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Field Day handheld contact on AO-51

Hi to the BB...

I was so excited to make my first FD satellite contact on AO-51, V/S mode. 
Having had only limited experience on this mode, with only 4 contacts the 
previous night, it was a real challenge for me.

On Saturday 25th at 18:15 UTC, I tried to make a contact with a FD station, 
but unfortunately the pass was so crowded that many stations stepped over 
me. I only managed to make a contact with AI7W from this pileup though I 
copied 6 more

On Sunday 26th at 15:57 UTC, I made my first FD satellite contact on behalf 
of our club station VE4BB-3A-MB. That contact was with VE3RC ( Ottawa 
Amateur Radio Club). This single contact made my day on FD!!! I almost had 
the station K8DAC but was interrupted by another station. I copied 10 more 
stations on this pass.

As a portable station, using 2 Icom IC-W32A HT's, an Arrow antenna, our 
homebrew 4 turn Helix, and the AIDC 3731 downconverter, we successfully 
managed to make this contact. I had to log callsigns, control Doppler and 
press the PTT on transmit while listening to the downlink through 
headphones. My Dad was steering antennas with the Helix / downconverter in 
his left hand and Arrow in right hand also listening to the bird through 
headphones. I have programmed the receiving HT for Doppler from 145.260 MHz 
to 145.140 MHz  in 5 KHz steps ( 25 steps ). Doppler controlling was just a 
matter of turning the knob on receiving HT for best signal but was 
challenging. All these kept our 4 hands fully operational. My 6 year old 
brother Supun also had his first FD excitement on a satellite listening to 
AO-51 through headphones.

Although it was just one FD contact it's an unforgettable experience!!!


Aruni Perera, VE4WMK - EN19

AMSAT members: #35560
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