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Chit-chat on AO-27 [Was: FN45 on AO-27]

   I will try and stay for the third AO-27 pass at 1729 UTC. This will only be 9
   degrees of elevation, so I'll only have a 3-5 minute window due to terrain.

You definitely did better than 3-5 mintes; fine job, Mike.  Good signal
from Vermont into Califonia.  Alas, there was alot of chit-chat, so i
don't think we made contact.

Unfortunately, some folks appear to forget that AO-27 is single-user and
not a 'passband' bird.  The other thing that may not be considered is that
even 5W into an AO-10 class antenna is enough to take out most other users,
especially QRP stations.  I can take out the interferencing 2 meter Mexican
terrestrial stations easily with 5W into a homebrew antenna similar to an
'Arrow' (and sometimes even with a long rubber duck using a chain link
fence as a reflector).  It just doesn't take much power to get into AO-27.
So we all need to be careful and courteous if this class of satellite is
going to be useful to the amateur community.  And also be tolerant of each
other's mistakes from time to time.

Now, this isn't a problem on most passes, but it seems to come up sometimes 
on transcontinental passes and on weekends.  This is to the point that some
people that i approach for skeds to uncommon states/grids are sometimes
reluctant to even try that on AO-27.  Unfortunately, if they only have
weekends to operate, they are not being unreasonable about that attitude.

I don't know if this is a problem on the East Coast or overseas, but if
the 'locals' out West could restrain tendencies towards ragchewing on
transcontinental passes, it would be greatly appreciated.  Pacific passes
aren't usually a problem out here (except occasionally on weekends).  But
those passes where unusual stations are likely to be on do sometimes have
problems.  The really annoying part of this is that it discourages such
stations from returning if it's hard to make QSOs due to crowding or
ragchewing.  This makes it even more frustrating to miss one of those
stations, since you might not get a second chance (and not all of them
have e-mail to request a retry).

PLEASE, no one take this personally.  I can't think of many 'regulars'
who don't chat from time to time.  We just need to be conscious of when
this is good and when this is bad.  It's just frustrating when one or two
of us forget and/or have difficulty balancing personal politeness with 
being polite to other users of the bird.

			-- KD6PAG  (Networking Old-Timer, RF newbie)
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