Sunday, December 20, 2009

XW-1 In Linear Transponder Mode

Last night, or 2:30UTC Sunday, North America had its first run at the linear transponder aboard XW-1, the new Chinese amateur satellite. I had just finished mounting the quadrifilar helix antenna published in November's QST, so I was able to transmit to the uplink for the first time in ages.

The 'mood' on the satellite's passband was amazing. some people were apparently having trouble finding their downlink and sending morse dits up and down the band. But the most fun was to listen in to conversations as NA amateurs were amazed at their conversations continuing down to the horizon. I made two QSO's, very briefly, with N9KQQ and AA5PK. One of these lasted below 1 deg azimuth. At that point, I had considerable difficulty hearing my own downlink because the power needed for the 2m omni's transmissions was wiping out my 70cm downlink. But that has nothing to do with XW-1, which is a very exciting new addition to the fleet and a worthy successor to FO-29, my favorite satellite.

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