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RE: We Dig Four All My Gold

> Thanks for your "two cents."  I, too, have spent nearly 30 
> years on HF--much
> of it as a casual or semi-serious DX'er, so I can appreciate 
> your comments on
> the similarities and differences.

I've done more VHF/UHF myself, and there are also similarities and
differences with terrestrial repeater operation.  FM satellites combine the
best and worst aspects of FM repeate roperation in a way that can lead to
extreme channel congestion.  To save a long winded outline, those interested
are welcome to read my piece on FM satellite etiquette ("Satiquette") at

> I heard the HP1 pass, too, and it was bedlam.  Yes, it would have been
> courteous for the other guy to stand by and see if the HP1 
> was going to
> respond.  The difference, though, is that the fella who 
> interrupted you at
> least made a contact.  "All My Gold" probably made none.  I 

Still, one would like to think that they gave a second or two's break in
case the other station answered, otherwise you could end up with an endless
dogpile of people calling and the replies getting squashed.  I had occasion
to pass comment on a couple of people on a UO-14 pass who kept coming over
the top of everyone else there during the pass.  A quick remark about
listening to the downlink (without mentioning names) got the desired result,
and one of the offending stations also got to work a few others that were on
the side, which was a good result in the end.

> operate UO-14
> with an HT and 19 in. flexible antenna--basically a long 
> rubber duckie--and

I used to operate like that.  Now I use a handheld beam.

> can hear myself for at least a short time on almost every 
> pass I attempt, but
> only make solid contacts when everyone stands by for a moment 
> or two like
> this morning.

Now that I'm one of the stronger stations (basically second only to those
base stations with full satellite setups), I tend to look out for weak QRP
stations like you operate nd try and give them a go.

> It's pretty tough to share one FM channel that is available to any one
> station for no more than 15 minutes, given FM's "capture 
> effect," etc.  I
> think the gang does a pretty credible job of sharing the 
> channel much of the

Well, one can't expect miracles.  There is going to be a lot of congestion
and a few dogpiles.

> 20 meters.  Nonetheless, the FMSats demonstrate an amazing technical
> accomplishment, and give us the opportunity to push the 
> envelope of what one
> can do with hand held radios and small antennas.

Indeed, I encourage people to have a go with handheld rigs (the other night,
I got someone up with 500mW from their VX-1R into SO-35!).

> >>I was always under the opinion that a Special Event Station 
> or new DX would
> somewhat take precedence of a pass (and let as many stations 
> as possible work
> them).  I mean...it's not like it happens all that often. I 
> fully realize
> that a Special Event or DX isn't everyone's cup-of-tea...but 
> what about
> standing by for a minute or two for those of us who would 
> like to work them.
> Is that asking too much?? After all, you can always say hello to your
> buddies on subsequent passes.<<
> I may get to test this one late this summer.  I'm tentatively 
> planning a few
> days in Las Vegas on my way home from my niece's wedding on 
> the West Coast.
> I'll see whether people stand by for my HT and duckie when 
> I'm handing out a
> relatively rare state. (Well, it's rarer than Brooklyn, anyway!)

Well, I have had the pleasure of operating a special event station on SO-35
and UO-14, and down here, the operators, both new and old were excellent, to
say the least.  We have a pretty good bunch on the birds down this way ATM.
The only blemish is that bloody idiot who insists dropping carriers on UO-14
on every evening pass!  Never heard a callsign from this drongo, just
carriers and the odd "aaah  aaah".  Maybe he can't hear his downlink (hmm,
in that case, why doesn't he work on his rx?), or just one of those idiots
looking to play power games on something "bigger" than a terrestrial
repeater.  If he at least gave a callsign, I may be able to look him up and
send an email with a few tips and a signal report (and hope he does manage
to work the bird at a later stage).
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