[amsat-bb] WD9EWK @ Tucson AZ hamfest (18 October) - report
Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK)
amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Mon Oct 20 11:02:53 PDT 2008
I was at the Old Pueblo Radio Club hamfest in Tucson AZ on
Saturday, 18 October 2008. It was a good event, with nice
weather that morning. The hamfest was in the parking lot at
Tucson's Kino Sports Complex (grid DM42me):
I had an AMSAT table at the event, with the help of Larry Brown
W7LB. Along with the AMSAT table, I had demonstrations using 3
satellites - AO-51 (2 passes), SO-50 (1 pass), and VO-52 (2 passes).
We also copied the SSTV transmissions from the International Space
Station during 2 passes, hoping that we might hear voices on the
145.800 MHz downlink. The demonstrations were well attended.
Since AO-51 was set up in the "JOTA" mode (uplink on 145.880 MHz FM,
downlink on 435.300 MHz FM +/- for Doppler) for the weekend, I wanted
to work any Scout groups that might be on the passes. If a Scout was
available at the hamfest, I wanted to put the Scout on the radio to
work either other Scouts or anyone else who might be on those passes.
I did not have any Scouts around for the first AO-51 pass I heard at
1336 UTC. I - and a few others - worked KT4BSA in North Carolina on
this pass. For the second AO-51 pass at 1511 UTC, I was able to put
a Boy Scout on the mic.
Jim Fagan KE7IDC, a Tucson ham and Boy Scout, made his first
satellite contacts using my portable FM satellite station (IC-2720H
at 15W, Arrow Antennas handheld 2m/70cm Yagi) at the hamfest. I held
the Yagi and took care of adjusting the 70cm VFO to deal with Doppler,
and Jim did the rest. He made a total of 7 contacts in the span of 5
minutes - two Canadians, one Mexican, and 4 US stations. Jim had fun,
and I had fun helping him make those contacts. Last night, I sent
Jim and his father an MP3 with that audio and Jim's 7 contacts.
Besides the AO-51 passes, I was able to do my first demonstrations at
a hamfest via VO-52. Using my two FT-817NDs and my handheld Yagi, I
was able to make a few QSOs on the two passes I had. I tried to work
FO-29, but had a lot of difficulty hearing its 70cm downlink over the
intermod from military UHF radio systems at Davis-Monthan AFB a few
miles/km east of the hamfest site. I apologize to those who were
hoping to hear me on FO-29 Saturday morning, as I was not able to
overcome that noise.
I was able to work one SO-50 pass along with the others I've already
mentioned, ending up with 20 QSOs for WD9EWK (plus 7 for KE7IDC) at the
hamfest. Not a bad morning.
After the hamfest, I drove to a spot south of Tucson straddling a
grid boundary (grids DM41mx and DM42ma):
This location is approximately 15 miles/25km south of downtown Tucson
along the I-19 freeway. A casino, Indian reservation, copper mine,
and an ICBM missile silo-turned-museum are all nearby. The Mexican
border is only 50 miles/80km south of this spot. I wanted to work
AO-16 from somewhere in southern Arizona, and possibly an AO-51 pass,
before returning home. I was able to make 18 contacts from here - 14
via AO-16, 4 via AO-51 (including a Scout group in Texas using the
special call W5S).
Thanks to all who made contacts with me (and KE7IDC) at the hamfest,
and to those who worked me from DM41/DM42 later in the day. QSLs
for those who worked WD9EWK at the hamfest went in the mail this
morning. I'm not the QSL manager for KE7IDC; his address on sites
like QRZ.com is correct. Jim would appreciate receiving QSLs from
the stations he worked.
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