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A considerate operating practice on FM (one channel)satellites, Europe

Hi all,
This is a short version of an article I wrote in
2000 about using FM (single channel) satellites.

The reason for using bandwidth for it is that I
listened to AO-16 at the pass with AOS at 1621 UTC here
from Copenhagen. It was awful - but unfortunately
just a repetition of what has been going on for
the last couple of month on other FM satellites.

I do not think anyone made a real QSO. One particular radio
amateur counted 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 over most of the pass ??

Short version:
The golden rule - do not transmit if you can not hear the downlink.

Calling "CQ satellite" 3 - 4 or more times and give the call
and the full locator at the same time is non-productive.
It simply takes too long time. Experienced operators easily pick
out new stations using a short CQ call.
It is not really necessary to call CQ - just give your call.

Considerate operating practice allows a QSO to finish.
Many operators on the FM satellites do not adhere to this.
You very often find a station calling on top of a running QSO,
which makes the QSO take much longer time than necessary.
Often it is because the QSO takes a long time, which leads
to the next "rule".

Make the QSO short when the satellite is busy. Valid QSO's
just need to exchange calls and signal report. That is it.
You do not need locator or operator name. If there is very
little traffic OK go ahead and talk about anything - but not
when the satellite is busy.

Here in Europe we also have the habit of asking for the full lokator.
I have tried to avoid that, but I have failed in this respect.
For a terrestrial QSO or in a contest you need the full lokator -
but not for a satellite QSO.

A considerate operator will make one QSO per pass. If you are an
experienced operator, who has made a lot of contacts before -
limit your contacts to new stations.

Do not use the FM satellites to elaborate on the weather situation
in your local area, when the satellite is busy.

Give priority to portable and mobile stations if they can hear the

Give DX stations (rare calls) a chance to get through. I have witnessed
JW stations being "drowned" by local QSO's.

Look at your satellite tracking program in order to avoid calling stations
that are out of the footprint.

If someone is really annoying - don't try to block their signal - try
to send them an e-mail especially if they are from your own country.

Also respect if people want to use their own native language. It is
perfectly OK to talk Danish, German or any other language, as long as they
do not carry on for many minutes.

AND no - I do not want to be a policeman on the satellites :-)
AND please no flames.

73 OZ1MY

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