[amsat-bb] AI6DO Field Day Report
ai6do at yahoo.com
Sun Jun 23 22:00:28 UTC 2019
Unlike last year, where I participated in ARRL and AMSAT Field Day concurrently, I did them separately this year. On Saturday, I worked only satellites for AMSAT Field Day from the vicinity of my home. I never operated from my property, only from other operating positions along my block each optimized for specific pass orientations, all well within an 800 ft circle. All QSOs were made fully pedestrian-mobile, without recharging any of the batteries during the Field Day period.
Most of the FM satellites were a mess, as expected. The one daylight AO-92 L/v mode pass, 20 degrees to the west, was pretty empty, but gave me my first QSO of the day, with WD9EWK. I chose to dual-wield two antennas rather than attach the two together as I've normally done in the past. I strapped the DJ-G7T radio to the handle of the 10-element 23cm EBay yagi, where the PTT button and the VFO A knob were easily adjustable with just my left thumb; in my right hand, I held the Arrow. This worked pretty well, and I found it less fatiguing than having one heavier antenna. Also made QSOs on PO-101 and AO-85. AO-85 sounded really good, at least for that minute or so I was on. As soon as I got the QSO, I split to go work another pass. Tried LilacSat-2 twice, nothing heard.
The SSB satellites seemed to have few operators on, other than QRO CW stations. On one FO-29 pass, there were two CW stations calling CQ nearly on top of each other and on top of a SSB station calling CQ, while most of the passband was empty. Worked several linear passes, but made only one QSO, and we really had to work for that one. The far-western XW-2 passes were pretty empty.
The packet satellites were underutilized, and could have been a great source of points had more operators been on. Made several QSOs on FalconSat-3 and PSAT, although only one counts for AMSAT Field Day credit. Unfortunately, the ISS digipeater was offline.
Worked a total of 20 passes, although for five of them the satellite was inoperative. Total of 6 qualifying QSOs, half of them with WD9EWK. I had planned to do several more passes that evening and a few more before sunrise the next morning, but I decided to put this day out of its misery and conserve my energy for Sunday.
On Sunday morning, I drove to my portable operating location to operate the rest of the Field Day period for only ARRL Field Day. Since I was going to operate 2B1B for ARRL Field Day, I used the same operating category for my AMSAT Field Day contacts for consistency. For the first time, I made a full-time SO2R effort, with one radio dedicated to CW and the other dedicated to FT8. Didn't even try SSB. Also made one FM satellite contact after 1800z from that operating location for the 100 pt bonus and my sole phone contact for ARRL Field Day.
So, how'd everyone else's Field Day go?
73, Ryan AI6DO
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