In 2009 and 2010, I made the trip to southern Arizona and worked different satellites from grid DM31 within sight of the USA/Mexico border fence in Lukeville AZ (look up that town, or grid DM31ov, to get an idea of the geography in that area). I worked many of the active operators who were on at those times on several satellites in SSB and FM. Some of those guys are still active, but newer satellite operators (or those who were inactive in 2009 or 2010) may have missed my previous DM31 trips. Since I've been asked by a couple of satellite operators about those trips, and the possibility of another DM31 trip, I'll pose the question here:
Is there any interest in a trip to activate DM31 in early 2014 on the satellites? Or possibly multiple trips, before the summertime heat arrives?
I would attempt to pick a day for this trip where SO-50 had passes in the daytime - to allow more stations to have a shot at working this rarely-heard grid, and also to avoid being down there at night due to security concerns with the international border. This means I would not be able to work AO-73 down there, but would try to pick a Saturday with SO-50 and the other satellites with SSB/CW transponders all being available - including AO-7 in mode B. And another opportunity to have friendly conversations with the law-enforcement officers and agents in that area. :-) (They are great to talk with, some take an interest in my equipment, and all will keep an eye on me to ensure I remain safe while in the area)
I can't commit to any specific dates yet, but a Saturday is probably the best day of the week for a trip down there. I might even throw in a weekday trip, if time permits, in addition to a Saturday trip. I would be able to leave early so I arrive in the area in daylight, and stay until around sunset so I am on the highway north from the border before darkness falls across that desert area. I am probably not going to camp down there, even at the campground in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument that surrounds the Lukeville border crossing. I like camping, but prefer to do that in other places where I'm not as concerned about the local security situation. I would prepare QSL cards as I do for my other trips to confirm QSOs for DM31, and upload those QSOs to Logbook of the World after a trip down there.
Please feel free to e-mail me directly if you would be interested in working me during a road trip to DM31 in early 2014. I will post more when I decide on a date (or dates) for a trip down there. I am not looking for any contributions to cover expenses to go there, since it is only a 3-hour drive from Phoenix to get there. Fuel costs are manageable, and I don't need to drive off paved roads to get to good locations to set up and still be safe (a good thing, now that I don't drive a truck).
Thanks in advance, and 73!
Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK http://www.wd9ewk.net/