WEEKEND EDITION: It has been a quiet week for ham radio
Planned Experiment Will
Disconnect Russia from the Internet
Authorities and major internet providers in Russia intend to
disconnect the country from the internet as part of a planned
experiment purportedly aimed at enhancing national security, the
Russian news agency RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK
has reported. The stated reason for the experiment is to gather
insights and provide feedback and modifications to a proposed
law introduced in the Russian Parliament in December. A draft of
the law mandates that Russian internet providers ensure the
independence of the Russian internet — Runet — and to disconnect
the country from the rest of the internet in the event of
“The topic of ensuring the security of
communication networks and the Russian segment of the internet
from targeted impacts has been raised in Russia since 2014. It
seems to me that this is justified, because today the public
communication network and the internet are the most important
element of the infrastructure,” Alexander Pankov, the deputy
Roskomnadzor, recently told Gazeta.ru.
Roskomnadzor, the Russian Federal Service for Supervision of
Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media, has been
described as Russia’s telecommunications “watch dog.” Pankov
said the topic of ensuring the security of communication
networks and the Russian segment of the internet from “targeted
impacts” has been raised in Russia since 2014.
Russian telecom firms would be required to install “technical
means” to re-route all Russian internet traffic to exchange
points that have been approved or are managed by Roskomnadzor,
which would ensure that traffic between Russian users stays
within Russia and is not re-routed to servers abroad, where it
could be intercepted.
No date for the test has been announced, but it is expected
to be before April 1, which is the deadline to submit amendments
to the legislation, known as the Digital Economy National
All Russian internet providers have reportedly agreed with
the law’s goals but not with its technical implementation,
which, they feel, could cause major disruptions. In 2017,
Russian officials said they plan to route 95% percent of all
internet traffic locally by next year.
The US and other NATO nations have called for a stronger
response to cyberattacks attributed to Russia. — Thanks to
Gazeta.ru, and other media accounts
HF Dipole Antennas for Amateur
Dipole Antennas You Can Build!
ARRL’s HF Dipole
Antennas for Amateur Radio is a collection of 20 HF
dipole antenna designs published in QST, ARRL’s
membership journal, between 2000 and 2017. It includes
innovative antenna projects for single- and multiband antennas,
as well as antennas for portable applications.
- An Easy-to-Make Three-Band Dipole for ARRL Field Day
- A Field-Portable Multi-Band Rotatable Dipole Antenna
- A Small, Portable Dipole for Field Use
- A Portable Twin-Lead 20-Meter Dipole
- The NJQRP Squirt
- A Shortened 60 Meter Dipole That Also Covers 15 Meters
- A Compact Multiband Dipole
- A Folded Skeleton Sleeve Dipole for 40 and 20 Meters
- A Fan Dipole for 80 through 6 Meters
- A No Compromise Off-Center Fed Dipole for Four Bands
- Six Band Loaded Dipole Antenna
- The Classic Multiband Dipole
- A Dipole Curtain for 15 and 10 Meters
- K8SYL’s 75 and 10-Meter Dipole
- The N4GG Array
Bonus Section! Off-Center-Fed Dipoles — Theory and Practice
- A Lightweight Rotary Dipole for 40 Meters
- The WØIH Tunable 80 Meter Dipole
- A Coaxial Cable Vertical Dipole Antenna
- A Wideband Dipole for 75 and 80 Meters
- The K4VX Linear-Loaded Dipole for 7 MHz
Special bonus section by Jackson R. Richter, WBØUSA, features a
thorough discussion about how these popular multiband antennas
function. Includes several antenna projects you can build
Amateur Radio Newsline Report -
a rehash of last week
TOP STORY: 1ST GEOSTATIONARY SATELLITE GOES LIVE ONLINE
JIM/ANCHOR: We begin our report this week with big news from the
sky. If you've had your eyes on Qatar (Kat-R) OSCAR-100 since the
satellite's launch last year in the U.S., here is another way to
keep in touch from anywhere in the world. Graham Kemp VK4BB has the
GRAHAM: Things just got a little more exciting for fans of Qatar
(Kat-R) OSCAR-100, which is carrying the first geostationary amateur
radio payload in history. Its two transponders have been inaugurated
and have gone live online. A WebSDR for the narrowband segment and a
spectrum viewer for its wideband segment are being operated by the
British Amateur Television Club and AMSAT-UK. The OSCAR-100 project
has the support of Goonhilly Earth Station which is hosting the
ground station facility in Cornwall in the UK. Meanwhile, up above
the earth, Oscar-100 can be found in its geostationary orbit aboard
the Es'hail-2 (S-HALE-TWO) communications satellite at 25.9 degrees
East. The satellite was launched on a Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX at
Cape Canaveral on November 15th of last year.
SATELLITES NOT JUST ACADEMIC ON VILLANOVA CAMPUS
JIM/ANCHOR: Back here on earth, satellites have landed at a
Pennsylvania college - in the form of a campus club. Here's Heather
Embee K-B-3-TEE-ZED-DEE with those details.
