>by Bob Wanek, N2ESP —
The weather was perfect with a cooling breeze blowing over our waterfront venue. The 20M vertical and VHF/UHF Yagi antennas rose above the tent that provided us shade from the Florida sun. Signage identified our mission as strange sounds emanated from the radios we had set up. This was the scene at the SPARC booth as the 2015 St. Petersburg Science Festival got underway.
Tom, NY4I was searching for satellites to work aided by the custom antenna base/mast assembly designed and built by John, KI4UIP. Two large computer screens showed our visitors the available satellites and radio/antenna operations. Dave, KR4U demonstrated how hams could “text” over the radio using PSK31 as he made contacts around the country. Dee, N4GD and Bob, N2ESP had the best job, teaching our young visitors to tap out their names in Morse code on our code practice oscillators.
Thanks to Leslie, WA4EEZ and Roger, K4SHI who loaned us their PSK/SSB station and Felax, KI4TWQ assisted us getting our station ready for the big show, and Clayton, KJ4RUS who provided our graphics. SPARC members dropping by the booth included Kyle, N4NSS and Coy, KK4JMP.