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AO-27 troubles [was: "Ok, so what's available in Mode A"]

   While not making it my life's ambition, I have tried several times to get on
   AO-27.  Just couldn't make it.  Nothing but wall-to-wall hello-hi-good
   days-greetings-how you doings and not even a short break.  I'm not being
   harsh, just factual from my experience.  If you want to be heard on AO-27 with
   any kind of reliability, you will need to have the power/antenna to get it.
   Anything else just isn't heard.  Maybe the week day passes are easier, but
   since I have a job I wouldn't know.

I'm only running 5W these days, and i agree, it's rough on weekends, and
particularly during transcontinental passes.  But i do make QSOs, even
across the country.  But it takes more skill than power.  Try a pass  
near/over the Pacific at 15-25 degrees.  I'll be happy to try to set up
a sked.  But you're right, there are alot of regulars calling each other,
i guess for activity points, and often it's hard to get word in edgewise.
Also, try towards the end of an overhead pass, as you'll probably be able
to work XE2YVW after folks north of you have lost the bird. 

And at least on weekdays, several excellent stations have been making
contacts on 1/2W, i believe with handheld antennas.  You will need uplink
gain on weekends, omni's may only work for you on weekdays.  But you
should be able to get through, 'cause the hard part is hearing the bird.
Let me know times when you'll be on and i try to call for you if i manage
to make the pass.
				-- KD6PAG

P.S.  For the time most smokers spend on their habit during working hours,
one should be able to do at least one decent AO-27 passe.  And during
daylight savings time, there are often passes during lunch hour.  (AO-27
is in a sun-synchronous orbit.)

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