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AO-10 first contacts last night

Hi folks,

If you've never thought you could work a high altitude bird, think
again.  AO-10 may just do it for you.

Prior to last night, I'd made one contact on AO-13.  Very weak
signals, with contact made possible to a large extent by the skill and
equipment of the guy on the other end of the QSO.  Had to do it near
perigee - anything past about 3,000 km was a lost cause, even for CW.

Last night I made not one, but three arm-chair SSB QSOs on AO-10, at
a distance of better than 8,000 km.  Not only could I hear myself, it
peaked as loud and clear as a local repeater.  Yes, there is a pretty
deep fade, but even at the bottom I could make out the conversation.
I would have made more, but the bird entered the Earth's shadow and
went silen....

My equipment is *not* your typical "OSCAR Class" stuff - a single
vertically polarized 8 element yagi for 2 meter receive, and a single
2x8 element crossed yagi for the 70cm uplink.  No preamps, and I could
hear myself with as little as 25 watts.  There's also about 60 feet
of old 9913 cable and 10 feet of RG-8 between the antennas and my
Yaesu 736R rig.

If you haven't tried AO-10, now's the time!


Greg  KO6TH

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