Western Colorado

July 15, 2008

Phil Lee W6HCC

On July 14, 2008 I traveled to Green River, UT to work Bill, KØRZ from Louisville, CO. The rig in the excursion is:
Transmitter: 8 watts with a 4’ dish.
Receiver: 2db NF “Utah” preamp.
IF Radio is Icom 275H.
Toshiba lap-top computer running Spectran

I left home at 0904 MDT. I traveled direct to Green River UT via I-70. I arrived about 1600 hrs. The temp was in the 90’s and there was a breeze from the northwest.

I after checking in at the Roadway Inn, traveled west on I-70 to UT24 and then south about 20 miles. There was no real place to get off the road, so I went in 4×4 and climbed up the bank on the west side of the road. There was quite a bit of traffic on UT24, but no one stopped to see what I was doing. I set up and was ready to go at about 1700 MDT at DM48sr. The distance was 305 miles. We had good cell service even though I was well away from I-70. We ran for about an hour, with no real signal heard. The wx was scattered cumulus clouds and the temp was 94 deg. We called it failed shot at about 1830. I went back to Green River to spend the night.

I had planned to go up US6 the next day into DM49, but I heard that there were long construction delays. I decided instead to go and try DM57 again. We tried it last fall but no usable signals were hear. I planned to go to the site near Monticello UT where I had been last year. It seemed a really good area and worth another try. If that failed, I would travel east to Egnar UT and then on to Saw Pit CO. One of the sites should work!! Finally I would return to Grand Junction.

The next day I traveled to Monticello UT via US191. It is a good road and goes through Moab UT. The area is very pretty. Lots of huge buttes and red rocks. I arrived at the DM57gv site on CR105 at about 1000. It is a good site, but I thought I might do better. I drove up a road? which went to the top of the hill to the east of CR105 (Spring creek road), but the area has lots of mansanita and scrub oak and there was no place to set up with a clear shot to the East. I went back to road 105 and set up in the same spot I had used last year. The temp was a pleasant 72 deg. There was a light breeze from the northwest. The sky was clear.

While I was setting up, I head an airliner going over. I hoped that it would be in the path when we needed it. There was almost no traffic on CR105. I saw only one truck all day. I also had a visit from a deer.

We were on the air about 1030. I saw a good looking burst on Spectran, but I could not hear any audio. This was disappointing, but more than we had heard last year. We got some good bursts and were able to start getting calls and grids. The bursts were 15-30 min apart. Just when it seemed as if we should quit and move on, there would be another burst and we would add another bit of data. This went on for 3 hours. At about 1300 we had all calls, grids and I had good R’s. Bill still needed an R to complete the contact. By this time, I was becoming concerned about the truck batteries. They showed 12.1 volts, but I wanted to be sure that I could start the truck when we were through. I idled the engine to be sure I would not get left in the middle of nowhere with dead batteries. I ran R’s on the keyer for 57 min. The rig functioned perfectly. Nothing overheated and all ran smoothly. Continuous Commercial Service!! Finally Bill got a burst and we had a contact!!

This is grid #55 and is also the last Colorado grid. We now have  “Worked all Colorado Grids” complete.

I called Mark Lewis, NØIO on the cell-phone. We planned to meet for dinner in Grand Junction. I returned to I-70 via US191. On the way back, I had a 20 min construction delay. The wx was 97 degrees. Too hot for me!!

I met Mark and we had a nice dinner with him and some of his family at the Olive Garden in Grand Junction. It was really nice to meet his wife and children. They are all licensed amateurs and I have talked to them on the air during the ARRL microwave contests. Now I have faces to go with voices!

After dinner I traveled home. I left Grand Junction at 2030 and arrived home at 0135 next day. Total trip was about 1050 miles. The excursion got between 19 and 20 miles/gal. Diesel fuel was $4.71 in Green River and $4.86 in Grand Junction.

Log for 10 GHz Utah expedition by W6HCC as recorded by KØRZ in DM79jx All times are MDT
DM48SR, July 14, 2008
1718 Start
1822 Stop (No readable signals)
DM57GV, July 15, 2008
1010 Start
1040 Bill copied DM57, KØRZ from Phil
1131 Phil copied W6HCC from Bill
1201 Phil copied KØRZ from Bill
1236 Phil copied DM79 from Bill
1240 Phil copied R from Bill
1313 Bill copied W6HCC from Phil
1416 Bill copied R from Phil
Signal peaks at KØRZ were S1