[amsat-dc] Re: AMSAT-DC Spring Workshop 2013 (Planning 1.0)

Bruce Semple brucesemple at verizon.net
Mon Jan 7 09:09:04 PST 2013

Pat, Dan, Steve .. and all 

Pat - thanks for getting the ball rolling on this -- 

1. Great!

2. Our Club (Montgomery Amateur Radio Club - MARC) has recently purchased a
subscription to a Membership Registration Service - to manage the club
membership -- One of the functions it offers is  event registration
(http://www.wildapricot.com/event-registration)   I have initiated an
inquiry with our board to see if MARC is willing to be a "sponsor" of the
AMSAT-DC workshop -- and allow us to use the event registration feature of
this SaaS (Software as a Service) offering.  Notice it would handle the fee
collection, and if needed, a structured fee plan.

3. I am in favor of a basic fee -- $20 seems reasonable.  Yes, I could see
waiving some or all of it for presenters / demonstrators. 
I agree to stay "on site" for lunch would be more efficient.

  Option D:   -- let's see how many "helpers" we get to see if we a silent
auction is an option.   I am assuming we would have to have some contingency
plan if some items don't get "bought" at their minimum price.   

4. people are probably going to block the whole day -- so we could probably
run until 4:30 --   Maybe have all the "formal" activities wrap up by 3:30 -
Do we need to allow for some cleanup time -- to get the donated space "back
in order" 

-- it would definitely be good to get rolling by 10:00am --  are we thinking
lunch @ 12:30 - 1:00 -- maybe we should start a little earlier?

-- I think it would be nice to have a couple of 20-30 minute talks or
talk/demonstration planned. -- 
Would we be meeting in the same room as last time -- could it be partitioned
off -- so that if someone did not want to attend a "talk" they could keep
browsing?  -- 

5. Do we have the option of opening it up for "satellite related" equipment
swap"  if hams want to bring in some equipment they want to sell?

6. Other Ideas --
   -- Obviously SDR's is one of the hot tech topics --   I went ahead and
got one of the $20  SDR dongles (January QST)  and got the SDR# software up
& running -- 
  -- I'm still not completely sure what the I & Q signals are -- how are
they created -- 
It would be great to have a SDR SME there to answer questions.

Regarding "working the birds" -- I think one of the biggest challenges  -
Especially with the linear birds is managing the Doppler shift ...
  -- how are you doing it on your portable station? 
It would be interesting to have some sort Doppler shift simulator  and let
participants get a sense of the tuning required.  

7.   Are you thinking about working a pass during the workshop?  
   FO-29 goes overhead between  11:30am - 12:30 
  We should also be able to get in an SO-50 (FM bird) pass 

8.Possible Talk Topics
    -  "getting ready to work the next AMSAT-NA cubsat
    - SDR's how they work 
    - AMSAT-NA - Current Operational Status of existing sats 
      -- Near future plans - (can we get Drew to stop by?) 
    - Pat - do you have any of your balloon hardware you want to show off --
or talk about recent flights?


-----Original Message-----
From: amsat-dc-bounces at amsat.org [mailto:amsat-dc-bounces at amsat.org] On
Behalf Of Kilroy, Patrick L. (GSFC-5680)
Sent: Friday, January 04, 2013 12:02 PM
To: amsat-dc at amsat.org
Subject: [amsat-dc] AMSAT-DC Spring Workshop 2013 (Planning 1.0)

Dear Bruce WA3SWJ, Dan N8FGV, Steve KS1G and all,

May I run a few things by you for your advice 
and comments regarding our coming spring work-

1. I got a blurb into the next AMSAT Journal 
that members will see in their snail mail boxes 
soon.  Page 13, nice!  We are official.  ;-)  
(See the basic info about this crazy idea below 
from an earlier post on our amsat-dc list if 
you need a reminder of the vision of this 
workshop.)  JoAnne was great in helping to 
make this so.  

Yayyyy!  The day will be lots of fun!  

