[amsat-bb] WD9EWK @ DM33/DM43 yesterday (Saturday, 21 November 2015)

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Sun Nov 22 20:54:03 UTC 2015


After my demonstration for a local radio club last Monday evening, when I
operated from grid DM33, I received a request from Carl KA4H asking if I
could go back to DM33 again. Since the DM33/DM43 grid boundary, 112 degrees
West, is only a few miles west of my house, I suggested that I could go
over there on Saturday (21 November) morning. After identifying a couple of
passes that were good on both ends, I made the plan to go to the Phoenix
city park that straddles the grid boundary. For those who have been on the
satellites for the past several years, I used to operate from this park
(grids DM33xp and DM43ap) regularly between 2007 and 2011.

The park is about 15 miles from my house, not a long drive. After making a
stop for breakfast on my way to the park, I made it there with almost an
hour to spare. I went to the west edge of the park, where I could park and
be on the DM33/DM43 line, took the obligatory photos to establish my
location. After I had set up my two FT-817NDs, I decided to put one 817
away, and use the SDRplay SDR receiver and my 8-inch Windows tablet for the
downlink receiver. Then I waited for AO-73 to come up, just after 1600 UTC.
Once I heard the satellite, I did not call CQ. I made directed calls for
KA4H, and after a couple of transmissions I heard Carl. We made the quick
QSO, and then I proceeded to work two other stations before LOS.

Almost as soon as AO-73 went away, there was an AO-85 pass moving across my
northwest. I set up my IC-2820H mobile radio, SDRplay SDR receiver, and 8-
inch Windows tablet to work that pass. This pass went up to a maximum
elevation of 23 degrees. I was able to work a couple of stations on that
pass, heard another station IDing and giving his grid locator, but not
responding to me. I hope his downlink receiver was working, as his uplink
signals were decent. I made an RF recording with my tablet that captured
51 frames, which I uploaded to the AMSAT server later in the day.

A shallow (5-degree) SO-50 pass just after 1700 UTC was a nice surprise. I
was able to work 5 stations in about 5 minutes, despite the satellite
barely clearing the mountains to the northeast. I used only the IC-2820H
on this, and a later SO-50 pass, without the SDR receiver for the downlink.

Then another AO-73 pass at 1738 UTC, and a better SO-50 pass an hour later,
to put more QSOs in the log. These 5 passes put a total of 26 QSOs in the
log, for almost 3 hours of activity. Not bad for not advertising my plan to
operate from the DM33/DM43 grid boundary. All QSOs have been uploaded to
Logbook of the World, and I have seen a few QSLs already. I posted audio
and RF recordings of the AO-73 and AO-85 passes (the passes where I used my
SDRplay receiver and Windows tablet as my downlink receiver) to my Dropbox
space at http://dropbox.wd9ewk.net/ if anyone is curious. Look for the
folders with names starting with 20151121, and containing the two grids
DM33 and DM43 at the end of the folder names.

If anyone needs a QSO with grid DM33, or a few other grids around the metro
Phoenix area (DM32, DM34, DM42, DM44), I can usually make a trip to these
locations on a weekend. They are about an hour away from my house, give or
take. If I'm doing this on a schedule with another ham, I might not post
any advance public notice of my intentions, but will certainly post my
presence at these locations on Twitter and/or this list once I completed my
main objective for the quick road trip. On other occasions, I will gladly
give advance notice of my plans for a trip to these locations, on this list
and via Twitter, and hope to work lots of stations. :-)


Twitter: @WD9EWK

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