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VE3HLS Canada flag Canada

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Ken, VE3HLS here!  I got my ham license in 1974 when I was in Grade 12.  I upgraded to my Advanced license a year later and have been semi-active ever since.  I am an SWL and Mediumwave DXer as well and my radio interests move between being a ham and being a listener.

Working satellites is my latest interest.  It started many years ago when I watch Brent Taylor VY2HF work satellites with a handheld and an Arrow antenna.  That left a deep impression on my because I thought the price of admission was much higher!  Satellite DXing has consumed my time since I got started in May 2016.  At that time, a friend and I were going to Louisbourg, NS for a weekend of MW DXing, when I had a look at a grid map and realized I might be in some rare grids.  I got in touch with Patrick Stoddard WD9EWK through the Amsat-bb mailing list and he assure me that GN05 and GN06 would be in demand.  That was all I needed.  I bought a Kenwood D72a handheld transceiver and an Arrow antenna and was ready to go...except I didn't know anything about using satellites! 

Patrick stepped in and tutored me via e-mail on how to set up the transceiver and how to actually work the satellites.  I set up and headed to the beach on arriving in Louisbourg.  My first attempt didn't work so well.  There were too many things for an aging novice to remember.  I got it right on the second try and spent the next two day handing out GN05 and GN06!

Since that first expedition, I found that I love going out and being the DX!  I have been on several grid expeditions in the last year and have more in the works.  I will try and post announcements, schedules and results here, so stay tuned.

Upcoming Grid Expedition to FN29/39 + FO20/30

Sunday May 21, 2017.  Four Quality Grids - One Day Only - Don't Miss It!

The latest grid expedition is a few short days away!  The weekend of May 20/21, 2017 is a long weekend here (Victoria Day, or May Two-Four Weekend as it's commonly known).  I'm stretching out the long weekend a bit so I can make the drive to activate four grids that nobody appears to have worked via satellite:  FN29, FN30, FO20 and FO30.  The town of Chibougamau QC is near the confluence of the four grid squares.  I plan to operate from three conveniently located grid boundaries, so everyone has a shot at getting FO20/30, FN29/FO20 or FN29/39 if you work me on Sunday May21.  In addition, I plan to be on the air on Saturday evening May 20th from FN29, where my lodgings are located.

I'll spend more time driving there and back than I will on the air, but that's the way it goes.  The good news is that there are a LOT of good passes on Sunday May 21st.  So many that the hard part is deciding when to shut down so I can travel to the next grid boundary!  Most likely, I will start with FN29/39 in the morning and move to the other boundaries later in the day.  It will be a very busy day!

Update, May 15, 2015

This is going to be a very busy weekend. 

I have identified 19 candidate passes just for Saturday night May 20th when I arrive in Chibougamau.  I'll activate FN29 from 1903 through to 0300.  Don't be too disappointed if I start late or quit early due to exhaustion!

-- On Sunday May 21st I will start at the FN29/39 boundary at 1045 UTC and hope to be on for 11 passes that conclude at 1326. 

-- From there, I move to the FO20/30 boundary, where I have 8 passes lined up from 1446 to 2144 UTC.

-- Finally, I will sit on the FO20/FN29 boundary for 9 passes from 2227 until 0430.

Schedules as follows:

Chibougamau Saturday Evening FN29
20.05.2017  UKUBE-1      19:03
 20.05.2017  AO-85        19:19
 20.05.2017  AO-07        20:31
 20.05.2017  AO-85        21:01
 20.05.2017  XW-2D        21:07
 20.05.2017  XW-2B        21:14
 20.05.2017  XW-2C        21:27
 20.05.2017  XW-2F        21:32
 20.05.2017  AO-73        22:18
 20.05.2017  XW-2A        22:38
 20.05.2017  XW-2D        22:40
 20.05.2017  XW-2B        22:48
 20.05.2017  XW-2C        23:02
 20.05.2017  XW-2F        23:06
 20.05.2017  AO-73        23:51
 21.05.2017  XW-2A        00:12
 21.05.2017  FO-29        01:10
 21.05.2017  AO-73        01:27
 21.05.2017  FO-29        02:54

