Witty conversationalist that I am, it was good to work another station. :) Drew came in near his TCA, dropped out for a minute, and then came back just before my LOS. In both cases, the limiting factor seemed to be breaking the squelch. As the ISS moved away, I had a good shot at the earth facing antenna, and had to slowly ramp up the TX power as the range increased. I could actually get in almost to my LOS due to a clean local horizon here, but the power to the brick amp was approaching the "Danger Will Robinson!" level.
I am wondering if they could experiment with opening the squelch up a bit? I understand the cooling issues, but expect there may be less spurious signals on mode L than the normal frequencies.
FWIW, pass was AOS at 295 degrees azimuth, 18 degrees elevation, and LOS at azimuth 140 degrees, 12 degrees elevation. I suspect in both cases power limited.
PS Thanks to all for the receptions reports from listeners. They have been highly encouraging and helpful!