[amsat-bb] Friday (17 April) evening presentation/demos @ Tucson AZ - report

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Sun Apr 19 18:44:02 UTC 2015


I was in Tucson on Friday (17 April) evening, to give a presentation and
demonstration on satellite operating for the Oro Valley Amateur Radio Club at
its monthly meeting. There was a nice turnout for a Friday evening meeting,
with 57 in attendance. My presentation came during the middle of the meeting,
and then about half of the crowd stuck around for the demonstrations I gave
using SO-50 and AO-73 after the meeting wrapped up.

Even though I had my presentation ready to go before Friday, I was happy to
modify it to include the very recent announcement about the transponders for
Fox-1C through Fox-1E that came out Friday morning. I also talked about our
current satellites, along with a little bit of history - how our amateur
satellites fit into the wider history of the Space Age.

After the meeting, I had my station set up on my car in a parking lot. I used
the AmsatDroid Free tracking app on my phone to know where to point my Elk
antenna, and set up two of my tablets running SatPC32 so the crowd could see
the satellite's location and footprint during each pass. This wasn't something
I planned, but it seemed to be a good use of those devices. The crowd liked

I had two passes available in the hour following the end of the meeting - an
SO-50 pass around 9.18pm (0418 UTC), followed by an AO-73 pass at 9.51pm (0451
UTC). The SO-50 pass was a popular pass, seeing 6 QSOs logged with stations
in the central and eastern parts of the continental USA. Since the Catalina
Mountains were to the east and northeast of the meeting site, my LOS came a
few minutes before the predicted LOS time. AO-73 went directly overhead, away
from the mountains, so I had most of the predicted pass time available. I
worked two stations on that pass, both in Texas. This allowed me to show the
differences between FM and SSB/CW satellites, and the differences in operating
technique (i.e., CQing on AO-73, but no CQing on SO-50). Thanks to everyone
who worked WD9EWK during these two passes!

I uploaded the QSOs from these passes to Logbook of the World last night. I
will be happy to send QSL cards to anyone who worked me, without receiving a
QSL card or SASE from you. Please e-mail me directly with the QSO details. If
you are in my log, I'll drop a card in the mail.

Even after the two passes, I was answering questions for up to 90 minutes
after the AO-73 pass. This made my drive home later, but worth it. The evening
weather in Tucson was nice, not hot or cold, and I was happy to stick around.
Thanks to everyone at the OVARC, especially Steve Wood W1SR (he invited me to
Friday's meeting) and Bob Molczan KA7VPR (club president), for a great time
Friday evening!

This concludes 6 straight weekends I've done AMSAT-related activities around
Arizona and southern California. All of this has been fun, but I will gladly
take next weekend as a break, before I go to another hamfest in Sierra Vista,
Arizona (southeast of Tucson), on 2 May.


Twitter: @WD9EWK

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