[amsat-bb] Scottsdale AZ hamfest this morning - report

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Sun Mar 22 04:01:30 UTC 2015


I was at the Scottsdale Amateur Radio Club's "Springfest" hamfest
this morning, with an AMSAT table. This is one of the larger hamfests
around the Phoenix area in the unofficial hamfest "season" - basically,
anytime that isn't summertime. :-)  After a light rain last night in parts
of the Phoenix area, the weather was perfect this morning, and there
was a great turnout. As with most hamfests around Arizona, this one
started before sunrise, and wrapped up by midday.

Satellite passes were not the best for the hamfest this morning. I was
able to do some demonstrations early - FO-29 around 6am (1300
UTC), and SO-50 an hour later. I made one QSO on the FO-29 pass,
with Yuri UT1FG/MM (as did many others on that pass). On SO-50,
seven QSOs went in the log. The ISS pass around 1600 UTC was
a good one - I could see my packets being retransmitted, but no
QSOs were logged. Thanks to everyone who worked WD9EWK
during those passes - especially to UT1FG/MM, whose unique call
is nice to hear during the demonstrations. These QSOs have been
uploaded to Logbook of the World, and - as I do with any of these
events - I would be happy to send you a QSL card to confirm our
QSO. Please e-mail me directly with the QSO details, so I can check
that against my log. If you're in the log, I'll send out a card - no SASE

Being able to talk up the upcoming Fox-1 series of satellites has been
a very good thing. The Fox project has been around since late 2009, but
there is more interest from the ham community when launch dates can
be given, instead of "in the future" or "real soon now". I was even able
to talk about my portable SDR setup using a USB dongle (both the
FUNcube Dongle Pro+ and the cheaper "RTL-SDR" dongles) and the
smaller Windows 8.1 tablets. One ham couldn't believe that the small
tablets could do this, so I set up one of my Windows 8.1 tablets (the
WinBook TW800, which has been retailing at $79) and the FUNcube
dongle (it works well as the receiver when working our satellites) to
prove the point. The ham already had an RTL-SDR dongle, and said
he was going to order the tablet.

That's it for this morning's hamfest. I will be at another hamfest next
Saturday morning in Tucson AZ, complete with an AMSAT table and
hoping to do more demonstrations for the hamfest crowd there.


Twitter: @WD9EWK

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