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W1PA AO-40 FD



Just a quick note (I'll post images later)...

I ran exclusively AO-40 this year...  dragged my 1.2M Teksharp dish, and a 
Gulf-Alpha 70cm uplink antenna, and the G-5500 and a homemade freestanding 
base out to the FD site.

No computer control...I manually adjusted the rotor off of "keps" I printed 
out, and used the G6LVB hand calulactor and the tracking option on the 
FT-847. I admit "ditting", either when I had to adjust for changing doppler, 
or setting up the tracking (which happened a lot when I would grab the 
channel knob instead of the subband tuning knob on the right of the FT-847 
and I would clear my vfo's). I'm sure there is a way to disable that, but no 
time to figure it out. We ran 100% battery, so didn't have to content with 
generator noise. I put the G-5500 on a small inverter.

I ran a K5GNA Transystem downconverter, and the FT-847 into a 100W amp on 
70cm...  no L-band (but you could certainly tell who was using it on the 
bird). The 100W was more to overcome the 100ft of coax than anything else. I 
only triggered Leila once or twice in 6 or 7 hours of operating.

I was unable to make any QSO's when FD started, and thought the activity 
level might have pushed the AGC into the basement, so I crossed my fingers, 
set the alarm for 4am (0800 UTC) and started working EU as the satellite 
rose...

I was unable to get my new patch built in time, so I cut my old Primestar 
helix down to 2.5 turns and used that on the 1.2M prime focus dish.

Worked about 40 Q's...  the most fun was having a ZS6 answer my CQ (not sure 
if it was Barry, I'll have to check the logs...thank you for your patience 
while I tried to copy and confirm your call), and working some of the folks 
who have been helping me via the list over the past few years... N1JEZ, 
K5OE, to name a few. Worked lots of Europeans as the footprint moved west, 
and then the rest of the US.

Had an absolute ball (although my FD mates comlained about me yelling into 
the mic at 5am). It was also the first nice weekend in New England out of 
the past rainy 12.

I am not sure I would go as heavy with the equipment next year (took two 
trips from my home with the Subaru wagon), but as little as I get to operate 
the rest of the year, it was an absolute blast.

I'll post pictures after I scan the negs and download them from the other 
digital camera. I was the only one who ran the AO-40 station, so if you have 
W1PA in the logs, you were talking to me.

Bill
W1PA

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