HEATHER: There's a new club on campus at Villanova University in
Pennsylvania and its ambitions are lofty - with good reason. The
school's College of Engineering is now home to a CubeSat Club,
focusing on amateur radio nanosatellites. Its faculty advisor is
Alan Johnston KU2Y, an associate teaching professor of electrical
and computer engineering. The advisor's role is a natural for him;
Alan is vice president for educational relations for AMSAT, a
voluntary position he holds within the radio amateur satellite
corporation. Alan was named to his position at AMSAT in May of 2018
and was given the assignment to boost educational outreach and the
role of amateur satellites as teaching tools.
Club meetings, which are held on Wednesdays, provide students with
what is often their first glimpse at satellite technology and the
little CubeSats. According to the university's website, the ultimate
goal of the club might be to launch its own mission to space,
perhaps as a joint effort with another organization or university.
For the meantime, club members already have a busy agenda here on
Earth, building a CubeSat simulator based around a Raspberry Pi
computer with a 3-D printed frame and establishing a satellite
ground station to be part of an automated open source global
HONORING YOUNG HAMS WHO LEND A HAND
JIM/ANCHOR: Even the youngest hams among us know that there's more
to amateur radio than just the radio itself. Paul Braun WD9GCO tells
us how we can honor our hobby's most junior operators.
PAUL: The Quarter Century Wireless Association and the Radio Club of
America are again sponsoring the "Young Ham Lends a Hand" contest
which honors the spirit of community service that is a tenet of ham
radio. Carole Perry WB2MGP chairs the Youth Activities for both
groups and oversees this informal contest for licensed hams 19 and
CAROLE: If you encounter a youngster who is giving back to his
neighborhood, to his community, participating in local events,
volunteering at marathons, helping out in emergency situations - or
it could be something like, in their particular neighborhood they
are assisting elderly people by volunteering, assisting military
personnel in some way or they could be involved in recruiting other
young hams and then tutoring them.
PAUL: The winner of the $100 check is announced at Dayton
Hamvention's Youth Forum in May whether or not the winner is
CAROLE: I have been been told by many parents that it looks mighty
good on a college application so we're all for it.
PAUL: Along with the youngster's call sign and age, send a short
summary paragraph saying why you think he or she is a candidate for
award. Send it to Carole at WHISKEY BRAVO 2 MIKE GERMANY PAPA at
gmail dot com (email@example.com) no later than April 1st. Speaking
awards, Carole just got back from Hamcation in Orlando, Florida and
the veteran educator came back with one to call her own -- as the
first recipient of the Carole Perry Educator of the Year Award.
CAROLE: To say I was overwhelmed, honored and 100 other adjectives I
could come up with is an understatement. It is a legacy award and
the beauty of that is that it ensures the work will go on - and the
fact that the legacy will go on is an amazing wondrous thing to me
and I could not be more proud.
ICELANDIC HAMS PRESS FOR LICENSE EXAM IN MAY
PAUL/ANCHOR: This spring there just might be a long-awaited test in
the future for amateurs hoping to upgrade their licenses in Iceland.
Jeremy Boot G4NJH has that update.
JEREMY: Icelandic Radio Amateurs, that country's national
association of hams, is hoping to ask the Post and Telecom
Administration to approve a licence examination in May and wants
members to weigh in with their interest. The group's president Jónas
Bjarnason TF3JB told Newsline that despite the cancellation of a
planned amateur radio course that was to have begun this month, the
Icelandic group believes there are enough experienced hams with
enough knowledge to sit for the examination without having taken the
scheduled coursework. Jonas said that the popularity of the hobby
has led the amateur group to offer the pre-exam course as frequently
as four times a year during the last two years so there are plenty
of hams who might be candidates for a licence upgrade. Exams are
given at the University of Reykjavík in both English and Icelandic
and although candidates are accepted on a walk-in basis,
registration is recommended at least a week in advance.
He said that meanwhile, another course is being planned for later in
the year - this time, in October. He said that by early September,
the Icelandic ham group will be advertising the classes on Facebook,
at the university and elsewhere.
BRAZILIAN REGULATOR AFFIRMS HAMS' SAFETY CRITERIA
JIM/ANCHOR: Brazil's communications regulator ANATEL has accepted
recommendations that had been made by LABRE, the national amateur
radio society, on regulations concerning human exposure to
electromagnetic, electric and magnetic radiation. ANATEL had been
reviewing distance calculations contained in an earlier resolution
which sets outs specific conditions that are relevant to radio
amateurs. The Brazilian amateur group asserted, in its input, that
it supported the continuation of those criteria and that no changes
were necessary. ANATEL has concurred.
DOWN TO HAM BASICS AT NAVY BASE
JIM/ANCHOR: In one California classroom recently, the students were
from the military but the curriculum was totally amateur....radio,
that is. Here's Dave Parks WB8ODF with more.
