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re: AO-27 [also voice mode satellites]



    Been trying to work AO-27.  Just worked AO-7 and FO-29, but this one eludes
    me.  Is it just me, or is this satellite not operational?

That's right.  As far as i know, those, plus AO-40 (and maybe FO-20?) are
the currently active voice satellites.  Alas, all voice mode satellites 
presently operational on a predictable basis require SSB gear.  We haven't
heard AO-27 [or any news thereof - http://www.ao27.org] in quite some time.

Consider yourself lucky, as it sounds like you already have SSB.  Amateurs
without SSB will probably have to wait for Project ECHO to work anything
dependably.  You might get lucky with one of Saudi birds at the times that
they're operational (currently unpredictable).  But while you can work them 
sometimes with an HT, they're not always easy to hear and fussy about uplink
frequency.  (That is to say, one may still need SSB-class equipment to work
them reliably as an HT's 5 KHz channel spacing seems to be too much for them
- at least, i can't work them very well and could quite consistently work 
AO-27, nearly horizon to horizon when i had a clear one).  *sigh*  They're
also silent if no one is working them, and if no one else is active, they
are hard to find with a hand-held antenna.  It's really great that they're 
up there, i just wish their schedule was predictable enough that i could
learn to use them effectively.

If you can work AO-7, then you can probably work AO-40 given a suitable dish
(cheap), downconverter, and perhaps a bit more gain on your 70cm uplink.  If
you can simultaneously transmit 70cm SSB and receive 2m SSB (or 123 MHz SSB
using a downconverter with its original crystal), then that's really your 
best bet right now.
			 -- KD6PAG (Networking Old-Timer, Satellite QRPer)
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