Maryland - Washington, D.C. Area

Announcing the AMSAT-DC Spring Workshop 2013

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AMSAT-DC Spring Workshop 2013

THE HOSTS FOR THIS WORKSHOP opportunity are Bruce Semple, WA3SWJ; Dan Schultz, N8FGV; and Pat Kilroy, N8PK.

Here are some important late-breaking notes from Bruce, Dan & Pat.   . . . Please bear with us.  . . .

First, the original announcement bulletin that describes this workshop is reproduced way below, along with the bulletin on our registration procedure. Please review them both. Remember, each and every person who attends must obtain a "ticket" in advance, which is a unique registration number from Martha at AMSAT headquarters in order to be admitted. (You will write your ticket number next to your name on the sign-in sheet on March 23.) No registering will be done on site. Please plan ahead. Then MAXIMUM FUN is guaranteed!

Table space is given to those with hardware to bring, which we are banking on will be many individuals.

NOTE: You will be allocated up to a half-table space for your wares, if needed and as available, along with a small floor area on one end of the table for your antenna and its mounting structure IF YOU ALSO SEND a courtesy e-mail message RSVP to co-host Pat Kilroy that briefly describes the hardware you intend to set up and display. Please ADD PROTECTION to your antenna and its elements to avoid contact with anyone standing or passing nearby, especially to prevent jabs, catches and EYE injury. Let's play it safe!

Bring your own 25-foot extension chord and AC & DC power strips. The folding picnic tables and chairs will be supplied on an RSVP basis as already stated.

RECAP: To keep it simple, Martha is handling all reservations via telephone. Whereas, Pat is handling all RSVPs for table space via e-mail.

Troubleshooting will be on going. Lots of technical help is expected for anything and everything, hardware or software, big or small!

BRING YOUR CAMERA.   Free WiFi, however slow, will be available.

Workshop PLANNING & COORDINATION has been and is being done on the amsat-dc mail list.

We still need volunteers for this event. Please inquire ASAP. The task list is quite similar to those of our previous seminars and workshops (see Archives at bottom). This event is run by volunteers for volunteers. For example, two AMSAT greeters are needed. Also, a video person with lights, a video editor person, a food organizer, a Net Control Station for talk-in, go-fers, strong lower backs to help folks move hardware between the parking lot and the auditorium, a clean up crew and more.

We will work/play through lunch, so either bring a brown bag lunch for yourself or offer to help an on-the-spot volunteer place a sandwich order (from Subway or Safeway). Two volunteers will be needed to make the run together for the group order pick-up. We wish to avoid folks driving into town for lunch, a big time killer.

We are looking for someone to bring a UHF signal source for test purposes for the day, something more substantial than an FM handheld transceiver if possible. A simple analog SSB transmitter in very low power mode looping a recorded voice message would work, and be pretty cool too. Takers, any one? Please contact Pat!

Please help publicize this event. You may forward this Web page URL link to friends, clubs, high schools, universities, engineering departments, news outlets or similar. College level and above are the target ages. The high school student will likely want to bring an Elmer (technical mentor) with them.

In the afternoon before the workshop, Pat Kilroy will be setting up the first ground station in the VC auditorium starting at about 2:00 P.M. If you would like to join him to set up your own stuff early then RSVP your request to him. All hauling, storage and set up on Friday afternoon must be finished by 4:00 P.M.

Get the location of and the directions to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center here. Enter the Goddard Visitor Center parking lot by turning left off of IceSat Road, immediately north of Greenbelt Road (MD 193). The coordinates are 38.99250, -76.84611, ground at 270 feet AMSL. The auditorium (Room 100 A&B, a.k.a. Gallery) is to the left of the Gift Shop and the Hall of Satellites in the museum (don't miss the new LRO satellite mass model display!) as viewed from the parking lot. We will NOT use the nearby Science On a Sphere (SOS) studio but you simply MUST visit that display sometime during your day.

Informal TALK-IN is on WA3NAN-R on 146.835 MHz FM within about 20 miles of RF (or EchoLink node 40045 from anywhere via Internet), with a backup of W3EAX-R on 145.490 MHz FM within about ten miles (or EchoLink node 318547). There is no PL or CTCSS requirement on either machine.

The use of this government facility (the NASA Goddard Visitor Center) for our event is contingent upon the regional DHS National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) level being no higher than ELEVATED on the meeting date. (There are no more color-coded scales, as described in the NTAS FAQ.)

