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Strange stuff on FO-20



Hi all,

Strange thing happened on FO-20 tonight.

Throughout this evening I've been working well on FO-20 from London into
Europe, the US and Canada.

At 22:45Z as the sat came over the horizon, I heard two voices working an FM
downlink on 435.854, but I couldn't make out what it was, other than it was
not English. I heard this briefly earlier this evening too on the start of
two previous passes from the east. Never heard it before tonight though.
This time I'd actually had the opportunity to switch to FM to see if I could
work out what it was.

Ignoring it, I started to call CQ on 435.450 (SSB) and about 10 seconds into
the CQ my downlink went dead. Assuming it was my station at fault I keyed up
a few local repeaters on 2m and 70cm to check I got the right S meter
readings, and all looked OK. The power out and SWR was showing normal too.

For about two minutes there was nothing across the passband downlink from
the satellite. Then at 22:47Z everything sprung into life again. Made three
QSO's into Spain, UK and Italy. All OK.

I heard a few weeks ago on the reflector that this sat's on it's way out,
but until tonight it's performed admirably and I've experienced no
degradation. Indeed, I find it the easiest and most reliable sat of them all
to use. It's a credit both to all who built it and those who control it.

Any ideas? Wild guess: maybe the high duty cycle FM uplink rebooted the sat?
Does FO-20 have a P3D Leila style middle finger? Any Ideas? Or is it the
twilight zone?

73 Howard G6LVB

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