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AO-40 Update, 2003-01-01

I've been meaning to ask this questions for quite some time now.  

Why does the UL/S transponder switch off at MA200 when signals are still relatively strong?  It seems to me that the transponder is usable by "average" ground stations well past MA200, and probably before MA50.

Is the transponder schedule constrained by the power budget?  Or is the schedule abbreviated to discourage people from using excessive uplink power when the downlink signal is weak?

AO40 has been GREAT lately.  I'm surprised how strong the signals are, even when the squint is 20 degrees.  In addition, for the last several weeks the timing of the passes has been very convenient for most North American operators.

Wayne Estes W9AE
Mundelein, IL, USA
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