The event with West Michigan Aviation Academy, Grand Rapids, Michigan for
today has been postponed due to the EVA suit fit check activity running
long. The event has been rescheduled for Fri 2015-10-23 17:58 UTC and a
change of crew member to Yui.
Kenneth - N5VHO
I am listening to the AO-85 passes during this important week of testing
(LISTENING, not transmitting as requested by the engineering team) and
clearly hear Veronica announce "Fox-1 Safe Mode." Even on low elevation,
the signal has been full quieting - strong and clear. I hope the
operational mode sounds this good after testing is completed.
Anyone know why the upcoming ARISS contact in Michigan is not listed on the ARISS.org website? I was trying to tell a friend about and I suggested he check out the website. The website is not up-to-date. Kind of embarrassing, I would think.
Is the contact going to be streamed live on any websites?
EM79ji Oldenburg, IN
When I activate Summits for SOTA, I have a small plaque about a foot square
that I put near my operating position near where passersby will be. It says:
What is this nut doing?
Hello My name is Rick and I am an amateur radio operator or as most know us;
a ham radio operator. My Call sign is K7TEJ.
I am operating in a program hams call SOTA: Summits on the Air. the idea is
to hike up to the Summit of certified peaks, set up a portable station and
try to contact as many other hams as we can. My Station is capable of making
contacts around the world.
Please feel free to watch and ask question during breaks in the action. Just
beware, hams like to talk about our hobby!
I find this helps alleve any concerns passersby may have about me being in
league with the forces of evil.
Rick Tejera (K7TEJ)
Saguaro Astronomy Club
Thunderbird Radio Club
From: AMSAT-BB [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of J. Boyd
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 4:21 PM
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] Monday evening & Tuesday, trip wrap-up...
On Wed, 21 Oct 2015 22:54:12 +0000, "Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK)"
> In between these two passes, I had an interesting - and quick - meeting
> with a pair of Port Huron police officers. As soon as I explained what I
> was doing, they mentioned that I was not on the Wendy's property, that it
> would close in a few minutes, and I was OK to be out there. They also said
> the Wendy's manager made the call to the police, seeing me outside with my
> gear and "waving an antenna around".
I wonder if it would be a good idea to do what some contest rovers here
in Japan do when they set up at a scenic overlook or a park with huge
stacked yagis on top of their vans, to avoid misunderstandings -- they
put up little flags next to their vehicles that read "Amateur Radio In
J. Boyd, JR2TTS/NI3B
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> An ISS school contact… in Michigan on 22 Oct.
> … to begin at approximately 17:14 UTC.
This is a great time for those skilled portable "arrow" operators to get
data on using fixed vertical arrow beam antennas for ISS voice at or near
The test will show if well placed fixed tripod "arrow class" antennas at AOS
and LOS and a central turnstyle could possibly make it easier than a full
AZ/EL Oscar class antenna at the school.
Testers, Please read the concept paper at http://aprs.org/aos-los-test.html
If your QTH is west of Michigan, then you should test your LOS horizon. If
your QTH is east of Michigan, then you should test your AOS horizon. This
is because we want to make sure we are getting voice quality data AT the
horizon while the ISS crew is actually speaking.
The desired data is a minute-by-minute log throughout the pass of ISS signal
quality (noting nulls or fades) without moving or adjusting the antenna.
Your receiver must be right near the antenna (no coax loss). Just orient
the beam vertically with an up tilt of 15 degrees. Then aim it at a fixed
Azimuth that is half way between AOS (or LOS) and when the ISS rises above
(or drops below) 30 degrees elevation to cover the first (or last) portions
of the pass.
Leave your antenna fixed throughout the pass. We need to know how well the
squelch on your radio eliminates the weak signal when the ISS is outside
your particular fixed beam too.
In a real scenario of this full technique, above 30 degrees the ISS is 3
times closer and 10 dB stronger and would be heard fine on a central omni
antenna. But that is not part of your horizon performance test. So be sure
to choose a good low horizon *and* the horizon you share with the School
contact in Michigan so that there is ISS audio during your particular
horizon crossing (AOS or LOS).
An audio recording would make it easier to prepare the log after the pass or
you can just make checks or X's every 5 seconds on a piece of paper and
summarize it later. Do NOT run open squelch. Set the squelch for normal
ham radio operation to silence the radio when the signal would be
unintelligible anyway, since we would not want unintelligible noise from one
receiver to distract from good audio from the possible others..
If this concept works, then the idea would be to bring in all three receiver
speakers (left-to-right) into the auditorium operating position to give
equal weight to each receiver but also give a sense of the passage of the
ISS. If this test shows any promise, it could not only eliminate all the
complexities of long crossed yagis, AZ/EL rotators, big masts and active
tracking, but also completely eliminate the problem of long runs of coax
from the school gymnasium to the antennas. The coax is eliminated by
placing 50W mobile rigs (capable of cross band repeat) at each of the
possible three antennas and operating them remotely via 3 UHF HT's indoors
on-stage (coupled into the sound system).
