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PJ8 Sint Maarten

PJ8 was active on UO-14 today. I worked them at 1547 UTC.

This is N1MEZ and W1CX's first ever satellite contacts. I talked with them on 
the phone after the pass and they were like two kids in a candy shop! They 
will be making a couple of changes in their setup. Right now they have the 
Arrow antenna on a tripod on the balcony outside their room. All the radio 
gear is inside to try and maintain a "low profile". During this pass, they 
were aiming the antenna solely by time and compass. The have a headphone 
spiltter with them, so I suggested that they hook it up and put the 70 cm 
receive radio outside with the Arrow so they'd have visual (S meter) and 
audible cues for alignment. The operator inside only needs a headset. 
Hopefully this will help them be more effective.

They are also trying to work RS-15. Their problem is they can't hear their 
downlink as they transmit. (same radio). My feeling was this wasn't a huge 
problem because of the very light, if any traffic on RS-15. I set them up 
with a frequency pair that will put them around 29.380. They will be 
transmitting in CW, and not moving their uplink and then listening +/- 3Khz 
or so of 29.380  They have heard W2RS on the bird, so we only hope they have 
enough ERP to get into the bird.

RS-13 presents a bigger problem because they can't hear themselves. The 
chances of them clobbering someone's QSO is much higher. I'm working on a 
frequency pair for them. They will be on SSB on this bird.

We're also working on getting them on AO-10. They will try to run CW during 
some perigee passes using their FM HT and Arrow as an uplink. Not pretty, but 
I think they can do it. They are both accomplished CW ops. Because of 
separate radios, they will be able to hear themselves, but are limited to 5 
kHz steps on the uplink.

They have discover that there is some blockage from their balcony. They can't 
see further west than 290 degrees so if you can load a "second observer" into 
your tracking program you'll know when they will disappear due to the 
"beaming into the building" effect :-}.

Mike, N1JEZ
AMSAT #29649
Local Area Coordinator
"A closed mouth gathers no feet."
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