January was an interesting month with the launch of AO-92 and PicSat which increased interest more by amateurs however total QSOs this month for myself have been low sitting around 72 QSOs which is pretty poor used to work more than that in a week however with the move last year things are still settling down and shack needs to be built, but hopefully can start that once summer approaches.

Interesting QSOs this month have been mostly new countries

FO-29 worked HB9WDF in Switzerland for a new DXCC and square and SQ9KPA which was a new square.

AO-7 saw a couple of new USA stations worked these being WA8FXQ and NK1N.

AO-85 worked EA7JHV which was a new callsign.

AO-92, of course, perked up some interest and my first pass was less than 8 degrees elevation to the east on the 24th this saw me working SP5MG and SP9TTX, of course, the next few passes saw a lot more QSOs with the regulars.

It’s also probably worth noting some bad operating standards being heard on FM satellites, with lots of dead carriers, whistling and other random noises, operators calling CQ for a whole pass while there’s on-going QSOs, if you can’t hear QSO’s taking place on a mid-day FM pass I urge you to look over your equipment these are busy passes, while semi-duplex is cheap duplex reduces chaos.

Polarisation Panel

Polarisation Panel

There also seems a culture where some of the regulars will work each other on every FM pass even when its busy, while it’s nice to work friends with the additions of AO-91/92 is now a good time to work new people, keep the rag chewing for linear satellites, also try keep information to the smallest amount possible, verbose overs take up time and stop others making QSOs.

Outside of general operating trying to work on getting a 100 grid squares confirmed via LOTW, I’ve been making some progress on some station elements to help with having to route fewer cables. I’ve attached the polarisation switch to a relay board which is now being controlled using some python and a web interface, it also means soft switching which is helpful as on bad pain days rotary knobs aren’t too kind, I’ll share some more info on this at a later point.