[amsat-bb] Sierra Vista AZ hamfest (2 May) and post-hamfest road trip - report

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Sat May 9 21:18:38 PDT 2009


Sorry for the delay in posting this.  It's been a busy week since
this quick trip to a hamfest in southeastern Arizona and the post-
hamfest road trip I took. 

The Cochise Amateur Radio Association had its annual Larry Warren
Hamfest at its "Green Acres" field in Sierra Vista.  I was at this
event last year with an AMSAT table, and made a return trip this 
year.  This is not a large event, and - like many hamfests here in
Arizona - wraps up by midday.  During the morning, I did 4 satellite
demonstrations (2 on AO-51, 2 on VO-52), plus listened in on a 
scheduled ISS contact.  

The first AO-51 pass, at 1335 UTC, had 14 QSOs - 5 Mexican stations,
and 9 stations from all over the US.  After that, at 1514 UTC, the
second AO-51 pass had 5 more QSOs (2 Canadians, 3 US stations).  Then
the ISS passed by, and we listened to half of a scheduled contact.
This is always fun to do, even if the questions are very similar
from contact to contact.  Later in the morning, I worked 2 VO-52 
passes, logging 5 QSOs on those passes to complete the satellite 

Again, thanks to the Cochise Amateur Radio Association for allowing
an AMSAT table at their hamfest.  It was nice being down there once
again.  Thanks also to the stations that worked WD9EWK on those 4
passes during the hamfest.  Having stations on all those passes to
work makes the demonstrations successful.

After lunch and spending a couple of hours in Sierra Vista, I drove
about 60 miles/100km to the DM51bx/DM52ba grid boundary.  I was at
this spot after the same hamfest in 2008, and made a quick stop here
last month.  This time, I planned to stick around for 2 AO-51 passes
followed by one SO-50 pass.  This was a productive stop.  :-) 

The first AO-51 pass I worked, starting around 0042 UTC, was busy.
Lots of stations from all over North America.  Even an Alaskan 
showed up at the end of the pass.  In all, I worked 17 stations - 
the Alaskan (KL7XJ - thanks Dale!), a Canadian, 4 Mexicans, and 
the rest were spread out all over the US.  The 0222 UTC AO-51 pass,
to the west, had a good turnout as well.  Nine QSOs logged, from one
Mexican to two Alaskans.  SO-50 at 0305 UTC only had 4 QSOs logged,
but came close enough to the last AO-51 pass so I waited for it before
moving on.  With 31 QSOs in the log on these 3 passes, it was time
to move on.  

Since the I-10 freeway was closed through the center of Tucson 
during this weekend, I used that as my excuse to repeat the drive
I took in April after the Tucson hamfest I attended.  I drove 
north along US-191 toward Safford AZ, then on US-70 followed by 
US-60 to get back to the Phoenix area.  With this route, I would
cross the DM52/DM53 grid boundary again.  It was 90 miles/144km
from the DM51bx/DM52ba grid boundary to the DM52ax/DM53aa boundary
along US-70.  Google Maps says this is a 104-minute drive, and I
made it in 90 minutes - keeping to the speed limits on the various
highways the whole time.  I made it to DM52ax/DM53aa about 2 minutes
into an SO-50 pass starting at 0445 UTC, and logged 5 QSOs to finish
my operating for this day.  Three hours and 150 miles/241km later,
I got home at 0100 local (0800 UTC).  Including the drive from Phoenix
to Sierra Vista the night before the hamfest, I drove a total of 
555.5 miles/894km for this hamfest and the post-hamfest stops.  

If anyone worked me on 2-3 May and needs confirmation for any QSOs
logged with WD9EWK, please e-mail me directly with the QSO details.
If you're in the log, I will mail a card.  The next hamfest I will
attend with an AMSAT table will be on 30 May in Prescott AZ (grid 
DM34).  Hope to hear you on during that hamfest - and on passes 
later that day, from wherever I might visit on my way home. 



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