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AO-51 V/S fun portable/mobile



With my satellite rotor newly broken, I decided to try some AO-51 V/S 
portable/mobile tonight for giggles. I recently acquired a nifty little 
clamp-on corner reflector for my AIDC 3733 downconverter from Bob, K5GNA. 
This little gizmo clamps to the body of the d/c and uses the original dipole 
feed to make a small gain antenna, maybe 8-10 db or so. Powered by a small 
gel cell and fed into my FT-817 on my car dash, AO-51 was loud and clear 
once I caught up with the tracking on the downlink. I should say I was 
parked on the causeway to Green Key to take advantage of an unobstructed 
horizon to the north and south.
Doppler is rapid, but manageable by hand, except during the center of the 
pass. AFC like the 910 would be a nice feature in a handheld or portable. 
Pointing with this setup was not very critical, but polarization made a huge 
difference. Remember AO-51 is linear on the S band transmit, as is the 
corner reflector/dipole setup, so a big mismatch might be up to 20 db or so. 
Just twist it like a miniature Arrow to peak the signal....Uplink was my 
under dash mounted Alinco DR-605 to a 1/4 wave 2m whip on the roof rack. 50 
watts was overkill, but there was some interference at the beginning of the 
pass from the usual pirate/taxi/fishing boat crowd to the south.

I worked:
W7JPI
KL7QR
KE4AZN
N5UXT
and a special long haul treat...
AA6RR in Spokane, Washington. 3650 km roughly from EL88pg to DN17!

I hope this will encourage some more folks to try AO-51 on V/S. I'm sure 
looking forward to SSETI on U/S too! Tomorrow I attach the d/c and corner 
reflector to an Arrow antenna.....

73, Drew KO4MA 
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