Greater Maryland-Washington, D.C. Area

See the big picture.   Explore the AMSAT-NA Web Site

Active AMSAT-NA members local to Maryland-DC
are unofficially refered to as "AMSAT-DC"

Our *local* history, our ARCHIVES  . . .

  . . .   Only the tip of the iceberg of local activities are shown below!

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-137.06
AMSAT-DC Workshop Successful Weekend
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 137.06
May 17, 2009
BID: $ANS-137.06
The AMSAT-DC Workshop Co-Hosts, Pat Kilroy, N8PK, and 
Bruce Semple, WA3SWJ, reported on the outcome of their 
new approach.  The 2009 AMSAT-DC Workshop was held 
April 25 as planned.  It was held in place of the 
annual spring "AMSAT-DC Meeting and Space Seminar" 
of previous years.  
Pat wrote, "As voted by acclamation at last year's 
meeting our vision was to try something 'new and 
different.'  And, ... What a great day ... for 
education, for AMSAT and for NASA!"
"The workshop was not without its scrapes, cuts and 
bruises.  After all, it was an experiment unto itself, 
in part to see how well such an event might "take" in 
the mid-Atlantic USA region before attempting to 
emerge beyond.  In the all-day event, a total of five 
individuals participated and three flight modules were 
built.  We had humble beginnings, indeed. 
"A follow up session is in the planning stage. (We didn't 
have enough time to complete some troubleshooting and to 
start the calibration procedure on each module.) We will 
meet at NASA GSFC again in the next month or two -- this 
time, instead of in a huge cushy conference room serving 
as our 'fab lab', it will be inside a real space flight 
hardware laboratory -- to calibrate the PICetSat II 
flight sensors.  
Would you like to participate in a calibration session?  
Even if you missed the workshop, you are welcome to 
"finish the job" with us!  The session(s) are free, but 
slots are VERY limited.  Current AMSAT membership is 
required, and an advanced RSVP is required for security 
Contact Pat by e-mail ( if you are 
interested in participating.  After the next AMSAT-DC 
planning telecon (to be held within the next two weeks) 
Pat will release the calibration date(s) and time.
Please share the excitement.  Please pass the word.  
What a great day for education and outreach.  And fun!
[ANS thanks the AMSAT-DC guys - Pat Kilroy, N8PK, and 
Bruce Semple, WA3SWJ, for the above information.]

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-095.07
AMSAT-DC Spring Workshop Open for Registration
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 095.07
April 5, 2009
BID: $ANS-095.07
Greetings from the AMSAT-DC planning committee!
The 2009 AMSAT-DC meeting this year will be held on Saturday, 
April 25, at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, 
This year we have a [day long] series of workshops organized 
around the building, testing, and operating of a small simulated 
satellite kit.  The completed kit, soon to be widely known as a 
PICetSat II module, is a simple remote sensing unit that serves 
as an expendable high-altitude small balloon payload.  It 
transmits downlink telemetry on the 70cm Amateur Radio band.  
One group will construct the PICetSat II module kits.  Another 
group will assemble a ground station which involves providing 
and configuring  radios, computers, and software needed to 
receive, decode, and analyze the PICetSat II telemetry.  
If you plan on attending, [note the requirements and] choose 
one of the following options:
(1) PICetSat II module builder (Room for only 10 participants)
      * Current AMSAT membership
      * Admission $90.00 (pre-paid)
      * Bring a 25-watt pencil iron, holder, sponge, and your 
        eye glasses if needed
      * You take your completed "flight ready" module home 
        with you!
(2) Ground Station Component Provider (Transceiver or Computer) 
    to "share" during the workshop
      * Current AMSAT membership
      * Admission $20.00 (pre-paid)
     [* Bring one of the following two component sets:]
      * Transceiver (Room for only 3 participants)
              + Covers down to 433 MHz FM & SSB
              + Tunes in 1 kHz resolution or better
              + Audio cable (xcvr audio out) with 1/8-inch 
                stereo end for computer
              + A "simple" 70cm antenna, for example a random 
                wire, dummy load, or an "Arrow" antenna on a 
                camera tripod
      * Computer (Room for only 3 participants)
              + XP [Pro] operating system
              + MS Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) or 
                OPEN Office
              + Willingness to install the PICetSat II software 
                suite (to be provided on CD-R on April 25)
              + DB-9 Serial port connection, or a proven USB 
                to DB-9 converter
              + Soundcard with 1/8-in stereo input that accepts 
                an audio line-level signal
              + WiFi "G", optional but recommended
(3) General Admission (10 slots available)
      * Current AMSAT membership
      * Admission $40.00 (pre-paid)
      * AMSAT Lifetime Membership
      * Admission = FREE
To sign up, contact Martha at the AMSAT-NA office (301-589-6062) 
with your preference (Satellite Builder, Ground Station Component 
Provider indicating computer or transceiver, General Admission, 
or AMSAT VIP), fee payment, and your contact information.  
Direct any technical questions to the event coordinators.  
Event Coordinators:
Pat Kilroy, N8PK ( 
Bruce Semple, WA3SWJ ( 
Slots are limited.  First come, first served.  
5:00pm EDT Wednesday, April 16, 2009.
[ANS thanks Patrick Kilroy, N8PK and Bruce Semple, WA3SWJ 
for the above information]

