[amsat-bb] Why We Do What We Do ...

Clint Bradford clintbradford at mac.com
Wed Sep 29 18:47:58 PDT 2010

Dear Dee asked her team of  "ARISS Area Coordinators" last week for a brief explanation of "what we were doing on behalf of AMSAT and ARISS. I immediately replied to her, citing the number of presentations I have made ... and the number of demos accomplished - numbers that could have been interpreted as "self-promotional" numbers. But they were submitted to her as not to promote "K6LCS," but to try and show what was happening in Southern California on behalf of ARISS and AMSAT.

But today I received two email messages that made me feel great for what all of us who regularly promote ARISS and AMSAT. 

The first is from a gentleman who walked up to me before my presentation at the ARRL Southwestern Convention in San Diego - to state that he was attending the convention primarily to see my talk.

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Hi Clint,
It was nice seeing you again at Hamcon on  Saturday. I am glad to see that you had such a great turnout for your informative presentation.
I have a success story to share with you. As you know, I bought an Arrow antenna and duplexer at Hamcon and have been dying to get it on the air. I assembled it the other night and checked for the next few available passes (using the HamSat ap for my Droid X phone). On my commute home from work yesterday evening, I detoured off the freeway and found the nearest, large empty parking lot to try my luck with the next AO-51 pass at 1751 hrs (a 13 minute long, 37 deg pass). I worked one California ham, but cannot honestly call that a completed QSO as I am not entirely certain of his call sign due to the loud traffic noise I had to contend with from a busy highway (probably not the best choice of locations for my first attempt). I did hear him tell me that I was “making it just fine,” so that was very encouraging. My next contact was with a station in Edmonton (Alberta), Canada. That contact I can confidently call my FIRST two-way Oscar contact! Wow, it really can be done using a 5 watt HT and a Tinker Toy looking antenna. I am very excited! Now I get start work my way up the learning curve where it comes to better antenna manipulation, better use of the pre-programmed channel steps in my radio (following your suggestions), and learning the tricks that will enhance my future success. Needless to say, I was a very happy camper after work yesterday!
Thanks for reminding me that there is always something new and fun to do in ham radio!
Chris Storey
crstorey at socal.rr.com
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And THAT is why I do what I do. My accountant thinks I am nuts to travel hundreds of miles and spend hours of prep time to make a one-hour presentation (but she's not a ham ... I am working on her, though).

The second email today is an excerpt from the October, 2010 edition  of the Palm Springs' club Desert RATS' (WD6RAT) newsletter. I have presented out there a couple of times, and they have been supporting the ARRL since 1998 as an Affiliate Member. From the "President's Message" this issue ...

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... I attended a few workshops (at the ARRL SW Division Convention in San Diego) ... and was also pleased to see a number of our members attend. Notably, one of our members giving a presentation there as well ... Clint Bradford K6LCS, our ‘Satellite Guy’, was there giving his presentation on handheld satellite contacts and representing AMSAT. He’ll be there at Palm Springs Hamfest 2011 again too. His live demonstration alone is worth the trip ... 

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SO ... although I feel guilty for not being directly involved in an ARISS/AMSAT contact with the ISS, we measly "AMSAT area coordinators" are making a "mark" on individuals and groups as we make our presentations and demonstrations in our respective regions.

Clint Bradford, K6LCS

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