MEETING LINKS EXPEDITION WITH OPERATIONS NEARLY 50 YEARS AGO

Historically interesting amateur radio from 1969.

Hugh Milburn, who was active on Heard Island in 1969 as VKØHM, paid a visit to Expedition Leader Bob Schmieder. Hugh is one of a handfull of people who have had the extraordinary experience of visiting and working on Heard Island. He was there nearly 50 years ago. Bob’s previous visit was a mere 20 years ago.
The ANARE site is reclaimed by the elements. (Upper row) 1947, 1969. (Lower row) 1997, 2012.
Feb. 24, 2016. The Expedition has a remarkable visitor today: Hugh Milburn, known to some older amateur radio operators as VKØHM. He operated mostly 20m during his working stay on Heard Island during 1969-70.

Hugh recounted the circumstances of his work at the ANARE station, at Atlas Cove:

My stay there was not for DX of course, but driven by the Cold War when there was a strong interest in knowing the size and shape of the…

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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.

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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:

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“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…

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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…

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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…

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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/

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