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This weekend has been all about rocket construction, but I took a break and pointed my new dual-band Yagi antenna toward the AO-51 amateur radio repeater satellite as it made a pass up the Pacific coastline. After some fiddling, I managed to clearly hear a mass of hams making contacts. Neat! Voices from Space! (Hmm... What is the proper collective noun for "hams?") After a few minutes, the satellite settled over the horizon and the voices faded into the noise.

I had my radio configured for the uplink channel and PL tone, but I didn't transmit. I don't really know the proper protocol and, having had little experience of the sort, my brain was not able to parse the rapid-fire speech and call signs (mostly in phonetic alphabet) at full line rate. I'll do some more listening and see if I can attune myself to it.
Albert Milliron's profile photo
Satcom is really fun. AO-51 does a good job. I use and HT and an arrow.. de AL7KT
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