I've been reading of some difficulties working XW-3. I found there is an "XW-3 (CAS-9) Amateur Radio Satellite User's Manual" and on page 2 and 3 I read the transponder power is 20 dbm. So everybody on that bird is sharing 100 mW. Even if you're talking to yourself, its not a lot of downlink power.
I got SatPC32 configured for this sat quite easily. I found HO-113 in my sats list by updating keps. I set up doppler.sqf and I was in business for this pass here in WA: 0550Z, Jan 6th. It was a nearly zenith pass and when it was up at 50 deg or more, I found my signal right away. No problems! When it was at 25 deg elevation, I heard a couple W6 stations. Welcome XW-3!
My working conditions: IC-9700, SatPC32, M2 eggbeaters with preamps.The 2m eggbeater is at 35 ft and the 70cm is at 25 ft (both outdoors).
I did not do anything special to hear myself on XW-3. I was not really loud but very Q5. I also want to say that user's manual provides very complete documentation. II found it on the Amsat-UK website.
73, Larry W7DGP