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AO-07 Mode A, 28 June, 2345 UTC



AO-07 was in Mode A on the Atlantic Ocean pass that started at about 2345
UTC on 28 June.  I was surprised how weak the 10m downlink signals were on
my HF yagi.  Don't know if the 10m antenna on the satellite is vertically
polarized, mismatching my horizontal 10m beam.  There were a few deep fades
which were probably too short to be caused by my antenna's elevation
pattern.  The max elevation for me was 23 degrees which should be fairly
decent for my 1.1-wavelength high beam.  Has anybody compared reception of
the 10m downlink between horizontal and vertical antennas?  I could hear the
VERY slow CW beacon and my signal returning even when the satellite
elevation was only 1 degree elevation.  The transponder frequencies seem to
be VERY close to what was published.

I called CQ on SSB and nobody answered.  I couldn't really hear my own
downlink very well.  So I tuned around and noticed everybody else was using
CW.  I made CW contacts with KA4YMY in North Carolina and W8MRR in Michigan
(2 states away, but in the same grid as me).  For the 2m uplink I eventually
bumped the power up to 50W into a 14-el CP yagi, and the downlink signal
still didn't seem very strong.

The mode B AO-07 pass I heard two days ago had much stronger downlinks and
required much less uplink power to get a respectable downlink.  Hopefully
the next pass over the eastern USA will be Mode B to give me a good
comparison.

Finally, my first AO-07 contact!

Wayne Estes W9AE
Mundelein, IL, USA


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