[amsat-bb] Re: WD9EWK from DM34/DM35/DM36 on 30 May - report (long)

n3tl@bellsouth.net n3tl at bellsouth.net
Mon Jun 1 10:25:19 PDT 2009


Thanks for your efforts to activate otherwise not-so-active grids in your part of the world. Many of us who work the satellites regularly appreciate it very much.

73 to all,

-------------- Original message from "Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK)" <amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net>: -------------- 

> Hi! 
> Saturday was another fun day. A long day, starting out early at 
> the hamfest in Prescott, Arizona, and ending up at home just 
> after midnight (0700 UTC) after driving approximately 400 miles 
> (644km), but a good day. 
> Prescott Hamfest in Prescott, Arizona (grid DM34sn): 
> http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=34+34.413+n+112+29.8 00+w&sll=37.579413,-95.712891&sspn=54.973803,78.574219&ie=UTF8&ll=34.070862,-112 
> .195129&spn=1.829153,2.455444&t=h&z=9 
> I started out at the hamfest. Officially, it did not open until 
> 0800 local, but I was there when the site was opened for those 
> setting up in one of the spaces two hours earlier. This let me 
> get on the air for an AO-51 pass around 1320 UTC. This pass was 
> more to hand out contacts with the grid for the hamfest (DM34sn) 
> than a demonstration, but a couple of people stopped by to listen 
> in while they were setting up their spaces. Thanks for the 16 
> contacts with stations from across the USA, Canada, and Mexico. 
> The later AO-51 pass, just after 1500 UTC, added 5 more contacts 
> with a slightly larger audience - the hamfest officially opened 
> at the start of this pass. 
> After a couple of hours where the crowds started building, VO-52 
> passed by around 1710 UTC. As I've seen at other hamfests, the 
> VO-52 demonstrations seem to attract the largest crowds. It might 
> be the later pass time, or that SSB via satellite is more of a 
> curiosity than FM, but there was a nice crowd. For this pass, Ray 
> W1OTH - a ham from the Prescott area and AMSAT member - took care 
> of the antenna while I worked the radio. I forgot to mention in 
> my e-mail last week where I would camp out on the downlink, but I 
> started around 145.910 MHz where I made two quick contacts. After 
> not hearing anyone else after those contacts, I tuned around and 
> went down a few kHz to work two other stations near the end of the 
> pass. Four contacts on a VO-52 pass, where I'm not actively tuning 
> through the passband looking for every possible QSO, is not a bad 
> thing. The crowd liked it. 
> Not long after that VO-52 pass, the skies darkened and it started 
> to rain. I felt, and then saw, hail falling. This did not last 
> for long, but the hamfest emptied out not long after this quick 
> burst of bad weather. Even with the storm, this was a good morning. 
> Lots of people stopped by, and there appeared to be more people 
> at the hamfest this year compared to last year. Thanks again to 
> Ray W1OTH for sticking around the AMSAT table for a little while 
> and helping with the VO-52 pass. 
> After the hamfest, the Saturday road trip started. I was off to 
> the first of my two stops for the radio after the hamfest.... 
> near Drake, Arizona, east of AZ-89 at the DM34tx/DM35ta grid 
> boundary: 
> http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=35+N+112+23.132+W&sl 
> l=34.070862,-112.195129&sspn=1.829153,2.455444&ie=UTF8&ll=34.311681,-112.148437& 
> spn=3.64763,4.910889&t=h&z=8 
> I stopped at this spot a couple of times in 2008, as a way to 
> operate from these two grids and not be parked along the nearby 
> state highway. This is just inside the Prescott National Forest 
> north of the city of Prescott, and about 15 miles/25km south of 
> the I-40 freeway and old US-66. Unlike in 2008, AO-27 and SO-50 
> had overlapping passes in the mid-afternoon from this location. 
> I decided to work AO-27 when it was on, not using the PL tone 
> needed for SO-50. After AO-27 shut off at the end of its repeater 
> time, I would work SO-50 for whatever time was left on each pass. 
> The first AO-27/SO-50 passes came around 2037 UTC. As usual, 
> there were many stations out for the pass. In 7 minutes, I logged 
> 15 QSOs before switching to SO-50. In the last few minutes of the 
> SO-50 pass, 4 more QSOs went in the log. Not a bad effort, other 
> than dealing with the overlapping footprints for the two satellites. 
> A little later, the two satellites were passing by to the west of 
> my location. Again, starting with AO-27 while it was on, I worked 
> 7 stations from central Mexico to western Canada. My time on SO-50 
