[amsat-bb] Update from KB1RVT/P in Maine

Daniel "Nick" Kucij dnkucij at myfairpoint.net
Thu Sep 17 07:46:27 PDT 2009

Over the course of several trips to Maine this summer, I was able to  
operate as a portable station with my usual rig (HTs and a homebrew  
yagi) from three different grids. Mostly I was on Mt. Desert Is  
(FN54), spent some time in Portland (FN43) and made a day-trip to  
relatively rare FN63. Overall, it resulted in 158 QSOs in the log.

The recent trip had some highlights:

The day-trip further Downeast to FN63 was my first "DXpedition". I  
managed to work one pass on each of the three FM birds. Reception on  
the first, SO-50, was rough, resulting in just two contacts. The  
second, AO-27, from a blueberry hill in Harrington, resulted in 8 more  
contacts. The third, a high AO-51 pass from the edge of the Atlantic  
in the beautiful working harbor of Corea, resulted in 8 more contacts;  
for a total of 16 different stations. I plan to get back there again  
next summer.

I also tried working a couple of lower westerly passes from up on  
Cadillac Mt. (1500') in Acadia National Park. On one 11 degree AO-27  
pass to my west, I worked K6CDW in Agoura Hills, CA and WX7P in Rice,  
WA. For both of them Maine was a new state, but I could tell Wilse,  
WX7P was excited. It turned out, Maine was the last state he need for  
WAS and he told me he'd been trying to get it for three years, so it  
made my day also. Earlier in the summer, I'd been keeping an ear out  
for KC7USS, Dave in Shelton, WA. Luckily, on my last evening evening  
in Portland, we QSOed on AO-51, which completed his WAS also.

VO1BQ, Joe in St. Johns, NL, one of my contacts from the FN64 trip,  
had told me of his transatlantic success from Sutton Hill overlooking  
his hometown. He'd worked the UK, Portugal and Spain; so on my last  
afternoon of vacation I headed over to Cadillac Mt. again, this time  
to try some lower passes to the east. For the first one, I stopped the  
car on the Ocean Drive in ANP, at about 300' and set up by the side of  
the road for a 14 degree AO-27 pass. Sure enough, there was "Echo  
America One Queen Sugar" calling. Pablo in Pontevedra on the northern  
coast of Spain had a fine signal and we made a contact, my first  
transatlantic! Later in the afternoon, I was up on the very top of  
Cadillac Mt. for a 16 degree AO-51 pass. I heard the bird as soon as  
it came up on the horizon. The carrier was quieting, but had a very  
rapid fade which smoothed out some over the course of the pass. I  
heard a station calling and replied, it was EA8HB, Hugo in the Canary  
Islands. just off the coast of Africa; then another somewhat stronger  
station came on, it was Pablo, EA1QS again. I stayed on the pass all  
the way north and could hear my signal into the bird, but did not hear  
anyone else. I was really thrilled to make these contacts. Hugo was  
just about 3000 miles away, my most distant LEO QSO to date. Pablo  
said he often is calling on the mid-atlantic passes, without hearing  
anyone. I don't know how many of us are trying to work transatlantic  
from the east coast and maybe I was just plain lucky, but I'll surely  
be trying again!

All in all, a fun time operating portable. I'll be back in southern  
Maine this fall visiting family and plan to make a day-trip to FN53. I  
expect it is rare as it is mostly water.

If you need a QSL for any of our Maine QSOs, just send me an email  
with the details. I'll be going over my log and getting cards out soon.

Thanks for all the contacts!

73, Nick, KB1RVT

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