Category Archives: Ham Radio

HAARP February 2017 on air operations

Many thanks to Chris Fallen (KL3WX), Assistant research professor in the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical – Space Physics group , who shares the following update in reference to upcoming HAARP activities:

Regarding this February 2017 campaign, HAARP will be operating from 19 to 22 February.

Specifically, experiments will begin daily sometime after 1800 hours 2/19 UTC. My experiments will be the last each day (local Alaska time) and are scheduled to start at 0330 hours on 2/20, 2/21, and 2/23 UTC; and at 0430 hours on 2/22.

Experiment times and frequencies are subject to change for various reasons, particularly in response to ionospheric conditions shortly before each experiment.

I will do my best to update https://twitter.com/ctfallen in real time.

Operations are very active times and I will be monitoring conditions and equipment so generally speaking, for my artificial aurora experiments, your best bet is to search around 2.7 MHz +/- 100 kHz given current conditions.

For the Luxembourg effect experiments, I will try to keep the two frequencies separated by about 1 MHz, which means that they will occur earlier in my experiment window rather than later, when the ionosphere is more dense.

Many thanks for the update, Chris.

SWLing Post readers viewing our website should find your Twitter feed embedded below. Those reading via RSS or our Feedburner email feed, can click here to view updates on Twitter.

CubeSat with Amateur Radio Transponder Set to Launch on February 15

Image result for cubesat image

For those interested in listening for and/or tracking CubeSats, this was posted by ARRL:

CubeSat with Amateur Radio Transponder Set to Launch on February 15

AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL have announced that at the Nayif-1 1U CubeSat, which includes a full FUNcube communication package, is set for launch on an Indian PSLV launch vehicle on February 15 at 0358 UTC.

PSLV Flight C-37, will carry more than 100 satellites into orbit.

Nayif-1 carries a U/V linear Amateur Radio transponder for SSB and CW and a telemetry transmitter. The initial plan called for a late-2015 launch.

Nayif-1 was a joint project of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and American University of Sharjah (AUS). The United Arab Emirate’s first nanosatellite, Nayif-1 was developed by Emirati engineering students from AUS under the supervision of a team of engineers and specialists from MBRSC. The partnership between the two entities was aimed at providing hands-on satellite-manufacturing experience to engineering students.

Telemetry will be transmitted on 145.940 MHz, 1.2 KB BPSK (FUNcube standard). The SSB/CW transponder uplink passband is 435.045-435.015 MHz, and the downlink passband is 145.960-145.990 MHz.

AMSAT-UK is seeking post-launch reports from stations around the world, especially during the first few minutes and hours after launch. It is anticipated that the first signals may be heard in North America during the mid-evening hours on February 14 (local time).

A mission-specific telemetry dashboard is available. Information can be found on the web in PDF format at, https://funcubetest2.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/nayif-1_dashboard_notes_release_1-0b.pdf.

In a manner similar to that of the FUNcube-1 dashboard, this one will be capable of uploading the telemetry received to a central data warehouse. More information on the telemetry dashboard is available, as is a test file.

Initial spacecraft operation will be in a low-power “safe” mode, with just the telemetry transmitter activated.

I have had some fun tracking CubeSats in the past, and it is especially fun to watch your data appear on the dashboard history. And of course you are helping the research to boot!

Robert Gulley, AK3Q, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Robert also blogs at All Things Radio.

ISS SSTV: Receiving images from space

(Source: Southgate ARC)

Slow-scan television (SSTV) transmissions are planned from the International Space Station (ISS) on February 13-14, 2017

The SSTV images will be transmitted as part of the MAI-75 Experiment on 145.800 MHz FM using the Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver located in the Russian ISS Service module. It is thought they may use the PD-180 SSTV format.

The MAI-75 activities have been scheduled for the Russian crew on Monday, February 13 from 09:25-18:00 GMT and Tuesday, February 14 from 11:25-16:30 GMT.

