Posts tagged Ham Radio

FUNcube Handbook 1st Edition PDF

The FUNcube project is being undertaken by a team of (less than 10) experienced volunteers drawn from radio amateur members of AMSAT-UK, AMSAT-NL and others and is part funded by the Radio Communications Foundation – a Registered Charity.

While this handbook refers mainly to FUNcube-1, readers should note that similar hardware and software was provided to the UKube-1 spacecraft (sponsored by the UK Space Agency) as a sub-system which will provide almost the same functionality.

Massive Satellite “Cluster” Launch Set for November 21

A Dnepr launcher set to lift off from Dombarovsky, near Yasny, Russia, on November 21 will carry more than two dozen satellites from 13 countries. Individual satellite teams are now in Yasny preparing their payloads for launch. Several of the satellites will carry Amateur Radio payloads, marking this as the largest single deployment of ham radio satellites. Paving the way for this month’s event was the August 22 Dnepr launch of the KOMPSAT-5 satellite from Korea — the first Dnepr launch in 2 years. This month’s launch had been postponed for more than a year to work the wrinkles out of the Dnepr program. The DubaiSat-2 earth-imaging satellite will be the principal payload of this cluster mission.

Linked Ham Radio Repeater System Instrumental in Hiker Rescue

A hiker in distress in Nevada is thankful that he had his hand-held transceiver along when he found himself stranded in the hills near Henderson. Western Intertie Network (WIN) System member Jim Frederick, KF6QBW, in Arizona reports he was monitoring the system November 3 around midday when he heard, “Mayday, Mayday. Hiker in distress!” from his WIN System repeater.

Vandenberg AFB Falcon 9 Launch

The planned launch of two satellites, DANDE and CUSat, carrying amateur radio payloads should be streamed live to the web at 1600 UT on Sunday, September 29.

Radio Operators Needed for Special Olympics Summer Games

Amateur Radio Operators are needed for the Special Olympics Summer Games, June 8 and 9 at Cal State Long Beach. If you can help please contact Mark Lidikay, KE6TNM, at (MLidikay at holdenandrew dot com).


Sometimes you just can’t go by what the propagation numbers tell you. Last fall when we were seeing sunspot counts topping 200 and solar flux counts near 200 I just wasn’t able to contact Australia nor New Zealand though they were blasting into SoCal clear into the early evening hours. So imagine the shock I received Saturday afternoon as I’m sitting in the Kmart parking lot and I hear a VK4 station calling CQ, I answer his call and on the first attempt I get this…

Yes, that is a stock FT-817 I’m using, barely 5-Watts out. Antenna used was an ATX Walkabout mounted on the roof using a MFJ BNC magnetic mount. For power a fold-up 15W solar panel, 10A solar charger and a 9Ah Solid Lead Acid (SLA) battery. The entire system is completely portable and stores neatly in my backpack.

Monitoring The International Space Station

The first set of frequencies belongs to the on-board amateur radio station. Voice contacts are primarily reserved for schools, however, if a crew member has some downtime they’re free to go on-air and make as many contacts as they want. As long as there isn’t any electrical problems the packet modem will also remain on and in ‘store and forward’ mode. Allowing personal messages to be sent to crew members and other hams around the world. The SSTV frequency is rarely used, mostly during special events such as Field Day.

145.8000 FM Region 2 Voice Downlink
144.4900 FM Region 2 Voice Uplink
145.8250 FM Packet | APRS
437.5500 FM Packet
145.8000 FM SSTV

The second set of frequencies are for commercial operations such as EVAs and the docking of resupply ships. On VHF-1 you will hear Cosmonauts communicating with one of several Mission Control Centers around the world. VHF-2 is said to be used by Astronauts though Russian comms have also been logged on this frequency. On 121.750 and 121.125 EVA ‘spacewalk’ activity has been noted with the callsign ‘Soyuz’ being heard on EVA-1. EVA-1 is commonly logged by radio operators in SoCal as its also used by ground crews at LAX. Do note the ISS operates on Moscow Time so you may find the crew more active late at night.

143.6250 FM VHF-1
130.1670 FM VHF-2
121.7500 FM EVA-1
121.1250 FM EVA-2

If you’re worried about needing a big set up to monitor the ISS don’t worry, its just like monitoring AO-27, SO-50 or any other FM satellite. All you’ll need is a scanner, general coverage communications receiver or a 2-meter radio with extended receive which pretty much all radios made now a days have. As for an antenna, you will want to use something with gain like the Diamond RH-77/SRH-77 or even a beam antenna like the Arrow Antenna or Elk Antenna. They are fairly low cost and extremely portable.

The Media and Public is Formally Invited to ARRL Field Day 2012

ARRL Field Day 2012

Hosted by…
Santa Clarita Emergency Communications Team
Santa Clarita Amateur Radio Club

Saturday June 23rd, 2012
11am – 6pm

Sunday June 24th, 2012
11am – 2pm

Castaic Lake Water Agency
27234 Bouquet Canyon Rd
Saugus, CA 91350

On June 23rd and 24th, Amateur Radio operators (“sometimes called HAMS”) across the country will leave the comfort of their home-based radio “shacks” for a weekend of emergency preparedness activity called “Field Day.” The event is designed to test operators’ skills in setting up and operating radio communication equipment in situations where electrical power is limited or unavailable. The idea is to simulate the conditions that can occur during a hurricane, tornado or other emergency, including man-made disasters. The event is sponsored by ARRL – the national association for Amateur Radio.

The very first Field Day actually took place in 1933. During Field Day, Ham Radio operators set up radio transmitting and receiving equipment in local parks, at shopping malls or even in backyards, and get on the-air using generators, batteries, wind or solar power to run their equipment. This type of exercise, along with the operators’ dedication to public service, allows them to step in and help emergency officials and relief organizations when disaster strikes. Cell phones, the Internet and other communications technologies have yet to replace what Amateur Radio operators can do. They have a long track record of getting the message through when all other systems fail and the infrastructure has collapsed.

The director of homeland Security said it best, “ . . . they are the first of the first responders when it comes to disasters!” Welcome to each of our visitors. We hope you will find our Field Day informative and fun for your family. Please feel free to ask questions about the equipment you see.

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