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Jun 252014
 

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2014 09:52:57 -0700
From: John Langridge <
jlangridge@sbcglobal.net>
Reply-To: John Langridge <
jlangridge@sbcglobal.net>
Subject: CQ FD! 2014! de WG2XIQ


To: “
info@cowtownamateurradioclub.org” <info@cowtownamateurradioclub.org>
Greetings Cowtown club!  I wanted to extend this on-air demo opportunity to you and your group at Field day!
Starting with Field Day 2013, I transmitted a CW field day message on the 630-meter band for demonstration purposes to stations around the Texas area.  Let me be clear that this was not the ARRL’s Field Day message.  I hope to do it again this year, weather permitting, and wanted to let you know about it since I know you have low band enthusiasts out that direction.  Last year’s operation was amazingly successful and the message was copied as far away as Salt Lake City, Utah, using rigs and antennas set up for ham bands at a Field Day site.  All this was done with 1 Watt ERP and a short base-loaded vertical!
The plan will be to run the message on 474 KHz CW starting Saturday morning, June 28, around 8am and it will run through the end of Field Day on June 29, sometime after 1pm CDT.  I hope to run it at 15 minute intervals starting at the top of each hour and expect the message to run 5-10 minutes in length.
In addition to my station, there will be other Part 5 experimental stations around the US following suit with their own messages.  Below is a list:
WG2XKA in VT         472.5 Khz CW
WG2XJM in PA         473 KHz CW
WD2XSH/20 in OR    475 KHz CW
WG2XIQ in TX           474 KHz CW
So why do this?  We are hoping to show the value of the band, both in groundwave and skywave coverage.  The groundwave signals will outperform anything we have available to us under part 97 and the skywave, particularly during the winter, will surprise you, often times being reported thousands of miles from the transmitter site (I was heard in Europe and Alaska quite often last winter and make regular coast-to-coast QSO’s on CW and digital modes on 630-meters).  There are so many misconceptions about what goes on below the AM Broadcast band and we hope to provide opportunities for individuals at their club’s field day operation to experience the band first hand. Summer is not the best time to do this, but week keep signals on the band all year long and make QSO’s all year long.
Whatever antennas and rigs you might have hooked up for your operation, simply tune them to one of the frequencies above and see what you hear.  Again, I will be on 474 KHz CW and plan on running at a 15 minute interval if everything works out.
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me directly via email.
73 and I hope your group has a wonderful Field Day 2014!
John Langridge KB5NJD / WG2XIQ
Duncanville, TX – EM12MP
PS:  I *may* offer a certificate to those that report my signal around the Texas area so reports, whether copied by ear or software are very welcome!

Jun 252014
 

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 175.01 
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD. 
DATE June 24, 2014 
To All RADIO AMATEURS 
BID: $ANS-175.01 

Possible ISS Voice Contacts on Field Day 
David Jordan, AA4KN, ARISS Public Relations 

Current discussions between the ARISS team and NASA suggest the 
possibility of voice contacts with the International Space Station 
(ISS) during Saturday’s ARRL Field Day activities this coming weekend. 

In a June 23 email, Kenneth Ransom, the ISS Ham Radio payload 
developer, stated “I have received a response from astronaut (Reid) 
Wiseman that he is willing to try and work some stations on Saturday
Pass times begin very soon after the start of Field day.” Wiseman 
would operate under the call sign, NA1SS. Should Alex Gerst 
participate, he would use the call sign, DP0ISS. 

If voice operation does occur, It will likely take place from the 
Columbus (COL) module using the standard Region 2 uplink frequency of 
144.49 MHz and 145.800 MHz for downlink. It’s expected that the packet 
system will be operational on 145.825 MHz during periods when the crew 
is not available. 

It’s not clear whether any of the Russian crew would participate from 
the Russian module, but if so, they would be directed to use 437.550 
MHz for any contacts using the call sign RS0ISS. The COL would also be 
available to their crew using the VHF frequencies above, if Wiseman is 
not operating. 

