Ham Radio

Thursday, July 31, 2008
SO-50, AO-51, VO-52 Transponder Frequencies and Rig settings
The best way to work Amateur Satellites is to program your radios memory with the up links, down links and any necessary PL tones required to activate the Transponders.

Here is the result, which if you are new or are just getting in to Satellite Communications, you may find the frequencies shown helpful. The rig seen in the pictures is an FT-847.
SO-50 AMATEUR SATELLITE

TX Up Link 145.850 FM 67HZ Tone. RX Down Link 436.795 FM +/-

AO-51 AMATEUR SATELLITE

TX Up Link 145.920 FM 67HZ Tone. RX Down Link 435.300 FM +/-

VO-52 AMATEUR SATELLITE

TX Up Link 435.250 LSB RX Down Link 145.900 USB+/-
Hello to All at Planet Ham and Tnx for linking to Ham Radio Blogspot

73
posted by Simon Davison @ 8:25 pm   2 comments
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
click to enlarge


Here you can see the ISS's Orbit and course
click to enlarge

ISS Zoomed closer and over Europe in Range of 2E0HTS Earth station
click to enlarge

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.
click to enlarge

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.
click to enlarge

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.
click to enlarge

The U.K and our stormy Weather front
click to enlarge


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
click to enlarge
Here is another type of antenna known as an Egg Beater which are used in Satellite operations and can be constructed fairly easily.

click to enlarge


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   0 comments
Saturday, July 26, 2008
QRP Portable Contact with C.R.A.G Member M3XLG
This afternoons walk was another chance to make a video and play radio using my little hand held transceiver.

We headed up to Bardon Moor from our QTH of Baildon Moor.

Yes we are Moorland addicts due to the peace and quiet, tranquility and the spectacular views you get in the unspoilt Moorland Country side.

Bardon Moor is even higher than our QTH(1000 ft) with heights of 1600 ft in places which work well for VHF hand held equipment.

I did'nt quite get to the maximum altitude as we only had a couple of hours and one bottle of drink each, which was needed at 23.5 degrees in the shade!

We got to 1165 feet and with a scenic view in all directions I decided to get the little 5watt Kenwood out of the bag and I commenced calling CQ CQ.

As usual on 2m FM there was an abundance of listeners but no takers, until after three or four shout outs were I received a reply.

The Station that had returned to my call was Chris M3XLG who put a 5/9+ signal to the TH-F7 with its Diamond SRH771 Aftermarket antenna I had fitted.

Chris M3XLG reply was well appreciated by myself it was a real pleasure having a nice rag chew with Chris as we have had a few QSOs in the past and it had been a while.

Chris was running 10 watts from an FT-857 and as you can see in the video His audio was excellent with a solid signal.

Chris M3XLG is also a member of the Craven Radio Amateur Group (C.R.A.G) which is a busy group of keen and dedicated radio hams that like to get out and about and also host many special events.

I often work the C.R.A.G operators during there expeditions across the bands and you can usually rely on some one from the group returning to your CQ call unlike other locals and Clubs.

Thanks guys and keep up the good work.

You can find out more at theC.R.A.G website
.

Here is the video I made whilst in QSO with M3XLG high up on Bardon Moor

Now where is my Telescope!

73 thanks for visiting.
posted by Simon Davison @ 8:40 pm   0 comments
Propagation Paradise on HF 20m & 40m
Since my return from EA6 the propagation seems to have improved substantially with terrific openings on 20m, and 40m late at night here at Baildon Moor U.K.
click on log to enlarge


I have had some amazing DX contacts each evening as I have operated into the early hours of the morning with contacts into Martinique and Netherlands Antilles on 40M using the G5RV. The biggest surprise happened whilst in SWL mode as I came across a nice informal Net on 7.185 lsb consisting of a nice group of US Hams. I have worked the US on 40m before during WWCQ Contest but this opportunity was not to be missed. I managed three different stations WA3QPX, K4KOM and W3ZKY with successful reports exchanged, the other guys were just in the noise as I was to them. The US guys were very pleased to be picking up little station 2E0HTS on 50watts and I went on to work more DX as you can see in the above log.

I also got the opportunity to work Ian VK3MO from Oz again as well as the other DX stations confirmed by the log. The propagation has definitely been favorable from around 2200 UTC in my home QTH, I hope things are now finally beginning to stabilise on the HF bands. It is great when you can generate a decent signal fairly QRP (50watts) and work stations like Joe KP2/AA1BU for the third year running in the month of July. I can almost set my calender by Joe's signal each July h.i. Other nice DX contacts include TI8II from Costa Rica which again was made on 20M with the home brew Delta loop antenna.

The next few evenings will be spent listening out SWLing and hopefully there will be more propagation paradise to be had.

Tonight is a beautiful sunny evening so if the sky is clear I shall be experimenting with my telescope catching up with the Astronomy hobbie by viewing the stars and observing some Low Earth Orbiting Satellites.

