[amsat-bb] Saturday @ hamfest in Glendale AZ...

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Mon Jan 10 09:38:12 PST 2011


Saturday (8 January) morning at the Thunderbird Hamfest in 
Glendale, Arizona, was a great time.  This is the only indoor
hamfest in the Phoenix area, and there was a good turnout.
At different times in the late morning, I had some help at 
the AMSAT table from Israel AD7ND (I still need to get him on
the satellites) and Rick K7TEJ.  Both are in the radio club
that organized the hamfest, and worked at the hamfest during
the morning.  Since I didn't have anyone else to help with 
the table, I had no opportunities to go outside and do any
demonstrations until an HO-68 pass around 1722 UTC that 
morning.  Or so I thought...

This HO-68 pass would have been the best pass to demonstrate
SSB operating.  It was a pass with maximum elevation of 89
degrees at the hamfest site in grid DM33vo, and I had my 
portable SSB satellite station ready - Yaesu FT-817ND as my
transmitter, Kenwood TH-F6A as my receiver, and Elk Antennas
2m/70cm log periodic as my antenna.  I set my radios where I
normally would to start out on an SSB pass for HO-68, and 
sent some dits toward the satellite.  I heard nothing.  As I
am doing this, I'm talking with the crowd who followed me 
outside, and we still heard nothing for several minutes.  I 
kept with the CW for a few more minutes, until after the 
midpoint for the pass, before I stopped.  I hoped there were
no problems with my gear, and ended up taking the rest of the
pass time to answer questions about satellite operating in 
general and SSB satellite operating specifically.  Then we 
all went back inside the hall, and I was able to relieve Rick
at the AMSAT table.  

Thanks to KD5QGR's web site, I saw a few others had already
posted they didn't hear HO-68 on that pass.  I was relieved to
know that I wasn't the only one who heard nothing from the
satellite, and added my report on that site.  It would have been 
a really nice pass for a demonstration, seeing some of the calls 
listed for HO-68 around that time.  Oh well...

Despite not having any successful demonstrations for the morning,
it was a good day for spreading the word about satellite operating.
The ThunderBird Amateur Radio Club, the hamfest organizer, was
helpful as usual in making room for AMSAT at their event.  This
was the 4th straight year I've had an AMSAT table at their January
hamfest, the last 3 being indoors on the Thunderbird School of 
Global Management campus.  

My next hamfest where I will bring an AMSAT table will be the two-
day Yuma Hamfest and Emergency Preparedness Show in Yuma AZ on 18-19 
February.  Thanks to those who were hoping to hear WD9EWK on passes
Saturday morning, and my apologies for not being on the air anywhere
during the hamfest.  



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