2. Since the workshop will be on site at Goddard, 
I will need to get every single person's name, 
nationality and current town of residence into 
the NASA Goddard security folks so they can 
make a one-day non-escorted badge for each 
participant.  Unfortunately, we need to emphasize 
to people to register even if they are not sure 
they can make it, because registration will close 
about a week before the event.  This is NOT like 
your weekend hamfest!  Problems?  

Any who wish to attend who are NOT a USA citizen 
may do so ONLY AS LONG AS they contact me before 
February 15, because there are special procedures 
in place to make this so.  And they must follow 
them within other deadlines.  Unfortunately, NO 
exceptions to this procedure.  

Bonus: there will be NO FEE to use the facilities.  
YOUR tax dollars at work!  

But BTW, in the news today, the fiscal cliff has 
been pushed off until March 1.  Our use of the 
facilities ARE CONTINGENT on these circumstances, 
and others.  Can we accept these caveats?  

3. Price Stucture.  Trade study/options.  In rough 
order of logic or importance, kinda.  . . . 

OPTION A.  No charge to anyone.  No coffee in the 
morning.  No lunch on site.  No frills.  The lunch 
break would be at noon, normally for an hour.  But 
to get everyone back, on time, will be a disruptive 
pain.  (Been there.)  I'd like to end the event by, 
say, 3:30 PM or what ever you think.  (Based on a 
9:00 AM start time?)  I beleive an off site lunch 
break will put a damper on our progress.  

OPTION B.  A modest donation requested.  $20?  
That will get us coffee/tea/juice in the morning 
and Subway sandwiches (catered) with sodas at 
noonish, enjoyed in place (but not near one's 
satellite hardware, of course).  The event goes 
through lunch unbroken.  We will need a point of 
contact, actually two.  One to collect the money 
and one to take care of the food, condiments, 
utinsils, cups, napkins, set up tables, etc.  
Can you volunteer yourself?  Or better yet, have 
your wife/GF/significant other volunteer to work 
the food issues?  That would be awesome!  

OPTION C.  If we request a donation for admission, 
then "what if" it is structured?  That is, shall 
we consider a main donation of, say, $25 for 
"normal" admission, and a lesser fee for either 
students or for those who bring at least three 
("significant") hardware items to set up, show 
and discuss with others?  The lifeblood of this 
event will be having at least ten stations set 
up for show and tell.  Perhaps an offset of the 
requested donation amount will encourage people 
to bring stuff.  Thoughts??  

OPTION D.  Shall we hold one or more raffles or 
silent auctions?  That is, shall we invest in 
a FUNcube Dongle Pro+, an ARROW antenna or an 
Elk antenna and then make available raffle 
tickets?  Or a written auction with a minimum 
donation request?  If so, we will need a 
volunteer to run with this.  (I can offer some 
seed money and accept some risk, but I need to 
delegate this to a trustworthy individual.)  
Volunteer?  Thoughts?  

Any leftover dollars can be either donated 
directly back to AMSAT-NA or invested in 
needs for a workshop next year.  

4. It looks like we are set with the date 
of Saturday, March 23, with no rain date.  
We can still set the time.  Open doors at 
9:00 AM for those who need to set up?  With 
the "program" to begin at 10:00 AM?  Or 
later?  Shall we advertise that the program 
ends at 3:30 PM?  Or earlier?  Or later?  

5. Shall we solicit formal talks or presen-
tations too?  (I was not planning this 
initially.)  Limit the talk time to ten 
minutes?  Sixty minutes?  Then we ought to 
delegate an individual to coordinate the 
presenters in advance?  Volunteer?  

Otherwise, No formal talks, but allow 
individuals to address the group as issues 
come up at the tables?  No volunteer needed 
to coordinate this.  I can probably do it 
on the fly during the event.  

6. I will set up a table with my humble but 
growing portable satellite station on the 
evening before the event.  Would anyone 
like to join me, either to move MY gear, or 
move in YOUR own gear?  That way, I/we will 
be free in the morning to help or direct 
others as needed.  

7. We want this to be a successful workshop.  
What other important framework item needs 
to be discussed?  


Thank you for your support!  



