[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] - [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

WD9EWK from Dayton (18-22 May 2006) - long


I've been back home a few days after a busy and fun time in Dayton for
the HamVention, and I was able to mix in some satellite operating from
there.  Actually, a lot of satellite operating - 6 SO-50 passes and 6
AO-51 passes from 8 different locations in 6 grids (EM79, EM89, EN70,
EN71, EN80, EN81) and 4 or 5 different counties in Indiana and Ohio.  I
made a total of 40 QSOs with 2 different HTs (IC-W32A, IC-T7H) and a
Maldol AH-510R telescoping whip.

I started out by operating from outside my motel west of Dayton (grid
EM79su in Brookville OH) on a couple of late-evening SO-50 passes
Thursday (18 May) night, and made only 1 QSO between the 2 passes.  I
hoped to do better in daylight from the HamVention grounds (grid EM79ut)
on Friday (19th), but intermod swamped the receiver on my IC-W32A.  It
was useless for satellite work.  I worked another SO-50 pass that
evening from outside the motel after the AMSAT banquet, making just 1
more contact, and decided to take my IC-T7H to the HamVention on
Saturday (20th).

The IC-T7H held up to the intermod - ham and non-ham - at the HamVention
grounds.  I worked one one AO-51 pass that morning, making 5 contacts.
I had to manually change my RX and TX frequencies, and I wasn't able to
listen to the downlink while I transmitted with the IC-T7H, but at least
I could work the satellites.  After dinner at a restaurant in Miamisburg
(south of Dayton) with my father-in-law George W7ON, we stopped to work
an AO-51 pass around 9.30pm (0130 UTC Sunday) near a hospital and car
dealership on the way back to I-75 (grid EM79up), and this was my most
productive pass for the weekend - 8 QSOs, still using the IC-T7H.  My
father-in-law asked me if there were other satellite passes I could work
that evening, and if we could go to a spot in multiple grids.  I didn't
realize where the grid boundaries were in relation to the Dayton area,
but knew the Indiana/Ohio state line was about 20 miles (32km) west of
our motel on I-70.  We stopped at the motel so I could get my IC-W32A,
and then we went to the state line.

At the state line is an interchange with US highway 40, so we went there
and scouted out a good spot to work satellites.  This later AO-51 pass,
around 11.10pm (0310 UTC Sunday), would cover most of North America.
There was a church just on the Indiana side of the state line, and a
road where the curb on the east side of the road was the line (grid
EM79ou).  I stood on that, and made 4 contacts from there.  After that,
we drove back to the motel where I worked another SO-50 pass a little
past midnight (12.25am EDT, 0425 UTC Sunday) and made 2 more QSOs before
calling it a day.

Sunday morning (21st)... off to the HamVention again, where I worked
two satellite passes with the IC-T7H and Maldol whip - an SO-50 pass
around 9am (1300 UTC) and an AO-51 pass around 11.20am (1520 UTC).  I
made 4 QSOs on each pass, a total of 8 for the morning.  Not bad!  The
HamVention closed at 1pm (1700 UTC), and after the final prize winners
were announced, we left around 3pm (1900 UTC).  My father-in-law asked
me if we could get to some 2- and 4-grid spots, and we started out on a
300-mile (500km) road trip.  We found one spot where 4 grids came
together (EN79, EN89, EN70, EN80) 20 minutes or so northeast of Dayton,
made a note of it, and continued north.  Using the map on my Garmin GPS
receiver, I found another 4-grid spot (EN70, EN71, EN80, EN81) west of
Findlay OH off I-75.  We went up to there, seeing if we could get to
that spot.

After driving through a lot of farmland, we found the spot - on a bridge
over a creek.  We drove back toward I-75 to get a snack, then quickly
drove back to the bridge for a low AO-51 pass to the east.  I made only
1 QSO from that spot, with Jerry W0SAT in Dubuque IA, not too bad
considering the low pass and lots of trees surrounded the area.  We
decided to head back toward Dayton, seeing if we could get back to that
first spot where 4 grids came together.  We couldn't get there in time,
but found a spot 3 miles (5km) east of I-75 near Lima OH where we could
get to the EN70/EN80 boundary.  AO-51 made its appearance around 10.30pm
(0230 UTC Monday), and I made 5 contacts from this spot (grids EN70xr
and EN80ar).  When AO-51 went out of range, we got back onto I-75 and
headed back to Dayton - but I wasn't done yet.

About 40-45 minutes after that AO-51 pass, around 11.15pm (0315 UTC
Monday), there was an SO-50 pass to the east.  We made it down the
freeway to Wapakoneta OH, and parked in a truck stop parking lot east
of I-75 (grid EN70wr) for this pass.  I worked 3 stations, not too bad.
After SO-50 went out of range, we went back to the motel and - finally - 
called it a night.

Monday (22nd)... our return flight is in the evening, and we wanted to
visit the Air Force Museum on the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near
Dayton, so my time for satellite operating was limited.  My
father-in-law suggested we go back to that spot near Dayton where 4
grids came together (EM79, EM89, EN70, EN80 - north of New Carlisle OH),
on the way to the museum.  We did that.  Around 9.30am (1330 UTC), I
worked an SO-50 pass and made 2 QSOs to conclude my satellite operating 
from the Dayton area.

If you go to Dayton and want to work satellites from the HamVention
grounds, make sure your radio can reject intermod.  The AMSAT demo used
an FT-817 and either a Kenwood TH-F6A HT or another FT-817 to receive
the downlink.  My IC-W32A and VX-2R were not too useful from the
HamVention, but the IC-T7H worked well.  Your mileage may vary, but keep
in mind the intermod issues for whatever radio(s) you may choose to use
from there.  I could have done better with a Yagi instead of a
telescoping whip, but I wanted to travel light in case I brought home a
lot of stuff from the HamVention.  I bought a case for my Arrow Yagi, so
all its parts are in one nice and neat place - and it might make some
trips with me in the future.

I had only planned on operating from the motel and the HamVention
grounds while in Dayton.  I hadn't realized that my father-in-law (an
AMSAT life member) would take so much interest in my satellite
operating, and drive us to these far-off spots so I could operate for
a few minutes at a time.  Thanks George for all the driving and
encouragement in getting out to these places to operate from!  This
was the first time either of us had been to the HamVention, and it
won't be the last.

A word about the AMSAT stuff at Dayton... I talked to lots of people and
many that I have worked in the past 4-5 months around the AMSAT booth.
I renewed my membership and bought a bunch of other stuff as well.  The
new SDX transponder looked neat, and Drew KO4MA and Keith W5IU did very
well with the demonstrations outside the arena.  I even worked Drew a
couple of times during those demos.  After I saw Drew work VO-52 a
couple of times, I know what I want to do next - a portable station to
work SSB/CW satellites as well as the FM satellites.



Patrick STODDARD                    E-mail: amsat-bb at wd9ewk dot net
Phoenix, Arizona, USA               Web:    http://www.wd9ewk.net/
Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Not an AMSAT member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program!
To unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe amsat-bb" to Majordomo@amsat.org