Good times are in store. See you there!


Updated Fri Mar 8, 2013


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-055.01
ANS-055 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 055.01
DATE: Saturday, February 24, 2013
BID: $ANS-055.01

AMSAT-DC Workshop on Portable Satellite Ground Stations

REGISTER NOW for the AMSAT-DC Spring Workshop 2013.  Those 
who wish to attend the "Workshop on Portable Satellite Ground 
Stations" on Saturday, March 23, must call Martha in advance 
at AMSAT headquarters at 301-589-6062 to receive a workshop 
registration number.  Your unique registration number is your 
ticket to get in, starting NET 9:00 A.M. EST.  There will be 
no registration at the door.  

The suggested donation for advanced registration and admission 
for non-members is $25.  Registration for each AMSAT member 
who participates in the event and registers in advance is free.  

"The $25 USD donations collected by Martha will go directly 
to a worthy cause," says AMSAT Area Coordinator Pat Kilroy, 
"namely, to the AMSAT Fox Project."  

In lieu of the $25 suggested donation by non-members, one may 
apply for AMSAT membership with Martha at the standard rate 
and then receive a workshop registration number for free.  

The door to the Visitor Center auditorium at the NASA Goddard 
Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland (ZIP Code 20771) 
will open for station set ups no earlier than 9:00 A.M.  The 
program will officially begin at ten and run nearly all day 
continuously, easily to 4:00 P.M. or beyond.  Participants 
are welcome to bring their own brown bag lunch.  Drinks and 
condiments will be donated by fellow AMSAT members.  

The workshop program will be informal, with participants given 
the floor to show their wares and explain their operation.  
That is, one teaching one another the best practices, tools 
and techniques of successful satellite contacts.  "Our program 
will be an experiment unto itself to gauge interest and to 
plan future AMSAT-DC workshops," says Pat.  Feedback is 
always welcome.  

All participants are encouraged to bring their wares to 
assemble, show and explain.

To volunteer or ask questions contact Pat Kilroy, N8PK, at  

[ANS thanks Pat Kilroy, N8PK, for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-020.01
ANS-020 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 020.01
DATE: Saturday, January 19, 2013
BID: $ANS-020.01

AMSAT-DC Workshop on Portable Satellite Ground Stations

The AMSAT-DC Group is planning for a Spring Workshop 2013, 
to take place on Saturday, March 23, at the NASA Goddard 
Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.  It will be a 
nearly all-day event.

This is a workshop for those who wish to learn more about 
satellite operations and develop their own portable ground 
station.  Participants will bring their wares to assemble, 
show, and explain to others that which will feature one 
or more of the following:

+ One's own laptop computer, with appropriate software 
  installed, such as for satellite tracking, SDR receiver 
  control, antenna control (optional), audio recording, 
  time stamp track, and any of many other apps.  

+ The FUNcube Dongle Pro receiver or equivalent.  We will 
  emphasize receiving only, and not the transmit side at 
  this particular time.  

+ One or more antennas for 146 MHz and 436 MHz, Arrow, Elk, 
  or homebrew on a camera tripod, small mast, homebrew PVC, 
  or hand-held.

+ Everything, or almost everything, ought to be designed 
  to be powered from a regulated 12-volt DC source of your 
  choosing.  A table will be provided with a shared 120VAC 
  wall outlet within about 50 feet.  

Volunteers are invited to join the planning committee 
(contact Pat at n8pk at  Registration 
information will be announced by February 15 via the 
AMSAT News Service (ANS), and on the AMSAT Calendar of 
Events under

The workshop cost is expected to be low (for incidental 
items) or free to AMSAT members.  Any non-US citizen who 
would like to attend must contact Pat by February 15 at 
the latest.

To volunteer or ask questions contact Pat at n8pk at  

 Links for antenna ideas:

 Links for software ideas:

 Links for receiver ideas: (Spectravue configuration PDF)


[ANS thanks Pat Kilroy, N8PK, AMSAT Area Coordinator, 
 Maryland-DC for the above information]  

A link to our humble ARCHIVES of previous year's announcements, task lists, activities and results.

For more information, contact:

Mr. Patrick L. Kilroy
NASA GSFC Code 568
Work: 301-286-1984

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Last Modified: March 8, 2013

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