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Re: AO-27 and camping trip

Garie and group,

We're back!  The trip was great, and only the spots missed while
applying sun block ache. :-)

I thank you for the kind words.  It is the efforts, and kindness of
operators like you that make the introduction to amateur satellites a
good experience.  Kids are like sponges; they readily soak up knowledge,
and by having this opportunity, I think we left a lasting impression on
at least 2 of the kids from the group.

We weren't able to tote the bulk of the Arrow antenna with us this trip,
so we had to settle for the FT50 HT and a rubber ducky antenna.  Sort of
a minimalist sat station for sure.

It's fun to watch the intellectual transition of the kids.  First, they
are primed to work an amateur satellite, and in answer to their many
questions, assured we WILL talk to other satellite operators many miles
distant.  Next, when the HT appears, and they hear the white noise as we
await AOS, they have a look of suspicion, almost as if they've been
duped.  How could we possibly talk on a satellite with that thing, their
faces seem to ask.  Once the satellite clears the horizon, (and the
trees), and they begin hearing voices, they invariably take a step
closer, eyes widened, with a look of amazement on their faces.  After a
couple exchanges, they figure out those voices in that little radio are
talking to them, their faces light up, and you can count on ear-to-ear
grins!  Most are shy about talking, but usually there are one or two who
will seize the moment.  Courtney was one.  She will be talking about
this experience for some time, I'm sure.  Brook has her address, and is
sending her a QSL card.  The receipt of a card allows the experience to
"persist," and I'm sure Courtney will carry the card to school with her
and show it off as a prized trophy.  

Brook's kindness, and civility on the bird allowed us to introduce
several young people to the joys of our hobby. Thanks for the chance!

Oh, and one more thing, if any of you have study guides for the
Technician license sitting around gathering dust, send them to me.  I'll
make sure they end up in good hands! 

73, Mike

Garie Halstead wrote:
> A Peace River canoe DXpedition update...
> Today, I heard a very young Courtney saying hello to a station many
> hundreds of miles away in the State of Iowa via Mike's portable
> satellite station.  For those of you who didn't see the original message
> concerning the outing, this occurred while on a 3 day canoe trip in
> southern Florida (EL97).  (My recollection is that the Q was with Brook
> - N8OCX around 1610z).  What a thrill this has had to have been for her
> and the other kids on the trip.  I know that I was thrilled for 'em just
> listening to it.  :-)  My guess is that Brook probably had a warm
> feeling also.
> One last thing....I know Mike appreciated those of you who were standing
> by on the bird while QSOs (such as the one I heard with Courtney &
> Brook) could take place.  "Yes" there's still courtesy in Amateur Radio.

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