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Newbie question about AO-07



For some reason, I cannot seem to find info which indicates the mode for the
pass...mode A or B.  I usually figure it out after listening on 145 downlink
and not hearing anything then going to the 29 MHz downlink.  Once, I even
heard my downlink on 29.45 MHz at the start of the pass only to hear it
stop.  Was not sure what happened until I started tuning around and
discovered the bird had SWITCHED from mode A to mode B in the middle of the
pass!  So my question is...other than trial and error or listening for the
beacons (which won't help if the bird switches during the pass), is there
any pattern or location of information for the prediction of the mode?
Thanks, as I am thrilled each time I can get through this oldie-but-goodie
with 5 watts on CW.  What a blast!

An additional question since the batteries have long ceased to function on
AO-7, it only works during sunlight passes.  Somebody mentioned that this
will happen less and less as we get close to winter solstice.  Is this
because AO7 is in a northerly LEO orbit?  If it passes in the southern
hemisphere, would it not have MORE available online time?  I see
http://planetemily.com/ao7/Eclipse.php but it's not a predictor for November
2008 (and I am not sure I understand it anyway).  Should I just set
Orbitron/HRD for AO7 "in sunlight/illumination" only option?

Mark Lunday
WD4ELG
wd4elg@arrl.net
http://wd4elg.net


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