Ham Radio

Tuesday, July 29, 2008
NOAA-15, AO-51, VO-52 & ISS In Range With The Latest SATSCAPE At 2E0HTS Earth Station
For those of you that like working satellite or possibly the ISS, have you come across the latest version of SATSCAPE?

SATSCAPE has been around for years and is now written in Java which allows a better graphic display to be used whilst tracking your favourite NOAA Satellites and the ISS as well as other Space Comms such as AO-51 and VO-52.

I use SATSCAPE to assist me when trying to call CQ on the Earth Orbiting Voice repeaters which are FM and SSB, so far success on SSB but still trying to make it on FM.

The new version can be downloaded via the link with support and updates also found at the SATSCAPE Website


AS you can see it looks very nice

Satscape screen shot
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Here you can see the ISS's Orbit and course
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ISS Zoomed closer and over Europe in Range of 2E0HTS Earth station
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FT-847 Yaesu Radio is listening on 145.800 the ISS downlink but no signals are being transmitted by the crew during the overhead pass which is plotted and tracked using my 3800 dual core P.C and SATSCAPE.
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The ISS International Space Station NA1SS

I've heard NA1SS on both voice and packet many times using Satscape to know when to try but have yet to make a QSO!
Satscape is very good for tracking NOAA WX Satellites which provide excellent images of the ever changing weather. Here I am using Radio com 5.2 to decode live transmissions coming from NOOA-15 Low Earth Orbiting Satellites camera equipment.
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Here is the image I received which was quite a long RX covering Africa to the North Arctic which is amazing reception for a home made Vertical (Not Supposed to work well) Antenna. Radio Com 5.2 RX NOAA 15 for 20mins with this TX at my QTH. Some passes only provide short reception openings which can be considered and reviewed using Satscape to ensure optimum RX time.
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The U.K and our stormy Weather front
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Ideas and different dedicated Satellite Antenna
This design of satellite communication antenna is a Double Cross Four Dipole Sat RX ANT by KD6JDJ who actually got in touch and sent me the design. TNX
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Here is another type of antenna known as an Egg Beater which are used in Satellite operations and can be constructed fairly easily.

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FT-857 In Test Mode
The other evening VC1T, Fred operating from Bon Portage (Outer) Islands (IOTA NA-126) in southwest Nova Scotia, came through great whilst I was playing around with my little FT-857.

The FT-857 fed by the home brew 20M Loop, permitted a nice couple of over’s where Fred commented on my nice 5/9 signal produced by just 50 W.

VC1T, Fred's QTH click to enlarge


I also managed QSOs with AD1L James and for the 3rd time this month KP2/AA1BU Joe operating from the U.S Virgin Islands. I was again on the FT-857 running the Loop.

Earlier I had tried the FT-857 on the lower HF band 80m, where I used the same output power, this time with the G5RV.

At a 1000 feet ASL and a severe drop off of 500ft below my antennas, you can imagine they work well up here at Baildon Moor running QRP set ups.

On 80m I made two QSO, first EW1MM, Gary from Minsk city. This was a pleasant surprise as we catch each other regularly on 20 M when I am mobile too and from Work.

The second contact saw a battle of signals through lightning crashes that were loud on the band.

Despite this I was able to have a lengthy QSO with Hans, MM0XAU, from the Shetland Islands with again 5/9 + at times.

I enjoyed the QSO with Hans as he described his spectacular location which I hope to visit one day.

Hans MM0XAU


With good reports especially regarding audio received on the Yaesu FT-857 I will now consider installing this rig in the mobile replacing the FT-100.

The last time I tried it in my mobile I was running the Toyota RAV4 and I had some issues with my audio quality and RFI problems.

This time I have had the option of setting things up as in running now without any processor, to produce a better quality audio level on HF.

The new Toyota also has been RFI combated with a clean new precise installation. Hopefully I will post some info featuring the installation in the not so distant future.



England to France Mobile to Mobile with Local Ham Holidaying

Whilst Driving back from a pleasant walk in the Dales I operated /mobile on 20M when I was Called by local Ham and popular RSGB NEWS NET Controller / News Reader M5AEH, operating F/M5AEH/M.

COLIN from near by Queensbury Yorkshire, was Holidaying and playing radio whilst cooling down in the shade at 32 degrees in the South of France.

Colin f/M5AEH/mobile came through 5/2 to 5/9 whilst I was Mobile near Bolton Abbey in North York’s just as I was signing with Harald, LA9VK from Norway.

Exactly Two Years previous Colin was again 5/9 in F/ France working 20M mobile back to my mobile station 10 miles away from our recent contact which was near by at Malham.

We seem to catch each other each time One or the Other goes off Holidaying h.i

Especially funny as we can virtually shine a light across the Valleys to each other and we rarely catch each other on.

I will try awake slightly earlier on a Sunday morning and make the effort by calling in to Colin's lively little Net. 73 & TNX to the Two Bills, Colin and all the Sunday Morning Crew for a pleasant start to the day!



That’s all for now 73 tnx for passing by!
posted by Simon Davison @ 10:29 pm  
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