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AO-16 this weekend?



Hey everyone,

How about some AO-16 contacts this weekend?
 
I’ve mentioned in posts to the BB this week that I would like to apply for a separate Satellite Communications Achievement Award from AMSAT using only confirmed contacts on AO-16 in this unique and, most likely, “one off” operating mode of V-FM up and U-DSB down. It’s a real hoot to work, as some of you know – and there’s no guarantee we’ll have AO-16 much longer. That’s been reported in the just-arrived (July-August) issue of “The AMSAT Journal” by Drew, KO4MA.  The first report on AO-16’s rebirth appeared in the March-April issue of the Journal.
 
As I write this, I’m one state/Canadian province/DX country away from the 20 necessary to apply for the award, but I’d like to work as many as possible before AO-16 goes silent again – and maybe forever.
 
Here’s the list worked by N3TL so far in AO-16’s “bent pipe” mode:
 
Venezuela
Ontario
California
Florida
Indiana
Iowa
Kentucky
Louisiana
Massachusetts
Michigan
Mississippi
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
 
Thanks to Clare, VE3NPC, who read an earlier post in which I referred to my interest in trying for my own little AO-16 award. He made a pass later than day and we had a great contact. Thanks again for that, Clare!
 
I’m thrilled to have made contacts with the stations that made the very fist voice contact on AO-16 back in January (as reported in the earlier Journal article mentioned above) – N8MH and KO4MA. That’s pretty cool!
 
So, if you live somewhere not listed above and have the time and gear to make a pass of AO-16 that includes north Georgia in the footprint, I’ll be listening for you! As for the necessary gear, I’m routinely using a “poor man’s full duplex” station – transmitting from my Yaesu  VX-7R HT into an eFactor omni antenna mounted on a photo tripod and receiving on a Yaesu FT-817ND connected to my Elk log periodic. On passes to my east, I'll use my "base" transmitter, a Yaesu FT-857D into the eFactor omni, with the RF out on the 857D routinely set to 5 watts. I’m manually tuning for Doppler on the receive side, and hand-holding the Elk to track the receive side manually. It’s a little challenging, but a lot of fun!
 
FYI –  the frequency pair is 145.920/FM up (the same as AO-51’s “normal” 2 meter uplink) and 437.026/DSB (+/- Doppler) down. Listen in upper sideband, and start looking for AO-16 at about 437.036 at AOS, tuning down from there.
 
No matter where you live, you really ought to work some passes of AO-16 if you can. There’s a historical significance to this current mode and the story behind it that’s pretty special, I think, and worthy of our interest and attention. 
 
73 to all,
 
Tim – N3TL
AMSAT Member No. 36820
Athens, Ga. – EM84ha
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