73 enjoy the Contest for those who are participating, myself I probably will give some points away but only for fun as I have not got my Contest serious head on at the moment.
posted by Simon Davison @ 7:47 pm   0 comments
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Ham Radio Blogspot goes on a Tour of EA6 Mallorca
click any image to Enlarge
We had a nice week in EA6-Mallorca and are now re-vitalised and ready to make some noise up on the Amateur Radio Bands from my Licenced Station here in the U.K

During the last week we covered over 350 KM on two motorcycles, Kawasaki KLE 5oo and a Suzuki Marauder whilst touring the Island of Mallorca. We both got a great Sun tan and met some very nice Mallorcan people.

So hopefully I should have some energy and new experiences to try out regarding Radio and get some inspiration to blog here on ham Radio Blogspot. ;-)



There were opportunities to look out for Antennas, I saw quite a few on our travels. One antenna sighting you can see here at the old town of Alcudia. I spotted some interesting Arrays up and down the Island.

There were some very nice locations to operate radio but my Licence allows all bands and modes but only in the U.K so it was just pure holidaying for me!!

Other News
Thanks to Eric PA1TNO for commenting regarding our recent QSO via VO-52, Hope to do it again Eric and anyone else who may be interested in satellite Communications.

Also Thanks to Nash JN4VWH for sending me his lovely QSL card which confirms our contact back in March when we used repeaters and echolink.

Tonight's Radio News

I just made a 5/7 QSO with YV5MSG Werther from Venezuela this evening at 22.19 UTC, which makes our 3rd QSO this year.
picture of YV5MSG Werther.

At 11.08 UTC also on 20M I bumped into VK3MO Ian near Melbourne for the second time this year working long path.

Ian's antenna array from below


Ian and I exchanged 5/8 reports and had good couple of overs each, tonight's DX contacts after a week in EA6 certainly fired the enthusiasm levels! Hooray for Ham Radio!

Hopefully the next few evenings will be interesting on 20M and I will get the chance to make some new contacts and DX? 73 to all and hopefully good DX.
posted by Simon Davison @ 11:06 pm   8 comments
Monday, July 14, 2008
2E0HTS makes QSO with PA1TNO via VO-52 Satellite



Today I successfully managed a contact using my FT-847 and vertical antenna by connecting with Earth orbiting satellite VO-52.

I monitored VO-52s location using satscape and once the satellite was in range I called cq on VFO B which was set at 435.250mhz lsb (uplink frequency)and at the same time I was tuning around VFO A set at 145.900mhz usb +or- 10kilo cycles.

You have to search up and down the receive frequency + or - 10ish quickly whilst transmitting audio, I did this until I heard my self on the downlink signal.

Once my voice was clear on the downlink I was called by PA1TNO-Eric who was located in Amsterdam in the NETHERLANDS.

Eric's signal and my own were constantly shifting frequency in an upward motion due to the speed of the travelling VO-52 satellite creating the Doppler effect.

I maintained continuous adjustment to the downlink RX signal but kept the uplink signal fixed on 435.250mhz lsb.

We both exchanged reports and locator's without any problems, I was excited and pleased with this kind of amateur radio activity, I had finally managed to make a successful DX QSO with Space communications and technology for the first time.

I have listened to many QSOs taking place on V0-52 and AO-51 and other satellites for many years, so at last Patience has paid off and enthusiasm to try more satellite communication has sparked so don't be to surprised if I post more on the subject.

73 and here is some techie stuff regarding VO-52.

VO-52 specs:


The satellite is spin stabilized. It spins at about 4 RPM.

UHF Uplink and VHF Downlink

Uplink transponder frequency: 435.250 MHz

Downlink transponder frequency: 145.900 MHz

Beacon frequencies: 145.860 MHz CW telemetry and 145.936 MHz unmodulated carrier

Transponder bandwidth: 60 kHz

Transmitter output power: 1 watt

Antennas: VHF and UHF turnstiles

Communication modes: CW, SSB, FM

Electrical power: Gallium Arsenide solar panels charging a Lithium Ion battery

Onboard computer: MAR 31750 processor in the spacecraft's electronic bus management

unit for attitude control, telemetry, telecommand for ground control, sensor and actuator functions.

Each transponder is recognized by its beacon.

The Indian transponder has an unmodulated carrier on 145.940 MHz.
The Dutch transponder is modulated with telemetry information on 145.860 MHz.

Both are linear transponders offering the CW, USB and FM modes of amateur radio communication. They operate Mode-B for U-V operation with UHF uplink and VHF downlink.
posted by Simon Davison @ 3:20 pm   4 comments
Friday, July 04, 2008
Amateur Radio Field Day 2008


Great video created by Kevin(stormspotterkwp) which promotes Amateur Radio.

You can also catch me in there somewhere if your quick ;-)

73 have a good weekend.
posted by Simon Davison @ 9:53 pm   3 comments
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