Congratulations to Hector Martinez, CO6CBF and Joe Murphy, EI5EV for completing the first satellite contact between Cuba and Ireland on April 3, 2013 on FO-29.
The distance between CO6CBF and EI5EV is 6955.1 km. Both stations had a 66 second window within the FO-29 footprint. Hector wrote, “Doppler is always in play. We did the calculations based on the great feature implemented on SatPC32 V12.8b using the option of seeing the frequency you are at the satellite receiver. This was our common reference point. I was very satisfied when I heard Joe exactly on the frequency I was expecting!”
Hector operated from on top of a tall building which improved his horizon visibility toward Europe. He used a Yaesu FT-817ND transceiver, 30 watt power amplifier, and a homebrew Arrow with a homebrew mast mounted amplifier. Everything was powered by two 12 volt, 7 amp gel cell batteries.
FO-29 is at apogee which has increased the size of its footprint and improved chances for satellite DX contacts. Another example is Bob, W7LRD (grid CN87) reported a successful contact with Boris, UA0QJ (grid PP42) via FO-29 on March 26. The range between the two stations is 6268 km.
Hector has also completed a 7186 km contact with Jose Antonio, EA4CYQ in Spain. Cuban amateur radio operators cannot operate on the 432 MHz frequencies used by AO-7 so the FO-29 is their only opportunity for satellite DX contacts.
Hector would like to set up schedules with satellite operators in the FO-29 footprint. Please e-mail him at co6cbf[at]frcuba.co.cu.
[ANS thanks Hector Martinez, CO6CBF for the above information]