[amsat-bb] Raleigh Hamfest Satellite Demos Success!

John Brier johnbrier at gmail.com
Sun Apr 16 00:32:35 UTC 2017

The RARSfest satellite demos today were a success, despite some
difficulties. In all we made 17 contacts across one SO-50 pass and one
FO-29 pass.

You can see a few pictures of the demos here:


I had trouble getting into SO-50, and Tucker, W4FS, had trouble
hearing FO-29. After reviewing a video I made of the SO-50 pass, I
realized I wasn't aiming the antenna in the right direction for the
first half of the pass. I had a hard time tracking it as the location
we chose which was the easiest for attendees to find was also right
next to the building the hamfest was in, and SO-50 rose right behind
it. By the time I heard the bird around 20 or 30 degrees elevation, I
wasn't aiming quite right, so every time I tried to get in I got very
intermittent audio at best. After one complete transmission, Jeff,
WB8RJY, came back to me and said hi to the hamfest and everyone
clapped. Unfortunately I wasn't able to complete the QSO. At max
elevation I knew exactly where to aim and called him back and
completed the QSO. Towards the end of the pass when the bird was
further north and less people were in its footprint I made a string of
contacts adding up to eight in total.

As for FO-29, Tucker was getting S9 noise during the first half of the
pass and could barely hear any signals. I experienced the same
interference yesterday when I did some practice passes. It's something
local we can't control. It was so bad Tucker actually turned off the
radio halfway into the pass and apologized to everyone that he wasn't
going to be able to complete the demo. Not long after this he noticed
a text message from a friend listening to him on the downlink saying
he sounded fine. So he turned the radio back on and this time there
was no noise because all we heard were very clear voices. After he
found himself on the downlink and made one CQ, Clayton, W5PFG, came
right back to him. And the crowd cheered when Clayton referenced the
hamfest and said he was from Texas. After that Tucker had a mini
pileup and made eight more contacts adding up to nine in total.

It looks like I had a crowd in the high 20s and Tucker had a larger
crowd in the low 30s. I was pleasantly surprised we were able to get
such a good turnout considering this was added to the hamfest at the
last minute.

Thanks to all of the operators who worked us! And to anyone that
called us who we couldn't get back to, like Paul, N8HM, thanks for
trying and sorry we couldn't make contact.

WB8RJY both passes
K8YSE[/7] both passes

73, John Brier KG4AKV

P.S. Gary, K94AQ, of HamRadioNow recorded video of one of the passes
and interviewed both of us afterwards. I'm going to give him video I
recorded of the other pass he wasn't there for and he plans on making
a show/segment out of all of it.


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