Now that I've been home a day, and back to work today, I can sit down and write a little more about the two-day Yuma Hamfest that I attended with an AMSAT booth. This hamfest has become (I think) the largest in Arizona, and I heard that over 1000 hams attended. It draws hams from all over Arizona, California, Nevada, and the "snowbirds" from other parts of the US and Canada. And a few hams came up from northern Mexico to join in the fun.
There was steady traffic past the AMSAT booth on both days. I had Rick K7TEJ helping me for much of the weekend, and his help was appreciated very much. He left his homebrew dual-band Yagi (2 elements on 2m, 5 on 70cm) on a telescope mount and tripod at the AMSAT booth during the two days, along with my Elk 2m/70cm log periodic. Between the two of us, we had demonstrations on two AO-73 passes, two SO-50 passes, and one pass each on 3 other satellites (AO-7, FO-29, NO-44), with a total of 34 QSOs. Lots of flyers and the Getting Started with Amateur Satellites books were flying off the table, and we had good crowds for the demonstrations outside the main building on the Yuma County Fairgrounds. I posted pictures from the hamfest over the two days on my @WD9EWK Twitter feed. You are welcome to look through my feed and see those photos and other comments at:
if you are not a Twitter user.
The SO-50 passes, as expected, were the busiest of the passes worked from Yuma. Much of the time, those passes were great illustrations of what can be heard on an FM satellite. Even some of the not-so-good operating examples made for excellent teaching moments.
I don't have any videos of the demonstrations this year, but have some videos of the aircraft flying into or out of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, the airfield across the street from the hamfest site (the runways at that airfield are shared with Yuma International Airport, with both civilian and military aircraft coming and going throughout the day). Those videos, and others I have uploaded over the years, can be viewed at:
Thanks to everyone who worked WD9EWK during the hamfest. And a special thank-you for those who were standing by to work me, as I tried to complete QSOs with other stations that may have been closer to their LOS times than you. I have uploaded those QSOs to Logbook of the World. Please e-mail me directly (with QSO details) if you'd like to receive a WD9EWK QSL card to confirm those QSOs. You don't have to send me a card or SASE first. The hamfest was in grid DM22.
Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK http://www.wd9ewk.net/
some of the not-so-good operating examples made for excellent teaching
As I like to say, "No one is completely worthless: They can always be used as a bad example." Congratulations for implementing that aphorism.