Note the ISS transmissions on 145.800 MHz FM use the 5 kHz deviation standard rather than the narrow 2.5 kHz used in Europe. If your transceiver has selectable FM filters try the wider filter.

The ISS Fan Club website will show you when the space station is in range http://www.issfanclub.com/

ISS SSTV information and links at
https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/iss-sstv/

ARISS-SSTV Images
http://ariss-sstv.blogspot.co.uk/

Listen to the ISS when it is over Russia with the R4UAB WebSDR
http://websdr.r4uab.ru/

Listen to the ISS when in range of London with the SUWS WebSDR
http://websdr.suws.org.uk/

If you receive a full or partial picture from the Space Station your Local Newspaper may like to know
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2016/july/now-is-a-great-time-to-get-ham-radio-publicity.htm

The versatile Kenwood TH-F6A

In reply to my recent post about the Yaesu VX-3R, SWLing Post reader Tha Dood comments:

[The Yaesu VX-3R] is a neat little HT, but the Kenwood TH-F6A is way more versatile.

How? Full 5W on 2m, 222MHz, and 440MHz, and will RX 150KHz to 1.3GHz in AM, FM, FM wide, NBFM, USB, LSB, and CW. All that in a size of a pack of cigs. Yes, it will overload easily, but something that wide banded and this small, I kind of expected that.

However, want to hear what your wireless FM innercom sounds like on 175KHz? You can do that. Want to hear what your 222.1MHz transverter sounds like on SSB? You can do that. Need to tune-in to local AM / FM radio when power goes out? You can do that. Want to listen to CB CH19 truckers gripe about traffic conditions? You can do that. Want to listen to aircraft traffic at an air show? You can do that. You want to monitor 6M 50.125MHz USB to hear when that band opens? You can do that.

No, it doesn’t have D-Star, DMR, Fusion, or even SW’s DRM, but analog-wise this HT is so versatile, what else is out there like it?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the TH-F6A!

A couple more things I like about the TH-F6A:

  • it meets MIL-STD 810 C/D/E standards for resistance to vibration, shock, humidity and light rain
  • It has a dedicated number keypad for direct frequency entry (something, sadly, the VX-3R lacks)

I’ll put the TH-F6A on my “wish list” this year and perhaps give it a thorough review. (Perhaps Santa Claus is listening!?)

Here’s a snapshot of TH-F6 pricing at time of posting:

Dave’s Yaesu VX-3R notes

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Zantow, who shares the following in reply to my recent post about the Yaesu VX-3R:

The VX-3R has a tiny internal ferrite bar for AM/mediumwave broadcast listening.

Yes, it’s indeed true the VX-3R is discontinued and is already pretty much sold out.

Rumors of a VX-4R has been around for years and let’s hope that happens–?? Have a sneaky feeling that IF it come to pass it will include C4FM digital (Yaesu Fusion) ?? I actually preferred the older VX-2R over the 3, but that was me (have reviews on both models on my web page). But my two VX-3R test samples were very early production (lots of QC bugs).

http://webpages.charter.net/n9ewo2/vx2r.html
http://webpages.charter.net/n9ewo2/vx3r.html

As I cover on my news page Yaesu is coming out with a number of new HT’s soon.

Sorry no word of a tiny VX-3R replacement yet. Will of course cover that IF and when it happens on the web page.

http://webpages.charter.net/n9ewo2/news.html

Thank you, Dave!  I’ll certainly consider purchasing the VX-4R (if it comes to fruition) if for no other reason than to compare it with the VX-3R.

Again, I love this little all-in-one micro-sized HT as an Everyday Carry radio. If you’re interested in the VX-3R, your best bet will be to check with radio retailers like Universal Radio and Ham Radio Outlet for used/demo units. Of course, as I’ve mentioned before, you might also follow a VX-3R search on eBay where I recently purchased an open box unit for $119 shipped.