At 01:29 AM 5/31/2008, Robert Bruninga wrote:
I learn that the most unfascinating thing to the overwhelming majority is LEO satellites.
Me thinks you skews the facts.
If it is so "unfascinating", why is it the most popular mode?
Well, for me, the LEOs are interesting to play with, FM or SSB. SSB does take extra skill with Doppler correction and the like. However, due to subtle lifestyle changes over the years, I do find it more difficult to get out for the specific 10-15 minutes required to work a pass, and I have to resurrect my satellite antenna (just a little mechanical work required there).
However, in this part of the world, the number of countries workable on a LEO can be counted on 2 hands. The number that actually have the necessary gear (70cm is a real challenge), well they will fit on one hand. I've managed to work VK (1-9), ZL and P29 on LEO FM. 3D2 has been worked by others, but I never got to work them myself. Long distances and the lack of UHF gear on the islands really hurts DX opportunities. At the time I was most active, 10 metres was active, and I was able to talk to some of the Pacific islanders about satellite operation, and that's when I discovered the lack of 70cm out there. Still, FM is fun in its own way, especially when you try combining it with being in unusual situations, or mobile in remote areas.
As for the linear birds, RS-10 was fun in the early 90's, worked a few on there. I didn't have as much luck with RS-12/13 (only QSOs I had there were pre-arranged), and I never had 70cm SSB to work the Fujis (or more recently, VO-52).
I haven't had the pleasure of working a HEO, but when one does appear, I'd like to give it a shot.
73 de VK3JED http://vkradio.com