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reminiscing a bit

It was July 20, 1994. I had been working as a Field Engineer for Contel
Cellular in upstate NY. ( No, not Albany, I mean UPSTATE like Malone! ) I was
racing to get back on Vermont soil for an AO-21 pass with the hopes of working
special event station W5RRR on the 25th Anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on
the moon. I got just across the Rouses Point Bridge into a fishing access area
in Alburg, Vt ( the northwestern-most corner of Vermont ) and got my equipment
set up. AO-21 had a CANNON of a downlink, so the receive side consisted of a
Bearcat scanner, homebrew preamp, and 1/4 wave antenna on the roof. It's
receiver was a bit light, so I was using a Kenwood HT, a power amp ripped out
of a Motorola Micor ( 2 watts in, at least 100 watts out ) and a 10 element
beam on a camera tripod. This combination never failed to get me into AO-21
even with tough tree cover overhead. I got set up and was rewarded to hear
John signing the call W5RRR. I made my quick QSO with John, and AO-21 switched
into the voice playback mode. Those of you around long enough will remember
AO-21 switched between FM repeater mode, WEFAX, and voice playback mode ( it
played a recorded message ) Right after my QSO, it switched into playback, and
played Buzz Aldrin's well recognized words.. "that's one small step..."

What I wouldn't give to hear a recording of it today.

Thanks W5RRR/ JSC Amateur Radio Club for the QSO card, and a walk down memory

73 de Bob W1ICW ( then WE1U )
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