DAVE: Amateur radio operators and the United States military are old
friends, dating back to the first World War. Once again the two
recently became classmates as well. This time, the teacher and
students were in Point Mugu, California, home of a U.S. Naval Air
Station. The classroom of Brian Hill KF4CAM was filled with 23
software engineers and developers from the Naval Air Warfare Center
Weapons Division. They were there to prep for their amateur radio
Technician test. Organizers were quoted in published reports as
saying that the one-week immersion session included a curriculum in
RF propagation, antennas and signal modulation. The instruction
designed by Brian, who's been a ham since high school, had been
crafted to supplement these students' computer science backgrounds
by adding some relevant radio theory. The Navy personnel, rookies in
amateur radio, are experts in electronic warfare where a lot of this
theory has relevance. It even piqued the interest of a fellow
amateur Ian Mann KI6YVO, the head of the division's target design
engineering branch, who is also pressing for the schooling to be
The students recently passed their final exam - the FCC licensing
test. Organizers say their next activity might well be something
like a school field trip. It will likely be a fox hunt - one in
which they design and build their own directional antennas and then
go off in search of an RF beacon hidden somewhere on the base.
FCC SEEKS COMMENT ON PETITION TO CHANGE STATION ID RULES
JIM/ANCHOR: The FCC is looking for comment on an Ohio ham's petition
to amend station identification rules during emergency operations.
The petition from Robert Dukish, KK8DX, would like net control
stations or others in an emergency communications to announce the
call signs of all participants every 10 minutes from a single point
using automatic ID by CW at speeds of no more than 25 wpm. The
petition argued that current rules could prove [quote] "burdensome
and can hinder the flow of emergency traffic on the channel." [endquote]
The same petition was filed in 2005 and 2006 but the FCC did not
adopt his suggested changes. Hams wishing to comment are advised to
use the FCC Electronic Comment Filing Service or ECFS.
HOPING FOR A BOUNCE FROM THE MOON
JIM/ANCHOR: A team of Swiss amateurs is moonstruck - so much so that
they're planning their next DXpedition, preparing for some EME
action on Crete. We learn more from Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.
JIM M: Get ready for yet another microwave DXpedition -- this one on
Crete. Sam HB9COG and Dan HB9CRQ are preparing now to set off in May
and expect to be on the air from the 10th through to the 17th. The
Swiss operators plan to be on the bands between 23 cm and 3 cm using
EME. The trip follows just months after the team's successful
activation in Liechtenstein in late November and early December.
During that activation, members Mark, HB9DBM and Dan, HB9CRQ
operated on 23, 13, 9, 6 and 3cm and according to their website they
completed 131 QSOs and 108 first-time contacts on 5 bands in 5
moon-passes. That adds up to one pass per band. Their QSOs included
25 using CW. As noted on their website, their terrestrial station
makes use of WSJT software from Joe K1JT and by using WSJT-X the
team has been able to make use of new modes such as QRA64 for 6 and
3 cm EME and some additional features such as Doppler-Compensation.
WORLD OF DX
In the World of DX, Willy, ON4AVT, is on the air as 6W7/ON4AVT from
Senegal, between February 20th and March 30th, operating on 40/20/10
meters using CW, SSB, PSK31 and PSK63. He will possibly be on 60
meters as well. QSL via his home callsign.
In St. Mary, Jamaica, Neil, G0RNU, is operating until the 26th of
February as 6Y/G0RNU and can be heard on 80 through 6 meters
depending on propagation and other factors. Visit his QRZ.com page
for more details. QSL via eQSL.
In Austria, the International Amateur Radio Contest DX Club 4U1A, is
using the special callsign 4U0R from the Vienna International Center
through to the 28th of February. The station is marking World Radio
Day, February 13th. Listen for the station on various HF bands using
CW and SSB. QSL via UA3DX, direct, by the Bureau or ClubLog's OQRS.
KICKER: WHEN IMAGINATION AND SOME CANDY ARE KEY TO THE KEYER
JIM/ANCHOR: We conclude this week by asking: What is the REAL key to
a CW lover's heart? Here's Neil Rapp WB9VPG with an answer that you
may find we've....sugar-coated a bit.
NEIL: For Jari OH6DC, a CW enthusiast in Finland, having an
imagination is key. Actually, having a key that's imaginative is
more the point. Over the years, Jari's own style of homebrew CW keys
has included bananas, a chocolate bar and even lollipops among their
components. Take chocolate - which of course, he has. Rather than
devour an entire bar of sweet temptation he has found a way to make
it the main ingredient in a straight key. He shared his recipe with
Newsline: Find the firmest chocolate possible and leave the smallest
practical distance in the gaps between the contacts. He adds a
wooden knob instead of a chocolate egg to avoid sticky fingers.
