Author Archives: Thomas

Grimeton Radio / SAQ Transmission on July 3rd

(Source: The Alexander Association)

Reminder of Grimeton Radio / SAQ Transmission

Alexanderson alternator in the SAQ Grimeton VLF transmitter.

Alexanderson alternator in the SAQ Grimeton VLF transmitter.

The annual transmission “Alexanderson Day” with the Alexanderson alternator on VLF 17.2 kHz with the call SAQ will take place Sunday, July 3rd, 2016 at 09:00 UTC (tuning up from after 08:30 UTC) and will be repeated at 12:00 UTC (tuning up from after 11:30 UTC).

Amateur Radio Station with the call “SK6SAQ” will be QRV on the following frequencies:
– 7.035 kHz CW or
– 14.035 kHz CW or
– 21.035 kHz CW or
– 3.755 kHz SSB

Two stations will be on the air most of the time.

QSL-reports to SAQ and SK6SAQ are kindly received via:
– E-mail to: info@alexander.n.se
– or via: SM bureau
– or direct by mail to: Alexander – Grimeton Veteranradios Vaenner,

Radiostationen
Grimeton 72
SE-432 98 GRIMETON
S W E D E N

Also read our website: www.alexander.n.se
The station will be open to visitors.

WELCOME!

Yours
Lars Kalland / SM6NM
Alexander/SAQ

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Approaches Jupiter

Juno-NASA

SWLing Post readers might recall the Juno spacecraft we featured in a post dating back to October, 2013. During an Earth flyby, NASA invited ham radio operators around the world to say “HI” to Juno in a coordinated Morse Code message.

It was a unique opportunity for sure, and I made time to participate. NASA even followed up with a paper QSL card:

JunoQSLFront-Med JunoQSLBack-Med

Juno is now reaching the insertion point of Jupiter and its true mission begins. According to NASA:

Juno’s primary goal is to improve our understanding of Jupiter’s formation and evolution. The spacecraft will investigate the planet’s origins, interior structure, deep atmosphere and magnetosphere. Juno’s study of Jupiter will help us to understand the history of our own solar system and provide new insight into how planetary systems form and develop in our galaxy and beyond.

Juno will have to withstand Jupiter’s intense radiation and gravity, and–though the craft was designed with this in mind–NASA reminds us that this is very much uncharted territory in space exploration.

Check out the following 360 video from NASA:

Click here to view on YouTube.

If you’d like to follow Juno’s progress, I encourage you to bookmark the Juno news page on NASA’s website.

Alexander’s report from Ham Radio Friedrichshafen

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The Friedrichshafen exhibition grounds. (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Alexander (DL4NO), who shared a few notes with me from his visit at the Friedrichshafen Ham Radio convention. Alexander has kindly allowed me to post his notes here on the SWLing Post. Alexander writes:

The first booth I visited was of Dokufunk (http://www.dokufunk.org/). They collect QSLs and other information about wireless history for scientific evaluation. Its head Wolf, OE1WHC, was a moderator for the Austrian shortwave service which does not exist anymore. But ORF still supports Dokufunk. They have a large archive and even the equipment to digitize large quantities if information. I brought them a package of ham radio periodicals, mostly issues of DL-QTC, the predecessor of cqDL, and got some QSPs (magazine of OEVSV) back. I collect those periodicals to gain and provide access. Seehttp://www.dl4no.de/thema/amateurfunk-zeitschriftenarchiv.htm, catalog at the bottom.

The flea market filled three exhibit halls. If you needed a tube heating for your shack you had a wide choice, from radios to ham equipment to scopes. On the newer side you could get Windows XP packages with the appropriate hardware.

Flea Market Photos Courtesy of Ham Radio Friedrichshafen

A3: Stand mit historischem Radiogeräten (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

A3: Stand mit historischem Radiogeräten

A3: Stand mit Empfängern und Messgeräten

A3: Stand mit Empfängern und Messgeräten (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

A3: Stand mit Empfängern und Messgeräten, hier zwei Schweizer an einer historischen Feld-Telefonzentrale

A3: Stand mit Empfängern und Messgeräten, hier zwei Schweizer an einer historischen Feld-Telefonzentrale (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

A3: Koffer mit Ham-Radio-Aufklebern aus mehreren Jahrzehnten

A3: Koffer mit Ham-Radio-Aufklebern aus mehreren Jahrzehnten (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

A3: Alte Radiogeräte

A3: Alte Radiogeräte (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

A3: Alte Empfänger und Radios

A3: Alte Empfänger und Radios (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

A3: Stand mit Empfängern und Messgeräten

A3: Stand mit Empfängern und Messgeräten (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

Yaesu, Icom & Co where there, of course. A large part of Hall 1 had booths for most of the European ham radio societies and other entities. Several attractions for the youths were there: A fox hunt around the hall, possibilities to solder simple circuits and more. The exhibit center even provides a kindergarden.

A1: Hilberling PT 8000A

A1: Hilberling PT 8000A (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

A1: ICOM

A1: ICOM (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

A1: Wimo, BABY Loop

A1: Wimo, BABY Loop (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

A1: YAESU Funkgeräte

A1: YAESU Funkgeräte (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

Hamradio had lots of presentations. The “SDR Academy” run all over Saturday – completely in English. See http://www.sdra-2016.de. Last year’s presentations are on Youtube. Search for “SDRA-2015”.

