[amsat-bb] Prescott Hamfest on 11 June - report

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Tue Jun 21 14:24:38 UTC 2016


I'm a little tardy in posting this report, but better late than never...

Back on 11 June, I had an AMSAT booth at the Prescott Hamfest, on the
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University campus in Prescott. There have been
hamfests in and around Prescott over the years, but this was the first
time attending a hamfest at Embry-Riddle. In fact, I had never been on
the campus until this morning. The university's Eagle Amateur Radio Club
was the co-sponsor of the event, along with the Yavapai Amateur Radio Club.
The hamfest actually started the day before at noon, but I was not able to
make it up there for that day. The Saturday portion of the hamfest was
scheduled to run from 8am (1500 UTC) until 5pm (0000 UTC). Most had packed
up and left before 5pm, but it was still a good day.

The university's Student Union building was the site of the AMSAT booth.
Nice, air-conditioned, and with electricity to power one of my tablets. I
alternated between running SatPC32, HDSDR with my SDRplay receiver for
general listening, and ADS-B software with the SDRplay to watch the planes
flying around northern Arizona. SDR has been a popular topic whenever I
have one of my receivers on display, or when I use an SDR receiver during a
demonstration. This was no exception. It was too bright, and a little too
warm, to run the SDR receiver and tablet outside for my demonstrations.
Having that set up at my booth was more than sufficient to start
conversations about that and extending into satellite operating. Having
copies of the new 2016 edition of the AMSAT "Getting Started with Amateur
Satellites" book on hand was big. In the past, I'd still have copies of the
previous edition of this book for hamfests I visited in June. Thanks to
Steve Belter N9IP, I received a couple of boxes with these new books, and
they were popular at the hamfest.

During the day, I had demonstrations on 5 different passes. In the morning,
I worked an AO-85 and an FO-29 pass from outside the building. The AO-85
pass was a nice cross-country pass, with stations heard from coast to
coast. I used my Icom IC-2730A mobile radio and Elk log periodic to make a
few contacts. Some Embry-Riddle students were watching me work this pass,
which was a nice bonus. In the late morning and mid-afternoon, a couple of
FO-29 passes came by. I used one of my FT-817s with the Elk, working
half-duplex, to show that it really doesn't take a lot to get on this SSB
satellite. I made a few contacts on each of those passes. And there were a
pair of ISS passes that led to a couple of contacts, including one with
XE3ISS in Cancun at a distance of just over 2900km - a personal best for an
ISS QSO, packet or voice. I used only my Kenwood TH-D72A HT and Elk log
periodic to make the ISS packet QSOs via APRS messages. No computer or
tablet was needed, and I have relearned the fine art of quickly tapping
messages out on a DTMF keypad, as was done in the past with the non-smart
mobile phones. :-)

At the end of the hamfest, the organizers said they felt it was a success,
and are hoping the 2017 Prescott Hamfest could be held at Embry-Riddle.
AMSAT thanks both the Eagle Amateur Radio Club at Embry-Riddle and the
Yavapai Amateur Radio Club for providing a booth and helping promote the
satellite demonstrations throughout the day.


Twitter: @WD9EWK

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