[amsat-bb] WD9EWK from DM23vx/DM24va today

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Sat Sep 19 23:15:45 PDT 2009


This was a good day out in western Arizona.  I worked 6 different
passes from the DM23/DM24 grid boundary (two on each of the 3 FM
satellites), scouted out another location closer to the Colorado 
River still in Arizona for this grid boundary, and logged a total 
of 60 QSOs with stations from central Mexico to western Canada and 
all across the USA.  

The spot I stopped at was approximately 11 miles/17.7km southeast
of Parker AZ, north of the intersection of Arizona routes 72 and
95 in La Paz County.  The coordinates are 34 0.00 N 114 12.925 W 
(this should work for Google Earth or Google Maps).  I had parked
away from those two state highways on the side of the paved road 
running north across railroad tracks to a dead end, thinking I 
would be out of the way and not attract attention from the law 
enforcement.  After my recent experience at DM31 near the Mexican 
border 2 weekends ago (a couple of encounters with US Border Patrol 
agents), I should not have been surprised to see a state trooper 
pay me a visit this afternoon.  

I left Phoenix around 9am (1600 UTC), and had lots of time to make
the drive out to that spot.  Instead of taking a direct route to 
there, which would have taken about 2.5 hours, I went a little 
further west and drove through the Colorado River Indian Reservation
along the east side of the Colorado River.  There was another spot
on the DM23/DM24 boundary I could have worked from, without returning
to where I stopped last year and worked from this boundary.  After
stopping for fuel and lunch, I went out to the spot I wanted to work
from.  It took a few minutes to get the GPS reading to show 34 
degrees North, but once that was done I waited for the first AO-27
pass at 2051 UTC.

The first AO-27 pass to the east is usually a good one to work 
stations all over North America.  It was a good one once again,
except for a brief interruption.  I was able to work the first 
2 minutes or so, before an Arizona state trooper stopped by and 
asked if I was having car problems.  Apparently someone driving
along one of those two state highways called the highway patrol
to report my "breakdown".  Once I told the trooper I didn't have
a breakdown and that I was working the radio away from civilization
out there, he drove away - and I resumed working stations.  A
total of 16 stations were worked in about 6 of the 7 minutes on 
that pass.  

Before the second AO-27 pass, I drove back to Parker to get some 
snacks and take pictures at the Colorado River.  The western AO-27
pass at 2232 UTC brought 6 more QSOs.  Unfortunately, this pass was 
interrupted by an Echolink node somewhere in the western US using 
145.850 MHz as its frequency.  I never heard the node ID itself, 
but did hear one call of the station using the node.  I have my 
recording from this pass and the others I worked out there, so I 
can go back and get the call I heard and hope that the ham has an 
e-mail address.  Maybe that ham will tell me which Echolink node 
he was using at that time.  

A few minutes after that AO-27 pass, I had a shallow northeastern 
SO-50 pass at 2252 UTC, with a maximum elevation of  6 degrees.  I
worked 7 stations in 5 minutes on that pass, a nice surprise.  Then
I had the first of the AO-51 passes at 2333 UTC, a 12-degree pass 
to the east.  Fifteen QSOs logged, with stations in Mexico and all 
over the US.  

The last two passes, an SO-50 pass at 0028 UTC followed by an 
AO-51 pass at 0111 UTC, had 8 QSOs each.  By the time the AO-51
pass wrapped up, I disassembled my station and drove back home.  
For a trip that I didn't give a lot of advance notice about, 
and having worked from DM23/DM24 last year, this turned out to
be a good day.  I know I worked some calls for the first time 
today, and hopefully there will be a second QSO with them when
I'm operating in or around Phoenix in the near future.  

If anyone wants a QSL card for a QSO - or QSOs - made with 
WD9EWK out in DM23/DM24, please e-mail me directly with the 
details of each QSO.  If you're in the log, I'll send you a
card.  No need to send me a QSL card or SASE.  I will need
to make new QSL cards for this stop, since my previous trip
to the DM23/DM24 boundary was in California.  I hope to do
that in the coming week.  

Thanks to everyone who showed up and worked me from out there
in western Arizona.  73!


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