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AO-27 experiment


After reading (and writing as well) that one cannot work
AO-27 with the rubber duck antenna that comes with
handheld transceivers, I tried an experiment today.

This morning, there was a dead overhead pass (90
degrees max elevation) with relatively light satellite
usage because it was a weekday.  I got on AO-27
with my FT-50R handheld, a 2-watt battery instead
of the 5-watt battery I normally use, and the standard-
issue 7 inch (18 mm) rubber duck antenna.  My
estimated eirp was approximately one-half watt.  The
only concession I made to common sense was to
use a speaker-mike so I could move the radio
around more freely to follow the bird than if I had
to speak and listen without it.

The results: I worked four stations: NR3G, VA3JDH,
KA0OXY and WA2HKS/mobile.  

Admittedly, this experiment was conducted under
ideal conditions and after many, many failed
attempts when conditions were less than perfect.
I would not recommend this to others (or even to
myself) as a normal mode of operation.  On the
next pass, I'm going back to my 5-watt battery and

On the other hand, I learned a lesson: never
ever say that something won't work.  You CAN
make QSOs on AO-27 with a 2-watt HT and a
rubber duck -- just not many of them and not
very often!

73, Ray, W2RS

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