On Saturday, I was at around 2600-3200 ft elevation going through
Skyline Drive in Northern Virginia. I hadn't planned on working any
satellite passes since I was a portable station and not participating
in Field Day, but I stopped to listen to two AO-27 passes in the
The first pass, I was facing the west side of the mountains.
Amazingly, I heard 4 stations trying to get into AO-27 on the uplink.
I was hearing them direct on 145.85. The funny thing is, not one of
them ever was picked up by AO-27. Secondly, 2 of the 4 stations kept
giving their callsign over and over from AOS to LOS, even with AO-27
being on a seven minute timer. This tells me a couple of things: 1.
They don't know how AO-27 operates and 2. They apparently weren't
listening to the bird. I tried calling two of the strongest stations
on 145.85 after the pass, thinking they might be listening. Nope. I
never heard a response. Makes me wonder how many people leave the
volume up on the uplink side of their setup (if running full duplex.)
The second pass, I was pleased to hear several "5 land" stations
making contacts through the madness. However, I heard several
different stations on the uplink. This time it was the usual variety
of "hello hello hello" and "test 1 2 3." Again, I was hearing this
trash all on the uplink 145.85... The sad part is, I never heard a
callsign. It sounded like 2-3 different stations trying than on the
I realize the satellite hears a lot more crap than I could ever hear
at 3200 feet, but it was a very interesting perspective I've not
encountered before. I have been in areas when other stations (local)
were on the birds, but this is different -- one of the stations I
heard on the uplink was 200+ miles away.