[amsat-bb] UT1FG/MM Update Next Port Oregon

John Papay john at papays.com
Sun Mar 15 19:31:05 UTC 2015

Yuri, UT1FG/MM, is currently in EK42 in the Pacific Ocean
off the coast of Guatemala.  He expects to be in EK42 through
Sunday evening March 15th.  He is going to be
drifting for the next few days, likely to the northwest.  His
next port is Longview, Oregon, but he cannot arrive at the port
until 1 April.  Therefore he is waiting a bit where the weather
is good before heading up the coast.

His course up the coast will be fruitfull in terms of new grids.
Amongst those that are highly sought after are DM02 and CM79 which
are both part of the Continental US and required for those trying
to work all 488 Continental USA grids.  His time in DM02 may be
very limited and passes may not correspond to his track across
the grid.  But Yuri knows that this grid is rare and sought after
and will do what he can to be there during workable passes.  His
time in CM79 will be much longer and it should be possible to work
him in that grid.

In addition Yuri will go through the middle of CN70 through CN76
which all have land on their eastern edge.  These grids are normally
hard to work but should be relatively easy due to the low horizon
that he has on the ship.  His speed is normally around 11-14 knots
so you can judge how long he will be in a grid.  Each of these
grids is about 70 miles from south to north.

His next port after Oregon is unknown but if he picks up cargo
destined for ports in the east, he will likely come back down the
coast to the Panama Canal and give everyone another shot at working
grids that they missed when he was northbound.

Yuri is a very patient operator and skilled at operating with just
one IC706 tuned manually.  Remember that he has to find those calling
him.  If you give your call just once he will not likely get it.  Give
it twice at a reasonable pace, with phonetics, and you will increase
your chances of a qso.  Call and then listen for a bit to see if he
calls someone.  Yuri is very good at recognizing callsigns that he has
worked before, even if he just gets a few letters.  But that doesn't
mean you can rattle off your call without phonetics and expect him to
get it right.  Phoentics might seem like a waste of precious satellite
time but if he doesn't get it the first time, the extra time it takes
to correct it will be worse.  Yuri's English is very good but remember
it is not his first language.

Yuri uses an ELK antenna mounted on a PVC mast that runs from the deck
of the Bridge up to the Flying Bridge.  The Flying Bridge appurtenances
can block the sky from the port to stern.  For example, if the ship is
traveling due north, his signal at lower elevations will be blocked from
270 to 180 degrees.  See where the satellite is with respect to his
course and you will be able to predict when he may not be able to hear
very well.  If he is in range of an AIS station you can get his speed
and course on marinetraffic.com.  Search for the "Greenwing."  The ELK
antenna is pointed up at 15 degrees and can be rotated by the crew.
Sometimes you can hear Yuri requesting that they turn the antenna for
him (not in English).  The ELK is a few years old now and has been blown
down before.  He takes it apart and greases the connections to prevent
the salt from destroying it.  Based on what I see the salt do to
antennas here in Florida, it is amazing that he has been able to keep
this antenna in working condition.

Yuri has been working on QSL card requests from last season as well as
this season.  My guess is that he will mail some from Oregon where they
will be sure to go out without problems.  So be patient.   Yuri has a
manager, Eugene, UX0FY, however he does not have the logs for the last
part of the previous season.  Yuri does prefer to do the cards himself
even if it takes a little longer.

We have many new operators on the birds and they don't always understand
what it means to have a rare grid on a pass.  Many don't know country
prefixes to know where a station is, or what grid is rare.  Those who
have been around for a while can mentor others and give the rover station
a chance to make more contacts.  Things have changed now that Yuri is
on the west coast.  Suddenly the east coast operators who normally have
a big advantage with Yuri are now at a disadvantage since he is in the
Pacific.  So if you are on the west coast and will have a footprint with
Yuri for a long time or have a shot at a pass that doesn't cover the east
coast, hold off so that Yuri can work those who have a very short opening.
Yuri gets on most every visible pass while he is on the move, day or night,
so passes out over the Pacific will work fine for west coasters.  And if
the situation is reversed, hopefully, east coasters will reciprocate.  It
should be noted, however, that there is much more interest in working DX
by those in the east compared to those in the west.

Yuri is an amazing operator and has likely operated in more grids than
anyone.  He is a very experienced Captain and you can see how his crew
respects him for that.  We are fortunate to have him on the birds.  Have
fun working him.

John K8YSE

John Papay
john at papays.com

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