Unbelievable. I just had lunch with a French QO-100 satellite operator. His name is Alexendre.
He is in my area for work for the weekend. I was driving to Waffle House for some food when I heard him identify as W4/F5USF on the 146.64 RARS repeater. Intrigued by a French station over here, I responded to his call and he said he was out looking for lunch too. He also said he was in South West Raleigh which is where I live and where I was! I asked him how long he was going to be here as I was busy this afternoon and he said he was leaving tomorrow so I figured I should meet up with him since he wasn’t going to be in the US that long.
We met at a Jason’s Deli and when he asked me what my ham radio interests were I told him satellite. He said he used to work sats like AO-7 but recently had been working QO-100. He apologized that we didn’t have a GEO sat over here. Haha.
At lunch he told me all about his QRP QO-100 setup. It’s only strong enough to work CW, but he is working on getting more power so he can do SSB. He has a degree in microwave engineering so when I told him I honestly didn’t understand a lot of the concepts related to running a QO-100 station he started teaching me about mixing signals to get 2.4 GHz, LOs, RFs, how to get stable reference signals without GPS, etc. Very interesting.
I showed him some of the satellite gear I had in my car and he snapped a picture of me with it to show his friends.
Before we left I gave him some Space Comms, SatNOGS and Libre Space stickers. He is also a SOTA op and that is what he has the FT-817 for. He plans to activate a SOTA summit before he leaves the US.