[amsat-bb] Palm Springs Hamfest, Exploding Eggs, and SO-50

Clint Bradford clintbradford at mac.com
Sun Jan 29 10:44:48 PST 2012

I should have known that the exploding egg was an omen for how the rest of the day would proceed. I guess an explanation is in order ...

I arrived at the Palm Springs HamFest yesterday morning in plenty of time to set up my table, display my "modified" Arrow Antenna, establish WiFi and get online, and get ready. The event started in a few minutes, so I had time to grab one of the breakfast sandwiches that the Palm Springs Desert RATS club was preparing - ham and egg and fresh tomato on a soft bun.

The p.a. announcer started making opening remarks to the hams assembled at the doors. I was eating my sandwich just as he unexpectedly announced, "And we have Clint Bradford here working the satellites for you ... "

Just as he pointed to where I was, I completed a bite of the sandwich - and the egg yolk exploded out the back of the bun. I mean, all over my name badge and chin. It seemed like a gallon of egg yolk - although, of course, it was probably way less that a quart ... (grin)
How can you do anything but laugh? I found a sink, and cleaned up. What else could go wrong today? 

Patrick showed up, after driving straight through from Arizona. Well, not really - he actually stopped at least one time to work a pass from the road. He is amazing - indeed, the hardest workin' satellite promoted I know. Other friends came by. Folks walked up to us and appreciatively  "blamed" us for getting them started working and enjoying the sats ...

Then it came time to work the first of two passes of AO-27 for the day. Patrick and I re-checked the AO-27 schedule, and re-re-checked our pass data. All was well. The sat was there - but never came ON for us. Lovely ... that probably means it won't be up for the next pass ... nothing like disappointing crowds who show up at the times published all over event handouts to watch you work a bird for them ... (grin)

No - '27 wasn't ON for the second pass, either. But the attendees were inquisitive and we shared a bunch of information.

SO-50 "bailed me out" for the day with two wonderful passes to close the show. The last one was actually about a half-hour after the 'fest officially ended - but there were plenty of stragglers and vendors left to come over and watch working SO-50. We worked Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Ontario (CA), and even worked Patrick - who had left earlier, but stopped alongside the road to work us. Did I mention earlier that he's the hardest workin' satellite promoter I know? 

THANKS to all who dropped by. MANY knew of our upcoming ARISS contact with the Flabob Airport Academy the week of April 16 - and wanted to know how that was progressing. (Our Web site is http://www.iss-flabob.com.) The 'fest's attendance was UP for the third year in a row - and the Desert RATS folks are to be commended for pulling of another successful event, providing attendees with just about everything an annual hamfest "should" provide: history of the hobby was on display, a couple seminars, a couple of "the big" equipment vendors right alongside smaller vendors, a swap meet, honest pricing for good food for breakfast and lunch, FREE coffee refills (grin) - all for a measly two bucks for admission - FREE parking. Many RVs were there - from folks who arrived a day or two early - with many staying overnight Saturday, too . The weather was spectacular - which I sure was also the doing of the Desert RATS club ...

Clint Bradford, K6LCS

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