Listed below are approximate pass times and a chart showing ISS passes 
for the Field Day weekend. The pass times shown are not definite, 
scheduled times with the crew. They may or may not be able to support 
these times. And, updates to this tentative plan will be released as 
they become available. 

Saturday, June 28
+ N. America (18:11-18:33 UTC
+ Hawaii (19:36 – 19:47 UTC
+ N. America (19:48-20:10 UTC

This news release including a color map showing all ISS passes for 
Field Day weekend for North America can be viewed on-line at: 
http://www.amsat.org/?p=2860 http://www.amsat.org/?p=2860 

[ANS thanks David Jordan, AA4KN, ARISS Public Relations for the above 
information] 

Jun 182014
 

The FUNcube team anticipate that the Dnepr launch of the amateur radio FUNcube-3 payload on the QB50p1 CubeSat will take place as previously stated.
This Thursday is the day!
To be precise, lift off is expected to take place from Yasny on June 19, 2014 at 19:11:11 UT and the deployment of the various payloads will take place over the Indian Ocean in a similar fashion to the launch of FUNcube-1 last November.
Pre-launch Keplerian elements / Two-Line Elements (TLEs) have not yet been made available but the details of the initial 145 MHz CW transmission format for both QB50p1, and its near twin QB50p2, can now be seen at
http://www.isispace.nl/HAM/qb50p.html http://www.isispace.nl/HAM/qb50p.html
QB50p1 carries an inverting linear UV transponder with 400 mW output provided by AMSAT-NL and which is similar to that on FUNcube-1.
• 145.815 MHz 1200 bps BPSK telemetry
• FUNcube inverting 400 mW SSB/CW transponder
– 435.035-435.065 MHz Uplink LSB
– 145.935-145.965 MHz Downlink USB.
QB50p2 carries an UV FM transponder and FX25 data transmitter from AMSAT-F. It is expected that these payloads will be activated after the science missions have been completed.
• 145.880 MHz 9600 bps BPSK telemetry beacon
• 145.840 MHz 9600 bps FSK FX25
AMSAT-UK will be monitoring the launch event and watching for signal reports on the #cubesat IRC channelhttp://webchat.freenode.net/ throughout the evening. A web client is available at
http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=#cubesat http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=#cubesat
FUNcube website
http://www.funcube.org.uk/ http://www.funcube.org.uk/
FUNcube Yahoo Group
http://amsat-uk.org/funcube/yahoo-group/ http://amsat-uk.org/funcube/yahoo-group/
FUNcube Forum
http://forum.funcube.org.uk/ http://forum.funcube.org.uk/

