"Bill McFadden" <firstname.lastname@example.org> said: >I could be wrong >on this but I think I recall that the Phase 3D was assembled and >being tested in Orlando Florida. I am going to be in Orlando FL in >March for 2 weeks. I am wondering if it is possible to see the >satellite while I am there (that is if it is still there) and who I >would have to get ahold of via either email or phone to arrange such >a visit or even if it is possible. Well, I've found out that the best way to be welcomed at the Phase 3-D Lab is to come in and say "Here's a $50 check for the Phase 3-D fund". ;-) But seriously ... The Lab is a serious work place. While most of us like to talk about ham radio and hobbies - that's after work - not during work. And the work day often lasts 10 to 12 hours -- or more. If a task has to get done, then the team does whatever's necessary. If you do visit the lab then somebody's got to show you around (or at least make sure you don't accidentally damage something) - and that takes up resources which could be going towards completing and testing Phase 3-D on time. And there have been a couple of out-of-town visitors who have called from their hotels, asking us for rides to and from the lab! (No, we do not provide taxi service ...) On the other hand, there are many many tasks which need to be done. And if you can drop by for half a day, or even a couple of hours each day for a couple of days to help out then that helps everybody. Any task which you can do is one less task which somebody else has to do. The tasks aren't necessarily glamorous ones, and can range from making photocopies to assembling a pallet outdoors (in the Florida summer) but they're all important tasks for completing the spacecraft. For example, the reason we need a large pallet outdoors is the entire spacecraft has to be rolled outside so we can test all of the transmitters and the GPS receivers. So we're building a 'sidewalk' with a plastic tent for protection to protect the spacecraft while it's outside. Last time I was at the lab my tasks included measuring lengths of twine which had been used to fit where thermal sensor wires will be placed in the spacecraft and putting those twines in to plastic baggies - hardly rocket science! If you have any special skills (e.g. high quality soldering, electronics testing, capability to do orbital mechanics calculations, etc.) then by all means tell us! As a rule the Lab is open from 9 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday and 10 am to 5 pm on Saturdays, but we're often there longer. But do call ahead of time to check how busy we are and what's happening. For example, many of the lab workers will not make the Orlando Hamcation (February 14-15) because we're going to be busy testing the satellite. We do love to show off our spacecraft and we're quite proud of the work which has been done by literally hundreds of folks around the world. But please understand how busy the lab is. Feel free to contact myself at email@example.com or the lab directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you think you can help. Philip Chien, KC4YER Earth News world (in)famous writer, science fiction fan, ham radio operator, all-around nice guy, etc.