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RE: FO-29 QRT?

Greetings fellow AMSAT members and particularly the LEO operators.  This is
KE6OAG, Chuck in CM97. I'm pleased to report that FO-29 (the strongest and
most reliable of the currently available Low Earth Orbiting OSCAR's for
Voice/CW communications) is back in transponder mode!

I have been relatively new to satellite operations (January of 2003) but I
got bit by the bug hard.  I run two weekly Nets in Central California (one
dedicated to space science/rocketry/astronomy and the other dedicated
exclusively to satellite operations) and I follow the AMSAT BB closely.
However, this is my first contribution to the BB.  Hope it is good news for
many of you.  


I listened for the digi-talker on orbit 34,886, as the bird was over the
mid-eastern United States (9/11/03 at 07:10 UTC) and heard nothing.  I
anxiously tuned to the CW beacon and there it was!  I then went to the
center of the pass-band and called CQ.  It was GREAT to hear my signal
coming back loud and clear, from more than 2,000 miles away, and it sounded
fantastic all the way to .5 degrees LOS.  Needless to say, at 12:10 AM
Pacific Time (3:10 AM Eastern), there was no one out there, but it was so
very good to hear the bird in transponder mode again!

With the earlier loss of FO-20, AO-27 and then UO-14, we LEO operators had
only AO-7 -- and occasionally SO-50 an SO-41 -- for voice communications.
In fact, FO-29 was switched to digi-talker mode for a Ham Fest in Japan
(totally understandable) but unfortunately, this coincidently happened just
as the LEO community lost the only other truly reliable Voice LEO, UO-14.
(Yes, I know some of you feel it was the "CB of satellites", but it worked
well and was very useful in introducing Hams to the hobby).  

While the recent drop in accessibility to LEO OSCAR's -- for reliable Voice
communications -- has helped move many of us to AO-40 operations, it is
WONDERFUL to have the glorious FO-29 transponder back on line.  We missed it
VERY MUCH.  Hope some of you are as excited by the news as I am!

Our most humble and respectful thanks to the JAS team for returning the bird
to transponder operations.


If you'd like to know more about our club's space related Nets, please check
out the Stanislaus Amateur Radio Association's web site at: www.saraclub.net
and click on the tabs labeled "SpaceNet" and "SatNet".  
Hope this is good news for many of you and I look forward to working you on
FO-29, AO-7, SO-50, SO-41 (and hopefully AO-40) soon.

73 from Chuck, KE6OAG.

 -----Original Message-----
From: 	Emily Clarke [mailto:emily@emilyshouse.com] 
Sent:	Thursday, August 21, 2003 1:55 PM
To:	Mike Murphree; wa8efc@cox.net
Cc:	amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org; Marble, Robert (Chuck); Egon Backe; Bill Greene
VE7WFG; John W Lee
Subject:	Re: [amsat-bb] FO-29 QRT?

It is saying "This is JAS 2"  - it may sound like duck, but if you listen 
carefully it's JAS with the soft a in ah like J-ah-z  2

I guess the chirping is because satellites are birds...


At 03:19 PM 8/21/2003 -0500, Mike Murphree wrote:
>Bill Klebes said:
> > It was in the digi-talker mode early this morning and probably still is.
> > Listen on it other frequency and see if you hear a bird chirping and a
> > female voice saying "duck 2".
>Funny, it used to say "JAS 2"...
>Mike W4LNA
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Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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