[amsat-bb] WD9EWK's road trip - Sunday (19 July) report

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Sun Jul 19 22:12:03 PDT 2009


After driving almost 500 miles/800km today, I went from the 
hamfest in Williams AZ up to Monticello in eastern Utah.  A
lot of ground covered, and lots of contacts from 4 different
grids (DM46, DM47, DM57, DM58).  

This morning, I made it to the Arizona/Utah border near 
Monument Valley after leaving Williams at 0430 local (1130
UTC).  The DM46vx/DM47va grid boundary runs just north of the 
signs marking the state line, and I parked in a parking lot at
the intersection of US-163 and Monument Valley Road (the road
leading to the entrance for Monument Valley Park).  SO-50 went
by at 1642-1655 UTC, and I was able to log QSOs with 14 stations
in the US and Mexico during that pass.  A good start for the day.  

Since I had not planned to leave that early, I figured I might
still be in Arizona for that SO-50 pass.  Instead, I was able 
to move about 15 miles/24km northeast of my location for the 
first SO-50 pass.  I worked a later SO-50 pass at 1823 UTC that
went down the Pacific coast, and then worked two AO-27 passes,
from the DM47xb/DM57ab grid boundary just south of US-163.  Six
stations went into the log for the western SO-50 pass, followed
by 17 on the first AO-27 pass I had at 2015 UTC.  The second
AO-27 pass at 2155 UTC put 10 more in the log.  A total of 33
QSOs through the 3 passes at the DM47/DM57 line.  

In between these passes, I drove between Monument Valley and the
small town of Mexican Hat, along the San Juan River in that part
of Utah.  Lots of beautiful scenery, even without going into the
Monument Valley park (a park operated by the Navajo tribe, complete
with admission fee).  

After the last AO-27 pass, I started driving north.  I planned
to operate at the DM57/DM58 boundary on the AO-51 passes at 0038
and 0219 UTC passes, but ended up getting on an earlier AO-51
pass as a bonus.  I stopped about halfway between the DM56/DM57
and DM57/DM58 boundaries in grid DM57ck along US-191 for the pass
at 2303 UTC.  Out here in Utah, that was a pass with maximum 
elevation of 4 or 5 degrees.  I found a nice spot that had no 
obstructions, and was able to work that pass.  

The 2303 UTC AO-51 pass was the only pass of the 7 I worked today
where I was not on a grid boundary.  Even though that was the case,
I was able to log 8 QSOs.  I was able to hear the 435.300 MHz 
downlink on that pass when the satellite had an elevation of at
least .5 degree!  It was easier to hear at that low elevation than
on other passes at similar elevations when AO-51 had a much higher
maximum elevation.  

As I had hoped, I was able to get to the DM57/DM58 grid boundary 
for the 0038 and 0219 UTC AO-51 passes.  I had hoped to park along
US-191, to make it easy on me.  Unfortunately, the highway descended 
a few hundred feet where there were rocks on both east and west 
sides of the road.  I went east of US-191 on a dirt road, and found
a spot on the grid boundary (DM57ix/DM58ia), and that worked very
well.  I logged 15 contacts on the 0038 UTC pass, then 6 more on the
0219 UTC pass.  

Tomorrow (Monday, 20 July) will be a lighter day in terms of operating
and driving.  With AO-51 being used for the special Apollo 11 
transmission in the evening, I will confine my efforts to the SO-50
and AO-27 passes.  There is an SO-50 pass around 1530 UTC that I may
work from the DM57/DM58 boundary again, and then move northward and 
work the following SO-50 pass (around 1711 UTC) somewhere else in grid
DM58.  For AO-27 passes, I may try to get to the DM58/DM59 line for
the passes at 1946 and 2127 UTC.  If I can get to a spot with a very
good view of the western sky, the shallow (around 5 degrees maximum
elevation) AO-27 pass at 2307 UTC might be a possibility.  I *may*
try VO-52 around 1654 UTC, depending on where I am at that time 
(probably somewhere in DM58).  Then I will try to hear the special
transmission on AO-51 like everyone else.  

Good night, and 73!

Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK - Monticello, Utah

More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list