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Contacts on the sats

Hi All,Just my two cents,I am about as green as they come when it comes to 
the satellite operation.I got my license in December of last year and went 
to the Tampa Bay Hamfest where I saw a booth for Amsat thought that was cool 
looking stuff,so I wandered over and started talking to the gentlemen at the 
booth,Andrew  Glassbrenner  KO4MA and Lee McLamb KU4OS these guys were 
great.They are the EF Hutton of satellites when they talk people 
listen.There was a sat demo that Drew was putting on that morning and Drew 
asked if I wanted to go out with my ht and listen.So I ran over to a vender 
and picked up the last arrow they had.Now it was time for the demo I think 
it was AO-27 before it croaked.I pointed the arrow where Drew said and low 
and behold I heard the beacon! I was in total amazement. Needless to say the 
contact was a go.I was hooked from that point forward,paid for a years 
membership got a copy of nova and I was on my way.I picked up a used Alinco 
DJ-580T which I still use every day and gave it a go.1st pass, 2nd pass,3rd 
pass no joy man was I getting frustrated.I sent an email to Drew complaining 
about all the same guys on every pass  walking over me bla bla the same old 
story.And EF Hutton spoke he told me I need to be patient first just listen 
get used to moving the arrow to track the bird,adjusting for dopler and most 
importantly "Get Some Earphones" I use the ear bud kind one for my ear and 
one taped to a little digital recorder to help me remember the regulars.Then 
pick call sign you hear one of the boomers if you like and call for that one 
and remember to wait for a drop in the transmission. So that's
exactly what I did and you know what it worked. One of the first contacts 
was W0EEC  Emily Clarke then W7JPI Leo Swatlotski and so on even KO4MA 
Andrew Glassbrenner. Now I'm kinda of a regular making contact with N5AFV 
almost every day.Funny thing I went out and spent a ton of money on state of 
the art equipment.Icom 910H with all the bells and whistles M2 Cross Yagi's 
and a Yaesu 5500 AZ/EL but I haven't had time to set it all up due to 
working the birds with the HT and Arrow.My point is yes it can be kinda 
frustrating but with patients and waiting for a little gap you will get in.I 
have found the main thing is being able to handle the antenna.If you hear me 
KI4HXT give me a shout I be listening.Oh one more thing try not to call CQ 
CQ CQ  Satellite the whole pass if you can't hear yourself check your 
frequency and adjust you antenna to get the clearest signal possible and 
just say your call sign or one you hear.I know I'm a greenhorn but I do get 
on the sats.

Robert Davies
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