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AO-40 first day of transponder time.

Ed et al.

My station is fairly simple. On receive I am using an unmodified California
Amplifier converter model 31545 that is mounted on a plate with a 22 element
'washer' yagi mounted right to the converter box. This converter is labeled
having 32db conversion gain with a noise figure of 1.7 dB. I bought this
at a hamfest several years ago for $15. I mounted it to a small wooden
attached to a two foot high camera tripod. I do the aiming manually and feed
output of this converter via 30 feet of RG-59 to my Icom R-7000 where I
find the mid beacon at 123 MHz.

With this setup the beacon was consistently S-2 with an S0 noise level. I
that my receiver is the weaklink in my station but I was very surprised to
able to copy so many stations so well with such a simple receiving setup.

My uplink today was approx. 50 watts on 435 MHz.into a 30 element KLM linear
polarized yagi off pointed about 20 degrees due to it's being ground mounted
and being just too long to handle with the high elevation angle. It did
me to make 11 very enjoyable QSO on the very first day of transponder
operation on AO-40 though so I am very happy indeed.

I lashed the transmit antenna together this morning at 5 AM in the dark
I discovered that I could not even detect my downlink signal using my normal
terrestrial horizon pointed yagi.

Stations worked were:
1216Z     KA0YOS
1219Z     VE7BBG
1230Z     W5VZF
1238Z     K5OK
1241Z     KE7NS
1300Z     W4MVB
1309Z     W5ACM
1317Z     W4WSR
1326Z     W1BFN
1341Z     K9EK
1344Z     W4SM

All contacts were on SSB with the majority of the downlink signals peaking
The magnatorqueing pull of the downlink was very noticeable towards the end.
All in all a great day and a very historic one to boot.

Jeff Bishop, W7ID
AMSAT Life Member #1291

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