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Organised Chaos.

In 17 years of satellite operating - and literally thousands of QSO's, I'm proud of the fact that I have actually had 2 - (that's two, folks) - QSO's on FM. I believe the last one was W3SM/OE on AO-27 about 10 years ago.

For want of something better to do today I went outside with my arrow aerial, a MYCOM handheld scanner and a little IC-E91 (also handheld) to have a listen to AO-51 ... (I've heard it described as a "zoo").

I monitored the 16:15Z pass over Russia/LA/Europe/UK and what I heard can only be described as the worst operating I've heard in 41 years of radio. 

There were stations battling it out with the mine's bigger than yours mentality, stations "hogging" it, constantly calling CQ, CQ, CQ, CQ, CQ, CQ, CQ, CQ, CQ, CQ ... pause for breath ... CQ, CQ, CQ, CQ, CQ, CQ, CQ, CQ, CQ ... (no callsign given but obviously a Russian station), Several stations replied to this gentleman but he was obviously *NOT* hearing them. There was the 'obligatory' awwwwwla, awwwwwla, awwwwwla, awwwwwwla - (the mic-shy gentleman who can't find his downlink).

(Don't these clowns have receivers ??.....LA2QAA)

AO-51, what a wonderful resource for showing the non-amateur listeners that these operators are fully competant to operate an emergency network like the one mentioned planned for Intelsat.

I'm absolutely convinced !!! Intelsat will welcome such operating with open arms!.

My (non-amateur) neighbour's immediate comment was - "I'm glad my !!! life doesn't depend on you lot, it sounds like a fox loose in a henhouse".

I'm ashamed to say, I absolutely agree with him.

I also sincerely hope that the standard of operating (read: disipline/ proceedure) is better in North America than it is in Europe - actually, I've listened via N1DID and Echolink, as well as the promo video so I know it is.

73 John.   <la2qaa@hotmail.com>  
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