Sunday May 21 at FN29/39
 21.05.2017  SO-50        10:45
 21.05.2017  AO-85        11:17
 21.05.2017  FO-29        11:31
 21.05.2017  XW-2D        11:42
 21.05.2017  XW-2B        11:50
 21.05.2017  XW-2C        12:03
 21.05.2017  AO-07        12:12
 21.05.2017  SO-50        12:26
 21.05.2017  AO-85        12:59
 21.05.2017  XW-2A        13:01
 21.05.2017  FO-29        13:12

Sunday May 21 at FO20/30
21.05.2017  AO-73        14:46
 21.05.2017  FO-29        14:57
 21.05.2017  AO-07        15:55
 21.05.2017  EO-79        15:56 alternate
 21.05.2017  AO-07        17:39
 21.05.2017  UKUBE-1      17:43 alternate
 21.05.2017  AO-85        18:04
 21.05.2017  UKUBE-1      19:19
 21.05.2017  AO-07        19:30
 21.05.2017  AO-85        19:44 alternate
 21.05.2017  AO-07        21:26
alternate = alternate pass, in case AO-7 gets flipped

Sunday May 21 at FN29/FO20
 21.05.2017  XW-2D        22:27
 21.05.2017  XW-2B        22:35
 21.05.2017  XW-2C        22:49
 21.05.2017  XW-2F        22:52
 21.05.2017  XW-2A        23:36
 22.05.2017  AO-73        00:09
 22.05.2017  FO-29        01:59
 22.05.2017  FO-29        03:44
 22.05.2017  SO-50        04:24

I will spend the night in Amos QC (FN08) on my way up, and in New Liskeard ON (FN07) on my trip home.  Let me know if you need either of these grids and we will set something up for the evenings.

Also note that I will also be passing through FN05, FN06, FN18 and FN19 on the way up on Friday/Saturday, and on my way home on Monday/Tuesday.  Get in touch with me if you need any of these grids.  I can give you an estimate of when I should be passing through areas where I know I can set up.  I would prefer it if you would do the calculations and send me a short list of proposed passes.  I have a busy week ahead of me and don't have a lot of time to sit at my computer and go through "what-ifs".  These will be quick stop-and-go activations.  I'm not waiting around.  That said, those of you who have worked with me before know that I am very accommodating!

Finally, follow me on Twitter at @ve3hls for last minute changes and updates.


Update May 16, 2017 - Schedule of En Route Grid Opportunities

Following is a schedule for my northbound trip on Friday and Saturday, May 19 & 20th. If you need any of these grids then  work out some passes at the listed times and get them to me before Friday.

Times are estimated.  If I get busy handing out FN06 in North Bay then it may delay my arrival in FN07; that kind of thing.  I did build in some wiggle room but you never know if it will be enough.  Try and look for passes up to a half hour either side of those times just to be safe.

Friday May 19, 2017                       UTC

Leave home                  1100
FN05ia - Bracebridge ON     1300
FN06hg - North Bay ON       1500
FN07dm - New Liskeard ON    1700
FN08wn - Amos QC            2000

Saturday May 20, 2017                  UTC
Leave Amos                  1100
FN18eo - La Morandiere QC   1200
FN19vm - Desmaraisville QC  1300

I'm already working out some schedules for NP4JV for FN19.  I was looking for passes that would cover Arizona but at least a few of them should be OK for other areas as well.  If not then see if you can find something for suitable.

Saturday May 20th. Based on FN19vm (Desmaraisville QC)

XW-2D 13:31
XW-2A 13:36
XW-2B 13:38
SO-50 13:41
FO-29 14:07






8099582 Last modified: 2017-05-16 18:30:45, 11493 bytes

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