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6 Buck S-band Downconverter results and question

First the question: Has anyone successfully used their 6 buck
downconverter with a simple low gain antenna like a patch or corner
reflector to work AO-51?
I converted my CalAmp 130215 by changing the crystal and tuning the
filter using a low level 2.4GHz signal source but so far have only
achieved marginal results. Using a preamp ahead of the downconverter
signals are Q5 and I made several contacts. Without the preamp I can
pick out an occasional word or two out of the noise but QSO's are
impossible. Comments and/or suggestions welcome.
Steve WI2W
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