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Memories (was Re: AO-7 Predictability.)

At about the time AO-7 was launched I was twelve years old and desperately 
wanted to be a ham radio operator. My dad held the callsign W4HIJ and was an 
ARRL member so we got QST regularly. I don't think he even got to look at 
them good before I had them voraciously reading up on all manner of 
different subjects that interested me at the time. I'm not sure I even 
realized there was such a thing as amateur satellites till I started seeing 
the information on AO-7.
 I vividly remember the Oscarlocators and I don't know how it seemed to you 
folks that were actually operating the sat but to a twelve year old kid, 
still trying to master 5wpm code, it was an immensely complicated and exotic 
looking affair.
 I was finally liscensed at the age of fifteen and with the excitement of 
that and all the world of things I had yet to learn about ham radio, I kind 
of forgot about satellites. I think the impression AO-7 made kind of always 
hung around in the back of my mind and I thought of it from time to time but
 it wasn't until the events leading up to and the subsequent launch of AO-40 
that I paid any serious attention to sats again. I did not have the time or 
resources to attempt building an AO-40 station though so my station still 
remained basically "HF only"  except for a dual band 2m/70cm FM rig.
 What finally got me started thinking about  the sats again was realizing 
AO-51 was up there and that I could operate it with my dual band radio. It 
didn't take but one or two sessions of listening to the downlink  and doing 
research on the internet before I knew I was going to want much more than 
just FM sat capability. I also found out that my old accquaintance AO-7 had 
awakened from a long sleep which I hadn't realized till then. Maybe at long 
last I could work it.
 I'm still putting together my station and I have the whole nine yards as 
far as a tracking box and a modern "DC to daylight" radio and soon when I 
finally put the last pieces into place I will try and work the bird that I 
believe actually planted the seed for my satellite interest some 31 years 
Michael W4HIJ
AMSAT # 36017
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John W Lee" <k6yk@juno.com>
To: <emily@clarke-design.com>
Cc: <dguimon1@san.rr.com>; <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 11:18 PM
Subject: Re: Easy? (was Re: [amsat-bb] AO-7 Predictability.)

> Beginner is right!
> There weren't too many folks to ask for info, either.   I still have
> (I think)  OScarlocators for  Oscar 6,7,8,  RS5-6-7-8, and AO-10
> around here. All home made from tracings in QST, World Radio, etc.
> For those of you who don't remember any of this,  they would publish
> the equatorial crossing time and degrees of longitude of the first pass
> of each day.  Then you used that information to set your "Oscarlocator"
> and the rest was sort of like a  round slide rule!
> W1AW transmitted this information in the bulletins also.  As long as you
> had that information you could figure the rest out for yourself.
> Actually those old birds were more "easysat" than the new ones.
> You didn't need anything special to work them. At that time (mid-
> 1970's) it seems that EVERYBODY had  H.F. gear and some sort
> of  2 meter FM box or old 2 meter rig of some kind could be found
> easily that could at least transmit CW.  That and just about any antenna
> for 2 and 10 meters, and you were in business!  The variety of radios
> being
> used was amazing.  WW2 surplus, converted FM rigs, transverters, homebrew
> transmitters, preamps, etc. of every kind you can imagine.
> Pretty exciting stuff!
> 73,
> John,  K6YK
> ==========================================================
> On Wed, 18 Jan 2006 11:33:06 -0800 Emily Clarke <emily@clarke-design.com>
> writes:
>> At 11:04 AM 1/18/2006, Dave Guimont wrote:
>> >After seeing the fun a lot of us are having with Oscar 7 (some of
>> us
>> >for 31 years!) I cannot imagine why anyone would want to launch
>> >another FM (other than digital) satellite under the guise of "it's
>> a
>> >beginner's satellite!!"   There were very few of us that were NOT
>> >BEGINNERS then!!
>> Thanks Dave - in this entire debate about "easy sats" this is one
>> point that could put the debate to rest.   Not only were most
>> operators beginners, they didn't have the advantage of computerized
>> tracking, computer control and rigs that were designed for use with
>> satellites.  As much as I thought AO-40 was going to be difficult
>> once I got on AO-40 I found it very easy to operate even with
>> completely manual control.
>> 73,
>> Emily
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