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Superstition Hamfest @ Mesa AZ, last Saturday



Hi!

The AMSAT table at the Superstition Hamfest in Mesa AZ was
successful.  Lots of traffic by the table, sales, and good crowds
for the two AO-51 demonstrations (1615 and 1755 UTC).  I,
along with Gerry VE4GTB/KD7MDB and Larry W7LB, had a
great time with a real AMSAT table with AMSAT stuff along with
the satellite demonstration(s) for the first time in at least a couple
of years for a Phoenix-area hamfest.  We also had some help
from an AMSAT life member, George W7ON (my father-in-law),
who lingered around the table striking up conversations and
also answered questions from passers-by.  AO-51 regulars Leo
W7JPI and Ron W6ZQ stopped by throughout the morning; nice
to see them make the drive from southern Arizona to the Phoenix
area.

The first demonstration was a great AO-51 pass, at 1615-1630
UTC.  With the satellite up to 80 degrees elevation, it was good
for us with lots of activity across North America (10 QSOs).  The
1755-1805 UTC pass, a westward pass with maximum 9
degrees elevation, was pretty good (3 QSOs, plus I heard a
Mexican station toward the end of the pass that I could not make
a contact with).  My station was an IC-2720H mobile radio at 15W
into my Arrow Antennas handheld dual-band Yagi (using a
Diamond duplexer, to handle the higher power output).  From the
radio's speaker jack, I strung an external speaker away from the
radio for the crowd to listen in, along with a small earpiece so I
could hear the radio and a Sony digital recorder to capture the
activity on these passes (and log the contacts later).  Larry W7LB
listened to the activity with his FT-817 and Yagi, along with the
crowd around the external speaker.

I had thought about trying at least one VO-52 pass during the
hamfest, but never got around to it.  We were talking with people
for much of the morning, I didn't get my FT-817 out and try to work
that satellite like I saw during the AMSAT demos at Dayton earlier
this year.  There will be other chances to do that.

We are looking to have an AMSAT table at 3 other Phoenix-area
hamfests in the next few months, and we will try to do demos on
AO-51 provided the schedule is compatible with our equipment.
Maybe other satellites, if those passes are compatible with these
hamfests and the equipment we have.  I'll post more information in
advance of those hamfests, and hopefully we'll hear you during
those demonstrations or see you at the hamfests.

73!



Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK - Phoenix, Arizona USA
http://www.wd9ewk.net/
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