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Orbit 404 activity report and station notes de NX7U



A good evening on AO-40 last night (16/17 Sept UTC).

First, a little experiment:
I started monitoring for the beacon right at AOS (21:54Z, MA101.1) here
in Arizona.  
	RX: 2' solid dish on 2m high tripod in backyard, set at 7deg elev (at
hpbw)
		2 turn helix feed in 1" high, 4" dia. can
		DEMI 2400/144RX downconverter
		120' FSJ4-50 "superflex" about 1.7dB loss
		FT-726R
	Backyard:  "Tipu" (tropical tree native to S. America) filling my beam
at az=90deg
		1.8m cinderblock wall along east side of property
		range to wall approx. 30m, to tree about 15m

Beacon noted "by ear" at el=0.9deg
First SYNC detected by AO40RCV at el=2.0deg (MA103.0)
First GOOD CRC detected at el=2.9deg (MA104.2)
First QSO at el=4.0deg (MA105.8)
squint <4 degrees at all times	

I'd have to say that's pretty darned good performance for a 2' dish,
considering the bird was just about at apogee (slant range >63,000km). 
My antenna noise temp had to be well over 200K with all the backyard
stuff in the field-of-view.  And the cinderblock wall!  Well, the side I
see faces west, with the setting sun right on it, the surface
temperature of the wall is well over 150F (you can't keep your hand on
it for more than 2 seconds).

Worked (from memory)
CE5 said I was his first AO-40 QSO
	-> several have noted the scarcity of SA stations on AO-40.  To be
sure, I have not heard any until this past week.  SA count to date is
this CE and a pair of LUs.
FY5
G3WDG running...MODE K RX!  Maybe he can fill us in on some details
around that; I think (though I may have muffed it) that he said I was
his first Mode K QSO.  One thing noted, there must have been a bit of
hammering going on in real-time, T/R delay was significant on his end. 
Well Done Sir!  I am further inspired to give that a spin.
SM3
CA stn (forgot call)
ZL3 (he was only 4 deg elev, on SSB, Q5 copy)
more domestics...

Overall, quite a bit of CW activity.  Heard and worked CW stations on
either side of the MB.  I think they outnumbered the SSB stations (maybe
folks making the switch because of the slant range?)


A very educational and inspirational evening.  Thanks to the EU
stations, again, for staying up late!
PS Damn, this is fun stuff!
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