Melting and breakage are always dangers, he said and yes, he has
unfortunately broken the key while using it - once during the
Scandinavian CW Activity Group's Straight Key Day. He told Newsline
[quote] "Spare chocolate is handy when those accidents take place."
Well, if you're out of chocolate, there's also Jari's "dual banana
CW paddle," featuring some curved yellow produce ripe for action.
That fruit of his efforts can be seen on his QRZ.com page.
With Valentine's Day just on the calendar recently, one would think
a chocolate CW key might have set some YL's heart to melting -- but
no, Jari had other plans for that occasion. He built a special
edition "Valentine's Day Lollipop CW Key," which he displayed on his
website along with the lyrics of the Pointer Sisters song "Telegraph
Your Love." There's also a short video showing how the paddles work.
No doubt the lollipop key will store better over time than the
chocolate straight key did. Two years after creating the chocolate
key, Jari opened the box where it was stored and found that it had
turned grey. He told Newsline he didn't want to eat it -- so he
threw it out.
FRIDAY EDITION: Spring Training for our championship Red Sox
is almost underway in Florida.....i just got my QST, absolutely the
best issue I have read in a while. Projects that you and I can build
and a few look like fun. This issue looks great graphically and even
the ads were interesting...way to go QST....
Our friend Ranger Rick- K1BQT designed another
antenna and it was featured in this months QST magazine
US Amateur Radio Population Grows Slightly
The US Amateur Radio population once again grew by about 1%,
based upon 2017 and 2018 year-end FCC database statistics
provided by Joe Speroni, AH0A. The 755,430 total licensees
represent nearly 7,300 more ticket holders than those that were
in the database at the end of 2017. Nearly 51% of the Amateur
Radio population in the US — 384,145 — hold a Technician
license. Generals are second with 175,949, and Amateur Extras
number 147,369. Advanced and Novice licensee populations
continue to decline, with 39,607 Advanced and 8,360 Novices, as
the FCC no longer issues Advanced or Novice licenses. A more
significant statistic is 31,576 new
FCC licenses last
year, although that’s 620 fewer than came aboard in 2017.
“New amateur licenses granted by FCC are down 2% over last
year,” noted ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) Manager
Maria Somma, AB1FM, “but this is the fifth year in a row the
total has been greater than 31,000. I predict that the number of
new licensees will be more than 30,000 at the end of this year
as well, and I’m optimistic this trend will continue.”
Upgrades also are down slightly, compared to last year —
9,456 in 2018 versus 9,576 in 2017, she added. “For the fifth
year in a row, we have conducted more than 7,000 Amateur Radio
exam sessions in a year — an important milestone for the ARRL
VEC,” Somma recounted. “Our program continues to provide
outstanding service to the ARRL, its members, and the entire
Amateur Radio community.”
ARRL VEC filed a total 30,393 license application forms last
year, compared to 31,014 in 2017. That includes new, upgrade,
modification, renewal, and club station filings. At 7,035 in
2018, the number of exam sessions conducted by ARRL VEC
marginally trailed the 7,075 held in 2017. ARRL VEC served
34,493 exam applicants in 2018, compared to 35,352 in 2017. Exam
elements administered by ARRL decreased from 47,152 last year to
45,817 this year, Somma said. Nearly 1,800 new Volunteer
Examiners (VEs) have been added to the ARRL VEC program.
Space Station Slow Scan TV Event Feb 15-17
ARISS is planning another of their popular Slow Scan Television (SSTV)
experiment events from the International Space Station on February
Transmissions on 145.800 MHz FM are scheduled to begin Friday, Feb.
15 at 08:45 UT and run through Sunday, Feb. 17 at 17:25 UT.
SSTV operations is a process by which images are sent from the
International Space Station (ISS) via ham radio and received by ham
operators, shortwave listeners and other radio enthusiasts on Earth,
similar to pictures shared on cell phones using Twitter or Instagram.
When this event becomes active, SSTV images will be transmitted from
the ISS at the frequency of 145.800 MHz using the SSTV mode of PD120
and can be received using ham radio equipment as simple as a 2 meter
handheld radio or a common shortwave or scanner receiver the covers
the 2 meter ham band. After connecting the audio output of the radio
receiver to the audio input of a computer running free software such
as MMSSTV, the SSTV images can be displayed.
Foundations of Amateur Radio #193
Modern Tools for a Modern Hobby
The hobby we call amateur radio is enormous. One amateur called it a
thousand hobbies in one and that just about sums it up for me. Being
bored inside this hobby is not an option, because there is just so
much to do and see.
Yesterday I found a completely unrelated aspect to our hobby, call
it the one thousand and first hobby associated with amateur radio. A
friend came over and handed me the separation kit mount for my Yaesu
FT-857D, it's the bit of plastic that you clip to the back of the
head of the radio, so you can mount it somewhere separate from the
main body of the radio.
