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SO-50 under-utilized over North America



I have been trying to work most transcontinental passes on SO-50 in the
past two weeks, and alot of the time, there are only a couple of stations 
on (typically Minnesota, and Iowa or Texas), even on weekends.  Yesterday, 
we at least got New York briefly.  Comparable AO-51 passes are so crowded
that a QRP station would have difficulty making contacts (and, at least a
week ago, i doubt that a newcomer is likely to return if they try for the 
first time on a weekend transcontinental pass).

SO-50 isn't that hard to work if you have a good antenna (such as an Arrow).
It uses the same frequencies as AO-27, except it requires a PL of 67 Hz on
the uplink and SO-50 doesn't transmit unless it recieves the PL.  It does 
need to be turned on once per pass (e.g. one transmits briefly with a PL of 
74.4 Hz), but it is likely that one of the 'regulars' will do that for you, 
on transcontinental passes at least.  If there aren't many people on, it 
can be challenging to find the bird with a hand-held antenna, so it really
would help if it got more use.  If you're east of the Mississippi, you'll
be especially welcomed on transcontinental SO-50 passes.  Feel free to ask
me questions via e-mail.

73's and good luck!
			 -- KD6PAG  (Networking Old-Timer, Satellite QRPer)
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