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Re: Organised Chaos.

John Hackett LA2QAA wrote:
> 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.

I can assure you it definitely is.  If you have read my 'road trip' 
posts, then you would know that i do have alot of experience in mode 
J-FM.  We have occasional problem with people calling CQ who can't
hear the satellite and there is some unnecessary QRM from people who
can't hear their own downlink (e.g. are not operating full-duplex).
But it is quite workable much of the time, especially on weekdays. 
My biggest frustration out here is when alot of the satellite time
is taken up with the 'regulars' saying hello to the same people, 
week after week.

Weekends, particularly on AO-51 and often on AO-27, can get pretty
chaotic.  My experience on my trip from California to Colorado/New
Mexico was that it seemed to get somewhat worse as i went east.  So 
i would say it has to do with the population density in the footprint
of the satellite.  Yet on the quieter passes on that trip, several
times i sent a quick message home third-party via satellite where i
would be camping for the night when there was no cell phone coverage
or pay phones available.  Amateur radio works when nothing else will.

Before i say alot more on why i think there might be such a difference
between operating in the United States and in western Europe, i need
to transcribe my satellite passes when i visited Paris last year.  I've
procrastinated doing this simply because i don't think i had more than
one or two QSOs worthy of a QSL card out of 7 passes attempted while i
was over there this time.  I did do better in 2005 with two successful
QSOs in 4 passes from southern France.

In North America, Mode J-FM is quite workable if what you are looking for
is a QSL card.  It is also good for amateur satellite demonstrations, as
almost always, there will be someone to talk to.  Please use a linear
transponder if you want to have an extended QSO when a satellite covers 
well-populated areas.  While Mode J-FM can be very frustrating at times, 
if you're looking for VUCC or Worked All States on satellite, clearly it
is the best way to go in North America.  

				   -- KD6PAG

P.S.  Except on SO-50 when i'm on the road, all contacts referenced above
were made at 1W or less.  So power is not necessarily a factor.

P.P.S.  Addendum to my Portland trip report, W6ASL received 17 grid squares 
out of 19 activated.  Good work, Jim.
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