Dayton Hamvention 2015: Day 1 — Big Crowd, Some Rain, Satellite News
The word on the first day of Dayton Hamvention is that the venue is “extremely crowded for a Friday,” according to ARRL Publications Manager and QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY. Ford said there have been scattered showers and it’s on the humid side, “but not terrible.”
Hamvention continues through Sunday afternoon. It is offering live coverage of selected forums on its website. Several other webcasters, including Tom Medlin, W5KUB, and Icom America, also will be making live video streams available.
Ford said traffic at ARRL EXPO has been brisk, and the ARRL Lab’s spectral purity testing table has been seeing “steady traffic with long lines at times.” Retired NASA Astronaut Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, a special Hamvention guest, stopped by to tour the ARRL EXPO and to chat with visitors.
AMSAT Vice President-Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, said that its planned geosynchronous satellite will offer uplinks on 5 GHz and downlinks on 10 GHz.
Buxton explained that the geosynchronous footprint will not be absolutely fixed; some variation may require some up/down movement of the user's dish at certain times — although not continuously. He said AMSAT is working on this issue in terms of what to recommend for ground stations, but that even in the worst case, a user with a fixed antenna would still be able to enjoy several hours of access each day.
The transponder for the new satellite will be software defined and capable of supporting many different modes, including analog SSB.
AMSAT announced in late April that, if all goes according to plan, an Amateur Radio payload will go into space on a geosynchronous satellite that’s planned for launch in 2017. The satellite’s potential footprint could extend over the US from the Mid-Pacific to Africa. AMSAT has accepted the opportunity to be a “hosted payload” on a spacecraft that Millennium Space Systems (MSS) of El Segundo, California, is under contract to design, launch, and operate for the US government. The Amateur Radio payload must be delivered for testing and integration by next spring.