[amsat-bb] Road trip to DM03/DM15/DM25/DM26/DM35 last weekend - report
kx9x at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 8 20:45:59 UTC 2015
Thanks so much for the DM15 QSO. It was my first QSO with California (state #41), and your LOTW QSL put me over the top for my Satellite VUCC. Appreciate the effort! Sean Kutzko
Amateur Radio KX9X
From: Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) <amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net>
To: "amsat-bb at amsat.org" <amsat-bb at amsat.org>
Sent: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 3:53 PM
Subject: [amsat-bb] Road trip to DM03/DM15/DM25/DM26/DM35 last weekend - report
After the presentation and demonstrations in Long Beach last Friday (3 April),
I did not take the direct route back home to Arizona. I made a long detour,
stopping in different locations to work satellites until I eventually returned
home on Sunday (5 April) afternoon. I have done day-trips to hamfests and
other locations after those hamfests, but it had been a while since I did a
drive like this in the southwestern USA.
When I left the Los Angeles area on Saturday (4 April) morning, I was planning
to end up in Las Vegas later in the day. A simple drive - get over to the I-15
freeway near San Bernardino, then head north to Las Vegas. I wanted to stop in
either grids DM14 or DM15 on the way to Las Vegas, which straddles the line
between grids DM25 and DM26. DM15 has less activity than DM14, so I decided
to skip DM14 and try to work DM15 in the afternoon.
My first stop in DM15 was northeast of Barstow, in the southwestern corner of
the grid. I was planning to try an FO-29 pass around 2045 UTC, which was a
shallow pass out there. I heard stations, and heard myself, but was not able
to make any QSOs from here. Back onto the I-15, and north I went to the small
desert town of Baker. This point is in the northeastern corner of DM15, and
a better FO-29 pass was coming around 2220 UTC. I had about 35-40 minutes to
spare before the pass, which I used to scout a good location to park and work
Once FO-29 came up from my southeast, I had a much easier time to hear myself
and other stations. Once I started calling CQ, Dave KG5CCI called me first.
After logging him, I went on to work 12 other stations over the next 15
minutes. Several were looking to make a contact with DM15, and the subsequent
QSL showing up in Logbook of the World, and I was happy to oblige. I worked
stations from coast to coast during that pass. It was pushing 90F/32C out
there on Saturday, a warm day on the edge of the Mojave Desert.
After that pass, I had about 75 minutes until an SO-50 pass at 0005 UTC. I
needed to drive just over 80 miles/130km from Baker to the spot I wanted to
operate from in Las Vegas, sitting on the DM25/DM26 grid boundary. The traffic
up to Baker was going slowly at times, but north of Baker I-15 was more like
a drag strip. I was able to make the drive to Las Vegas in 65 minutes, with
10 minutes to spare before SO-50 appeared. I set up my station, took the
obligatory photos to show my location on the DM25/DM26 grid boundary (I
tweeted a photo of my GPS receiver from that spot), and then went on to work
14 different stations on the first SO-50 pass. Later, I worked 5 more stations
on an SO-50 pass that favored the west coast.
I saw an ISS pass was coming up from the southwest just after the sun went
behind the mountains at 0225 UTC. Using my TH-D72A HT, I completed one QSO
using APRS messages with N7NEV in the Phoenix area - a call I have worked
via the ISS a few times in the past few months, either from home or when I
have been on the road. After the pass, I looked on the ariss.net web site
to see that two others were trying to work me after my LOS on that pass.
After the ISS pass, I checked into my motel, then returned to the DM25/DM26
boundary for one AO-73 pass. I worked 3 stations during that pass. Not a bad
effort for 4 different passes in a few hours, after the drive up from Los
On Sunday morning, I left Las Vegas - after a stop at the famous "Welcome to
Las Vegas" sign and a drive up Las Vegas Boulevard. I drove to Kingman in
northwestern Arizona, looking to work an AO-73 pass just after 1700 UTC from
the DM25/DM35 grid boundary north of I-40. I had a lot of time to spare before
this pass, with the bridge that now crosses the Colorado River south of
Hoover Dam cutting down the drive time a bit. I found the spot, one I have
used in the past, and set up my station. After taking photos of my station
and GPS receiver with my station, I went on to work 3 stations.
Before I left Kingman, I made additional stops for lunch and fuel, and then
made the 3-hour drive home. In total, I drove 1053 miles (almost 1700km) on
this road trip, and operated from 5 locations in 5 different grids. I used
to do more of this, and with different operators coming on the satellites
in recent times - it may be time to do some of the road trips I did in the
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