Jun 112014
 

The QB50 project has reached another crucial milestone. The first two QB50 satellites have been delivered for shipment to the launch site after a successful flight acceptance test campaign
The satellites will form the QB50 Precursor mission that seeks to de-risk and validate key technologies of the QB50 main flight that will be performed in the coming years.
The launch is planned for June 19, 2014 from the Russian ICBM base at Dombarovsky near Yasny on a Dnepr rocket manufactured in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine.
The satellites will be put into a 650 km Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).
The following payloads were integrated into the ISIS satellite platforms:
QB50p1
• INMS Payload from MSSL, UK
• QB50 ADCS system from SSC, UK
• Thermocouple experiment from VKI, Belgium
• AMSAT-NL 435/145 MHz linear transponder (FUNcube-3) from AMSAT-NL, The Netherlands
QB50p2
• FIPEX Payload, University of Dresden, Germany
• QB50 ADCS system from SSC, UK
• Thermocouple experiment from VKI, Belgium
• AMSAT-Fr 435/145 MHz FM voice transponder from AMSAT Francophone, France
QB50p1 (FUNcube-3) will have a VHF 9600 bps BPSK telemetry downlink plus a separate payload from AMSAT-NL. This will comprise of a linear U/V transponder similar to that already flying on FUNcube-1 with an output of 400 mW.
• 145.815 MHz 9600 bps BPSK telemetry beacon
• Inverting SSB/CW linear transponder 400 mW PEP
– 435.035 – 435.065 MHz Uplink LSB
– 145.935 – 145.965 MHz Downlink USB
QB50p2 will have a VHF 9600 bps BPSK telemetry downlink plus a separate RF payload from AMSAT-F which will comprise of a FM voice transponder with UHF uplink and VHF downlink. It will also transmit FX25 telemetry at 9600 bps.
• 145.880 MHz 9600 bps BPSK telemetry beacon
• 145.840 MHz 9600 bps FSK FX25
The project was executed to an unprecedented timeline. Formal Kick-Off was in October 2013 and all hardware from the different partners was delivered for integration into the satellites in January 2014. This means that two satellites were delivered in just over 6 months. Furthermore, with a precursor launch scheduled in June, launch and operations will commence within 9 months of project Kick-Off.
This fast-track project shows how successful a close cooperation between academic institutes and experienced companies can be. With ISIS’ experienced team of engineers that design and build nanosatellites on a regular basis (ISIS remains on track to delivering 1 satellite system per month in 2014), throughput times of nanosatellite projects can be shortened significantly.
The upcoming launch of the QB50 precursor satellites will also be the first satellites to be launched that were funded through the EU’s FP7 space technology programme, in which a number of innovative small satellites will be launched in the coming years to demonstrate new European space technologies.
The lessons learned from the QB50 Precursor development and operations have already led to many recommendations to further improve and streamline the QB50 main flight. All teams involved in QB50 stand to benefit from the experiences gained over the last months.
Source https://www.vki.ac.be/index.php/component/content/article/
249-news/latest/467-isis-delivers-the-first-two-qb50-satellites-as-part-of-the-eu-fp7-qb50-project

ISIS http://www.isispace.nl/
QB50 http://www.qb50.eu/
QB50 Precursor Flight
https://www.qb50.eu/index.php/precursor-flight
AMSAT-UK Colloquium announcement
http://amsat-uk.org/2013/07/20/qb50-amateur-radio-transponder-payloads-to-launch-2014/
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/201…_delivered.htm

 

Jun 112014
 

An unexpected reset of the master clock on KickSat may mean that the deployment of the 104 Sprite 437 MHz satellites will not take place before the KickSat CubeSat burns up in the atmosphere
Radio amateur Zac Manchester KD2BHC has posted this update:
First off, I’d like to sincerely thank all of you for your support over the past two years. KickSat has been a success up to this point because of you.
As those who’ve been keeping up with the telemetry data coming in from KickSat on our mailing list may have noticed, the packets we’ve been receiving have changed in the last couple of days. This was due to a hard reset of the “watchdog” microcontroller on KickSat – the sort of “reptile brain” of the satellite that manages turning on and off the rest of the subsystems and keeps the master clock.
It appears the reset happened some time in the morning of Wednesday, April 30th. The reset doesn’t seem to be the result of power issues (the watchdog should run until the batteries reach 5.5 volts, and they’ve been holding steady around 6.5 volts). Instead, it seems the likely culprit was radiation.
One consequence of the watchdog reset on KickSat is that the spacecraft’s master clock was reset, thus also setting the deployment countdown for KickSat back to 16 days. That would put the deployment some time in the morning of May 16th. Unfortunately, it looks like KickSat will most likely reenter and burn up before the 16th.
We’ve spent the last couple of days here at Cornell trying to think of every possible contingency, but it seems there aren’t very many options right now. KickSat’s uplink radio, which we could use to command the deployment, can’t turn on unless the batteries reach 8 volts, and it doesn’t look like they’ll reach that level in time.
While the situation looks a little bleak, there is still some hope that the batteries may recharge sufficiently to command the satellite. There is also a small chance that KickSat could remain in orbit until the 16th, at which point the timer would set off the deployment as originally planned.
We’ll continue tracking KickSat over the next few days with the help of the ham community, so that we can keep track of its battery voltage and the Sprite deployment status. I’ll post updates here, as usual, but you can also see the latest data as it comes in on our mailing list.
Thank you again for your support. I promise that this won’t be the end of the KickSat project.
- Zac
Kicksat Wiki
https://github.com/zacinaction/kicksat/wiki
KickSat mailing list
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/kicksat-gs
Kicksat Updates
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/zacinaction/
kicksat-your-personal-spacecraft-in-space/posts

