Out of the blue, on 30th April 2019, I received an email from Adrian VA3NNA (FN03) asking for a sked – how on earth did he get my details and know I played with satellites (or had), after all it’s been 18 months at least – I later found out that my ‘pimp’ (2M0SQL) had put my name forward as one possibility for MU land and it’s respective IN89 grid – thanks Peter, that’s put me on the spot eh!
In my lead up to this I had to go away and practice eh… see previous post…
Adrian and I arranged a mutually convenient schedule using an excellent site he showed me – www.satmatch.com it was to be the evening of Tuesday 21st May on FO-29 – below all set up ready to go. This was my AOS but I hadn’t made the Alaskan up fully at the time of the pic.
I bought the Alaskan Arrow to enable me the best gain possible with low passes as that’s what interests me really and in this instance FO-29 being a max 8 deg elevation pass thought it best.
Just to set the scene – this was my LOS but 10 minutes before the pass started 🙂
It’s 20:08z – I started calling…
Amazingly I was hearing myself almost from the very start. I called and called, matching the Doppler whilst having a fixed 2m TX – Unfortunately (or not) the only QSO I got was guess who…? Peter (2M0SQL), he drops in with “QRZ…” ‘MU0WLV’ “Oh.. Its you!” it made me chuckle.. sadly though I didn’t hear VA3NNA at all that evening, in fact I heard no one else other than Peter.
So Adrian and I then set up for the evening of Thursday 23rd May – we will give it another go!
FO-29 again – AOS 20:03z another max 8 deg elevation pass, Adrian would come to the party about 20:08z – I’m calling… I hear myself but I am REALLY weak – something isn’t right – I hear myself up and down in volume and I’m assuming it’s my naff set up with RG58 and suffering desense too, but as I struggle to hear I keep thinking it cant be desense as I can, on and off, hear myself fairly strongly.
I later found out that it was most likely someone elsewhere on the pass-band sucking all the power out of the satellite by using higher power than really necessary, hey ho. It was such hard work tracking myself that I had all but given up, after all if I cant hear me then how ‘on earth’ will I hear Adrian… but I didn’t give up… I carried on calling and then in the last minute of the pass I heard myself become a lot stronger and then almost at the same time I heard Adrian replying to me…. bish bash bosh – VA3NNA FN03 in the log! It was the very end of the pass for me, the QSO took place just before LOS…
NEVER GIVE UP, you really don’t know what’s going to happen.
What have I learnt over the past few weeks? I need hours and hours more practice and I need to make the deployment of the gear much slicker – that’s a work in progress… new Ultraflex7 coax for the tails on its way for starters!
I’m hoping to be much more active again.. especially (and more likely) on the lower passes – If you hear me ‘on the birds’ then please be gentle, it would be a pleasure to work you.
73 – Adam – MU0WLV – IN89rk