Mr. Patrick L. Kilroy
Integration & Test Manager
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Building 5, Mail Code 568
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771
Phone: +1-301-286-1984
E-mail: Patrick.L.Kilroy at nasa.gov
Web: http://simsat.net/ (outreach)


Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2012 17:32:03 -0500
From: Stephan Greene <ks1g04 at gmail.com>
Cc: "amsat-dc at amsat.org" <amsat-dc at amsat.org>
Subject: [amsat-dc] Re: AMSAT-DC Spring Workshop 2013 Proposed

Excellent idea!  I'm unsure if I can make the entire day or at all but I am
very interested.

Besides the Arrow & the semi-portable setup (vehicle required!) I used for
Field Day, I have 50% of a homebrew antenna setup - 6 element WA5VJB cheap
yagi for 2M (I'll add it works FB for meteor scatter, too!).  Need to make
a 70cm version and possibly a smaller/more portable 2M.   And get back on
the birds after tearing the station apart for FD and not putting it all
back together!

73 Steve KS1G


On Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 11:46 AM, patrick.l.kilroy at nasa.gov wrote:

> I WISH TO PROPOSE the AMSAT-DC Spring Workshop
> 2013, to take place on Saturday, March 23, at
> the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in
> Greenbelt, Md.  It will be a nearly all-day
> event.
> "Workshop on Portable Satellite Ground Stations"
> ... is the title, where attendees will learn
> about and develop their own portable ground
> station and show off their wares which will
> feature one or more of the following:
> 1. One's own laptop computer, with appropriate
> software installed, such as for satellite tracking,
> SDR receiver control, antenna control (optional),
> audio recording and any other apps, for example.
> 2. The FUNcube Dongle Pro receiver or equivalent,
> emphasizing *receiving* and not including the
> transmit side at this particular time.  See the
> links below for ideas about software, receivers
> and antennas.
> 3. Antennas for 146 MHz and 436 MHz with a
> mounting means, such as on a camera tripod, small
> mast, homebrew PVC, or other portable creation.
> Your antennas can be either the Arrow, Elk or
> equivalent, or homebrew.  Polarization linear or
> circular.  Antenna Az-El movement can be by hand
> or controller (manual activating or automated,
> fully or partially).
> Everything, or almost everything, ought to be
> designed to run from a 12-volt source of your
> choosing.
> Additional details will be determined by a small
> humble steering committee that YOU can influence
> early on.  And speaking of that, . . .
> May I include you, among others, on my steering
> committee?  If not, that's okay, but I need to
> know if you'd like to participate.  Can you
> bring in some gear to assemble and to show off
> to others attending?
> Perhaps we could meet in person, telecon by
> phone, or by EchoLink conferencing soon as a
> group to further outline this event?
> Foremost, if needed, an alternate date can be
> selected, from either March 9 or 16, or moved
> into April on a Saturday AFTER the Greater
> Baltimore Hamboree and Computerfest of April 6,
> as long as we decide in the next week or two.
> Are you in??
> Can you help organize?  Or attend?  What might
> you bring?
> Thoughts?
> Thanks,
> Pat Kilroy
> N8PK
> amsat area coordinator
> Links for antenna ideas:
> http://arrowantennas.com/
> http://www.elkantennas.com/
> http://www.g6lvb.com/homebrewarrow.htm
> http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/information/faqs/crow/index.php
> http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/echo/Az_El_Pos.pdf
> http://www.wa5vjb.com/references/Cheap%20Antennas-LEOs.pdf
> http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/tools/downloads/iROTOR.pdf
> http://www.arrl.org/shop/The-ARRL-Satellite-Handbook/
> http://ac6v.com/antprojects.htm
> Links for software ideas:
> http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/tools/software.php
> http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/tools/
> http://www.moetronix.com/spectravue.htm
> http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/information/faqs/resguide.pdf
> http://sdrsharp.com/
> Links for receiver ideas:
> http://www.funcubedongle.com/
> http://www.amsat.org/amsat/intro/sats_faq.html
> http://www.funcubedongle.com/MyImages/SpectravueConfigurationForFCD.pdf
> http://sdrsharp.com/
>   "People don't care about how much
>     we know, until they know how
>    much we care."  - Jack Vieira

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