I don’t really have any encouraging emails or cheery letters to share about my experiences in satellites, though it was a great year.
I managed to work from more grids, bringing my total number of rover grids to 76. One station has worked me in 60+ of those grids and is the lead contender for the ClaytonVUCC. I had hoped to wrap up working from every Texas grid but some still are just outside of reach. In March 2014 I hope to knock out three of the more challenging ones.
I got to spend time with friends at the 2013 AMSAT Symposium in Houston. It was just as fun, if not more, than the previous year in Orlando. The highlight of that was my friend Hector receiving his US callsign and subsequently making his first AO-7 mode B contact (since mode B is not usable in his home country.)
At the last few hours of 2013 I was able to put up my best pair of antennas yet, along with my G-5500 that had been purchased used but sitting in a box for over a year.
Starting off 2014 I made my first transatlantic contact on AO-7 mode B for a distance of 7,400kms.
I still have some kinks to work out of my newly erected satellite station before starting some schedules with Europe, but now I know it’s possible.