[amsat-bb] VA7EWK on Wednesday (7 July) - report

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Thu Jul 8 07:46:21 PDT 2010


For a day where I did not plan on doing much radio, I was on more
than I had thought I would attempt.  I got on an early AO-51 pass 
around 1410 UTC yesterday morning from where I spent Tuesday night 
(Port Alberni, CN79).  After that, I drove down to Victoria on the
southern end of Vancouver Island, and worked 5 passes on 3 different
satellites in CN88.  I was on an SO-50 pass from near Mill Bay, north
of Victoria in CN88fp (thanks Brock W6GMT for keeping me from talking 
to myself and the polar bears on that pass), then an HO-68 pass from 
the Victoria suburb of View Royal in CN88gk.  I made it to Victoria
proper for a pair of SO-50 passes and an AO-27 pass, working from 
the Mile 0 monument (the western end of the Trans-Canada Highway) 
near the waterfront in CN88hj.  

After some sightseeing and filling up the fuel tank in my car, it 
was time to wrap up my stay on Vancouver Island.  I took the 3pm
(2200 UTC) sailing from the Swartz Bay ferry terminal north of 
Victoria to the Tsawwassen terminal south of Vancouver, but that 
did not end my time operating from CN88.  I saw there was an AO-27
pass coming around the midpoint of the 95-minute trip on the ferry.
I decided to try working that pass, but not with my log periodic 
and mobile radio.  With my IC-T7H HT and a Smiley Antenna tri-band 
telescoping whip, I was able to make a pair of QSOs with K7WIN in
Arizona followed by KG6NUB in California.  I tried to also get 
KL7XJ in the log, but being so far north I simply ran out of time
before the post-repeater telemetry.  All of this took place in grid
CN88hu - taking that from my Garmin GPS receiver's display while I
was on for that pass.  I also had the GPS receiver's compass function
on, to verify what direction the ship was moving while I was on the 
rear open-air deck of the ferry.  

I did not realize until I had parked on the ferry and gathered my
gear for the AO-27 pass that I left my Maldol AH-510R telescoping
whip at home.  This is similar to the more popular AL-800, but 
also covers 6m and has a BNC connector that makes a better physical
connection to my HTs' BNC connectors.  I still had the Smiley whip,
and made that work as good as I could considering the AO-27 pass.
In any event, the shipborne QSOs were a learning experience.  

>From this point on, all my operating will be on the Lower Mainland 
of British Columbia, and not from an island.  I may be on some 
passes this afternoon, but since CN89 is not a rare grid thanks 
to local operators like VE7JRX I am not looking to set a schedule 
nor plan on being by the radio for many passes.  I will make a 
point of working more passes on Friday - similar to how I worked 
from the Vancouver Island grids earlier this week - when I go up to 
Whistler and operate from somewhere around that town in grid CO80.  
Depending on how early I start out, I will work as many passes as I 
can while mixing in sightseeing and wandering around Whistler Village 
at the base of the ski hills up there.  For Whistler/CO80, that will
be using both FM and SSB satellites.

So far, with Whistler still to come, I have logged 271 QSOs from 
5 grids on Vancouver Island (CN78, CN79, CN88, CO60, CO70) and on
the ferry, and one grid in the metro Vancouver area (CN89), since
arriving in Vancouver Saturday afternoon.  It's been fun handing 
out new grids, and working some passes with challenges - AO-27's 
timer in relation to being so far north, shallow passes, dealing 
with surroundings that don't help satellite operating, etc.  


Patrick VA7EWK/WD9EWK - North Vancouver, British Columbia

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