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Re: Shelby Hamfest




> Clearly, our ability to provide some visibility for AMSAT at hamfests is
> based upon the willingness of our membership to step forward and help out.
> Volunteers are not expected to be experts in all facets of satellite
> communications, so don't assume that you must be able to discuss 2.4 GHz
> operations (as Richard was hoping to do) if you don't have personal
> experience working AO-40.  The key is to maintain a visible presence and
> point people in the right direction if the volunteer doesn't have the
> answers.


Volunteers are a rare breed, even for 1 or 2 hours.

If you do not know much about 2.4 GHz and anybody has questions at the
booth,
then recommend "Mode S: The Book".  It is recent material and should answer
most questions people have about getting a station up and running.  We sold
out
of the Mode S books during the first hour of the Huntsville Hamfest last
month.  If
we had a box of them, I am sure they would have went just as quick.
Everybody
was asking questions about mode S and AO-40.

There are many people who believe AO-40 is dead.  I lost count on the number
of people who thought AO-40 was not working.  One person even started to
argue
with me that AO-40 was not working.  So, I told him it was a conspiracy and
a
helicopter visits the area every night with the proper transponders to make
us
thinks it is really works.  He finally realized I was not joking.

We need to get the word out to the masses, that the satellite is working and
people are making contacts on it every day.  It takes a lot of work and PR
to
undo the damage of all the negative articles in the Amateur Magazines.  Keep
in mind that the magazines are a few months behind on their news when it
finally hits your mail box or the stores.  As we all know, a lot of things
can happen
in a few months after those articles are written.  Unfortunately, the image
has
been cast and it is up to us to change the mindset.

Demonstrations work well, but AO-40 does not favor this part of the globe at

reasonable hours to give a demonstration.  The alternative is to tape QSO's
on
the bird and use this for playback at your local club meetings or at
hamfests
by presenting it at a forum.





73's,

Tim - N8DEU
Huntsville, Alabama


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