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AO-51 Sucess

Gary "Joe" Mayfield wrote: 
> I think it is safe to say more contacts have been made on Echo in the last
three days than any other amateur satellite. 

Maggie Leber wrote:
> Based on what I hear from my QTH on the Esat Coast of the US, I'd have to
dispute that. The number of completed QSOs I hear on each pass ois
substantially less than a comperable pass by either UO-14 or AO-27 in their
respective heydays. Your milage might vary if you're in a location that has
fewer operators in the footprint. That doesn't mean I don't think Echo is
"successful", of course. It's clearly working as designed, and has rekindled
substantial interest in satellite operations. But more contacts? I'm
skeptical. -73 de Maggie K3XS- 

My comments:

Well, based on what I hear from my QTH on the West Coast of the U.S., I'd
have to agree with Maggie. While I'm delighted AO-51 is up and congratulate
all involved, I've also listened to the current AO-51 accessibility
difficulties during the passes over North America (and it's just as bad out
here Maggie!). Since there seems to be no shortage of thoughts on that
issue, ...no need to add my two cents worth (I have enough "drama" in my
life, thank you -- hi hi!).  However, just in the context of agreeing with
Maggie, as recently as last summer, it was not uncommon to hear a dozen
stations each successfully making multiple contacts on the evening passes of
UO-14 over North America.  I'm not complaining, just making an

While sometimes very crowded, there were continuous (and successful)
contacts being made every few seconds.  When you count the "Hi Paul, Bill
and Tom from John" type quick contacts -- and the quick "hi's" back -- it
was very common to hear more than 50 contacts successfully made during each
14 minute pass of UO-14. I'm not sure I've heard 50 successful contacts made
on AO-51 during the 5 passes I've listened to, combined. So, is it great to
have AO-51 up and running? You bet! But "more contacts have been made on
Echo in the last three days than any other amateur satellite", not even
close -- from what I'm hearing on the West Coast. Just my perspective. 


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