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Re: AO-27/FD Lessons Learned

In a message dated 98-07-04 00:19:25 EDT, steve.diggs@totrbbs.radio.org

> What didn't work well was QRP. We were running 5 watts, and clearly were
>  getting trounced on. I hear Roy W0SL call, and also N8ULU in Michigan.
>  From the relative strength of other stations, a lot of other stations
>  were running MUCH more power.
>  So is that the deal? Is the old ham guide to run the lowest power to get
>  the job done out the door? If so, FB! I can run 50 watts just as well as
>  the next guy.
>  Maybe we need to revisit this power issue and think about experimenting
>  with QRP passes, just to see what's really required.

Hi Steve,

For some time now I've heard comments about stations on AO-27 running too much
power. With AO-27 you must remember that it is an FM bird much like the
repeater down the street. Its receiver will "capture" the strongest signal it
hears. If we were to all run QRP, it wouldn't help because there still will
always be someone who has a stronger singal perhaps because he's closer to the
bird, or aligns his antenna better etc.

I think there are 2 key issues to operating AO-27. #1 is to be a courteous
operator. Let others have a go at it. I always try and work an unfamiliar
callsign when I hear it. A lot of times it turns out to be that new satellite
guy with the "Arrow Antenna" in the backyard. #2 is to be able to hear the
satellite! The term Alligator is use for those that are "all mouth and no
ears". We've all heard them. As with any satellite groundstation, the receiver
is all important.

There are times when a high power AO-27 station can be beneficial. Field Day
is one example. There are so many people trying to get in that noone is making
it. One or two high power stations can make it through and pick out calls for
contacts. That's exactly what I did on Field Day. AO-27 was not a high
priority bird for our group. We made 13 contacts in two passes. What I did was
try and answer any call I heard to give out the points. Having the power to
get into the bird in this extreme situation let me gave 13 ops Field Day

Finally, I've made successful contacts on AO-27 with as little as 1/2 watt
into a 5/8 wave mag mount sitting on the ground and with that same 1/2 watt
and a rubber duck.

Hope this helps.

Mike, N1JEZ
AMSAT #29649
"A closed mouth gathers no feet."