I've been at this satellite thing for more than 35 years, so when a
family trip took me through some relatively rare grids in Nebraska last
week, I thought it would be a great chance to try out my new FT-818 on
a rove. Looks like fun, and how hard can it be?
Well, this old satellite hand had forgotten many of the skills needed
back before I built a capable, computer-controlled station. I didn't
practice enough with the new rig at home, I didn't get familiar enough
with the location apps, and I assumed too much expertise on the part of
the operator. In fact, I couldn't even find the grid line correctly!
And on another pass, I couldn't even hear the bird (still working on
what happened there).
So, moral of the story, sometimes getting out of one's comfort zone and
trying something different is a good thing. But doing so requires some
humility. Some things are harder than they look, whether it's building
and launching a satellite, or just working one from a gravel road in
Nebraska. My hat is off to the successful rovers across the nation.
And I shall work on (re)learning the necessary basic skills before
setting out again.
(P.S., if you were one of the stations I worked from the "grid line,"
the LoTW upload has been corrected. Sorry, it was only EN11.)
Mark D. Johns, KØJM
AMSAT Ambassador & News Service Editor
Brooklyn Park, MN USA EN35hd
"Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit,
you would stay out and your dog would go in."