So, if you are in range of this Michigan ISS school contact, and you have an
arrow on a tripod at your QTH, you could collect data on a horizon
transition to see if this idea is a possibility.
Again, YOU ARE RECEIVE ONLY. Your test is *independent* of the actual
school contact, you are just taking your own receive data wherever you are
of how well a FIXED arrow on a tripod can hear the ISS at low elevations.
Be sure to find a place with a good horizon at AOS(or LOS) to set your
If we learn that there will be any significant fades or loss of signal, then
this idea fails... But if it works, then the two arrows, tripods, three
crossband-repeating mobile rigs and three UHF HT's could be made into a
suitcase GOKIT to standardize some school contacts with a lot less work.
Just an idea
US Naval Academy
I'm relaxing on my flight back to Arizona, after a week of all things AMSAT
and satellite operating. The Symposium was great, and I mixed in a lot of
operating from many different locations in 9 different grids (EM79, EN's:
70-71, 82-83, 92-94) in 3 states (IN, MI, OH) and the province of Ontario.
My rental car had 1395 miles from my driving, when I returned it at the
Indianapolis airport earlier this afternoon - including a 6-hour, 400-mile
drive to get back to that airport, which came after a similar drive from
Dayton to Port Huron Monday afternoon/evening. I had written about my
earlier radio operating, so I'll focus on Monday evening after the end of
the Symposium and Tuesday in Ontario, along with a wrap-up for the trip.
Before crossing the border Tuesday morning, I worked two passes Monday
evening from a parking lot near my motel in Port Huron, which was a new
grid locator for my rover log (EN83). A handful of QSOs on two passes,
one each on AO-73 and SO-50 - and a ton of noise when working the SO-50
pass. AO-73 worked well with the FT-817ND/SDRplay combination, once again.
Since I was planning to be up early for the 2-hour drive from Port Huron to
the EN93/EN94 grid boundary, I did not stay out to work later passes.
In between these two passes, I had an interesting - and quick - meeting
with a pair of Port Huron police officers. As soon as I explained what I
was doing, they mentioned that I was not on the Wendy's property, that it
would close in a few minutes, and I was OK to be out there. They also said
the Wendy's manager made the call to the police, seeing me outside with my
gear and "waving an antenna around".
After a short night's sleep, I got up early Tuesday morning and prepared
for my day-trip across the border. My motel was 2 minutes away from the
crossing, at the Blue Water Bridge. After a 20-minute delay at the Canadian
border checkpoint in Sarnia, I made some quick stops before starting the 2-
hour drive. Among other quick stops, I saw the Sarnia Chris Hadfield
Airport, and took some pictures. I met Chris at a book signing event in
Phoenix a few months ago, and knew Sarnia was his hometown. I saw some snow
on the ground as I drove north, left over from a storm that passed through
a couple of days earlier. The drive was uneventful, and I was able to line
up on the grid boundary for the obligatory photos of my gear and GPS
receiver. After that, an SO-50 pass for a few QSOs.
There were a total of 3 FO-29 passes and 4 SO-50 passes during Tuesday
afternoon. If I stayed later, I could have had a few more SO-50 passes,
where I could have worked all polar bears, seeing how the passes looked on
my tracking app. With AO-7 in mode A, I wanted to work a bunch of passes in
FM and SSB from there on SO-50 and FO-29. I think someone else was up in
this area not too long ago, but I still had lots of callers on most passes.
A couple of passes saw only one other operator on, but at least I worked
someone on each of the 7 passes I worked from the grid boundary. I worked a
total of 42 QSOs from the EN93/EN94 grid boundary.
When I was done at EN93/EN94, I thought about where else I could work from,
before crossing back into the USA at Port Huron. Four grids come together
at a point east of Sarnia, near the 402 freeway - EN82, EN83, EN92, EN93. I
covered EN93 earlier in the day, worked briefly from EN83 the night before,
and looked at maps to see where I could go to operate. The four-grid
intersection was off-limits, but I could easily park somewhere to be in any
two of those four grids. I decided to go with the EN82/EN92 boundary, which
was close to an interchange for the 402 freeway, and the road had a large
dirt shoulder where I could safely park and use my radios. I parked, found
the right spot for the photos of my radios and GPS receiver on the grid
boundary, and worked two passes - one each, on XW-2E and XW-2F, with a gap
of a few minutes between these passes. Eight QSOs on the XW-2E pass, and
7 more on the XW-2F pass. Not too bad, for only mentioning this on Twitter
due to time constraints on making additional posts in places like this
I had originally pulled out my two FT-817NDs, seeing that it had been
raining during much of the afternoon. The rain did not start up while I was
at EN82/EN92, so I swapped out one FT-817ND for my SDRplay SDR receiver and
8-inch tablet. I did not make one long RF recording, but stopped it when
XW-2E went away, and started a new recording as XW-2F came up. Many of the
same stations I worked up at EN93/EN94 were calling me at EN82/EN92, and I
logged a total of 15 QSOs - 8 on XW-2E, 7 on XW-2F.
