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Re: RS-12 OTH QSOs


Excellent story and well written.  I got the RS-12 bug about 10 years ago
and worked quite a few stations with a 16 element long boom 2 meter yagi and
3 element 10 meter beam.  It was always a thrill to hear the beacon come up
out of the noise when Instantrak said it should.  I never did make W.A.S.
but I was trying.  Unfortunately I ended up taking a 9 year hiatus from Ham
Radio to finish college and get the career going.  I'm glad to say I'm back
on the air working on getting an AO40 station going, and glad to hear RS12
is still kicking.


Ron, NR8O

----- Original Message -----
From: "Frank A Cahoy" <k0blt@juno.com>
To: <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
Cc: <N4ZC@juno.com>
Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2002 5:38 PM
Subject: [amsat-bb] RS-12 OTH QSOs

> Greetings to all,
> I've been following the RS-12 OTH thread with great interest..  Here is
> my 2 cents worth.
> One Saturday I was surfing the 15 m. HF band but finding DX pickings very
> scarce.  That was in late Jan. 1994, the bottom of the then current
> cycle.  I heard Roger, N4ZC calling CQ satellite.  I had never hear of
> anyone using any HF band for satellite work so I  naturally thought that
> Roger had gone off the deep end.  My satellite Elmer, Joe, K0VTY was a
> former neighbor when I lived in Eastern NE.  I recalled all the VHF/UHF
> aluminum that he had to work the birds.  Not knowing that Roger was fully
> duplex in his RS-12 efforts I gave him a simplex call on his 15 m. up
> link freq.  He asked me to stand by until LOS (I had no idea what LOS
> meant.) and he'd explain all this craziness to me.  Suffice to say that
> when Roger finished his explanation of RS-12 and Mode K, I was more than
> eager to give it a try.  He told me that the nearest city he could find
> to me was Denver, CO.  (My QTH is in far Western NE., DN81kq)  Roger gave
> the pass times for several days and about an hour later I had my first
> ever satellite QSO with Ray in CA. in the log book.  I actually made
> three different Qs on that pass, WA6OWM, Ray, KD6WW, Bruce and W7ZMD,
> Nick.  I was hooked!!  After the pass times that Roger had given me were
> used up with at least 15 different stations in the log I had to make a LL
> call to my Elmer, K0VTY.  When I told him what I'd been up to for the
> past couple of days his first comment to me was, "What took you so
> long??"  I didn't even own a computer and I certainly didn't know what a
> tracking program was so I had to impose on Joe to send me some hard copy
> printouts for the next several weeks pass times.   By the time I'd been
> on RS-12 for a few weeks I had an idea that just perhaps I could work WAS
> on this bird.  BTW, I was using my TH-5 Tri- Bander and a barefoot FT-890
> to work RS-12 at this point in time.  I had been an ardent HF DXer since
> 1960 but had never claimed a WAS certificate.  Doing it via satellite
> seems much more of an accomplishment than on HF.  I worked all 50 states
> within several months but getting a QSL from Utah was another story!!
> Nevertheless, by the summer of 1995 I had a WAS certificate hanging on my
> shack wall with an Oscar endorsement!!  All done via RS-12.
> Of course, with K0VTY as an Elmer the next "suggestion" was why not give
> Mode A and RS-10 a try?  By then I had a computer and InstantTrack
> installed thereon.   I found an old TS-700 all mode 2 m. radio and got up
> a two meter 3 el. Yagi and got  hooked on Mode A almost instantly.  Then
> came RS-15 on Mode A but the same equipment that worked RS-10 was not up
> to working that bird effectively.  More elements on 2 m. (A Cush Craft 13
> ele. Yagi.) and a pre-amp for the 10 m. down link.  My first Europeans
> followed  the satellite station upgrade.  Dave, G4CUO and I quickly
> became good friends often working each other on three or four consecutive
> passes.  Never anything that resembled a ragchew but several minutes of
> good communications.  I believe my best DX via RS-15 would have to be
> I4KDR.  I would never have had more than a minute or two of window with
> Italy.
> My first OTH experience with RS-12 was with K2MHJ who liven in MS.  He
> and I had worked many times when we had a mutual window.  One afternoon
> Bill gave me a LL call saying that he could hear the RS-12 beacon but the
> bird was down over ZL land.  We set up a sked to try and work each other
> OTH.  We tried for the best part of 15 or 20 minutes and we finally made
> an intelligible QSO on CW when the bird was just coming up on the
> southern tip of South America.  Exciting, yes!!  My next OTH QSO was with
> KH6.  The station in Hawaii was about 20 degrees below the horizon while
> I was in the actual footprint of RS-12.  In the meantime I had received
> an SWL report of my signal being heard in GW via RS-12.  I had never been
> able to make an actual European OTH QSO.  That all changed in Jan. of
> 2000.  I was hearing the RS-12 beacon very well when the bird had moved
> over the North Pole and was edging up on Central Europe so I gave out
> with a CQ DX on CW and who should answer me but Dan, OK1DIG.  I was
> ecstatic to say the least.  A similar rush to working a brand new HF DXCC
> country after hours of being in the thick of a pileup.  The only
> disappointing part was the fact that a follow up e-mail from Dan told me
> that a UA9 was also calling me after I'd signed with him.  By then the
> bird was about 60+ degrees below the horizon and the beacon was no longer
> audible.  Over the next several weeks I also had the good fortune of
> working SM7WSJ and IK5NZT via RS-12, OTH.  My total country count on
> RS-12 stands at 42.  My total satellite country count stands at 81 so
> more than half of all the countries I've managed to work toward satellite
> DXCC have been worked on LEO birds!!
> It's been a wonderfully exciting ride and now my main focus is getting up
> on AO-40.  All things taken into consideration I should accomplish that
> feat by this coming spring.  I know that this is a rather lengthy BB
> posting but the OTH thread was something I can so easily relate to.  I
> hope that I've not wasted your time as well as mine.  I'll look forward
> to working many of you soon on Oscar-40.
> 73 to all.  Frank, K0BLT
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