[amsat-bb] A first contact on AO-85, last night...

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Thu May 19 03:39:13 UTC 2016


Going back to the hamfest I attended in Sierra Vista AZ on 7 May, I saw
Fernando NP4JV and his daughter, Yalitza - call her "Yali". They were at
the hamfest to see what was there, and so Yali could take her Technician
license exam. She passed the exam, and then the waiting began. Fernando,
proud father that he is, wanted to see Yali get on the radio as soon as
possible, once her call sign was issued by the FCC. Fernando and I began
checking the FCC database, waiting to see her call sign appear.

Fast forward to Tuesday (17 May)...

I had checked the FCC database in the morning, and still hadn't seen Yali's
name appear with a call sign. I received a message from Fernando in the
late morning...

"Good morning Pat. At what time you get home today? Can you work AO85 at
6pm today? Somebody wants to talk to you."

I figured that "somebody" wasn't Fernando, but a signal that Yali had her
call sign. I checked the FCC database, and there it was - KI7EJR, issued
on 17 May. The time in the message, 6pm (0100 UTC), was an AO-85 pass that
went very high over Arizona, passing almost directly over my head in the
Phoenix area and Nogales where Fernando and Yali are. We had made a plan,
that I would call Yali a few minutes into the pass.

When the AO-85 pass finally arrived at 6pm, Fernando, Yali, and I were
ready. I heard some activity early in the pass, working Ted K7TRK in Oregon
before the satellite was very high in the sky. Instead of making a call for
KI7EJR as planned, Yali called me. I answered her, and we made a quick QSO.
It may not have gone as we planned, but it worked. Yali had her first QSO
via AO-85.

During that pass, Fernando had someone take a picture of Yali on the radio.
Fernando was at the edge of the photo, taking care of the antenna as she
made her contact. Fernando sent the photo out using his @NP4JV Twitter feed
last night, and this has been a very popular tweet in the past 24 hours. If
you missed the photo, or don't use Twitter, you can see it at:


It's one thing to remember your own first radio contact, first satellite
contact, contact with an ISS crewmember, etc. It's just as fun to be part
of a first for someone else. Thank you, Fernando and Yali, for letting me
be a part of Yali's first contact on the radio. It's also easy to document
this "first", with photos and audio recordings of the contact. A QSL card
will go in the mail for Yali, and hopefully she starts using Logbook of
the World like her father... :-)


Twitter: @WD9EWK

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