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Wow! AO-10 on a shoestring

I know I posted some comments a while back about the EIRP required for
succesful AO-10 work, but I don't want that to discourage people from trying
with more modest hardware.  Over the last two nights I have succesfully worked
SSB stations, including Tom, WB4FWQ both nights, with only 10 watts and 6 dBi
antennas for both uplink and downlink.  The first time it was a mistake--I
didn't realize I had my mode J antennas hooked up.  Tonight I tested it again
to make sure it wasn't a fluke.

Here are the conditions:  the sat is low, under 15 degrees, and close, less
than 12,000 km out, and the other op has more typical antennas (40CX, etc.).
My station is 10 watts out into 25 meters of 9913 to a 4-el antenna (2 hor, 2
vert) fixed for RHCP and at 30 degrees elevation.  I estimate EIRP at 30
watts!  The receive is a similar antenna and coax with NO preamp.  My copy on
Tom was only 42 with QSB, but certainly good enough.  As a comparison, on my
regular AO-10 antenna he is usually armchair copy 57.

Anyway, all you ops out there with terrestial antennas that thought you
couldn't work AO-10:  1) get W4SM's latest keps, 2) look for a low, close pass
(hurry, they don't last long), 3) give me a call.

Jerry, K5OE
Houston, TX, EL29

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