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Crying wolf? RS-15



I realize I could be crying wolf here.  If there's an explaination I
would like to hear it. 

I was tuning around tonight and started listening to RS-15 during it's
0156-0219 pass across the western United States.  I checked the beacon
and heard nothing, I tuned up to 29.173 and listened - nothing.

On a whim and a hope, I keyed up and tried to find my downlink.  And to
my complete surprised found it about 3.5KHz off of where I would have
expected it if I expected RS-15 to be functional.  

What the heck!  Could RS-15 be working?  I tried CQ'ing for the last ten
or twelve minutes of the pass until I expected LOS.  The real test would
be if I could still hear the downlink after LOS.

Unfortunately I could. But oddly only for a couple of minutes, then it
disappeared.  Could it be that RS-15 was alive and my keps or clock were
off?  I use NTP to manage my time on my computers so it couldn't be off
by more than a couple milliseconds.

The uplink and downlink were being adjusted for doppler the whole time. 
When I adjusted for the offset with my XIT it would act like any other
satellite transponder.  I even double checked my TX monitor on the
TS-2000 to make sure it was off - it was.

Was it a harmonic?  My downlink was 29.374, my uplink was 145.880 - this
gives a harmonic ratio of 4.9663 - very close.

One thing I really can't believe is I that I was able to drop my power
to 10W and still hear my downlink.  From what I read on the net, I would
need more power than 10W - considerable more for RS-15.

Unfortunately, it was the last pass of the night for me.  I cant confirm
one way or the other until the next pass.

Did I just return from a trip from the Twilight Zone?


-Freeman, N5FPP

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