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Last Nights Pass - KM0T

Hi all,

Just wanted to let you all know about last nights pass, I had a very good

I had been using NOVA to see when some good passes were coming up and had
some pretty good luck the last few nights getting my feet wet and working
some dx.  Still getting a feel for AO-40.

Well I noticed that I was going to be in the footprint here (EN13VC - NW
Iowa) for just a few hours last night, the squint was going to be fine,
except the elevation was going to be no higher than 3 degrees.  The pass was
going to go from about local midnight to 2:15 AM.

Anyway, after the lawn work was done and I still had a bit of daylight, I
moved my BBQ dish and converter to a small mast I had mounted on the house.
The dish was on a short mast in the yard before and local houses in the
neighborhood would block the signal.  I figured moving it up to above
rooftop level seemed like a good idea.  My uplink is just a standard 18
element yagi on U band, up 30 feet on a seperate rotor (with elevation
control), so that has not been a problem.

I got the dish mounted up there and ready to go.  I took and nap and got up
while the bird was still a bit below the horizon.  When it got to -.5
degrees according to NOVA, I started to hear the beacon very weakly.  About
10 minutes later it was really humming!

Signals were very good as the NOVA software predicted the squint as about 10
to 20 throughout the pass.  I worked 16 stations all SSB and had alot of
nice chats into EU as well as South Africa!  I, F, G, ZS, DM , OE, PA, DD,
I, F, W4, ON and ON.  I was beginning to wonder if there were any USA
stations on the band until I worked W4SHG.  Frank and I had a good time
comparing some notes since we were both new to AO-40!  Had a pretty good
pileup at times!  Most of the EU guys were getting ready to leave for work,
so they were all very cordial and it went pretty smooth.

As NOVA predicted, the LOS was pretty much on par and I lost the bird at
around -.5 again.  Last QSO was at .3 degrees elevation according to the

Looks like the next few passes are pretty much mute, squint will be bad,
etc.  See you all around after labor day weekend.  I am currently working on
circular polarization on the uplink, hope to have that up soon.

I am still amazed about working these places at these frequencies along with
the current state of the technology letting a guy like me be able to
reliably predict and get on with realative ease.

73 and thanks for all the previous comments here on this reflector for
helping me get on AO-40.

Mike - KM0T EN13vc

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