A day of variety: Legal AM/SSB CB, patchy 50MHz Es and fun on VO-52

Some would say it was 30 years too late, but here in the UK, today was the day that AM and SSB CB was made legal on the CEPT 'mid' band, with an output power of 4W AM and 12W SSB. Good news as far as I am concerned and it will give me the opportunity to make contact with various friends who are active on CB and not amateur radio.

Not much about in the way of Es today, although I did manage a late afternoon QSO with HA8IB on 50MHz. Pretty quiet apart from that.

Late in the afternoon, I caught a couple of VO-52 satellite passes. The first was a very low angle one, around 2 degrees over Russia. I had a nice snappy CW QSO with Imre HA1SE. I was pleased to find I could work a pass at that distance and elevation, as I'd love to try working UA9CS and potentially even UA0SUN.

The second pass was a bit higher and I had a sketchy exchange - I'm not going to call it a QSO with 4X1AJ, but we heard each other before some noise kicked in here and that was that. As we're both reasonably regularly active, I'm hopeful of making a QSO before long.

Tim Kirby, G4VXE, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Oxfordshire, England. Contact him at [email protected].

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