The nearly 46-year-old AO-7 amateur satellite made a remarkable contact possible on May 4 between Diego Feil, LW2DAF, in Buenos Aires, Argentina (GF05rk), and Tom Ambrose, ZS1TA, in Cape Town, South Africa (JF95fx). The contact spanned 4,329 miles across the South Atlantic, with both stations aiming at only 2 or 3 degrees above the horizon.
Both stations had been watching orbital predictions for several weeks, and times when both stations could “see” AO-7 at the same time occurred only occasionally. Electrical noise, particularly in Cape Town, had hampered earlier efforts, but on the morning of May 4, noise levels were low, and a perfect contact was possible with full call signs and reports exchanged.
In 2016, Dave Swanson, KG5CCI, in Arkansas, and Eduardo Erlemann, PY2RN, in Brazil, achieved a distance milestone on AO-7, completing a scheduled contact that covered a calculated distance of approximately 4,979.2 miles, which Swanson said was “way beyond the theoretical range of AO-7” and a feat that “the math said shouldn’t be possible.” — Thanks to AMSAT News Service
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