[amsat-bb] New AO-7 Distance Record?

Dave Swanson dave at druidnetworks.com
Sun Sep 6 20:03:00 UTC 2015

Hey all,

I'm currently on my laptop at a wifi hotspot in the bustling metropolis 
of Mena, Arkansas, so please excuse my brevity and any grammatical errors.

Yesterday at 1812UTC I made a scheduled contact with Manuel, EA5TT, 
using AO-7 Mode B, from the old US Forest Service Fire Tower on top of 
'Rich Mountain' here in extreme western Arkansas. My 10 digit grid 
locator was EM24UQ01MU while Manuel is located in IM99SL48CX, in 
Valencia, Spain. Using the http://no.nonsense.ee/qth/map.html website 
for reference, this equates to 7947.381km which we believe to be a new 
record for AO-7 Mode B.

Like several of my extreme low elevation passes I've worked recently, I 
captured my side of the QSO on video. The bad news is that the wind on 
top of the tower, and limited room to operate meant a noisy audio feed 
and a rather awkward camera angle, the good news is our callsign, grid, 
and signal exchange was captured and clear. I have trimmed down the 
video to just the 70 seconds or so (to expedite the rural upload) of the 
contact and posted it to Youtube here:


I fully plan on writing a more extensive post when I return from the 
holiday weekend, and I will likely make a proper video with commentary 
and data as well. I've made some really interesting observations when it 
comes to Satellite operating from places with great 'Height Above 
Average Terrain' and look forward to sharing this analysis with everyone.

Until then, catch you all on the birds, 73!

-Dave, KG5CCI/P

On 9/6/2015 1:36 PM, John Papay wrote:
> From the OPDX Bulletin 1230 September 7, 2015:
> BIRD DISTANCE RECORD! [Possible New Distance Record on the AO-7 
> Satellite].
> Dave, KG5CCI, operating portable on a mountain in Grid EM24UQ worked 
> in Grid IM99SL on September 5th at approximately 1812 UTC on the AO-7
> satellite in Mode B (U/V). The distance according to Tiny Locator was
> 7931km. The high elevation in EM24 made it possible to exceed the 
> theoret-
> ical 7900km maximum range for AO-7. AO-7 was launched in 1974 and went
> silent in 1981. It came back to life in 2002 and now operates when in
> sunlight from its circular 1450km orbit. Congratulations to Dave and
> Manuel!
> You can read the OPDX Bulletin edited by Tedd KB8NW on
> http://www.papays.com/opdx.html  New issues come out every
> Sunday evening.
> 73,
> John K8YSE
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