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-074.04
AMSAT-DC Spring Workshop April 25
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 074.04
March 15, 2009
BID: $ANS-074.04
AMSAT-DC Area Coordinator Pat Kilroy, N8PK reports on plans for the 
AMSAT-DC Workshop to be held on Saturday, April 25, at the NASA 
Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.  
A small "simulated satellite" kit will be built, tested and operated 
by individuals attending.  The completed kit, soon to be widely known 
as a PICetSat II module, is a simple remote sensing unit that serves 
as an expendable high-altitude small balloon payload.  It transmits 
downlink telemetry on the 70 cm Amateur Radio band.  
Other attendees will provide and configure radios, computers and 
software needed to receive, decode and analyze the PICetSat II 
Pat says, "The format of this year's workshop is an experiment unto 
itself for the few AMSAT-DC subgroup of members who are attempting 
to organize such an event for the first time."  
He adds, "This workshop may prove to be a fine training opportunity 
for one to learn the basics of the design, construction, testing, 
calibrating and operating an earth-orbiting satellite.  All of this 
in one long Saturday of fun!"
The planning sessions are being held each Thursday evening via a 
toll-free telephone conference.  If you wish to help organize or 
execute the workshop then contact Pat by e-mail for the details of 
connecting with the group on the telecon at
as soon as possible.  
The cost of each kit will be determined soon, along with the admission 
structure.  For example, being evaluated is $90 for a kit plus AMSAT 
membership if one doesn't already have it.  The details of the 
registration process, workshop procedures and the associated costs 
are to follow in a later bulletin and on the AMSAT-NA and AMSAT-DC web 
[ANS thanks Pat Kilroy, N8PK for the above information]

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-011.03
AMSAT-DC Spring Satellite Workshop Seeks Members for Mission Teams
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 011.03
January 11, 2009
BID: $ANS-011.03
If you find yourself in the Baltimore-Washington DC area 
this spring you may be interested in learning more and 
participating in an AMSAT-DC workshop which simulates 
building, testing, launching, and receiving signals from 
an Amateur Radio satellite.  
AMSAT Area Coordinator for the Maryland-DC area, Pat Kilroy, 
N8PK, is proposing such a workshop for the 2009 AMSAT-DC 
Meeting and Space Seminar.  This meeting is historically 
held in early spring at or near the NASA Goddard Space 
Flight Center in Maryland.  
Pat is proposing individuals and groups of Amateur Radio 
operators form teams who compete at this AMSAT-DC workshop 
to create and operate a satellite mission.  
The first groups will build a PICetSat II flight module from 
a kit of electronic parts on a small printed circuit board.  
You can see an example of the original PICetSat module at:
The second groups will set up simple satellite ground 
stations to operate on 433.920 MHz SSB.  These team members 
need to provide a radio, antenna, and feedline for the 
70 cm band.  
The third groups will be in charge of setting up and loading 
software in the computers at the ground stations to decode 
the telemetry and to analyze it according to a set of 
This event will be perfect for beginners and advanced 
satellite users alike, all ultimately working together to 
"launch" the flight module, receive the downlink, and 
decode the telemetry.  Instructions will be provided in 
advance of the event to enhance preparation.  
Pat notes he needs volunteer help to plan and organize 
this event.  A couple of dedicated individuals are needed 
immediately to start the plans to lock in the workshop 
meeting space, advertise the event, to do the footwork 
needed to process participant applications, and to assure 
one set of radio and computer stations are on hand and 
ready at the start of the workshop.  To volunteer contact 
Pat at his e-mail address as soon as possible.  
Pat will convene a conference call for all interested 
participants to finalize the Workshop details with the 
Pat requests that interested Amateur Radio operators RSVP 
to him via e-mail and indicate which group 
you will be most interested in working with.  The cost of 
the Workshop is still "TBD" to cover the materials and 
meeting space.  Those choosing the PICetSat II will keep 
their completed project.  
[ANS thanks Pat, N8PK, for the above information]  