May 112013
 

  I went to Global Tuners site.  You can go there and log in and you can tune radios around the world.  People have receivers hooked up to their computer and many of the have great antennas and you can tune their radio!  Pretty neat.
  I signed up many years ago and from time to time did it.
  Well I went back to the site today.

SWLSanAntonioTX05112013

  What I found was very little activity on HF.  It sounds like what I was hearing on the Sangean ATS-909X radio.  Nothing like it was years ago.  I guess that many of the nations giving up SWBC has pretty much put and to SW radio the way it was in the old days.
  New people tuning into SW do not know how it was in the old days so if they pick up a few stations they think that is what shortwave listening was like in the old days. 
  How sad.  I guess satellites and the Internet have killed the HF bands.
  Do not get me wrong there are still some stations out there and you can still hear some interesting things.
  But nothing like hearing the major nations of the world broadcasting every night to North America in English.  No more Radio Swan and no more USSR jamming transmitters all over the place. (Yes, I understand China is doing some jamming and a few others.)  No more Jim Howard doing “Calling All Shortwave Listeners” over WRUL Radio New York Worldwide. Open-mouthed smile

  I have no desire to have a shortwave radio now days.  I guess that was just a memory from my childhood.  It was like penny candy or five cent candy bars or Coke and Pepsi and other drinks in glass bottles.  Or the ice man bring ice everyday to your home.  Or the milk man bring mild to your door everyday.
  Do not get me wrong.. I am not a Republican that thinks everything was wonderful in the old days.  I remember chain gangs, colored bathrooms and drinking fountains.
  I spent a summer in Barnwell SC.  That would have been about 1956 or 1957.

May 062013
 

 Hallicrafters_S-38D_Maginas                                                              
  Back when I was about 12 or 13 years of age I got interested in radio.  I got interested in shortwave radio and I got into the hobby.  I got myself a Hallicrafters S-38D shortwave radio.  It had five tubes.  OK, I know you don’t know what tubes are and I am just showing how fucking old I am.

  

  I got the photo above off the Internet.  That is a photo of the S-38D.  I spent years looking at that radio and using it to listen to stations all over the world.
   The photo on the left is me using my second radio a Hallicrafters SX-99.  It was a much better radio than the old S-38D.  In the photo you can see a number of extra things I add to it.

  I had a couple or radios after that and shortwave radio was my life for years.  Well that and the Ground Observer Corps, Civil Defense, the People-to-People organization and the American Shortwave Listeners Club and a DX program that I did for a year over WRUL radio.
  You maybe wonder about high school?  It was not on my list of important things!  That is why I went to summer school for four fucking years.
  I made some history at the time.  I am even in a history book a few times.  You will find me in the index and mentioned a few times in “Listening on the Short Waves, 1945 to TODAY.” 
 
   Shortwave radio was my hobby but when I got married at age 26 Darlene my new wife did not want me paying attention to anything but her!  So I did very little listening during the 12 years I was married to her.
  By the time those long long years were over and the marriage was over I had a new hobby computers and a new interest to get me busy.  The new interest was my four children.

  But shortwave radio was a big part of my life.  I often wonder if I had not got hooked by shortwave radio and had spent all those hours doing something else… How might I have turned out?  What if I put those years into getting an education? 
  But we do not have a time machine and we have to live with our choices or our mistakes.

   In a post the other day I told you that I had ordered a new shortwave radio.  I cancelled that order and I am getting a different shortwave radio.  It will be here tomorrow.  I am getting Sangean ATS-909X.
 
  If you are interested in getting a shortwave radio I would recommend one of the following.