My presentation and demo for the Mesa Community College Amateur
Radio Club (KM7CC) yesterday was a good way to spend the afternoon.
This is a new club, and the club has tried to showcase different
parts of amateur radio available to those with the entry-level
Technician license. Satellite operating is definitely one of those
things, and I was invited to give a presentation to the club. As
part of that, I also gave them an on-air demonstration after the
presentation on an AO-27 pass.
The club is a small club, but there was a good turnout for a Saturday
afternoon on the MCC campus. A couple of those in attendance already
had their licenses, and a couple of others are in the process of
getting their licenses. I had my assortment of portable equipment and
antennas laid out on a table, showing what I use to work the satellites.
After the presentation, we went outside to prepare for the AO-27 pass
just after 2100 UTC.
A few days ago, I asked if I could use the club's KM7CC callsign for
the AO-27 demonstration. I was told I could. As we were going outside
to prepare for this pass, I was told that the callsign had not been
used on the air. As we set up a table for my equipment, I answered
questions from the audience. Then, the main event...
Once AO-27 started its 20-second packet burst, a couple of people were
able to hear the downlink on their HTs as I heard it on my radio. I
was able to make a call in the first moment of the pass, and make a
few quick contacts. This was, of course, a busy pass covering most
of North America. Jim ND9M was also on from the Colorado/Wyoming
state line (grids DN80 and DN81), and I listened for part of the pass
as stations worked ND9M from his rare location. I was able to log
ND9M and a couple more QSOs before the end of the 7-minute repeater
time. As all of this was going on, the audience listened and enjoyed
hearing the club callsign on the air.
KM7CC made 9 QSOs with stations across the continental USA and Mexico.
Clint K6LCS even called me from the Palm Springs hamfest in California
that he was at, and ND9M gave me a call as well. I apologize to those
who were unsuccessfully trying to make a QSO with KM7CC on that pass.
Club members were paying attention to the exchanges with the grid
locators, and several of them had Icom grid maps I brought to the
meeting to make sense of those locators.
I will mail QSL cards to the 9 stations I worked. There's no need to
send me - or the club - SASEs for the QSL cards. If you'd like to send
a QSL card for a QSO with KM7CC, please mail the card to the address on
Thanks to Allen W7AS and the club for inviting me to their meeting,
and for the use of their callsign on the AO-27 pass. It was a fun