1) Schedule your contact in advance with a buddy! There are no random contacts on this band, yet. Insure the weather is going to be CLEAR. Fog and precipitation are not in your favor.
2) Agree on a comm link frequency. Be it cell phone, 2m, 70cm or whatever.
3) Things to bring!
a) comm radio
b) laser equipment
iii) TX modulator
iv) the laser!
c) high output flashlight or light beam search light (1million candle power type). Available from Fry's Electronics for <$20.
d) power source (car, or battery, inverter?)
e) a helper (optional, but inspirational)
4) Head to the pre-arranged sites. They should be in line of sight! Check with a good map if necessary.
5) Station B finds Station A.
a) station A use the searchlight and scan in the direction of the other station B.
b) B give info to A via comm link.
c) peak the beam. This will give a rough indication to station A whereB is, but B will know EXACTLY where A is.
d) B should now get his RX system peaked on A's light beam. (if telescope this is easy!)
6) Station A finds Station B.
a) station B now uses searchlight and scans in the direction of station A.
b) use the comm link to give info
c) peak the beam. Now station A knows where B is!
d) A should now get his RX system peaked on A's light beam.
7) Station A aligns laser on Station
WARNING: We are assuming EYE SAFE operation. If you are using a laser pointer, you are "safe" at any reasonable distance (>1KM).
a) A: aim the laser by eye as best as you can at B.
b) B: Using your EYES, (plus BINOS or TELESCOPE) help A aim at you. Use the comm link to give info. Give it as continuously as you can. You will likely see the laser source even when it is slightly off of you. If you see a bright flash, say so. If it is visible but weak, say so. Allow station A to tell you on the comm link if he is moving up/down or left/right. You will soon be able to help him get the feel of his aiming equipment.
c) A: scan left/right or up/down, not both. Get info from B on peaking using comm link.
d) Soon alignment will be had. This often takes 15-30 minutes! Be gentle with your adjustments and have patience.
8) Station A sends info to Station
a) best to do it right away!!!
b) send both callsigns
9) Station B aligns laser on Station
(same as 7)
10) Station B sends info and report to station A
11) Station A sends roger and report to station B
12) Station B sends roger to station A
13) QSO complete!