Pulled up the Heavens Above application on my phone yesterday just to see what FM birds were going to be in the air before sunset. AO-85 had two good passes for my location, so I hopped up on the roof yesterday. I had about 15 minutes to get ready for the first pass, but was prepared to leave my gear ready for the second pass. I just kept thinking to myself ‘this is going to fail, you’re rushing this, just do the second pass’… But I persevered and commenced operating AO-85 yesterday with my Kenwood TM-V71A & Elk Log Periodic antenna, and finally made my first contact with KG5CCI.
The folks over in the N5OAK recommended SO-50 or AO-85 as a first sat, and i’m glad they did. I was only set to 10 watts on the TM-V71A, but now understand that AO-85 occasionally requires more power to get into. Taking all things into consideration, i.e. EIRP from the Elk log periodic, that’s a lot of juice!
The operating was fast paced and intense – I learned a few things this go around too. First – use a headset just like I do for HF. I completely got his call wrong, but luckily we linked up on social media. Also, the roof isn’t exactly the most comfortable place for a QSO, LOL. I’ll have to find a slightly elevated and open area near my home that I can trek to quickly to work the sats. I’ll need to program the frequencies in the radio as well. I’ve been manually entering the freqs for both SO-50 & AO-85 over the past couple weeks, and it does become time consuming after awhile. Last lesson – I’ll also need a recorder of some sort. I think its time for a Zoom recorder finally. It would certainly help me in the video arena.
All of a sudden I had 6 emails in my inbox this morning after I worked that FM sat! Folks telling me that they heard me, and that they’d like to work me sometime. Why didn’t I get on this sooner?