VO-52 satellite missing in action

It's been a busy couple of weeks here, all good, but busy. Last weekend, a visit to the shack coincided with a pass of VO-52 according to GPREDICT. I listened and listened and didn't hear a thing. Being somewhat new to satellites, I always assume that if I don't hear anything, it's my fault (it usually is!). I checked the TLEs I was using in GPREDICT and all was ok. I checked the 145Mhz receiver - all ok. Very odd.

I didn't have a chance to think about it again until yesterday afternoon when I was in the shack working on a review of the Wouxun UV-8D for Practical Wireless and I noticed that VO-52 was due again. Once again, I heard nothing. Again I checked my receiver and the TLEs. I was now starting to think that perhaps it wasn't me.

On Twitter, I asked my satellite friends if there was any news about VO-52 that I had missed. Ricardo EA4GMZ kindly replied saying that it had been out of order for some days and included two useful links, one satellite status page and secondly to the threads on the AMSAT message board, where if you page down, you will find some messages relating to VO-52.

VO-52 had very quickly become one of my favourite satellites once I got going with it earlier in the year. I hope we shall hear from it again.
Tim Kirby, G4VXE, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Oxfordshire, England. Contact him at [email protected].

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