I have one of those already, purchased from a local supplier, at the
time, 8 years ago, it cost me $80, these days it's included with the
radio. For my station I needed a second mount and I really didn't
want to spend that much money on three cables and some plastic, so I
went hunting for alternatives. One of my friends is doing some 3D
printing R&D for his job and has access to a printer to do some
rapid prototyping and I wondered if that might be an option.
Turns out that I'm late to the party, people have been designing and
printing bits for their radios for years.
A quick hunt through the popular 3D printing libraries showed about
500 different designs for Yaesu, Elecraft, Baofeng, ICOM and
Kenwood, though I should point out that Kenwood also makes food
processors and other bits that seem popular in the 3D printing
world, so 500 is likely a little high, but respectable nonetheless.
I looked at 8 different libraries and found that Thingiverse is by
far the most popular for bits with radio brands we know and love. It
occurred to me that right here is thr perfect example of how amateur
radio is a hobby that just grows and grows.
If you're looking for radio mounts, stands, buttons, microphone
clips, belt clips, mount adaptors, holders, cradles, plug covers,
brackets, earpiece retainers, logos, callsign stands, cogs, gears,
handles, caps, pins, latches, cases, tuning knobs, CW key brackets,
stacking brackets, antenna adaptors, feet, desk stands, shoulder
strap holders, battery compartments, you're good to go.
I should mention that you don't even need to invest in a 3D printer
at this point, you can hand the design to a printing service and get
your print shipped to you in the mail.
If you cannot find what you're looking for, you can fire up a 3D CAD
program and get designing to make something precisely to your own
specifications and based on the current tools available, you can
even see what it's going to look like by the time it's rendered in
the plastic and colour of your choice.
I've only mentioned radio bits, but there's nothing stopping you
from printing ladder line separators, dipole centres, antenna
brackets, tuner cases, project cases for your home-brew contraption,
knobs and dials, buttons and connectors and other missing parts or
hard to find pieces.
If you're using standard components like a Raspberry Pi or Arduino,
you'll find cases ready to go for those as well, so the more you
look, the more you'll find.
The point of all this is that amateur radio is a hobby that goes far
beyond someone sitting behind a radio listening to beeps, pops and
crackles. Manufacturing and amateur radio go hand-in-hand and have
done since the very beginning, but there's no rule that says that
you have to keep using traditional tools to build what you're
The sky is the limit, and based on the efforts of CAMRAS, the CA
Muller Radio Astronomy Station, PI9CAM based at the Dwingeloo Radio
Telescope in the Netherlands, who captured a photo of the far side
of the moon using a camera linked to an amateur radio transceiver on
board of the Chinese Longjiang-2 satellite, even that limit is being
I'm Onno VK6FLAB
Bob- KC1BBU on vacation in Florida sent these
yesterday....Bob is an avid fisherman...
VALENTINE'S DAY EDITION: Marlboro Hamfest (MA) this
weekend, small and wraps up early, but you might find some "jewels"
there. Worth the visit if you are nearby and have the time.....It
has been a quiet week for ham radio news, I see the Icom vhf-uhf IC
9700 is available for just $2000, go figure. Same basic radio as IC
7300 ($1000) except of course band coverage but why so much more
'Hello CQ, Hello CQ it's International
Pete Wood M7PNW writes in Design Spark about his
journey from kid with a Walkie Talkie to Dad with a new hobby
As a kid growing up in the late 70's and early 80's, modern
communications as we know them today were pretty much Science
My best friend at the time lived next door and our bedroom windows
were on opposite sides of the house. Like most 8-year-old
friendships, we were inseparable partners of mischief and wanted to
chat secretly when we were supposed to be in bed. So thanks to
Grandad's suggestion, we experimented with "the bean can and string
telephone". We stretched string out of our bedroom windows and
created our own person chatline.
The problem was it wasn't very effective and you had to almost
shout into the can. This meant conversations weren't very secret
and the shouts of "go to sleep, it's bedtime!" would come from my
Then that Christmas I got a set of wired Walkie Talkies with
Morse code, and this is where my journey into radio began.
Read the full article at
WEDNESDAY EDITION: We lucked out and got 2 inches of snow that
turned into slush by this morning, no plowing needed...A friend of
mine has a brand new in the box Icom 7300 for sale for $895.00, he
already redeemed the rebate. This is a great deal, contact me
if interested...WTF DEPARTMENT: Hipolit-Gonzalez was charged
with Unlicensed Practice of a Health Care Profession,
Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communication Device and his bond
was set at $10,000. ....Bill Cosby says he is
enjoying prison.....she can sit next to me on my next
plane flight....New Jersey sewer
authority generates more power than it uses by harnessing the
unlimited potential of renewable resources such as wind, solar, and
Bob "Mud Duck"- KC1BBU down in Sanibel Island,
Florida on vacation...
EF50: The tube that changed
From today’s perspective, vacuum tubes are pretty low tech.
But for a while they were the pinnacle of high tech, and heavy
research followed the promise shown by early vacuum tubes in
transmission and computing. Indeed, as time progressed, tubes
became very sophisticated and difficult to manufacture. After
all, they were as ubiquitous as ICs are today, so it is hardly
surprising that they got a lot of R&D.
