The Great Satellite Deluge

September brought the amateur radio satellite community a whole new era of voice transponder fun. China’s Long March 6 (CZ-6) rocket delivered a series of satellites, most carrying amateur radio transponders.
I was very lucky to be one of the first in the world to receive footprint of the new satellites during their first orbit.  To my amazement, I copied beacons and telemetry from all of the new objects!
I quickly discovered that the transponders on XW-2E and XW-2F were operating. I called CQ for a bit on both but did not receive any responses.  It wasn’t until the second orbit that I worked Glenn, AA5PK.
Fast-forward to today and now we have 2 (sometimes 3, depending on LilacSat-2’s schedule) new transponders available to work.  XW-2E and XW-2F seem to be great sounding birds with good ears. SatPC32 Doppler correction works flawlessly with the newest set of Keplerian elements.  
LilacSat-2’s FM transponder is activated on a schedule.  I’ve made a handful of contacts on it with stations across the USA.  I think the control stations are still figuring some things out but I have been very grateful for their efforts to give us a workable FM transponder.

As you can see, this is quite a few satellites moving towards my location for AOS.  Which one should I work?  That’s a great question to be faced with when it seemed as if a few years ago, the number of amateur satellite transponders was dwindling.

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