Monday, January 23, 2017

SO-50 - A Case Study

I post this video with only the following context: Gabe, NJ7H is on a rare grid road-trip thru the Northwest part of Canada. He stopped on the DO22/DO32 Line to do two passes; A Ukube-1 pass to my west, and a single SO50 to my northeast. I drove to the mountain to have the best chance at a QSO, and it managed to pay off as I picked him up quickly on Ukube-1.

Instead of tearing down and going back to the office though, I disconnected all the TX portions of my rig, and setup to record video only because I wanted to demonstrate how polarity works with a perfect horizon, and because I thought it would be good to show a solid rover like Gabe in action.

Well, I got some video alright, and it showed way more than what I had bargained for. I present to you the 1/23/2017 2012z SO-50 pass from my location in EM34.



So.. Here's the play by play:

(Waiting for AOS)
(Start to hear the modulation of the bird)
(Someone keys down)
NJ7H Announces himself.
(I start playing with Polarity, showing how it MATTERS)
KB1PVH Calls NJ7H/VE6 - Completes QSO.
WC7V Calls NJ7H/VE6 - Completes QSO.
N8HM Calls NJ7H/VE6 - Completes QSO.
KB1RVT Calls NJ7H/VE6 - Completes QSO.
NX9B Calls, N4UFO calls at the same time, smashes NX9B
NJ7H/VE6 Starts to Answer N9XB - But WA4NVM comes in and smashes NJ7H's QSL..
NJ7H/VE6 Answers WA4NVM, gives grids.
K8IPV comes in an announces himself after a lull.
NU4FO calls NJ7H/VE6 again.
WA4NVM calls NJ7H/VE6 again.
Someone says "Hey already got you rick" which is quickly followed by NX9B giving his call, again.
WA4NVM announces himself, again, probably trying to get NJ7H/VE6.
N4UFO Clearly says "Hey answered you rick" and then gives his own callsign, again.
NJ7H/VE6 answers N4UFO gives grid. N4UFO quickly gives 73s - Completes QSO.
KC1EXK calls NJ7H/VE6 - Completes QSO.
N9IP calls NJ7H/VE6 - NJ7H/VE6 answers, but is stepped on by someone announcing themselves in EN80, like K8IPV.
NX9B announces himself, again. NJ7H/VE6 QSLs him, again.
WA4NVM calls NJ7H/VE6, again. Gabe answers him, again. WA4NVM finally QSLs him.
NX9B cals NJ7H/VE6, again.
K8IPV calls NX9B.
N9XB calls NJ7H/VE6, yet again.
NJ7H/VE6 QSLs NX9B, for a THIRD time.
W4FS calls NJ7H/VE6, but is stepped on by N9IP.
W4FS calls NJ7H/VE6 again.
KK4FEM calls NJ7H/VE6.
Someone announces "He has half a degree"
W4FS calls NJ7H/VE6 again.
Someone asks "What were the grids?" "Delta Oscar 22 and 32" is answered. "Thanks"
N9IP calls NJ7H again.
"He's out of the footprint, minus 1 1/2 degrees"
"Delta Oscar 32 Again?"
"Delta Oscar 22, Delta Oscar 32"
NM3B answers "QSL, NM3B FN01, your call again?"
(I bust out laughing in the background)
"They were asking about a station that's out of footprint Wayne"
"If Everyone would listen we'd be alot more efficient here. Especially in such a narrow window"

End of the interesting stuff.


Analysis:

Wow.

I honestly think most of this goes into the category of what a friend of mine referred to as 'general liddery'. The commentary, post footprint talk, and just randomly announcing yourself is kinda silly, and definitely requires better situational awareness, but I don't believe there was any malice intended. Get better situationally aware, get better ears, just try harder. It happens though, we all make mistakes. I screwed up myself tonight on a few occasions... No Harm, No Foul..

....Except where there is harm intended.

<This is going to offend some people. Stop reading now if you're a precious snowflake>

Two operators in particular, N9XB and WA4NVM broke the cardinal rule of Satellite operating. Never transmit if you can't hear. Both of these operators have been at this a long time. They have a ton of grids (more than me) - They have automated stations, and they know the score. NJ7H had to answer WA4NVM twice, and had to answer NX9B 3 times before they finally used their 'release to listen' buttons and heard their QSL.

I try real hard to cut people slack, but these two deserve no slack at all. Their activity is bordering on malicious interference... and this is not the first time, or even the second time. If you're reading this, and you operate Satellites (two things that are very likely) then you've probably heard these two at it - and you know quite well they're repeat offenders.

Do me, yourself, and this entire community a favor. Tell them to piss off. Operating practices like these are a pox on amateur radio satellites. We as operators have to call out our own when they act like this.