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AO-10 Contact

Hi all.  I wanted to share with you an exciting contact I had today (the xyl 
just doesn't get excited about these things).  In between the SO-35 and AO-27 
pass, I took my new toy, a Yaesu VR-500 hand-held receiver, out in the back 
yard and listened to AO-10 near a perigee pass.  I was using an Arrow Antenna 
for the downlink.  Signals were 54 - 58 at 18,000 km.  Stations heard include 
KB4SVP, N7XX, W1BFN, and KE9NA.  

Following up on a suggestion the other day from Mike KF4FDJ, I thought I 
might try to make a portable contact.  I went in and got my FT-5100 dual-band 
mobile FM rig and a battery pack.  I have made several contacts on RS-13 in 
the last week using 2 m FM as quasi-CW, so what the heck...

Now, these mobile rigs only have 5 kHz tuning, so finding my downlink was the 
first challenge.  Once found, I called CQ around 145.892 (435.110 uplink) for 
about 15 minutes with no takers (it did sound pretty lousy--about 533).  Then 
while tuning around and listening to the USB chatter, I heard George W1ME 
signing off with KB4SVP... and using a PJ7 prefix!  He said he was going to 
go fishing now.  I knew I only had one chance.  I quickly changed my uplink 
to 435.100 and called W1ME several times by keying the PTT on the FM rig (35 
W output into the Arrow).  I was off frequency by about 1.5 kHz. I had a 
crappy sounding signal.  I was not even very strong.  But he heard me, 
recognized my call, and returned!  It was EXHILERATING!  I was so excited.  
It took me so long to calm down I missed the first 3 minutes of the AO-27 
pass :-)) 

Anyway, to make it short, a receiver smaller than a deck of cards, a 
run-of-the-mill dual-band FM mobile, a hand held antenna, and a new country.  
Like they say, I'd rather be lucky than good.
Jerry, K5OE
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