Actually we can do split on AO-51. If anyone felt a DX-depition was worth the effort and resources, we just tell the DX to use one uplink channel and the people replying to use the other. It would maximise QSO rate and even a handheld with low audio would be Q5 without any interfering signals.
We considered doing this, but unless they used two receivers, how would anyone know when to shut up and when to call? Even though there is a capture effect, when 20 signals come up at once, usually no one wins. Now if we'd used the SSB receiver on the user uplink?
Or just a second FM receiver with an unpublished uplink frequency for the DXpedition - just like how it is done with the ISS school contacts we hear on 145.800 MHz? This is not a perfect alternative, but might give them a fighting chance to be heard and still keep it FM on the uplink and downlink.
This whole DXpedition was on a space and operator available basis. We looked at sending a 817 for the transponder sats, but the space and operators unfamiliar with current satellites kept us to the HT and Arrow. I think it's still a positive that so many made QSOs considering the alternative.
It's been good to see your posts listing who made it into the K5D satellite log. Despite whatever was happening on those passes, QSOs were being made. I didn't work any SO-50 passes over the last few days where K5D was in the footprint with me, and avoided the second AO-51 repeater so K5D could be the focus of attention on those passes.
Rest assured I've learned from this, and future efforts will benefit from those lessons. Meanwhile, I've identified the jerks among us from some of the really out of line negative comments directed at me and the expedition members ;-).
Thanks for your efforts to get K5D to be on the satellites - even though I won't have K5D in my log this time. Maybe we will have opportunities to work future DXpeditions on whatever satellites we have at that time. More equipment would be needed, but we have options on that front like we've never had in the past with the small rigs and portable antennas.
Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK http://www.wd9ewk.net/