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Re:AO-40 user population

With all due respect, moving up to AO-40 cannot be done for less than $100.

As a new participant, here is the chronological order of my move from HF to

1. July 1995, Purchased  IC251A  ($500 and thinking about satellites)
2. Summer 2000, purchased  used KLM 2M-14C over internet. ($90)
3. Home brew  11 turn helix for 435MHZ. ($40)
4. Purchase Autek RF5 for helix build. ($239, needed analyzer anyway)
5. Purchase Hamtronics (435 /28MHz) converter ($100)
6. Homebrew 435 MHz preamp. ($25)
7. Purchase rotor cables, 9913 coax, and Alliance U-110 elevation rotor
8. KLM repairs, mounting post, repair azimuth rotor, and misc. ($100)

At this point, I was pretty close to operating AO-40 mode VU (144/435).

9. AO-40 launched, mode VU not functioning.
10. Abandon all AO-40 plans
11. Summer 2001, TSI 3733 offered on AMSAT-BB
12. Purchase FT-847 ($1525) with Collins CW filter
13. Purchase TSI 3733 ($40)

I figured the educational experience I would get from the 3733 far
outweighed the cost even if it didnít work.

14. Upgrade 3733 with K5GNA mods ($30)
15. Build 2.4 GHz 20 turn helix and RG6 ($40).
16. Beacon half scale on S meter
17. Complete first CW QSO with Ralph K8RYU on July 21, 2001.
18. Add DEM preamp in October 2001. ($125)

I can understand why the light population on AO-40. Here is how I attribute
my success with getting on AO-40.

A. (85 %) AMSAT-BB. Without this source of information, It would have
impossible for my AO-40 operation.

When I was stuck, straightforward down to earth information and
encouragement was given by K5OE, I8CVS, and many many others. Thatís the
bread and butter of this BB.

For example, the BB responses to G4VTQ from I8CVS and  KB0ZEV about RHC
crossed yagi connections, matching, and power splitters contained more
information than Iíve ever been able to dig out of ARRL publications. Both
responses were filed for reference.

B. (15%) The timing of the TSI3 3733 availability, the massive BB
discussions about it, and K5GNAís mods.

I hope I didnít make anyone mad. Just hit delete.

Best in 2002.


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