Prior to 1938, for example, tubes were built as if they were
light bulbs. As the demands on them grew more sophisticated, the
traditional light bulb design wasn’t sufficient. For one, the
wire leads’ parasitic inductance and capacitance would limit the
use of the tube in high-frequency applications. Even the time it
took electrons to get from one part of the tube to another was a
There were several attempts to speed tubes up, including
RCA’s acorn tubes, lighthouse tubes, and Telefunken’s Stahlröhre
designs. These generally tried to keep leads short and tubes
small. The Philips company started attacking the problem in 1934
because they were anticipating demand for television receivers
that would operate at higher frequencies.
Dr. Hans Jonker was the primary developer of the proposed
solution and published his design in an internal technical note
describing an all-glass tube that was easier to manufacture than
other solutions. Now all they needed was an actual application.
While they initially thought the killer app would be television,
the E50 would end up helping the Allies win the war.
AO-85 Turned Off due to Return of Eclipse
Periods and Poor Battery Condition
The Fox-1A (AO-85) CubeSat has been turned off until further
notice due to return of eclipses and poor battery condition,
control operator Mark Hammond, N8MH, has announced. In December,
AO-85 experienced precarious battery voltage drops during
eclipse periods; it’s believed that the batteries suffered
degradation due to heat during previous no-eclipse periods,
making it difficult to keep the satellite available without
risking battery damage.
To extend the satellite’s usable life,
both the internal housekeeping unit (IHU) and the transmitter
were shut down, ceasing all transmissions. This included the
beacons running every 2 minutes during times of sunlight and
eclipse. AO-85 was turned back on during the next full-sun
illumination period that began on January 24 and enabled for
regular use. AO-85 occasionally reset due to low battery voltage
and operated in safe mode.
With AO-85 leaving full illumination and encountering
periodic eclipses, its battery condition again began to
deteriorate again. The satellite's health will be tracked with
periodic telemetry transmissions when commanded by a control
operator. AMSAT asks satellite enthusiasts to continue tracking
AO-85 in FoxTelem and post to the AMSAT-BB or
Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service
TUESDAY EDITION: Well it's never boring wx wise in New
England, snow and sleet this afternoon and night. Antenna watch out
for us that feed our antennas with ladder line....HRO lunch in
Salem, NH sponsored by the 3928 "Friendly Bull Net" group scheduled
for this Thursday. Speaking of HRO, I heard a rumor on 75 meters
last night that HRO will be charging sales tax as of March 1. What
does that mean? I buy from NH and I have shipped to MA tax free (MA
has 6 % sales tax), are they going to charge me the MA tax? If so, I
guess I drive to the NH store and pick it up in tax free NH......
Student from Saint Paul's School
Rajkot receives ISS SSTV
14-year-old Snehal Vagadia VU3WHO successfully
received his first Slow Scan TV image from the International Space
Station on February 10
Snehal Vagadia VU3WHO (14), an 8th grade student of Saint Paul's
School, Rajkot, India, received the SSTV image on February 10, 2019
at 5:33 AM UTC (11:03 AM IST).
It was good ISS pass with 56 deg elevation, strong signals were
received using a 3 element Yagi and VHF HT tuned to 145.800 MHz.
SSTV audio was recorded on a smartphone and later decoded with
He got amateur radio licence at the age of 13 years and learnt ham
activities from his father Rajesh Vagadia VU2EXP
(Regional Coordinator, West India Zone, AMSAT-INDIA).
Space Station SSTV decoder setup
for Raspberry Pi
David Honess M6DNT has written an article
describing how to receive ISS Slow Scan TV images using just a
Raspberry Pi computer and an RTL-SDR USB dongle
SSTV is a picture transmission method for sending and receiving
static pictures via radio. The International Space Station transmits
the pictures on 145.800 MHz FM to amateur radio operators and other
radio enthusiasts around the world.
Read the article at
February 14 is Es’hail-2 (QO-100) Teleport
Thursday, February 14, is Teleport Inauguration Day in Qatar,
celebrating the opening of the new Es’hailSat teleport and the
official opening of Es’hail-2, which carries the first
geostationary Amateur Radio payload, a German P4A package.
Es’hail-2 launched last November from Cape Canaveral. The two
Amateur Radio transponders onboard what’s now known as Qatar
OSCAR 100 (QO-100) also will be made available on February 14
for general operation by radio amateurs within QO-100’s
footprint. Emceeing the opening ceremony will be Qatar’s former
Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiya, A71AU, who
chairs the Qatar Amateur Radio Society (QARS) and is a satellite
A delegation from Germany — AMSAT-DL President Peter
Guelzow, DB2OS; Achim Vollhardt, DH2VA, and Thomas Kleffel,
DG5NGI, of the P4A team — will be in Qatar to set up and
commission the ground segment of P4A at the QO-100 ground
station. In addition to LEILA and the DVB-S2 DATV system, this
also includes a club station, which will operate under the
auspices of QARS as A71A. A backup station is installed at QARS
headquarters in Doha.
