[amsat-bb] WD9EWK from DM34, today - report

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Sun Dec 20 04:53:19 UTC 2015


This morning's trip up to the Sunset Point Rest Area, about 50 miles/80km
north of Phoenix along the I-17 freeway, was a quick trip to help some
operators looking to make a contact with someone in DM34. I was able to
do that, and work a half-dozen passes before coming back to Phoenix to
resume my weekend.

I left the house early this morning, around 6.30am (1330 UTC). After making
a stop for breakfast, and getting around a closure on one of the freeways
looping around Phoenix, I made it to the rest area in about an hour. I was
able to park in the space I hoped to use, the southernmost space at the
rest area, on the highest ground up there. Despite checking my gear several
times last night, I forgot to bring my cable to connect my SDRplay receiver
to a tablet, so I didn't use an SDR receiver for any of today's passes. I
did OK with "normal" radios for the SSB and FM satellites - an Icom
IC-2820H 2m/70cm FM mobile radio for AO-85, and two Yaesu FT-817NDs for
AO-73 and FO-29.

The first pass I attempted was an 11-degree AO-85 pass around 1518 UTC. The
satellite was moving from north to east, and I had great visiblity of the
sky in that direction. In the span of 8 minutes, I logged 14 QSOs from
coast to coast, plus Stefan VE4NSA in Manitoba to add a Canadian contact to
my log. This was the most productive AO-85 pass I've had since its launch.
AO-73 came up a few minutes later, a 4-degree pass that was basically to my
east. I logged 4 QSOs on this pass, not bad for a shallow pass.

A little more than an hour after this, just before 1700 UTC, I had another
pair of passes coming by - a 76-degree AO-85 pass, then a 71-degree AO-73
pass. AO-85 was another productive pass, with 8 stations worked, and 3 more
on the AO-73 pass that overlapped the last few minutes of the AO-85 pass.

The next passes of AO-85 and AO-73 almost overlapped 100%. I decided to go
with AO-85, and worked 3 stations on that 10-degree pass to my west - not
the best direction to work satellites from this location. The AO-73 pass
only went up to a maximum elevation of 7 degrees, another reason I opted
for the AO-85 pass at this time.

My last pass for this quick trip was an FO-29 pass that covered the
continental USA, a 23-degree pass to my east at 1942 UTC. I logged 7 QSOs
on this busy pass.

Whenever I had about an hour or so between passes, I updated my logbook for
those passes from my recordings. Since I had enough time between these
passes, and had time after the FO-29 pass, I went ahead and uploaded the
QSOs to Logbook of the World. I had a good signal from an LTE mobile phone
network at the rest area, so I used my tablet to get these QSOs uploaded.

I posted photos of my radio setups, and of the rest area and the
surroundings, to my @WD9EWK Twitter feed during the time I was up there.
If you don't use Twitter, you can see the photos at this link:


or my Twitter feed with all tweets, not just photos, is accessible at:


If you still need DM34 and didn't work me today, I can make plans to go
back to that rest area. It's about 60 miles/100km from my driveway to the
rest area, a drive I can make in an hour or a little less than that. As
long as the snow level doesn't make it down to 3400 feet/1036m, I can go
up there during the wintertime as well as other times of the year.

This is probably the last grid expedition I'll do for 2015. DM34 is the
44th grid I have operated from during this calendar year. Most of these
grids (36) were either covering Arizona or most of the states around
Arizona (California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah), plus the 8 grids I worked
from around October's AMSAT Symposium in 3 states (Indiana, Michigan, Ohio)
and Ontario. It has been fun to get on the radio and work satellites from
all of these places, and I'm sure I will do more of this in 2016. With the
National Parks on the Air event hosted by the ARRL next year, many of the
places I visited in 2015 could count toward that program - and satellite
operating is permitted under the rules for that year-long event. :-)


Twitter: @WD9EWK

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