[amsat-bb] ND9M/MM Op Sked: 21 March
Clary, James T, Civilian
James.T.Clary.civ at MSC.NAVY.MIL
Sun Mar 20 19:23:43 PDT 2011
My apologies for missing the 20/0914Z FO29 and AO51 passes last night. I
set my alarm to get up in plenty of time, but discovered far too late
that I'd set the alarm based on tonight's passes instead of last night's
and wound up missing them by just a few minutes. And while I was
admonishing myself for my own mistake, I received an e-mail telling me
that there had been quite a few ops waiting for me, as if I needed a
reminder of my foul up. Oh well...
We were in EJ49 for a short time at midday today during which there was
an AO27 pass. We on the ship also found ourselves in a nice little
windstorm (40 MPH sustained) at just the wrong time. I set up on the
flight deck as usual, but had to hold down the step ladder with a foot
on the bottom rung and my arm on the rig to prevent the station from
toppling. The winds were pushing the antenna all over the place which
further hampered the already very low elevation ops.
I was able to make four contacts during the two minutes or so that I
could see the satellite. Later on, K8YSE sent me a recording of the
pass, and after listening to it, I'm frankly surprised I made any
contacts at all! There were so many non-stop tail-ending calls that I
really don't see how I got through for anyone to hear me answer them to
begin with! Almost as surprising was that on top of the heavy pileup
QRM, one of the few successful QSOs was with N5AFV who was using
omni-directional antennas for both the uplink and downlink; Allen
punched through on my end with no problem!
Right after the pass, I took digital photos of the GPS and clock for QTH
documentation as I regularly do and almost lost the rig when a wind gust
literally flipped the rig off the ladder's shelf while I still held the
ladder down. I dropped the camera and was able to grab the rig's
carrying handle just as the rig started downward, so luckily it didn't
hit the deck. Surprisingly, the camera survived the five-foot fall on to
the steel deck with barely a scratch. Not bad for an over-the-counter
Tonight, we'll be passing through EJ58 for about three hours, but
unfortunately there won't be any passes available until we're already
through that grid. For the same reason, I probably will not be able to
put out EJ78 which we'll be in for about 2-1/2 hours tomorrow at midday.
I'll still keep an eye on the GPS just in case the unexpected happens.
The oh-dark-30 FO29 and AO51 passes tonight overlap each other a great
deal. I'll start out on FO29 since its footprint will cover much of the
ham population before AO51's footprint really becomes usable for my QTH.
As we approach the Canal, we're advancing our ship's clock by one hour
tonight, our thirteenth clock change since we left Diego Garcia.
Starting tomorrow, we'll be on CDT, and my work day will run from
1300-2200Z. After that, we'll have only one more clock advance during
this long trip, and we'll finally be done with messing with the clocks.
Speaking of the Canal, my IARP was issued on 7 March while I was still
at San Diego, so I'm good to go for operating in Panamanian waters and
through the Canal. We won't be stopping at Panama, so there won't be any
chance of QSOs for DXCC credit, but the grid squares will still be fair
Here's the list:
VO52 - 21/0250Z - EJ59
FO29 - 21/1003Z - EJ68
AO51 - 21/1012Z - EJ68
VO52 - 21/1454Z - EJ68
AO7 - 22/0003Z - EJ77
VO52 - 22/0132Z - EJ77 or EJ87
FO29 - 22/1055Z - EJ87 or EJ97
AO51 - 22/1113Z - probably EJ97
Probable, but not certain
AO51 - 21/2108Z - EJ77
FO29 - 21/2131Z - EJ77
AO51 - 21/2247Z - EJ77
VO52 - 22/0309Z - EJ87
FO29 - 22/0907Z - EJ87 or EJ97 - I'll have a better idea tomorrow
evening on this pass and AO51's a few minutes later.
AO51 - 22/0933Z - EJ87 or EJ97
Jim, ND9M / VQ9JC
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