Since it is summertime here, coupled with working extra time during most of the last week, I didn't get out to work a lot of AO-51 passes while the S-band downlink was on. I was able to work two AO-51 V/S passes - a western pass Thursday evening, and an eastern pass Saturday afternoon. Using the same basic setup as I have done for V/S over the past 3 years, changing only the transmit antenna (Elk log periodic, instead of my Arrow Antennas Yagi) and receive radio (mobile radio, instead of an HT), it was as I remember it. Unfortunately, there weren't a lot of stations on those passes.
Thursday evening (early Friday, UTC time) had just 4 stations on - XE2BHL, W7LRD, KC9ELU, and N0JY. I was operating from the Phoenix city park where I do most of my satellite operating when I am not on the road, at the DM33xp/DM43ap grid boundary. I was in Tucson for most of Saturday, and stopped in Marana - a northwest suburb of Tucson, just off the I-10 freeway in grid DM42jl - for that pass on my way home from there. I worked 4 stations from down there (K8YSE, WA5KBH, XE2BHL, and KC9ELU), and heard one other I was not able to make a QSO with (N5ZNL). Thanks to all of you for showing up and putting some activity on those passes!
There hasn't been a lot of chatter on the -BB about this week of V/S activity. Did other operators hear more activity on other passes? How did it go for those in other parts of the world? I hope there were times with more activity than having only 5 or 6 stations on these passes during a week's time. I had my S-band gear in my truck for the entire week, so I could get on whenever I had free time to work AO-51 passes.
Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK http://www.wd9ewk.net/
P.S.: If anyone who worked me yesterday from DM42 wants my QSL card for our QSO, please e-mail me with QSO details. If you're in the log, I'll send out a card.