[amsat-bb] My Rookie Expedition to GN05/06
k.alexander at rogers.com
Wed May 25 01:52:19 UTC 2016
What a thrill it was to make my first ever contacts via satellite this
past weekend! This is something I've wanted to do since first hearing
the 10m downlink from OSCARs 6 and 7 on my HW-101 when I got my license
in 1974. It only took me 42 years to finally do it (that's about
average for me!).
I'm a mediumwave DXer and once or twice a year a few of my friends and I
head to the east coast to listen for trans-Atlantic DX on the AM
broadcast band. Conditions are spectacular from the coast; this past
weekend we heard multiple AM stations from Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay
and throughout Europe. We use an SDR receiver, which allows us to
record every station on the entire mediumwave band simultaneously to a
hard disk on a notebook computer. We do that several times an evening.
Afterwards, we can play back the recordings and "tune" through the band,
use filters and other aids just as if we were listening live. It
literally takes weeks to go through all the recordings.
Anyway, I am also a sometimes VHF contester and when I had a look at the
grid we would be in, and the ones nearby, I knew it was time to get
geared up and try and make a small contribution. I received many
generous offers of assistance when I posted my message to this reflector
last week. I'm grateful for all of them; most notably from Drew
Glasbrenner, KO4MA and Patrick Stoddard , WD9EWK. Patrick walked me
through the critical setup of my TH-D72A, which was only 3 days old when
we left for Nova Scotia. Patrick was only an e-mail away for the rest
of the weekend, offering valuable advice. Without him there would have
been no expedition.
I think I already mentioned how much time I spent calling on the
downlink frequency. That was finally overcome sometime on Sunday
morning. My technique improved to the point where I could use the tip
of the 70cm reflector to hit the VFO A/B button on the radio instead of
putting the antenna down to use my fingers. I went from zero QSOs on
Saturday, to two on Sunday to nine QSOs on Monday! Logs follow:
2016-05-22 1324 UTC W1PA FN42 SO-50 from GN05 Satellite QSO #1!!
2016-05-22 1505 UTC KI4RO EM88 SO-50 from GN06
2016-05-23 0521 UTC N8HM FM18 SO-50 from GN05
2016-05-23 0522 UTC N4UFO EM95 SO-50 from GN05
2016-05-23 1210 UTC VY2HF FN86 SO-50 from GN06
2016-05-23 1349 UTC N1AIA FN43 SO-50 from GN05
2016-05-23 1349 UTC WN9Q EN64 SO-50 from GN05
2016-05-23 1349 UTC KD8ATF FM09 SO-50 from GN05
2016-05-23 1349 UTC KC1EXK FN41 SO-50 from GN05
2016-05-23 1349 UTC W1PA FN42 SO-50 from GN05
2016-05-23 1349 UTC VY2HF FN86 SO-50 from GN05
2016-05-23 1349 UTC NS3L Only partial information received
My home grid is FN03. I think that must be pretty common by now, but
there are many that I suspect aren't so common that are only a few hours
away. After my first taste of satellite work I can tell you that you
will hopefully be hearing a lot more from VE3HLS!
Thanks to all of you for your encouragement and patience!
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