An AMSAT-DL ground station at the Bochum Observatory in
Germany is also ready for reception and transmission via QO-100,
with later radio operation via the satellite carried out using
the call sign DL50AMSAT. AMSAT-DL has requested that radio
amateurs refrain from attempts to transmit via the new satellite
until commissioning is complete.
On opening day, a video of Es’hail-2 will be transmitted in
an endless loop in DVB-S2 format on the DATV beacon of the
wideband transponder. Beacons will be transmitted via the
Stations located outside of the QO-100 footprint or lacking
10 GHz receive capability can monitor the proceeding using
online WebSDR resources. In cooperation with AMSAT-DL, the
British Amateur Television Club (BATC) will operate a WebSDR for
the narrowband segment, and a spectrum viewer for the wideband (DATV)
segment. The Goonhilly Earth Station is supporting the project,
at the facility in Cornwall, United Kingdom. The IS0GRB
Es’Hail-2 SAT 26E
WebSDR receiver on Sardinia Island, Italy,
can be accessed too.
The satellite is now in geostationary orbit at 25.9° E. AMSAT-DL
has posted Es’hail-2
wideband Amateur Radio transponder operating
guidelines and Es’hail-2
Amateur Radio information online. —
Thanks to AMSAT News Service via AMSAT-DL
FCC Invites Comments on Amateur
Radio-Related Petition for Rule Making
The FCC has invited public comments on a Petition for Rule
from an Ohio radio amateur seeking to amend the Part 97 station
identification rules to better accommodate and simplify station
identification during an emergency net, drill, or activation.
ARRL member Robert A. Dukish, KK8DX, filed the petition in
December, and the FCC put it on public notice this week. Dukish
seeks a change to Section 97.119(a) of the rules, which requires
an amateur station to transmit its “assigned call sign on its
transmitting channel at the end of each communication, and at
least every 10 minutes during a communication.”
He noted that during emergency networks, requiring
participating stations — often portable — to use their assigned
call signs during each transmission could prove “burdensome and
can hinder the flow of emergency traffic on the channel.”
Specifically, he is suggesting that a simple approach would
be to permit the net control station or other designated
participant to announce from a single point the call signs of
every station taking part in the net or exercise, when tactical
call signs often are in use, at 10-minute intervals, using
automatic CW identification.
Dukish suggested amending Section 97.119(a) to add, “except
during a local emergency network activation or drill,” and
providing that in such situations, a net control or designations
station would be “authorized to announce all participating
stations’ assigned call signs at no more than 10-minute
intervals while the net is in progress.” The amendment would
provide that participating stations “be within a 50-mile
distance of the identifying station, and each individual station
must self-identify by transmitting its assigned call sign at
least once per hour.” CW transmission could be no faster than 25
WPM if sent automatically to satisfy the suggested amendment.
MONDAY EDITION: 3910 was lively yesterday late afternoon, a
true "Friendly Bunch" unlike 3919 which does not accept 1 lander's,
they must still be fighting the war down there. It was nice to hear
Guy- WW1US from Florida check in, why the hell did he move to
Florida? Paul - N1IOM checked in and said the f-bomb more times than
I thought was possible in five minutes, those 12 ounce skull
splitters were in full force. Good to hear Paul- DUD. What ever
happened to pain in the ass Scott??? Dick-K1OOB (the old K1DPM) has a new
nearly amplifier for sale, an AL-572. Dick changes his call sign as
frequently as he turns over ham gear. Dick told us about the missing
years in his life due to alien abduction, a fascinating story...A
plane crashed into Alton Bay, NH yesterday, I hope Bob- GWU tells us
the story today on 3928 as he lives right there....
You say you can't pass the Extra Lite test...the
one they give you the questions and answers to? NO cw required
and even this 11 year old could pass it....
AO-85 turned off due to return of
eclipses and poor battery condition
At 1114 UTC February 6, 2019, AO-85 was
commanded OFF until further notice, due to return of eclipses and
poor battery condition as noted by Mark Hammond, N8MH,
Beginning in December, 2018 AO-85 had issues with the batteries
dropping precariously low during eclipse. The Engineering and the
Operations Teams think it's likely the batteries suffered
degradation due to heat during previous periods of no eclipses.
This made it difficult to keep the satellite available for use
with-out further endangering the batteries. On December 19 the
nominally 3.6v battery pack was down to 2.8v at the end of the
eclipse which is dangerously low.
In an effort to extend the usable life of the satellite, both the
IHU and the transmitter were turned off at this time which ceased
all transmissions, including the beacons every two minutes in both
sunlit and eclipsed parts of the orbit.
