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SO-35 and UO-14 over VK 30/5/2000



Just a quick note to let everyone know both of these birds are still
doing an excellent job over VK.

The 08:29 SO-35 pass (voice) was excellent with many cross-Tasman
contacts made between VK and ZL.Also indicates that the reload of the
bird was successful. :-)

Worked 2 UO-14 passes, one around 10:45 and another around 12:25.  This
bird was surprisingly quiet on the first pass.  Usually there's a few
ZL  and east coast VK stations on these easterly passes, but all I
worked was a fellow VK3 who I was assisting with satellite operation
(he's just getting into it).  The second pass was a bit busier, with a
small number of VKs on the bird.  Unfortunately, most of the stations
had trouble hearing the downlink, so there were only two of us able to
talk for much of the pass.  

It is worth noting that the two of us who were able to work the pass
properly were very similar stations, running QRP handheld gear with
handheld beams pointed at the bird. It's all in the antenna and how you
use it. :-)

The UO-14 pass again proved that the verticals that most FM stations use
are simply not good enough for satellite operation, with their low angle
of radiation.  For Mode J birds, at least use an omni designed for
satellite work, such as a turnstile-reflector or eggbeater on the 70cm
side.  A beam, if possible, is much better again.
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