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K Band success



Howdy all,

What a great day on K Band today! I wasn't too optimistic about signal levels 
today because squint was predicted to be 5-6 degrees. Boy was I surprised!

I found the beacon right away and then tuned down 20 kHz and sent some dits. 
I was greeted with an S4 downlink! I switched to SSB and called CQ and easily 
heard my own return.

I was immediately called by Jean, F6GBQ. Jean was also using K Band down. 
Signals on my side were an easy 5/3 or better. I haven't heard signals this 
good since last year when Charlie, G3WDG and I had our first transatlantic 
qso. Right after I finished with F6GBQ, I was called by multiple stations. 
Wow, a K Band pileup! I then worked Rolf, DK2ZF and then Vitaliy, UU9JJ. At 
that point, the signals seemed to fade somewhat so I jumped back to the 
beacon to re-align my dish. After realignment, I worked Dom, I8CVS before the 
K Band window closed.

I'm now a little confused about the K Band transponder. We're seeing 
telemetry numbers that indicate lower output than usual. I watched K-TX 
switch on today and saw 83 in telemetry where we used to see 120 or so. Also, 
squint started out above 5 degrees = ~3 dB down due to offpoint. Both of 
these indicators should mean lower signal levels. One other factor was the 
WX, which changed to moderate cloud cover before the window. This usually 
means increased atmospheric absorption. Even with all these factors, signals 
were very good! As I said, I'm confused....... More experimentation is 
necessary.

Thanks to the four stations I worked today! I hope to be active again on 
Friday 07Feb03.

73,
Mike, N1JEZ
AMSAT #29649
Local Area Coordinator
"A closed mouth gathers no feet."
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