[amsat-bb] AMSAT at 2015 ScienceCity/Tucson Festival of Books - report

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Mon Mar 16 20:29:50 UTC 2015


AMSAT was part of the K7UAZ Amateur Radio Club's booth at the 2015 Science
City/Tucson Festival of Books, which combined a book fair with a science
fair on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson last weekend.  AMSAT
was present on Saturday. A local radio club, the Oro Valley Amateur Radio Club
(W0HF), was there all weekend. This event is a joint effort between the
University of Arizona and the Arizona Daily Star newspaper in Tucson. The
university side of the event, the science fair, had representation from many
colleges and departments on the campus, including the K7UAZ radio club. The
newspaper managed the book fair.  The university took good care of the many
volunteers, with bottled water available all weekend, and lunches as well.
With temperatures going as high as 94F/34C on Saturday afternoon, the water
was appreciated by all working at this event.

During Saturday, the K7UAZ booth had two HF stations in operation, another
station demonstrating SDR technologies, and my satellite station.  The SDR
station was copying ADS-B data from aircraft flying around southern Arizona,
which was plotted on a map for the crowds to see. The HF stations were busy
making contacts on different bands. The satellite station, which was set up
in front of the booth, was on the air for several passes on Saturday. My
@WD9EWK Twitter feed:


has lots of photos I took throughout the day. I also uploaded a short video
showing the K7UAZ booth, which is available at:


Throughout Saturday, 14 satellite contacts were made using 4 different amateur
satellites (AO-7, AO-73, FO-29, SO-50) and the International Space Station,
with stations across the USA and Mexico. The satellite activity started with
an SO-50 pass just before the official start of the event at 9.30am (1630
UTC), and wrapped up with an FO-29 pass in the final half-hour. One contact was
made using the ISS packet digipeater, between WD9EWK and Craig N6RSX in
southern California, by exchanging APRS messages just before noon (1900 UTC).
With the buildings and the intense RF environment around the university, my
windows for these passes were no more than 5 to 7 minutes per pass. Sorry if
I was not able to work you during Saturday.

I had uploaded the contacts I made on Saturday to Logbook of the World, but
there was an error in that upload. I will fix that tonight, and do another
upload. In addition to LOTW, I will have QSL cards available for those who
want that form of confirmation. Please e-mail me with the QSO details, and I
will mail a card out to you if you are in my log. It is not necessary to first
send me a QSL card or SASE to get my QSL card.

Unfortunately, due to my schedule, I was not able to stay in Tucson for the
Sunday half of the event. The K7UAZ club reported the same sort of crowds on
Sunday at their booth, and for the event in general. Local media reports are
stating the organizers estimated the attendance for this event at
approximately 130,000 for the weekend. I have no reason to doubt that count,
given the crowds I saw all day on Saturday.

Many thanks to Kirk Krentzel N7VGJ and the K7UAZ club for inviting AMSAT to
be a part of this fun weekend. With so many people, this was a great way to
show off amateur radio, and in particular this corner of our hobby. Next
year's event is scheduled for 12-13 March 2016, and I hope to be there and
representing AMSAT for the entire weekend.



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