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Simple AO-40 operation and a question

With the combination of low ranges and low squint angles, the current
excellent operating conditions on AO-40 have produced some extremely good
signals with low power and small antennas.

On Saturday using my L-band uplink I had trouble getting my through signal
low enough to meet the recommended 10dB below the beacon level. I was using
less than 10W to a 26 element linearly polarised yagi.

The best part of the satellite pass for me was working F/HB9RM who was using
a 5/8 vertical for the uplink. His signal was not strong and we had to use CW,
but the contact was made. Unfortunately I did not copy his power output, and I
think I copied his downlink antenna as being a 30 element yagi, or something
similar. The reason for the lack of detail was QRM from another station rather
close to our frequency. The satellite passband sounded just like 20m, complete
with appropriate QRM levels.

This leads me to a question, why people don't spread out more ? The passband below
the beacon is usually empty, I think people have the AO-10/13 mentality built
into them. Perhaps with any new satellites, the beacon should be placed at the
bottom of the passband. With my planned expedition to HB0 (more details later)
I intend to operate *below* the beacon in order to get away from the QRM found
on a busy passband at weekends.

Jonathan  HB9DRD/G4KLX
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