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Cochise Amateur Radio Assn. hamfest on Saturday (3 May)- report


On Saturday, 3 May 2008, the Cochise Amateur Radio Association (CARA)
held its annual Larry Warren Hamfest on its "Green Acres" field in 
Sierra Vista AZ (grid DM41vm):


As part of the hamfest, there was an AMSAT table with information 
related to amateur satellites and on-air demonstrations during 3 
passes.  This was a large (for Arizona) effort, with two Sierra
Vista hams (Jeff K7WIN, Bill K7WJS) taking the lead with the 
planning for the effort.  Larry W7LB from Tucson and I (driving
in from Phoenix) were also part of this.  Jeff and Bill have 
done presentations for the CARA in the recent past, laying the
foundation for the AMSAT effort at the hamfest.  The CARA even
authorized us to use its callsign K7RDG for our radio operations
during the hamfest.  Jeff and Bill also had information on IRLP
and EchoLink, and we monitored K7WIN's 70cm repeater on both of
those networks in case anyone wanted to call us during the hamfest.

We set up the tables in time for the 7am (1400 UTC) start of the
hamfest, put out flyers and AMSAT merchandise, and prepared our 
stations (satellite and IRLP/EchoLink).  We were ready for the 
first pass, and talking with hams and anyone else walking by
until the first satellite pass.  

AO-51 came by for an overhead pass between 1453 and 1508 UTC, 
and it was a busy pass.  K7RDG made contacts with 2 Canadian 
stations, 6 Mexican stations, and 8 stations from all over the 
continental US.  Despite the number of stations, this was a
very good pass to show those not familiar to satellite operating.

About 20 minutes after that pass (1529-1543 UTC), SO-50 went by 
from the north to the southeast.  With a maximum elevation of 51 
degrees at our station, it was another good pass for a demonstration.
K7RDG logged contacts with 10 different stations during this pass.
One Canadian station, 5 Mexican stations, and 4 US stations - 
again, a very nice show for the audience.  

Once SO-50 passed by, we had almost an hour before the next pass.
AO-51 made a low pass (maximum elevation 8 degrees) to the west
between 1633 and 1644 UTC.  With mountains in that direction 
coupled with the low elevation, K7RDG logged only 5 contacts on this 
pass.  Four in the continental US, and one (Dale KL7XJ) in Alaska.

As with other Saturday hamfests in Arizona, this hamfest went until
midday.  Then we, like everyone else, packed up our stuff.  Lots of
people stopped by our tables, we made 31 contacts with stations from 
Alaska to central Mexico and all across the US, and everyone had a 
good time.  

Thanks to the Cochise Amateur Radio Association for the space and
the use of the K7RDG call for our demonstrations, to the operators 
on these 3 passes (especially the many XE stations that showed up
and said "hello" to the hamfest), and to Jeff K7WIN and Bill K7WJS
for their work leading up to - and on the day of - the hamfest.  


Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK 

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