Results of the Successful
2008 AMSAT-DC Meeting and Space Seminar

AT ONE OF THE MOST INSPIRING annual local meetings to
date, we learned how exciting and substantial the coming months will
be as far as participating in experiments using Amateur Radio go in
the stratosphere, in space, in workshops, in the public squares and in
classrooms. Don't miss out on the good opportunities approaching.
The time is NOW for you to start planning and practicing. Come, join
the fun!

In exactly what, you ask? Lots! For now, check out the flury of
message exchanges on the amsat-dc e-mail reflector. (See above how
to subscribe.) Check out the meeting agenda. (Link below). And check
back here too for a recap of the meeting events -- and new things to
come as a spin-off.

This page is maintained by volunteers, so please be patient. We will get
updates here as the material is submitted to me (N8PK). You may also
experience events as they unfold by subscribing to an AMSAT e-mail
list and by joining AMSAT or renewing your membership.

Soon we will post pictures here taken at the meeting by Art W4ART,
Charlie K3VDB, and others as they come in, as well as notes taken by
Bruce WA3SWJ, and various impressions offered by several others
who attended.

The Number One follow up question is: How do we get the invitation
out wider, regarding publicity for our gathering, so that we may increase
attendance next year? Already on the repeaters, well-meaning individuals
have remarked that they would have attended had they heard about it.
Our meeting was SO GOOD and yet we had room for 20 more OR
MORE. Your thoughts and ideas on the subject are welcome.

We will recognize several contributing individuals by name soon, ...

THANK YOU to the presenters, to those who brought hardware for
our hi-tech show 'n' tell, to those who helped publicize the event, to those
who shared Pot Luck or munchie items, and those who helped with the
room set up and strike. It was fun! You made this gathering inspiring
and educational.

You made this gathering one to remember!


Pat Kilroy, N8PK
AMSAT Area Coordinator
Mid-Atlantic MDC Area

AMSAT-DC Meeting Announcement

Released Friday, January 25, 2008

We will meet in Pioneer Hall at the Historical Electronics Museum, same
place as last year, same time as last year, for at least one more time!

              Clip and share! 
WHO:   YOU are invited!  Ham radio operators, students, educators 
       and the public are all invited. 
WHAT:  Talks, demos, tutorials and socializing about amateur 
       satellites and high-altitude balloon experiments in the 
       greater mid-Atlantic USA area.  A full day of activities!  
WHEN:  Saturday, March 15, 2008, starting at 11:00 A.M. local. 
WHERE: Historical Electronics Museum (HEM) at 1745 West Nursery 
       Road, Linthicum, Maryland 21090 (near BWI airport).  In 
       Pioneer Hall.  HEM directions at
WHY:   Fun, education, public service, training, cool stuff, and 
       more fun.  No RSVP needed except for speakers and 
HOW:   Talk-in on 146.760 MHz (107.2 Hz PL on some receiver sites) 
HOST:  Pat Kilroy, or
WEB:   Check the AMSAT-DC page 
       for late breaking news.  

The AMSAT-DC-2008 flier is now available here!

The AMSAT-DC 2008 Agenda is now available here!


Please download the AMSAT-DC-2008 flier. Please print
copies and share them widely, at a club meeting, at a hamfest,
in a public library, in a school, and other visible places.

