[amsat-bb] Friday at the Yuma (Arizona) hamfest...
Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK)
amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Fri Feb 20 22:39:09 PST 2009
Friday was a good day out here. The Yuma hamfest in Arizona
started at midday (1900 UTC), and there was a small crowd that
came through the exhibit hall where I had an AMSAT table.
Since this was a normal workday for most, tomorrow's crowd
should be much better. The weather was nice, but some of the
Harrier pilots from the Marine Corps airfield south of the
hamfest site made it very hard at times when the planes were
taking off. Flying low over the hamfest before gaining
altitude, those Harriers are LOUD! Even when sitting inside the
Since this was only a half-day, I only had two passes that I
did demonstrations on - an ISS pass around 1930 UTC, and an SO-50
pass later in the afternoon. Thanks to all who showed up on
those passes, and helping show off this corner of amateur radio.
Even long-time operators like Allen N5AFV and Rick WA4NVM, good
satellite operators who have thousands of QSOs in their logs and
a fair number of QSOs with me already, drop in and say "hello"
to me and the hamfest audience. Thanks!
After the hamfest ended at 0000 UTC, I saw I had some time before
another SO-50 pass and an AO-51 pass that followed immediately
after that. I decided to drive east from Yuma to a spot I visited
several weeks ago, on the DM22/DM32 grid boundary. I worked those
two passes, and made a total of 17 contacts (14 of those on a busy
AO-51 pass!). I said I would be on from "DM22-land" for a few days,
and kept to that - but also added DM32 to the list. After that
pass, I drove back to where I am staying while here for the hamfest
in Calexico CA.
Just before reaching Calexico, there was one more AO-51 pass just
before 0300 UTC to the west. I made 8 more QSOs there, including
real long-distance contacts :-) with Alex N2IX (my host while in
Calexico, a few miles/km west of where I stopped) and N6RNN north
of me in the next grid (DM23).
Tomorrow will be a full day at the Yuma hamfest. I'll have a couple
of helpers for the AMSAT table with me (Alex XE2BSS/N2IX, David
XE2DAK), which should let me do many demonstrations: on the FM birds,
the ISS (including hearing the ISS side of a scheduled contact in the
late morning), and a couple of SSB birds (VO-52, FO-29). There is a
barbecue in the evening after the hamfest officially closes, and then
I will have a chance to figure out what I'll do on Sunday before I
head back home on Monday.
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