After a dinner in Sarnia, I crossed the border, went back to my motel room,
and had another short night's sleep before today's drive from Port Huron to
Indianapolis for my flight home. Even with a stop at a post office in
northern Indiana to ship books home, I made the drive in about 6 hours.
Especially with the Symposium Proceedings book, my suitcase would have gone
over the 50-pound free allowance, and Priority Mail was cheaper than the
excess-weight fee I would have paid in Indianapolis. The books will be home
on Friday, so that is not a problem. This was the first time I had to ship
anything home after an event like this. I had additional radio gear in my
radio bag and computer backpack (more room with tablets instead of a laptop
in the backpack), since I had planned on making the run up to EN93/EN94, so
I didn't have room to carry the books with me.
I heard a lot of noise when I worked SO-50 from Port Huron on Monday
evening. I chalked that up to the power lines and all the lighting in the
area. I heard the same noise on SO-50 at EN93/EN94 Tuesday, and there were
only the power lines. When I'm in Arizona, I have never heard so much noise
from power lines. I was able to deal with it by using an HT as my downlink
receiver for the SO-50 passes, still transmitting with the IC-2820H. I was
concerned that the IC-2820H's receiver may have been going out on me, but
it seems like it is working OK - other than being very sensitive to that
noise. I'll check it out further at home, to confirm it is still in good
All of my QSOs from the past week in 3 states (Indiana, Ohio, Michigan) and
Ontario, covering 8 grids - EM79; EN's 70, 71, 82, 83, 92, 93, 94 - are now
in Logbook of the World. I operated from many different locations,
including the Indiana/Michigan/Ohio border tripoint last Thursday (15
October) and the Indiana/Ohio border west of Dayton on Friday (16 October)
evening, along with the EN82/EN92 and EN93/EN94 grid boundaries in Ontario.
This also included AO-85 passes late last week, which was a nice bonus,
along with the uploads of data from the telemetry in the AO-85 downlink. If
you would like to receive a QSL card for any of your QSOs with WD9EWK or
VA7EWK/3, please e-mail me with the QSO details. If you are in the log, I
will be happy to send a card - or cards - as confirmation.
Except for the XW-2E and XW-2F passes I worked from EN82/EN92 Tuesday
evening, I have posted all of the RF recordings I made from various passes
in my Dropbox space accessible at http://dropbox.wd9ewk.net/ (refresh your
browser or press F5 if the folder/file listing doesn't pop up immediately).
All were made using the SDRplay receiver, my 8-inch HP tablet, and HDSDR.
Telemetry uploads were done after the passes, using the RF recording and
playing that from HDSDR into the FoxTelem program. I hope to have the RF
recordings from the Tuesday evening XW-2E and XW-2F passes posted in a
couple of days. I'm not going to tempt fate and my Internet access by
trying to do a Dropbox upload on inflight WiFi. :-)
Thanks for all the QSOs! It was fun to work so many passes, from many
different locations. I also had the pleasure to meet some of the voices I
regularly hear on the different birds in Dayton over last weekend - always
a good thing...
(at 38000 feet above New Mexico, on the way to Phoenix)
Some reminders about my call signs, and Logbook of the World...
1. If you worked WD9EWK at the Indiana/Michigan/Ohio border
tripoint last Thursday (15 October), you would need to upload
3 QSO records to Logbook of the World, to represent this QSO
in each of the states I stood in at that point. Each QSO record
will need its QSO time to be at least 1 minute different than
each of the others. Otherwise, QSO records with time
differences of less than 1 minute will overwrite an existing
QSO record you previously uploaded. Logbook of the World can
handle contacts with one QSO record for a location in 2 or 4
grids, but cannot handle a similar situation with a single QSO
record for QSOs on other boundaries (states, provinces, counties,
or even countries).
2. Just like with point 1, an upload of 2 QSO records is needed
to get confirmation with WD9EWK in both Indiana and Ohio last
Saturday evening, again with the QSO times differing by at least
one minute. As long as these QSO times are different, and are
within 30 minutes +/- of the times I had in my QSO records for
these locations, you should see QSLs appearing in LOTW.
3. Although I was slipping a little in the evening, I tried to
correct myself on the air, and keep with using VA7EWK/3 as my
call sign yesterday from Ontario. I used VA7EWK/3 on the air,
and the Logbook of the World uploads I just did for those QSOs
will show VA7EWK/3. Please do not ask me to make another QSO
upload if you are looking for a confirmation with VA7EWK
without the "/3".
The only time I may use VA7EWK without any additional
indicators in Canada outside of British Columbia may be on
packet/APRS. For APRS on Tuesday, I used WD9EWK-9 on both sides
of the border as I drove around, but included both of my calls
in the text sent with each of my position packets. This is what
I did for my trip east of Windsor last year, and I put
VK/WD9EWK in that text when I ran APRS in Australia a few
years ago to ensured my station identified in accordance
with Australian regulations.