[amsat-bb] Thunderbird Hamfest (Phoenix AZ) report, from yesterday

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Sun Jan 8 11:36:14 PST 2012


Ysterday's Thunderbird Amateur Radio Club hamfest in Phoenix AZ
was a great event.  A new outdoor location (it had been indoors for
the past few years), along with great weather, brought out a good
crowd for the morning.  I was out there with an AMSAT table, and 
gave demonstrations using two SO-50 passes and a VO-52 pass.  There
were good crowds for the demonstrations, as usual.  

Around 1415 UTC, I had overlapping passes on SO-50 and VO-52.  Since 
the VO-52 pass had a maximum elevation of only 7 degrees, I opted to
work the SO-50 pass with maximum elevation of 21 degrees.  This was
a good choice, as it allowed 8 stations from across the central and 
eastern USA along with Canada and Cuba to say "hello" to the hamfest
crowd at that hour.  

Just before 1600 UTC, I had passes on VO-52 and SO-50 that did not
overlap as much.  This allowed me to work VO-52 at 1550-1603 UTC,
then switch over to SO-50 for the remainder of that pass.  For these
two passes, I used an FT-817ND as my transmit radio and a Kenwood 
TH-F6A for the receiver.  I was able to work 4 stations on the VO-52
pass, and 3 of those 4 stations moved over to SO-50 where I was able
to work them again.  

When working SSB via satellite, I try to show that it can be done 
with equipment that is not terribly expensive.  Both the FT-817 and 
TH-F6A have been manufactured for over a decade, and are plentiful 
on the resale market.  The FT-817 and FT-817ND can be computer 
controlled, where the TH-F6A can't.  In the field, this combination
is one option to work more than just the FM satellites.  When I 
switched from VO-52 to SO-50, I changed the frequencies on the two
radios, and swapped the coax connected to the 2m and 70cm ports on 
my diplexer, so I was not transmitting into the wrong port on the

I was recorded working part of the 1603 UTC SO-50 pass yesterday.
Thanks to Chris N7ICE, that video is on YouTube at:


AMSAT did very well at the hamfest as well.  Lots of the WA4SXM
Getting Started with Amateur Satellites books flew off the table, 
along with one new member.  Thanks to the Thunderbird Amateur Radio
Club for providing AMSAT with a space at the hamfest, as they have
done for the past several years.  And, as always, thanks to everyone
who called WD9EWK during those demonstrations.  :-) 



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