I was on the most recent pass of AO-7 (2113-2130Z). The satellite was in Mode A, and while within range of southern Arizona there were exactly two stations on it: W1AW/0 on SSB and myself on CW.
Why so few? Although the 10m downlink is not as strong as when the bird was new, signal strength on my Elecraft KX3 and multi-band vertical was more than adequate. I suspect that, for many, the problem is a poor receiving antenna.
If you have a 10m beam, so much the better, but you don't really need one. A good ground plane or vertical antenna, or a 10m dipole at a reasonable height (say, 30 feet or more) iwill produce good results. Elevation controll is not required -- AO-7 will be above 30 degrees elevation less than 10% of the time it is within range of your station.
SKN on OSCAR is coming up on January 1st, UTC. See you on all satellite modes!
73 Ray W2RS
Hi Ray: I was trying to work AO-7 mode "A" yesterday and didn't have any luck at all. I have been able in the past, I think it was last week. I was using a Cushcraft A4 beam. I tried two passes yesterday, no luck. Todd AL7PX