[amsat-bb] Lake Superior Grid Expedition update

John Papay john at papays.com
Sat Aug 14 22:12:06 PDT 2010

This is our first night in a motel with internet access
since we left Sault Ste Marie, MI 9 days ago.  We have
traveled 2300 miles and operated in at least 18 grids and
have made 888 contacts on 65 passes.  We have been camping in our tent
for the last 9 nights but tonight it is windy and raining
so the motel was a good choice.  Monday we should operate in
EN38 and possibly EN28 late in the day.

New grids that were not part of the plan were EO20 (today)
and EO31, Red Lake Ontario, as far north as the roads go. We
have operated on two grid lines.  There are very few grid
lines that have a good shot at the sky.  There are hills and
trees most everywhere.  Northwest Ontario is a beautiful and
for the most part unspoiled land.  Lakes are everywhere and
usually provide a shot at the sky if you can find a road that
doesn't have a barrier of trees.

The equipment is working very well.  SatPC32 is controlling
the radio and the rotor (with the LVB tracker) and not missing
a beat.  The only casualty has been the 5 el 2 meter Mosley beam.
Two of the directors have broken off  One was repaired using copper
wire and a inline crimp connector.  The other one was replaced with
a brass rod found at a Home Depot in Thunder Bay.  We have been down
some really rough dirt roads to get to these grids off the beaten
path and the antenna is constantly vibrating.  The UHF 7x7 Arrow
is holding up well.

Weather has been warm for the most part and not much rain at night.
We have had some rain during our travels but it has not affected
the satellite activity since the only thing you need to do before
each pass is to orient the antenna north.  After that you are in
the truck.  The antenna setup in the truck is a magnet for questions.
Everyone wants to know what it's for.  Tuesday we will camp in EN48.
Wednesday it will be EN58 briefly and EN57 back in the US.  This is
subject to change if we see something that we want to take in.

I am trying to work stations as quickly as possible.  The record is
26 contacts on an AO-51 pass but it is not unusual to work over 20
stations.  AO-27 is not as productive since I can't hear it
when it turns on being so far north.  HO-68 netted some nice
contacts including OH8MBN. I have not made any contacts on AO-7.
A few contacts have been made on FO-29 and VO-52.

Thanks to the AO-51 control team for keeping things running, and
to Alan Kung for scheduling HO68 for central North American passes.

If you have any special requests, send them to KD8CAO.  We have
a daily sked on 40 meters.

John K8YSE/VE3

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