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DXCC on RS-12 OTH by N4ZC



I saw the e-mails of those curious of how Roger, N4ZC, was able to get DXCC
via RS-12.  So I sent him an e-mail and asked him if he would have time to
tell us about his adventures and what he did and allow me to post it to the
AMSAT-BB.  So as usual he responded promptly and below is what I received.
Enjoy & 73...

Rick Tilton
ARS - N4WYK
n4wyk@arrl.net
n4wyk@amsat.org
Foothills of NC APRS and Satellite Website
http://www.n4wyk.com

-----------------------------------------------------

Hi Rick,
It's been a long time, and it's been a long time since I've been on
RS-12. In fact I thought I had heard that they had done away with the K
mode on that bird. I got up to 116 countries on RS-12  K mode before I
gave up. It was getting really hard to find any new ones at that point.

It all started in 1993 when our DX club (Carolina DX Assn) came up with a
year long contest to see who could work the most number of band countries
in the year 1993. Satelitte was considered a band....it didn't matter
what bird, just satellite. I had never even heard of RS-12 when K2SD told
me about it and said I could pick up at least Canada and the U.S and
perhaps even a carribbean country or two. Since I had no kind of
satellite equipment, this would at least get me a few more band countries
for our club contest. The first day, in late Feb, I indeed picked up W,
VE and VP2V. It was 10 month later at the end of Dec that I worked RS-12
country #100, XF4CI. By the way, I ended up with 2074 band countries in
1993 to win the club contest....293 DXCC countries total that year.

My equipment was a bit above average so I could do it more easy than most
people. I used my old TS-830 to a big 6 el 15m beam (36' boom) at 100'.
For the downlink I used my TS-850 and a big 6 el 10m beam (36' boom) at
120'. These towers were 150' from tower to tower so I had no problem to
listen to myself on the downlink at all times. I could always tell if any
OTH pass was workable by hearing my own signal. This set up allowed me to
work just about every pass down to 3 to 5 degrees below the horizon. Some
passes more, a very few much, much more. I remember hearing myself on one
pass that came up from the south, passed over the North Pole and finally
faded out over Mongolia. It was 3 in the morning JT time so there wasn't
anyone on working the bird from over there, but god was I high hearing
myself over Mongolia.  A few times I heard myself over VK6, but never any
VKs. A good many times I heard myself as the bird came over the Drake
Passage between Antarctica and South America but could never find a VP8
on HF that I could talk into trying it with me.

The last 6 months of 1993 I was looking at 95% of the passes that came
within -5 deg of my QTH between 6 am and midnight and would make skeds at
any hour if it would get me a new country.  I guess it must have sounded
really funny to hear me in my very poor spanish trying to set up a 3:30
am sked with XF4CI but that made #100 worked on 29 Dec 1993.

There were times I couldn't hear the beacon but could hear myself come
back from the bird, so any time I could hear myself, on any pass,
anywhere, I was calling CQ satelite.

At the end of every pass over my QTH I was waiting on the uplink band on
21 mhz to explain to anyone why this crazy guy was calling CQ satelite on
15 meters, and to give it a try on their next pass. I spent hours and
hours passing out pass times from my quicktrack program to anyone that
wanted to give it a try.

I would send via the mail, blind copies of pass times when it would be
above the horizon for me and them and info on how to use RS-12 to DX
stations I knew were active on HF that I thought might give RS-12 a try.
I remember I missed the first evening pass one night cuz the wife dragged
me out to dinner, and when I got on for the second pass, K1FX called to
say OY9JD had been calling me on the first pass because of the info I
sent him via the mail. I worked him for a new one the next night.

LA8GV told me he was being sent to the weather station on Svalbard and
asked for a copy of quicktrack to use when he was up there. A few months
later, I got a LL call from Ola saying "are you ready of a JW contact on
RS-12"? He asked for an update on the keps, which I give him. A half hour
later he called back on LL to say it didn't seem to be working. He had
copied one number wrong. I was away from the house for an hour and when I
returned, my said, that guy from the top of the world called to say it
works now and he would see you on the next pass. The next pass, all three
minutes of it, came at 12:30 am. JW8GV in the log. I went to bed, 30
minutes later the telephone woke me up...it was Ola to say my card was
made out and in the mail...he was even more excited than I was.

There is an interesting story for almost every new RS-12 country. I
talked Jose CT1BOH into making a sked with only a 10 second window to his
PY0FM DXpedition.....The card's in my hand.  RS-12 DXCC isn't for the
faint of heart. It takes a lot of time and effort. ARRL tells me mine was
the first ever satelite DXCC on RS-12...John K1FX got the 2nd. I've heard
some others have also done it since then.

I'm retired and around the shack most of the time so e-mail me if you
want a sked on one of the HF bands to talk about it more. n4zc@juno.com
73 Roger



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