[amsat-bb] Re: Successful demo @ 0334-0348 UTC via AO-51, 16 March!

Bill Ress bill at hsmicrowave.com
Fri Mar 16 10:56:20 PST 2007

Hi Patrick,

Congratulations on some fine AMSAT PR. Thanks for your time and efforts!

Regards...Bill - N6GHz

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) wrote:
> Hi!
> My presentation and demonstration for the ThunderBird Amateur
> Radio Club (W7TBC) last night was a success.  This was the radio
> club that allowed me to use their special callsign W7W during
> their hamfest in January, and the club invited me to do a
> presentation and demonstration at this month's meeting.  It was
> a good presentation with various questions, then the AO-51
> demonstration during the pass at 0334-0348 UTC, followed by more
> questions after the pass.
> In my presentation, I had put in a mention that the club members
> could attempt to listen to the AO-51 pass while I was doing the
> demonstration.  Several did exactly that.  A few with HTs and
> long antennas (duckies or telescoping whips), along with one
> member who went to his car and used his mobile station, were able
> to follow along with their own radios.  Other than having an
> extended question-and-answer session after the pass, I finished my
> presentation in time to go outside.  Several members helped me take
> my equipment outside and set it up.
> For the demonstration, I used an Icom IC-2720H mobile radio at 15W
> (two contacts toward the end of the pass were made at 5W, to show
> that lower power could work) into an Arrow Antennas handheld 2m/70cm
> Yagi.  Power was from a 12V/20Ah gel-cell battery, and the radio
> is OK with the battery (4.5A draw when transmitting at 15W on 2m,
> and about 2.5A draw for 5W TX on 2m).  I had a small folding table I
> put the radio on, and connected three items to one of the IC-2720H's
> speaker jacks (external speaker for the crowd to listen on, an earphone
> for me to hear with, and my small Sony digital audio recorder).  My
> location, on the campus of the Thunderbird School of Global Management
> in Glendale (west-side suburb of Phoenix), was in grid DM33vo.
> Within a couple of minutes, Don KD6IRE in northern California was calling
> me and was the first contact I made with my audience watching and
> listening.  Then Manuel XE2BHL called from Tijuana, followed by my only
> contact from eastern North America - George WA5KBH in Louisiana.  I
> proceeded to make 6 more contacts after that with stations in California,
> Washington state, Alberta, British Columbia, and - at the end of the
> pass - Craig KL4E from Alaska showed up for the 9th and final contact of
> my demonstration.
> The club members were impressed with the fact they could hear the
> satellite with their own equipment.  It was a high pass (67 degrees
> maximum elevation for us), which helped with that, but still an
> impressive sight.  They were also impressed with how well the satellite
> sounded as it was going out of range at the end of the pass.
> Along with the contacts, we heard two other stations that I was not
> able to make contact with - N6ADR in California, WA7SDI in Oregon.
> I tried not to monopolize the pass, especially with George WA5KBH
> trying to work some of the western stations on this late (for him)
> pass.
> Lots of people need to be thanked for the successes last night.  First,
> Gould WA4SXM - one of the AO-51 command stations - for ensuring the
> satellite would be in the normal FM repeater configuration last night.
> The ThunderBird Amateur Radio Club, for inviting me to do this - in
> particular Bob K7UNL (president) and Roger W9NCQ (treasurer - he
> invited me to do this event), plus the other members whose names
> escape me that helped me haul stuff to and from my car for the demo.
> And the 9 stations in the USA, Canada, and Mexico who made contacts
> with me (Don KD6IRE, John KD6PAG, James KE7KQA, Craig KL4E, Ron
> VE6RVT, John VE7CBZ, George WA5KBH, Bob WA7HYD, and Manuel
> XE2BHL).  Being able to make contacts with stations spread out in western
> North America - plus WA5KBH in Louisiana - helped show that the
> satellite's footprint covers a large area.
> If anyone wishes to see the slideshow I presented before the on-air
> demonstration, along with copies of flyers I have distributed at the
> meeting last night plus the recent Phoenix-area hamfests, I have all
> of them on my web page in PDF format.  Follow the link on the home
> page, and get them there.  My web pages are on free web space at
> Geocities, so there are bandwidth limits enforced.  If anyone has
> problems in downloading those files, please e-mail me directly and I
> will send them to you.  I can also provide an MP3 with the audio from
> this pass, for anyone that is interested in hearing what we heard last
> night (MP3 won't be posted on a web page, but available via e-mail).
> Thanks again, and 73!
> Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK - Phoenix, Arizona USA
> http://www.wd9ewk.net/
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