All the alligators come out on SO-50…

January 20, 2008 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

Alligators have big mouths, but little ears. On a satellite, an alligator is someone who sends a loud signal without listening, effectively trashing someone elses communication. On this SO-50 pass, I was having some difficulty getting in because people are obviously hitting transmit without listening for each other. I tried to get the downlink a couple of times, but only managed to get it once. Somebody out there did here me, a WA6 station, but I didn’t manage to get the callsign. I heard regulars VA7VW and W0SAT.

You probably don’t want to listen to this crappy audio, but here it is anyway.

Alligators on SO-50, Jan 20, 2008

Addendum: Amidst all the bedlam, i heard the word “Toronto”, and in relistening, heard the callsign VE3OSC, which is apparently the callsign for the Ontario Science Center in Toronto. According to my geocoding website and my gridsquare calculator, that’s just about 3700km away, which is just a tiny bit further than my previous longest contact, to NH7WN in Hawaii. Neat!

CM87 -> BL11: bearing 251.0° distance: 3726.1 km
CM87 -> FN03: bearing  65.8° distance: 3762.9 km

Addendum2: On the second, western SO-50 pass, I caught VA7VW again, much better, although with the typical strong fading I seem to get on SO-50. He apparently was irritated enough by VE3OSC’s “all talk, no listen” operation that he called them up.

Listen to his comments at the beginning of the followup pass…

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