[amsat-bb] Re: ARISS school contact

David - KG4ZLB/MØZLB m0zlb at btinternet.com
Fri Sep 26 03:58:49 PDT 2008

I see the BBC has changed it to a "live teleconference link" now so 
thats a bit better. Here! 

Trevor - any chance of getting the BBC to add more specific websites to 
the "Related Internet Links" panel to the right of the story? RSGB would 
be a good start!


Howard Long wrote:
> David
> I really don't think I need to make any excuses here. Carlos and I were
> there, we know what we did.
> We only knew about the contact early on Tuesday morning, so we had two days
> to get it done, including taking a day off work.
> We had no idea about their telephone system until we arrived. We had to wire
> up stuff to their ISDN PABX on the fly on the morning of the contact.
> We made an effort for them NOT to be speaking into a telephone by using the
> microphone. We could have had them holding the telephone receiver but we
> didn't think that would have the right image. So we wired up the mic to
> their telephone receiver on the moring.
> We gained access at 08:45. Journalists started turning up at 10:30,
> demanding audio feeds. As you will know, once the media turn up you have no
> more time to do anything else. So we had 1:45 on site to get everything
> working.
> Carlos had a 20 minute spot just prior to the contact where it was made
> patently clear that this was amateur radio.
> I have spent hours if not days doing press packs in the past. They are
> largely ignored in my experience.
> Carlos and I would much prefer direct contacts rather than telebridges. But
> a telebridge was all we were offered.
> Journalists will say what they like I'm afraid. But at least we had one more
> mention of amateur radio that we would otherwise not have.
> Howard
> ________________________________
> From: David - KG4ZLB/MØZLB [mailto:m0zlb at btinternet.com] 
> Sent: 26 September 2008 03:31
> To: Howard Long
> Cc: 'AMSAT-BB'
> Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] ARISS school contact
> Hi Howard,
> Always happy to volunteer but geographically speaking I can't really be much
> help to AMSAT-UK except on rare trips home  :-) 
> Trevor (M5AKA) is the AMSAT-UK PR guru and does a fine job - after I brought
> this to his attention I believe he will be in touch with the BBC to have the
> article corrected.
> Of course mistakes happen but if no-one notices them and reports them then
> errors remain and for something as high profile as this we really can't
> afford to pass up on any publicity. 
>  In response to your e-mail though, I am not sure why "volunteers" would
> need to be "experts" in PR - the question asked by the media would be "how
> is the contact made", the answer would be "amateur radio" - how satellite
> phones got mentioned and by whom is more the issue I would have thought!
> Having been part of a team that conducted a highly successful School contact
> a couple of years ago, I am well aware of the enormous pressures that are
> ever present with these things and therefore things can slip! We had two TV
> News crews and 3 local papers in attendance and we had pre-prepared Q&A crib
> sheets for them to ensure that the subsequent reporting was as controlled
> and therefore as accurate as possible.
> 73




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