> after AO-27's scheduled shutdown was limited by an impending 
> thunderstorm and a quick visit by a Forest Service ranger. The 
> ranger asked if I was looking for a missing dog, and I explained 
> that I was not tracking animals with my setup. I had a chance to 
> acknowledge 2 stations I heard on SO-50 after that, before I heard 
> some thunder near me. That was my cue to pack up and move on to my 
> last stop of the day. 
> Grand Canyon Village, Arizona - south of the lodges along the South 
> Rim in Grand Canyon National Park (grid DM36wb): 
> http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=36+3.195+N+112+8.611 
> +W&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=55.279921,78.574219&ie=UTF8&ll=34.741612,-111.917 
> 725&spn=3.62886,4.910889&t=h&z=8 
> I drove through a hard rain to get from DM34tx/DM35ta up to the 
> Grand Canyon, but it stopped raining about 20 miles/32km before I 
> reached the national park entrance. The DM35/DM36 grid boundary 
> was right at the entrance, but that was not a good place to set 
> up. No places to park, and the line was right at the booths for 
> the park rangers to collect the admission fees. I planned to go 
> into the park and find the best spot I could, which would be 
> somewhere firmly in grid DM36. 
> Grand Canyon Village is a small town inside the national park, 
> along the South Rim. Most of the lodges (hotels) on this side of 
> the park are here. I took some pictures as I drove from the park 
> entrance to the parking lot I decided to work from (Parking Lot 
> "E", south of the lodges at the South Rim), and waited for the 
> first AO-51 pass around 0028 UTC. 
> I knew there were some hills that ringed Grand Canyon Village, and 
> those hills meant I had to wait almost 2 minutes after the predicted 
> AOS time before I could clearly hear the AO-51 downlink. Once I 
> heard it, I announced my location. Then the fun began - lots of QSOs 
> for stations across North America. In the span of 11 minutes, 22 
> contacts were logged. No Canadians, but many from all over the 
> continental US and a couple of XE stations went in the log. I guess 
> DM36 was a rare grid for many on the satellites. :-) 
> Between that pass and the later AO-51 pass to the west, I did some 
> sightseeing around the village and along the South Rim. A weird 
> (at first) sight was seeing some deer grazing in the rail yard at 
> the Grand Canyon train depot. This is still a working depot, for 
> the Grand Canyon Railway that runs daily between the Grand Canyon 
> and the city of Williams about 60 miles/100km to the south, a 
> favorite for tourists who do not want to drive into the park. Lots 
> of people were taking pictures as the deer ate some grass and 
> wandered around the railroad tracks. 
> I went back to the parking lot after taking lots of photos, and 
> was ready for the western AO-51 pass that started around 0208 UTC. 
> I worked 8 stations on this pass - 1 in Alaska (thanks KL7XJ!), 
> the rest in the continental USA. I made another sightseeing stop 
> at another point along the South Rim as I left the national park, 
> to start my almost 4-hour drive back home. 
> For any contacts made with WD9EWK on Saturday - at the hamfest, or 
> after the hamfest - I will be happy to send out QSL cards. I have 
> cards ready for QSOs made at the hamfest, and will have cards for 
> the other two locations in the next day or two. No need to send 
> me QSLs or SASEs for Saturday - just e-mail me directly with QSO 
> details. If you are in my log, you'll get a card (or cards) for 
> the contact(s). I will also send out cards from my trip to Dayton 
> two weeks ago with these cards, all going out in the same envelopes. 
> I was asked on the air if I was using my new Alinco DJ-G7T on any 
> of the Saturday FM satellite passes. I was not - I was using my 
> Icom IC-2720H 2m/70cm FM mobile radio. Since I'm still tweaking 
> that radio, I will leave that to other passes where I am not trying 
> to demonstrate satellite operation or when I'm parked in unusual 
> locations. 
> Including my drive up to Prescott on Friday (29 May) evening, I 
> drove just under 500 miles/800km for this trip. The hamfest was 
> fun, the two stops after the hamfest - putting some rare Arizona 
> grids on the satellites for a few passes - went well. Thanks to 
> everyone who worked WD9EWK during the hamfest demonstrations, as 
> those contacts help show off the capabilities of our current 
> satellites and how it doesn't take lots of fancy (and expensive) 
> gear to enjoy this part of our hobby. 
> 73! 
> Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK 
> http://www.wd9ewk.net/ 
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