AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG
Paul Stoetzer N8HM provides an update on the 73 on 73 Award for contacts made via the amateur radio satellite AO-73 (FUNcube-1).
Just a reminder that the award period for the 73 on 73 Award begins at 0000Z on September 1st, so begin keeping track of the unique callsigns that you work on AO-73. When you reach 73 unique callsigns in your log, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a list of calls, date, and time worked (in GMT) and your mailing address. I hope to have a website up soon with an example of what the award will look like.
Some tips for working AO-73:
- Keep in mind the frequency drift on the transponder. The offset needed on your transmit frequency is usually from +10 kHz to +16 kHz. This can vary throughout the pass, requiring frequency adjustments if using computer control. Many find manually tuning the uplink to maintain a constant downlink to work better than computer control.
- I usually start a pass by trying to find myself come into the top edge of the passband (145.970 MHz). To do this, I usually start transmitting around 435.135 MHz and tuning up slowly until I can hear myself enter the passband. Then I can move around the transponder easily. Remember to tune your uplink to maintain an constant downlink frequency (the opposite of FO-29).
- Keep power output down. The transponder has a very sensitive receiver and a very active AGC circuit. Excessive uplink power will not make your signal louder – it will only reduce that available for others on the transponder. With a clear view of the horizon, 5 watts to an Arrow or Elk is plenty for horizon to horizon coverage. Very slightly more might be necessary if you are beaming through trees or other obstructions, but try to keep power to 25-40 watts ERP.
Good luck! Who will claim the 73 on 73 Award #1?
73, Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
Washington, DC, USA (FM18lv)
73 on 73 Award Announcement