My presentation was titled “HAMNET On 70 cm – Possibilities and Limitations”. I should explain that HAMNET is our way to use the 44.0.0.0/8 TCP address space reserved for Ham Radio use. Starting in Germany and especially Austria we use more or less standard WLAN equipment to build a ham radio intranet. User access is mostly on 2.3 GHz and links on 5 GHz. Where we have gaps in the wireless coverage we use Internet wormholes. This way you can access for example packet radio sites in Canada. See http://hamnetdb.net.

2,3 GHz and up means exclusively line-of sight connections. Quite some OMs cannot reach access points this way. The only alternative up to now has been VPN connections through the Internet. I think we could provide relatively fast access on 70 cm. Here in Germany we have two 200-kHz channels for such uses. They were defined in the 1980s for packet radio access up to 76 kbps. This technology is next to dead.

Theoretical calculations show that we could provide up to 1 Mbps and cover up to 50 km if we use modern modulation schemes. You could even improve throughput by making TCP/IP less gossipy. I proposed to use SDR blocks like HackRF or LimeSDR and combine them with a RF frontend (filter, preamp, PA, fast switching). The hardware is more or less readily available, but this is mostly a software topic. While HAMNET relies on standard WLAN equipment with all its limitations for ham radio usage, this system could be completely open. We could it adapt to all our needs and ideas. In the end we could port it back to the microwave bands.

Even if we only work on the lowest protocol levels this will pose quite some challenges. We would need programmers with quite varied expertise from TCP/IP protocols to SDR technology. My presentation was to attract such people. Personally I will not program anything. As a technical writer with a quite wide expertise I might be a bracket for the project and write documentation for it.

PICT3344

A “Peltier Lamp”: The candle heats one side of the Peltier element while the other is cooled by the heat sink. This produces enough electricity to light a LED. (Photo: Alexander DL4NO)

At the opposite end of the exhibit center another fair went on, called Maker Faire. In former times you would have called it “make it yourself”. The exhibits there went from computer modding to 3D printing, knitting and also ham radio. For this I modified my presentation a bit: “WLAN Below 1 GHz – Do You Want To Program For It?” The technology I talked about is near hot topics like Internet of Things or traffic telematics.

Booth of a high school showing the robots they built. (Photo: Alexander DL4NO)

Booth of a high school showing the robots they built. (Photo: Alexander DL4NO)

PICT3337

Booth of a high school showing the robots they built. (Photo: Alexander DL4NO)

vy 73
Alexander
DL4NO

Thanks so much for sharing your notes from Friedrichshafen, Alexander. I look forward to attending one year myself!  I’m fascinated with the fact that the bulk of the event is indoors–what an incredible venue.

Any other Post readers attend Ham Radio Friedrichshafen? Please comment!

Free SDRuno webinars this weekend

sdrunostartburst

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike (K8RAT), who writes:

According to the SDRplay blog they will be hosting a series of Webinar events centered around the RSP and SDRuno. Starting this Saturday.
http://sdrplay.com/blog.html

From Jon Hudson on SDRplay’s Facebook page:

We will be hosting a series of Webinar events centred around the SDRplay RSP and SDRuno. These events will be streamed live, but will also be recorded and hosted on our website for those that are unable to attend.

The first event is scheduled for this Saturday (2nd July) at 16:00 UTC – we will give some background to SDRuno and explain it’s core functionality and what the future holds for its development. It will be fairly informal and interactive, we will try to answer as many questions as we can. We will try to stick to a timeframe of about 45 minutes to 1 hour maximum.

You will be able to view the broadcast here: http://connectcast.tv/SDRplay

If you would like to contribute to the text chat discussion, you will need to signup with an account here: http://connectcast.tv/signup

If this proves to be of interest and value, we’ll schedule some more with special guests to go through specific real world use cases with the RSP and SDRuno

Jon (SDRplay )

New Managing Director of ABC signals a return to international broadcasting

Radio-Australia-BannerMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Phil Brennan, who writes:

The following piece regarding Radio Australia caught my eye last week. It was authored by Hamish McDonald and appeared in the 18 June 2016 edition of the Saturday Paper.

[McDonald] reports on a variety of foreign policy matters from an Australian perspective:

“Guthrie’s world view

Our mole at the ABC tells us new managing director wants to pull back from the embrace of the Chinese Communist Party’s Publicity Department, as the Ministry of Propaganda is known.

In her first meeting with the board on June 9, Guthrie questioned the value of the ABC’s Chinese language portal, AustraliaPlus.cn, which has been pinged by the ABC’s own watchdogs for pulling awkward content to avoid displeasing the CPC.

We are told she also “forcefully expressed” her interest in the corporation returning to full-blooded international broadcasting, and raised the fact that Radio Australia no longer broadcasts in Mandarin, nor in Tok Pisin, the lingua franca of Papua New Guinea. A return to international TV broadcasting two years after the Abbott government scrapped funding for the ABC’s Australia Network (to please Rupert Murdoch) would not come cheap. Nor would a revival of Radio Australia, once the major arm of Australia’s soft power in the region.”

I also spotted a reference to this meeting of the new ABC MD in a previous issue by another columnist which seems to be outside the paywall. Click here to view.

Many thanks, Phil, for sharing this! As I’ve mentioned before, Radio Australia is a staple source of news for many.  I hope Guthrie does, indeed, re-focus on their international content and all forms of delivery.