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RE: Newbie Q & A



> How come the real issue is NEVER talked about, when it comes to simple
> operations, with "Basic" equipment? you can work AO-27 with 5 
> watts, 2 on
> an overhead pass, I think you could work uo-14 on.5 watt. but 
> the difficulty
> lies in everyone pushing 50-100 watts into these birds, so 
> the guy with a HT
> and whip is talking into the wind

Umm, come down here one day.  I _have_ worked it on 0.25W into a 5/8, and I
estimate I could go down another 10dB on a good pass!

It's amazing what one can do when there's little QRM. (hmm, maybe I should
start selling satellite DXpeditions to VK? :) ).

> --- snip ---
> 
> Too true, at least in Europe and North America. However, the guy was 
> writing from VK, and down in this radio quiet part of the 
> world you really 
> can do it with a few watts. People do.

And regularly.  A lot of the VK operators are using handheld gear, or simple
base stations (several watts into a vertical or turnstile).

> However, I would say that the greatest problem is not those 
> with high power 
> transmitters, but those with poor receiving systems. In 
> Europe, I often 
> heard stations calling CQ on UO-14 (59 sigs) who were in turn 
> unable to 
> hear the station who responded.

This is a big problem here as well.  Someone calls CQ with a nice signal,
you reply, and no response - or worse, they call CQ and QRM the station
you're working.  We have to keep hammering the education angle.  However,
down here (from the Sunsat days), I have noticed that mode B suffers much
less from this problem, because the 2m downlinks are so much stronger, and
the uplink power on 70cm is less effective (giving portable stations who use
a bit of antenna gain a better chance).  I used to be one of the major
stations on SO-35, and that was 3.5W uplink on 70.  The difference was that
I was using an antenna pointed at the bird. :-)
> 
> Stranger still, were those stations who whistled into the 
> mic, while they 
> (presumably) tuned up and down the band looking for their 
> signal. UO14 is 
> never silent over Europe - even if there weren't countless 
> hams calling, 
> there are still the illegally equipped Portuguese fishing 
> boats working 
> simplex on the input frequency.

Well, we still get thos here, as you have no doubt heard during our UO-14
passes. :)  And we have Asian QRM (dunno how much of that you hear in ZL,
but any pass west of here will cop it for several minutes when the bird is
north of us).
> 
> Poor operator practice is, in my observation, a far greater cause of 
> problems than simply high power.

Yes, operational techniques count for a lot.

> My advice to those frustrated by trying to work UO14? Go 
> somewhere else - 
> there are other satellites. I stopped bothering with UO14, 
> and made myself 
> busy with FO20 and FO29, RS12, and occasionally AO27

The SSB birds are much better in high density areas.  Here, you're likely to
have to ring someone up to get acontact on them. :-(  RS-13 is performing
well in Mode T, and I can even get into it, but so far, nothing worked. 
> 
> Alternatively, you could move down here to ZL, and work OU14 
> from your 
> handheld, with flat batteries.

VK isn't a bad option either, and a few mW into a bit of wet string might
bag you a couple of contacts. :-)

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