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Stretching the footprint!!

Congrats Bob.  I'm actually  jealous.  I have yet to hear Europe on AO-7
but that's only because I've been very QRV on HF.  I'm sure it can be
done from DN81.  It's a feather in your hat no matter how you look at it.

I think I'll throw my hat into the ring for footprint stretching.  I have
to go back to AO-40 for my bragging rights.  On 20 Oct. 2003 I worked
VK9CD in NH87 and that figures to about 10073 miles to DN81.  I was
hearing the fellows on the West Coast work VK9CD and again, I was very
jealous because I figured I had but only 8 to 10 minute window under the
best of conditions.  To make matters worse the window was totally below
10 degrees of elevation.  Then rubbing salt into the wound was a very
tall line of Chinese Elm trees between my sat antennas the horizon.  When
I saw that I had a slight chance I began calling them.  The West Coast
guys told me that VK9CD was hearing me!  I could not hear them or my own
downlink.  Determination was also the key for me.  I finally heard them
ever so faintly just as LOS was almost on us.  All of the sudden I heard
my call clearly and distinctly and the exchange happened in literally,
the last few seconds of the footprint.  I stepped out on my front steps
to try and figure how such a piece of great good luck could have
happened.  Looking up at that row of trees I saw a "hole" through the
leaves about the size of a bushel basket.  My prize piece of AO-40 DX was
worked in the few seconds that the bird was actually "line of sight". 
BTW, all of this on CW!!

This may be off subject a bit but I've been a DXer for 47+ years and that
was by far one of my most memorable QSOs satellite, HF or otherwise.
I was never tempted to post the above story until Bob's good fortune on
AO-7.  See what great fun we could have with an AO-10 type bird up in an
HEO!!  That's it.  I'm climbing down off my soapbox.

73 to all.  Frank, KØBLT
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