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AO-40 beacon question


The fellow from Washington state that is having problems hearing AO-40
brings up a question that I have that I noticed yesterday.

I was trying to hear the beacon yesterday when the satellite was about
30,000 km in elevation and the squint was about 33 degrees.  I think the MA
was around 30 or so at the time.  The bird was at about 180 degrees and 35
degrees elevation for me - in the clear.

I heard nothing, squat, zip.

The beacon is supposed to be on for the whole orbit now, so unless there was
one of those "glitches" it should have been copyable I though.

But then I had the following question:

Is it possible at certain heights and certain squints to be out of the beam
of the S2 antenna?  Even though I can "see" the bird, is it possible that
the elevation is too close to earth and so the antenna pattern is two
narrow?  That coupled with the squint could make it such that some people
could hear the beacon when others can't.

I haven't looked at the specs of the S2 antenna.  I know this sort of thing
would have been an issue with the S1 antenna with its higher gain and narrow
pattern.  But could it happen now?  Was just trying to make some sense out
of why I couldn't hear it.

A half hour later or so and I heard the beacon fine.



Jon Ogden
NA9D (ex: KE9NA)

Citizen of the People's Democratic Republik of Illinois

Life Member: ARRL, NRA
Member:  AMSAT, DXCC

http://www.qsl.net/na9d   <- Updated on 1/22/03!!!

"A life lived in fear is a life half lived."

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