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 QRZ.com for KM7CC.
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 afternoon.
Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK http://www.wd9ewk.net/