[amsat-bb] XE2/WD9EWK on Sunday (21 Feb) afternoon, trip wrap-up

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Mon Feb 22 21:20:52 PST 2010


Sunday afternoon was not planned to have much radio activity.  There
was going to be a get-together at a ham's house in Mexicali, before
I left that area for the 3.5-hour drive home later in the day.  I 
saw a pair of passes - AO-27 first, then SO-50 - to the east that I
wanted to try to wrap up my radio operating for this trip.  I took
my FM satellite setup - IC-2820H, Elk Antennas 2m/70cm log periodic -
across the border one more time.  

The get-together was at the house of David XE2DAK, southeast of 
downtown Mexicali in grid DM22go just over 3 miles/5km south of the 
USA/Mexico border.  This neighborhood is tightly packed with houses,
but with a decent view of the eastern sky.  I had the pass predictions 
for the two passes, and was ready for the AO-27 pass at 2025 UTC.  It
seemed fitting that my first QSO was with another Mexican station, 
Manuel XE2BHL west of me in Tijuana.  After that, 7 more QSOs were made
in what sometimes becomes the busiest 7 minutes on the radio (it 
*definitely* was on Thursday afternoon's 2025 UTC pass!).  

About 40 minutes or so later, SO-50 came up from the south.  With
XE2DAK's house blocking the south, I had to wait a couple of minutes
for the satellite to clear the house.  Once that happened, 7 QSOs
were made with stations across much of the USA.  Two of the QSOs were
interesting... I worked Larry KI6YAA, who was only a few blocks north
of the USA/Mexico border.  Larry gave me a QSL card for that contact
after I crossed back into the USA - so I now have grid DM22 confirmed
on my way toward an XE2 satellite VUCC.  The other QSO was with a 
station in my home city Phoenix - K7NYS.  

After SO-50 went away, it was time for some great Mexican "carne
asada" and enjoy the afternoon with friends before crossing the 
border and driving home.  I was able to see the XE2DAK shack and
the gear David has been using to work the FM satellites.  For a
small station, it was impressive.  You can follow links with
photos of XE2DAK's station from his QRZ.com entry.  

For this weekend, I made 93 QSOs from Mexico between Thursday
afternoon's activity south of Mexicali and Sunday's QSOs from 
Mexicali.  I made 42 QSOs at the Yuma hamfest, and Kevin KJ6DDS 
made 7 QSOs on a couple of passes Saturday afternoon.  When I
returned home last night, I saw that my truck had traveled 868.3
miles/1397km for this trip.  

Thanks to everyone who helped make the hamfest demonstrations a
runaway success.  Stations that were giving a brief description
of their location, even if it was just the state, helped make a 
positive impression on the audiences.  Thursday showed that there 
was a lot of interest in grid DM21, and that it might be worth a
return trip there before my current XE ham permit expires.  Or
maybe some of the locals will make the trek south and put it on 
the air.  



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