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Re: Apathy?



Emily Clarke wrote:
> I was on AO-51 tonight (first time I've had the opportunity to work sats 
> in a week it was pretty empty.  Someone I won't mention said "Have you 
> seen that the BB traffice has dropped off too?"

I must have missed that pass.  I heard you near the end of the first 
evening AO-51 pass tonight but that was anything but a quiet pass before 
you got on.  (Which was nice to hear, I haven't heard you in awhile but 
was used to hearing you every night, started to worry something had 
happened to you!)

In fact it was such a mess of a pass I almost turned off the radio 
before you came on.  People were stepping all over each other and no one 
seemed to be listening before keying up.  Lots of people just giving 
their call right on top of someone actually in the process of making a 
QSO :(  I recorded it from here in Yuma and kind of wish I had saved it 
now...but it was such an embarasing pass I erased it before I even came 
inside.  (My setups are mobile and handheld so I'm always outside for 
the sats.)

> So I wonder.  Only being a subscriber to the BB for about 3 years the 
> seasonal statistics baffle me.  Is everyone busy driving kids (and 
> grandkids) to school, sports, (and in Canada) hockey practice, or are we 
> really becoming sedate?

I've only been a subscriber for about a year now but I've been around 
mailing lists in general for a LONG time and traffic always seems to ebb 
and flow for no discernable reason :D  I assume the sats are much the same.

I know for me I haven't been as active lately because it's been too hot 
outside and with my setup requireing me to be outside I've only been 
working evening passes.  And not many of those because it was too 
cumbersome to setup and teardown my setup.  Fiddling with two antennas, 
moving my dual bander from inside to my truck and back (can't leave it 
in the truck since the locks are broken and the truck stays in my 
driveway) and then being limited on which passes I could work based on 
where my truck was parked....I just wasn't doing much other than looking 
for a deal on a rotator and working on building some better antennas so 
I could work from inside :D

Then a few weeks ago I went the other way and minimized my setup 
instead.  After missing out the cheap FT-470 someone put up for sale I 
started stalking ebay...finally got a great deal on one (I wanted a 
FT-470 since I still have three FT-23r's I use and they batteries are 
interchangeable to keep my costs down and options up!)

Now I have a setup that is MUCH easier for me to carry and setup...but 
more challenging to work.  End result is I'm having more fun with it 
again and getting more active again.  Last night I managed to make two 
contacts with just an AEA HT whip and my handheld yagi run through a 
diplexer to the HT.

Though last nights late AO-51 pass had me wondering if something was 
jamming people in socal.  I heard lots of "kerchunking" but very little 
actual activity.  I was able to hear my own downlink clear as a bell so 
I don't think it was the sat.  I did finally hear and complete an 
exchange with N6TBQ but he was breaking up and not holding the sat very 
well despite having a clear signal when he did come in.

So that's how my sat biorhythm has been lately - hit a low for no 
outside reason and is now coming back to a peak.  I'm sure others have 
similar stories/situations and maybe a bunch of us all just hit lows at 
the same time :D

----
Jason Hitesman
N8INJ
jason@hitesman.com
----
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