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AO-40 S-Band Test

Good morning to all.

Tried some more experiments with the S2 beacon on AO-40 today with mixed
results.  Pass was not nearly as good as last Sunday.  I acquired the
beacon late.  Elevation was about 8 degrees and the squint angel was
around 30 degrees as indicated by IT and kep set #23.  The signal was
right in the noise when I first heard it using the same setup as last
Sunday.  I switched to the antenna with the conventional matching (vice
the grounded link match in the W0OQC design) and could not hear the
beacon at all.  After a couple of minutes the signal got a little
stronger and I could hear it with the conventional antenna but the
grounded match antenna was better.  I can't think of any reason for that
except that I just haven't gotten the other antenna matched correctly.  I
still don't have a way to adjust the match so I am trying to use the
"cook book" approach.  At a squint angle of about 35 degrees I switched
to a  LHCP antenna but heard nothing.  Just about the time I thought the
signal was getting stronger (somewhere between a squint angles of 38 and
40 degrees) I lost the signal.  I thought it happened as a result of
switching the cable between antennas but I never was able to hear the
signal again.  As I'm writing this I begin the think that maybe the trunk
of the medium sized oak tree in the front yard might have been there
culprit.  If so,  I gave up too quickly.  I need another shot at a little
better pass than we had this morning.

As a reminder, I am using a Drake converter with only the two IF coils
and caps removed followed by a down converter to ten meters.  No pre amp.
 I would appreciate hearing from anyone who copied the beacon this
morning concerning the strength of the signal.

73 de Jess - W4MVB
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