Category Archives: Uncategorized

SUWS WebSDR supports Meteor Scatter enthusiasts

When I get a new antenna up for 144MHz, maybe I can return to MS operation

AMSAT-UK

Meteor pings received on SUWS WebSDR Meteor pings received on SUWS WebSDR

The SUWS WebSDR, a popular resource for the Amateur Satellite and 434 MHz High Altitude Balloon communities, has recently been upgraded to support VLF and 49.990 MHz for Meteor Scatter observations.

The SUWS team hope that these new bands will further enhance the capabilities of the WEB SDR, which already covers a large proportion of the 2m, 70cm and 3cm Amateur bands.

The bands were added in order to try and replicate some of the work already undertaken by Dr David Morgan 2W0CXV and to make the SDR available as an on-line resource for others who are interested in observing such phenomena.

http://amsat-uk.org/2015/06/09/the-generation-of-vlf-emissions-by-meteors/

Antenna's at SUWS WebSDR site in Farnham Antenna’s at SUWS WebSDR site in Farnham

Performance on the VLF bands is now quite good, but it still suffers slightly from some electrical noise from other equipment in the site and Sferic noise (Lightning discharges) from about 4 kHz upwards.

View original post 318 more words

TEAM MEMBER PUBLISHES FIELD SCIENCE BLOG

Follow Bill’s science blog

Aug. 10, 2015. One goal of the 2016 Heard Island Expedition is to make contact with thousands of radio amateurs worldwide and give them a contact with VKØEK. But team member Bill Mitchell also understands that the other goal is to carry out a significant scientific program that includes exploration, documentation of environmental conditions, and the search for new specioes to extend the known biodiversity and its connection with climate change. Armed with his PhD in chemistry and an unlimited curiosity about the scientific world, Bill has begun to publish a fascinating blog called The Inquisitive Rockhopper. Bill explains it as follows:

View original post 149 more words

“First” UK radio ham to contact space station astronauts

More meat to this version of the story

AMSAT-UK

Mir Space Station Mir Space Station

A newspaper story says a Swindon radio amateur was believed to be the first in the UK to contact an astronaut on a space station, the Russian Mir, which hosted UK and USA astronauts.

The story published in the Swindon Advertiser on August 7 says: “…it took place almost 20 years before another amateur hit the headlines this week for doing the same thing.

Radio ham Donald Shirreff [G3BGM], who died in 2010, was believed to be the first amateur radio enthusiast to successfully make contact with astronauts aboard an international space station more than 19 years ago.

In 1996, former MI5 agent Donald, then 77, took an unusual approach to his retirement and set his sights on contacting cosmonauts aboard Russian space station Mir.”

Read the Swindon Advertiser story at http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/13582484.Radio_ham_was_first_in_Britain_to_contact_space_station_astronauts/

However, it appears there were many other UK contacts with Mir prior to Donald…

View original post 163 more words

What Happened When I Added a Counterpoise to My HT

Any comments for Brian? Interesting thought.

KC4LMD

The problem of an electrically short antenna is familiar to anyone operating in medium-wave bands. One solution is the counterpoise ground system, which is a series of radial wires that act as a low-resistance ground connection.

Broadcast Engineers use counterpoise systems to improve AM radio station coverage. Coastal Maritime Stations with limited space use them in conjunction with capacitance hats as a tuning method. HF Backpackers even tie a long radial to their whip antenna to improve their own signal as they hike.

When I read an article about applying the concept to handhelds, I was intrigued.

The antenna on a typical handheld is a vertical monopole with the radio chassis serving as a ground plane. This configuration is terribly inefficient because the antenna is a fraction of a wavelength it should be. Your radio may be rated for 5 watts, but you’d be lucky to have a third of…

View original post 453 more words

Andy M6YAO Builds A Sproutie!

Hands across the pond. Good to hear.

Dave Richards AA7EE

Andy and I have been communicating via e-mail since April. He is M6YAO now but back in April, he was plain old unlicensed Andy, who was about to apply for his Foundation License in the UK. He had built a Mark regen from Walford Electronics, which seems to have given him a taste for regens. He mentioned that it was a good receiver and worked well but that the tuning, accomplished by a polyvaricon with no reduction drive, was a bit critical, so he was looking for a regen to build that represented “the next step”, so to speak. It turned out that The Sproutie was that next regen for him.

I haven’t built any of the currently available regen kits but The Mark from Walford Electronics, and The Scout from QRPKits both strike me as good ones for anyone who has never built a regen, and wants to get…

View original post 941 more words

Satellite demonstration at AMSAT-UK Space Colloquium

Looks like fun, but hard work and one way of getting an achy arm.