This year will feature something new: a Pot Luck luncheon!
You may bring a favorite dish to share. It is not required
of course, but you are welcome to bring a salad, a dessert,
a crock pot, a platter, some munchies, or drink to share.
(Like always, anything you contribute to the meeting can be
considered when we "pass the hat".)

The meeting preparations are being conducted on the amsat-dc
e-mail list. Go to the top of this AMSAT-DC page to subscribe
if you are not already there.

Free paved parking is available a short walk from
the museum front door. Like before, monetary donations will
be accepted to help offset the associated meeting and seminar
costs. In turn like last year, we'd like to donate a portion to
the museum for the use of their facilities.

Call to Volunteer for AMSAT-DC Meeting

We are looking for a few good people to help make our meeting and
space seminar on March 15 an outstanding success. We can make it
happen. AMSAT members in the past have been great hosts and

More demos are sought. Do you have a piece of hardware that
you built, software you wrote, an article of interest you wrote, any
photos you took, or have an activity (done or to propose) that you
would share with the group? Please do!

Help boost attendance! Can you help spread the word for us? Bring
a friend, tell a teacher, personally invite someone, talk it up on a net,
or distribute fliers? Hand out fliers at a club meeting and a hamfest?

Can you post the "clip 'n' share" notice (above) to an e-mail list?

Could you come to help at one of the set ups? One set up will be in
the late afternoon on the day before and the other will be about an
hour before the start of the meeting. We wish to start on time!

Can you stay a few minutes late to help clean up?

We will have a POT LUCK luncheon this year! Can you bring a
crock pot, a platter, a salad, a dessert, some munchies, or some
drink to share?

These items, above and below, are being coordinated on the amsat-dc
e-mail list. If you don't make your help known in advance then we must
assume that the task will NOT GET DONE. Thank you for your support!

LIST OF TASKS (persons needed) -- person volunteering

 1. Speakers/presenters (6) -- Your name here.
 2. Show 'n' Tell Demos (6-12) -- YOUR NAME HERE.
 3. Museum tour guides (2) -- Your name here.
 4. Greeters (3) for registration table, sign-in, name badges, etc.
 5. Advertisers (100) -- Every person.
 6. Meeting Go-fer (2) -- Your name here.
 7. Talk-in (8 AM - 11 AM) -- YOUR NAME HERE.
 8. Talk-in (11 AM - 1 PM) -- YOUR NAME HERE.
 9. Photographers (2 more) -- Your name here.
10. Video (2) w light, sound & editing as needed -- Your name here.
11. Notes/minutes (2) -- Your name here.
12. Time keeper (1)
13. Food/drink (40) "Pot Luck" fashion!
14. Set up (4)
15. Clean up (4)
16. Refreshment table keeper (1)
17. Lunch planner (1)
18. Sign maker and poster (2) for parking and welcome.
19. Bring a bright LCD projector (1) -- Your name here.
20. Obtain door prizes and determine ways of winning. -- Your names here.

Results: SUMMER CAMP 2007: Satellite Training Using
High-Altitude Balloons

Our local AMSAT group joined forces with AMSAT members in the Maryland
Eastern Shore area, with NASA, and with the US Navy Academy to initiate
young students to the excitement of amateur satellites by flying the kids'
homemade electronic modules on balloons.

Click here for the whole long-winded story.

LOOK UNDER the SimSat-3 mission results, then the CricketSat results links.



We had one of the best meetings to date. But we need photos or notes
on it. Help!!!

Results: 2006 AMSAT-DC SuitSat Activities

WE MADE A BIG SPLASH involving kids with the SuitSat experiment,
even if some say the original SuitSat results were not quite stellar.

Click here for the play by play description.


We had a pretty good meeting in 2006! But Pat Kilroy has no photos or
other notes or information on hand. Please donate your memories!


WE HAD A WONDERFUL TIME at the 2005 meeting! Click here for the results.


Follow this link years back, to the 2004 meeting and its results.


We had some pretty good stuff going on, at least back to 1994 when we
played host to the AMSAT-NA Annual Meeting and Space Symposium at
the Intelsat Building in downtown Washington, D.C. We need photos and
information to post here. Please contact Pat Kilroy and offer him items to

Thank you!

For more information, contact:

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

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