[amsat-bb] HM58 Christmas Op + Considerations

Pedro Sousa pedro at dutrasousa.name
Mon Dec 26 18:15:50 UTC 2016

Hi All,

First of all, thank you all for the QSOs on my trip to HM58. Being a
rare grid these days, I've done my best to keep up to you all. My
initial setup was a FT-857 and a portable home made V/U yagi. Eventually
my brother, CU7BC, lend me his TS2000 so I got upgraded to full-duplex.
It helped a lot, but not being computer assisted I was still floating
around the passband. The problems I face with my home made yagi were far
from over, but still we made it.

I've uploaded all QSOs as CU2ZG to LoTW and eQSL. The accurate grid was
HM58qm, and if you want a more accurate location, please look into
QRZ.com for CU7BC, my brother. All QSOs were established from his lawn.
Those wishing for a paper QSL please let me know. I've logged the
stations (below), so if I missed any please let me know - I took all
callsigns and times from my external recordings.

I couldn't pass this opportunity without adding a remark about over-power.

Being in the middle of nowhere I get to operate satellites when no one
else is on them, while those footprints are entirely over the ocean.
Having the full available power to myself is a great opportunity to
check theories, antennas and setups. Also great to check on satellite's
health, and all those other things only possible where urban noise is
virtually zero. I remember that at the AMSAT Symposium Clayton, W5PFG,
was shouting a quiz at us, and one of the questions was about APRS
satellites. He said that NO-44 digipeater was not entirely healthy, to
which I objected saying that if you find yourself alone on the footprint
you'd find that this particular satellite is still alive.

Having this said, there was no way I couldn't notice that there are some
stations, many (according to my standards), operating way too much power
on linear satellites.

When the satellite's footprint is over water I'm expecting no one but me
or a couple of station where island are seen. Being on an announced grid
expedition, 10kHz from the center frequency, I'd expect that people
would come on looking for me, or at least show up in an orderly fashion.
I was totally wrong.
Once the footprint hits the USA I get flooded by people calling CQ,
almost randomly - "is this frequency in use" still applies for
satellites? - More than half of them are using so much power that now I
can barely hear myself on the downlink. It reminded me of CQ contests
where you must squeeze yourself into a "safe" spot in the spectrum. My
best solution was to move away to some 20kHz from the center leaving my
skeds alone and looking around for me. Some never made it. Those
following me on Twitter found an angry twit of mine saying that "this is
not HF".
This past year using an omni antenna at my home station had me find some
passes where my downlink was nowhere to be found. I'm tempted, now, to
say that the problem was desense caused by over-power from other stations.

Please don't take this as a problem existing only in North America. I
got the same thing on European passes. I'm sure it happens all over the

The passband is a limited resource. The satellite is not infinite. Power
is not infinite. Use it wisely.

Thank you All for this Christmas op. It was great talking to friends again.

73 de CU2ZG
Pedro HM77fr (HM58qm on this op)

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