AMSAT-UK

Drew Glasbrenner M/KO4MA working FO-29 at the AMSAT-UK Colloquium 2015 Drew Glasbrenner M/KO4MA working FO-29 at the AMSAT-UK Colloquium 2015

On July 25 Drew Glasbrenner M/KO4MA gave a demonstration at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford of working the amateur radio satellite FO-29

His portable station comprised two FT-817’s with an Arrow 145/435 MHz antenna.

Watch Drew KO4MA satellite demo at AMSAT-UK Colloquium

Thanks to Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG for the video.

Further information on the SSB linear transponder satellite FO-29 is at
http://amsat-uk.org/satellites/communications/fuji-oscar-29-jas-2/

Also see the RadCom article Getting started on satellites
http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/radcom-getting-started-on-satellites/

View original post

Ham Radio Circa 1975

I have an FT200, probably around the same vintage as the FT101B here. I bought it secondhand around 1978. I will try firing it up one day. Even if you did not homebrew much, you needed to know what you were doing. No “all-band” 160m to 23cms rigs then.

KC4LMD

My dad earned his amateur radio license in 1950 when he was 10 years old. His first station consisted of a Collins transmitter and receiver into a long wire antenna. From the QSL cards that survived, he worked the world with those radios. The hobby led him to being a radioman in the US Navy after high school.

During a recent trip home, I took possession of what is left of dad’s radio station, the one I remember as a small boy.

20150720_152629_resized

Now I am stepping back in time to see if I can get the station back on the air. There has been no power applied to anything since the late 1980s. The electrolytic capacitors probably are dry as bone. The tubes probably are tender too and will require a lot of TLC and a variac to get them going again.

Yaesu FT-101B HF Transceiver

20150720_153842

This is one rugged…

View original post 192 more words

School Shortlist for Tim Peake Space Station Contact

AMSAT-UK

Major Tim Peake KG5BVI Major Tim Peake KG5BVI

On Tuesday, July 14 at the UK Space Conference in Liverpool the names were announced of the UK schools which have won the opportunity to contact UK astronaut Tim Peake via amateur radio during his mission to the International Space Station. Tim holds the call sign KG5BVI and is expected to use the special call GB1SS from the amateur radio station in the Columbus module of the ISS.

Tim Peake KG5BVI training on ISS Amateur Radio Station Equipment Tim Peake KG5BVI training on ISS Amateur Radio Station Equipment

Tim will launch to the ISS in December of this year and will spend 6 months working and living in space. The Amateur Radio competition is a collaboration between the UK Space Agency, the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

Selected schools will host a direct link-up with the ISS during a two-day, space related STEM workshop which will be the culmination…

View original post 430 more words

40m End Fed Half Wave (EFHW) Antenna

Practical advice

Get out of the Radio Shack and Live Life

EFHW portable antenna for SOTA activations

Mention to anyone you are using an EFHW will prompt a discussion about the pros and cons of the EFHW versus the center fed 1/2 wave dipole. There are operators who swear their center fed 1/2 wave dipole is 2 S points better than the EFHW and vice versa. I am neutral on this subject, I have built both antennas and can confirm when they are used in the real world, on top of a mountain, neither antenna is better than the other. Choosing one antenna over another is about personal choice. The obvious difference between the two antennas is the feed point location and the feed point resistance. The EFHW is in the order of 3000 to 5000 ohms while the 1/2 wave dipole will be closer to 50 ohms in the inverted V configuration.

So why would you spend time making an…

View original post 433 more words

Ham Radio Can Bring Morse Code Back to the High Seas

Similarly UK radio amateurs could make a difference too. http://info.yachtcom.co.uk/AmateurRadio/index.php

KC4LMD

For more than a century, Morse code was the language of ships at sea. This simple code communicated messages ranging from the routine to the life-saving.

Morse code slipped under the seas in 1999, replaced by satellite communication. It’s demise left amateur radio operators as caretakers of an art form first demonstrated to Congress by Samuel Morse himself in 1844.

Recently, the FCC granted amateurs access to a portion of the historic maritime radio band where most Morse code communication took place. This grant means that people will once again communicate regularly using Morse code around maritime channels at 472, 476, and 478 kHz.

In a way, this makes amateur radio operators curators of a living museum on the air.

But Amateurs can do much more that be caretakers.

How? The FCC can still issue ship licenses with radiotelegraphy privileges.

Part 80 Rules defines a voluntary ship as “any ship which…

View original post 272 more words