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SO-50 on 17 Aug 03

Tracked SO-50 as it crossed Alaskan skies today.  Was unable to
access SO-50 until the satellite was southeast of my qth (bp51fh).
VE6EGN, Egon had an excellent signal on the downlink while the
bird was over B. C. orbit # 3530.
However, on the next pass, was able to access the satellite while
it was over Siberia, sub-satellite point: 64N 172E with full quieting, 
orbit # 3531.
Continued to monitor the bird as it passed over the N. Pacific with the
footprint barely cutting across Californias coastline. Activity picked 
up as it
approached my southeast horizon.
On orbit # 3532, attempted again to bring up the transponder as it was
just clearing my northwestern horizon, while north of the Chukchi Sea.
Nothing, not a peep throughout this whole pass.
Intresting to read through past postings regarding the on/off nature
of the transponder. Could this be a housekeeping function of the
on board battery/power controls?
When its  "on"  very nice satellite indeed ...
73 & Good DX to all ...

AL7JK, John
Eagle River, Alaska

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