Saturday, January 02, 2010

Xi Wàng : to hope

With 37 sounds and 4 tones, Mandarin is beyond my imminent learning, but I have this start: Xi Wàng (to hope, to wish for, to desire).

Hope OSCAR 68 is the designated name for XW-1, the Chinese satellite that launched December 14 and soon began supporting communications by amateur radio.

The first North American pass with the FM transponder activated was immensely crowded, hampering almost everyone's ability to make a contact or upload a packet. Mostly I listened to chaos. Occasionally, I would transmit a partial syllable and quickly determine I was having no luck with low power and an indoor Arrow antenna.

A day or two later, I managed to get in "1AIA" while the satellite was coming over from the north, prompting a persistent KC9ELU to try an exchange. But no go.

Finally, on January first, I made my first HO-68 contact. KB2M. I followed that one with three more before the bird slipped below my radio horizon. Welcome, 2010!

Thanks and congratulations to AMSAT-China for what seems to be an extraordinary Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio.

(And next time I hear OZ1MY on a trans-Atlantic HO-68 orbit, I hope to put him in the log.)

Edit 2012-05-09: Removed links to camsat.cn, as they were not found and forbidden.