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Re: Discussion of "AO-51 DX-by-mail"

Back when AO-6 and AO-7 were new, AMSAT had an informal "equipment loaner" 
program for activating much-needed states and DXCC countries (VUCC hadn't been 
invented yet).  While most of these places had hams in them, the hams there 
typically did not have any way of getting on two meters other than possibly FM 
through their local repeaters.

There was no cost to AMSAT.  Several of us donated used Ameco TX-62 
transmitters, which typically put out 30-40 watts on 145 MHz CW, enough for a decent 
signal on AO-6 or AO-7, Mode A, with a simple antenna such as a ground plane or 
dipole that could readily be homebrewed.  The ham receiving the loan of a 
TX-62 agreed to put it on the satellite using his own receiver and 10-meter 
antenna, and then, after a reasonable period of time, say a couple of months, to 
ship it to the next recipient at his expense.  Ben Stevenson, W2BXA, was the 
AMSAT loaner program manager.  Ben, by the way, is still around, but at age 91 is 
not very active these days.  However, if any "new ones" for DXCC come up, I 
guarantee you'll be able to hear Ben working them.   

The program worked pretty well for several years, but interest fell off after 
AO-10 was launched since stations for AO-10 and AO-13 were too elaborate and 
expensive to be handled in so simple a way.    

Maybe, with AO-51, it's time to bring such a program back using HTs and 
Arrows instead of the venerable TX-62 (one of which I still have out in the 


Ray W2RS  
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