[amsat-bb] WD9EWK at Glendale AZ "WestFest" - report
Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK)
amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Mon Jan 11 21:15:51 PST 2010
Sorry for the delay in posting this report. Between fighting off
a cold and spending much of the weekend at work, I am getting
caught up with things like this.
The WestFest hamfest in Glendale AZ, a west-side suburb of Phoenix,
is the only indoor hamfest in the Phoenix area. Ever since it became
an indoor event, it has been popular. The ThunderBird Amateur Radio
Club, sponsor of this hamfest, has been gracious in providing a free
space for AMSAT at their hamfests for the past few years. I have done
presentations and demonstrations at 3 different club meetings over the
past 3 years, so I looked forward to the hamfest on Saturday morning.
I was still setting up my table when the first AO-51 pass came by in
the 1300 UTC hour, and I was talking to a bunch of hams through the
second AO-51 pass. I did go outside and work the first VO-52 pass to
the east around 1600 UTC. I heard WA4HFN in Tennessee clearly, but
he had issues hearing my callsign. Jim KE4KOL also worked me on that
pass, where I had my FT-817s in a duffel bag to illustrate the
portable nature of my gear.
I was outside for an SO-67 pass after this, but nothing was heard. I
thought that there might have been an issue with my setup, until I saw
KD5QGR's status page and AA5PK's report that he also didn't hear the
satellite. So I went outside to work the SO-50 pass around 1800 UTC,
near the end of the hamfest. This was the most productive pass, and
thanks to all the stations that called me.
I have to tell a quick story... Norm WV7K, a local ham who used to be
very active on the satellites, stopped by my table at the hamfest in
Mesa AZ last month with his son David. David got his license a few
months ago (KF7DRQ), and appeared to be interested in satellites.
Norm still has lots of his satellite gear, but they both were
interested in my demonstrations. We talked a bit at that hamfest,
and I gave them copies of a flyer to get started on the FM satellites.
Fast forward a few weeks to last Saturday, and they were both at this
hamfest. David had an HT, and needed an antenna to try the satellites.
A vendor had Arrow antennas, and Norm had a diplexer at home that could
be used with the dual-band Yagi. They bought the Yagi, saw my SO-50
demonstration at 1800 UTC, and a few hours later David made his first
satellite QSO using his HT and new Yagi on AO-51 with K4YYL in South
I apologize if anyone was looking for me on the passes I did not show
up on. Even with trying for 3 passes and working 2 of them, the
demonstrations were well received. The SO-67 pass where we heard no
downlink signals was also a good time with lots of questions and
answers for the crowd that followed me outside. As always, thanks to
all who called me during those other two passes, especially mentioning
your location along with your callsigns and grids to better illustrate
the coverage of these satellites.
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