[amsat-bb] Show Low AZ hamfest & DM54/DM55 activity on Saturday

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Mon Jun 9 05:52:20 UTC 2014


Saturday was a busy day. Starting with the White Mountain Hamfest 
in Show Low, Arizona, just after 0500 local time (1200 UTC), to working
several passes from along I-40 and old US-66 at the DM54/DM55 grid 
boundary in the afternoon, to the driving up to the hamfest Friday 
evening and back home Saturday evening, it was another fun trip. 

The Kachina Amateur Radio Club has held its White Mountain Hamfest
for many years in early June in Show Low, and this club has graciously 
provided AMSAT space at the hamfest.  I had my table, complete with 
AMSAT banner and merchandise, ready for the official start of the hamfest 
at 0700 local time. I also had my station ready to go for an FO-29 pass 
an hour earlier, which was a demonstration for a few people who were 
already wandering around the hamfest site (parking lot for Show Low 
City Hall).  I worked passes on FO-29, VO-52, AO-73, and SO-50 
during the morning from here, and many thanks to the operators across
North America for calling WD9EWK and being a part of the on-air
demonstrations.  It didn't hurt that the hamfest is in a grid locator not
heard often on the satellites, DM44.  

The hamfest was wrapping up by noon, and I took advantage of that to
get lunch before making an hour-long drive northeast from Show Low to
a point along old US-66 and the I-40 freeway that straddles 35 degrees
North latitude - the line between grids DM54 and DM55, two more grid 
locators rarely heard on the satellites.  This spot is about 50 miles/80km
west of the New Mexico state line, not far from the town of Holbrook
and the Petrified Forest National Park.  I have been to this spot in the past,
a parking lot for a (now) former souvenir shop east of a freeway exit. 
After setting up my gear and taking the obligatory (for VUCC purposes)
photos of my station with a GPS receiver, I also took pictures of some
wandering visitors - cattle - around the property.  Then it was off to working 
passes on AO-7, FO-29, VO-52, and LO-78 (it was still LituanicaSAT-1 
when I was up there). I also took advantage of an ISS pass to use my 
TH-D72A HT to show my location via APRS - something I did as part of 
the demonstrations at Dayton a few weeks ago.  Even on the high 
desert at almost 5300 feet/1615m elevation, it was still warm in the 
afternoon (around 96F/36C at one point).  

Once I wrapped up the DM54/DM55 operating, I packed my gear, drove 
west on I-40 to find some dinner, and make the 4-hour drive from up there 
back home. Not much to see at night driving through a couple of national 
forests, other than some elk near the road - and one crossing in front of 
me.  Almost 500 miles/800km in about 29 hours, and going from the 96F
heat at DM54/DM55 to around 50F/10C in the forest on the drive home.  

For anyone who worked WD9EWK on Saturday and would like to receive 
a QSL card, please e-mail me directly with the QSO details.  If you are in
the log, I will gladly send you a card.  No SASE needed.  Other than the 
QSOs on LO-78/LituanicaSAT-1, I have uploaded yesterday's QSOs to 
Logbook of the World.  The LO-78 QSOs should be uploaded shortly, 
now that ARRL can enable this satellite in LOTW using LO-78 instead 
of LituanicaSAT-1. 



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