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FO-20 SSB Success at last!

This afternoon I finally made my first contact on FO-20 using sideband.  I worked Stan, W0IT, at 19:16Z using my Arrow antenna in my left hand, and my microphone in my right while I was set up in the back yard. The rig was my FT-726 at a whopping big ten watt pep output.  Thanks to Stan for forgiving my being off frequency with each transmission.  I did well to get close enough so he could find me and tune me in. 

Things I learned in finally getting the ssb contact:

1) I can zero myself by switching the transmit vfo to cw (or gasp! fm) while keeping the receive vfo on usb.  The key doesn't work that way, but the push to talk mic button will key the 726 just fine so I can work the PTT with the same hand I tune the transmit vfo with.  I just have to be sure to get the transmit (and not the receive) vfo back on lsb before I talk.

2) The arrow antenna elements get loose very easily.  If they are loose and I transmit on two meters while listening on 70cm, all I hear is a scratching sound and I can't tune anything in.  I know now to always tighten all elements before the satellite comes over.

I wouldn't recommend my configuration for regular ssb work on FO-20.  It is really frustrating.  But it can be done under the right conditions.

Dave W8IJ
Camp Hill, PA

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