT-UK, AMSAT-NL, and everyone who worked to get 
FUNcube-1 (AO-73) in orbit and operational. Good night, and 73!


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