AO-85 was turned back on during the next period of no eclipse,
full sun illumination which began on January 24, 2019. The repeater
was enabled for regular use. AO-85 occasionally reset due to low
voltage on it's batteries and operated in SAFE MODE.
February 4 marked the end of the recent full illumination period
with periodic eclipses. The battery condition began to deteriorate
again. The satellite health will be tracked with periodic telemetry
transmissions when commanded by a control operator.
The next full illumination periods without eclipses for AO-85
will be June 7-19, 2019 and the next in early September, 2019.
During this time it is important to leave AO-85 tracked in your
FoxTelem setups, in order for us to gather telemetry and keep tabs
on the situation. If you do happen to hear a Veronica beacon, or
either the normal repeater or the COR/no telemetry repeater, please
let the amsat-bb list know, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Data-Under-Voice (DUV) telemetry is decoded and uploaded to
the Fox Data Warehouse with the Fox Telem software available on the
Stations not equipped to receive and decode the telemetry can
monitor the latest reports at:
KG4AKV's SpaceComms YouTube
Channel - Building a Groundstation
John Brier, KG4AKV, has updated his SpaceComms
YouTube channel with three videos showing how he built his amateur
satellite ground station at his QTH.
The videos, originally presented as a livestream, take viewers
through his process to build a satellite ground station with a Yaesu
G-5500 az/el rotor, M2 LEO pack antenna, and an Icom IC-910H
Is August now Lighthouse month ?
WIA news say Kevin VK2CE runs a great web page
for the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend.
The weekend is the 3rd full weekend in August
On VK2CE's page we see that for some reason or other August seems
have become the international weekend for lighthouses. Countries all
over the world have become involved in one or another of lighthouse
Some years ago the United States Congress declared August 7th as
their National Lighthouse Day and during that first week in August
amateur radio operators in America set up portable stations at
lighthouses and endeavour to make contact with each other. This
event is known as the US National Lighthouse Week.
In Britain the Association of Lighthouse Keepers, ALK, conducts
International Lighthouse Heritage Weekend on the 3rd full weekend in
August. Their objective is to encourage Lighthouse managers, keepers
and owners to open their lighthouse or lightstation and related
visitors centres to the public with a view to raising the profile of
lighthouses, lightvessels and other navigational aids, and
preserving their maritime heritage.
However, the major event which takes place in August is the
International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend, ILLW,
which came into
being in 1998 as the Scottish Northern Lights Award run by the Ayr
Amateur Radio Group.
The ILLW takes place on the 3rd full weekend in August each year
and attracts over 500 lighthouse entries located in over 40
It is one of the most popular international amateur radio events in
existence probably because there are very few rules and it is not
the usual contest type event. It is also free and there are no
prizes for contacting large numbers of other stations. There is
little doubt that the month of August has become "Lighthouse Month"
due largely to the popularity and growth of the ILLW.
New England Hams
you might run across 75
Jon....Editor of As The World
Big Mike....Nearfest Cook, big
motor home, electronics software
Neil...Living large traveling
the country with his
Igor....peddles quality Russian
keys, software engineer
cars and radio gear, nice fella...
going, Harley riding kind of
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can
be found at most ham flea market
...Cobra Antenna builder..
Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who
cooks on the side at
of the Hosstrader's original
organizers, 75 meter regular,
Roger....75 meter regular, easy
going guy, loves to split
cordwood and hunt...
Warren- "Windy" - Bullnet
Barry- the picture says it all,
he loves food!
Bob....the Mud Duck from the
Cape Cod Canal, making a lot of
Matthew...75 meter regular...our
token liberal Democrat out of VT
meter Regular......residing on
the Cape of Cod, flying planes
and playing radio
Meter Regular....teaches the
future of mankind, it's scary!
of Davis-RF....my best friend
from high school
going ham found at all the ham
Linux....fine amateur radio op
....wealth of experience...
talented ham, loves his
politics, has designed gear for
W1KQ- Jim- Retired
Controller...told quite a few
pilots where to go!
The 3936 master plumber and
Computer Tech of 3936...multi
talented kidney stone passing
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod,
construction company/ice cream
shop, hard working man....
Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience
in all areas, once was a Jacques
Cousteus body guard....
Warren....3910 regular with
Bob, easy going, kind of
like Mr. Rogers until politics
are brought up then watch out...
Bill- Used to work for a bottled
gas company-we think he has been
around nitrous oxide to long .
Graham...one of the good 14313
guys back in the day.
Mort...Air Force man
Low key gent can be found on
many of the 75 meter
Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts
going, computer parts selling,
New England Ham..
Jack....3936 Wheeling and
Dealing......keeping the boys on
regular, wealth of electronic
Mack....DXCC Master, worked them
all!.. 3864 regular for many
Hu....SK at 92... 3864
regular for many years...
Dave....Loves to fly
Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10",
of the 3864 group
Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned
every radio ever built!
Dan....far from easy going cw
and ssb op on 14275/313
Loved ham radio....