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Old August 9th 16, 11:01 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated,rec.radio.amateur.digital.misc,rec.radio.amateur.space,uk.radio.amateur,free.uk.amateur-radio
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Default [2E0SQL] AMSAT Antenna Upgrades


2E0SQL

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AMSAT Antenna Upgrades

Posted: 13 Jun 2016 12:00 PM PDT
http://www.2e0sql.co.uk/2016/06/13/a...enna-upgrades/

Like with any amateur radio station the equipment and antennas are always
in a state of flux, with constant improvements being wanted to seek out
that bit of DX or dB advantage. With satellites it’s no different you
always want that extra bit of signal to work that station on the edge of
the footprint.Last week saw me implement some further changes to my home
AMSAT ground station; anyone who follows me on Twitter will know the last
couple of months has been quite challenging after suffering quite a few
minor heart attacks so in theory, I’m meant to be resting till I see my
heart specialist in a couple of weeks but I never stick to the rules.Let
the changes begin!First changes was remove the Wimo X-Quads off the short
mast in the garden. Which thankfully just requires climbing on the wall to
reach them although that’s strike one for not following orders. I will
admit knowing the risk of blacking out at a moment’s notice was a little
bit scary!However I got the task done, removed the x-quads and disconnected
the phasing harnesses ready for connecting the new polarity switching
system; this was made by Gavin M1BXF and based on the design on G6LVBs
website. connect the new SHF-Elektronik preamps.In fact doing those parts
was probably the easiest, as I’d also bought two 15m runs of LBC400 coax to
replace the old stuff which needed to be routed from the mast to the shack;
thankfully this was completed with some help from Dad (M3JFM).Early signs
after completing the work is promising; can hear the satellites down to
lower elevations, the fading is far more controlled being able to switch
polarisation and in 4 days I’ve made 45 satellite QSOs on the improved
setup.The only things now left to change is adjusting the preamp gains
70cms is perfect, 2m is a little high and needs pulled back a bit. Another
thing that needs added is a 70cms bandpass filter as I’m noticing some
desense issues but again all these things can be tweaked in the coming
weeks.Next task is to decide what changes to implement inside the shack,
I’m still undecided to whether there is any real advantage to replace the
ICOM IC-910 with a IC-9100, what I’d love to see is someone build a duplex
2/7/23cms SDR similar to the flexradio HF range that would certainly add
some benefit to the station but not seen anything yet.
The post AMSAT Antenna Upgrades appeared first on 2E0SQL.

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Oasis Academy Brightstowe, Bristol contact Tim Peake

Posted: 19 Feb 2016 11:16 AM PST
http://www.2e0sql.co.uk/2016/02/19/o...act-tim-peake/


Today the*Oasis Academy in*Brightstowe, Bristol carried out their ARISS
Contact with Tim Peake onboard the ISS*at 14:23,*the contact seemed to go
as planned including Tim using the HamTV equipment again.
Using the usual satellite equipment I received the contact from 10 degrees
elevation down to about 7 degrees.

The post Oasis Academy Brightstowe, Bristol contact Tim Peake appeared
first on 2E0SQL.

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Royal Masonic School For Girls contact Tim Peake

Posted: 19 Feb 2016 11:15 AM PST
http://www.2e0sql.co.uk/2016/02/19/r...act-tim-peake/


on the*11th Feb 2016, students from the*Royal Masonic School For Girls
in*Rickmansworth carried out a scheduled ARISS contact with Tim Peake
onboard the ISS, this contact was also the first where Tim Peake turned on
and used the HamTV equipment.
The official video coverage can be found on Youtube and embedded below

I was also able to receive Tim Peake on the 145.800MHz FM downlink without
any problem this time using the IC-910H rather than an SDR.
The post Royal Masonic School For Girls contact Tim Peake appeared first on
2E0SQL.

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Tim Peake completes first school contact

Posted: 08 Jan 2016 02:58 AM PST
http://www.2e0sql.co.uk/2016/01/08/t...chool-contact/

Screenshot from SDR# during the Tim Peake contact from the ISS on the
8/1/2016
This morning at 8:47am Tim Peake took part in his first ARISS school
contact with the*Sandringham School in St Albans as part of the Principia
mission.
Tim seemed to handle his first ISS Contact well although there appeared to
be some problems with the school hearing the ISS and quite a few reports of
amateurs calling the ISS on the downlink frequency of 145.800.
That said I managed to hear the pass well and took an recording using SDR#,
Airspy SDR & my usual tracked Wimo X-Quads.
The post Tim Peake completes first school contact appeared first on 2E0SQL.

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Amateur Radio: A Hobby for the 21st Century

Posted: 13 Nov 2015 11:30 AM PST
http://www.2e0sql.co.uk/2015/11/13/a...-21st-century/


The RSGB recently commissioned a film to be made by*TX Factor*to promote
Amateur Radio in the 21st Century in a form that would interest youth, I
guess its hard to tell if it will achieve its objective so early on but one
can hope, it certainly shows a wide range of elements of the hobby
including satellites (Im featured!).
The post Amateur Radio: A Hobby for the 21st Century appeared first on
2E0SQL.
This posting includes a media file:
https://thersgb.org/services/educati...tury-hobby.mp4

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New Amateur Radio Satellites

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 01:00 PM PDT
http://www.2e0sql.co.uk/2015/10/13/n...io-satellites/

Fox-1A Telem
If you’re keen on amateur radio satellites you might have noticed that in
the last two months there’s been an increase in satellites available to use
on the 19th of September on a rocket from China saw the launch of a six
satellites under the brand of CAS-2 all including SSB transponders.
These where slightly controversial due to the band planning of them due to
the downlinks of 4 being out of the satellite part of 2m also included on
the same launch was Lilacsat-2 which has an FM transponder and APRS
capabilities and 2 other telemetry satellites.
Soon after launch XW-2E & XW-2F where available with their transponders
working, the other 6 also heard sending telemetry, on the 20th saw myself
completing a number of QSOs on both satellites and they have been working
without any issue since.. No transponder activity has been heard from
XW-2A,B,C,D.
Few days later it was also noted that Lilacsat-2’s FM Repeater had been
turned on and I managed a couple of QSOs on that satellite as well,
Lilacsat-2s transponder is only turned on for 24 hour periods on the
evenings of Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
The next satellite to launch was Lapan-A2 which is an FM & APRS satellite
due to the orbit being equatorial this isn’t receivable in the UK, however
reports have shown that its being commissioned.
The most anticipated launch however was probably on October 8, 2015 when
AMSAT-NA’s Fox-1A (AO-85) launched, it was great fun to see the rocket take
off via NASA TV, and then the long wait till it would be heard over Europe
that evening it was a pleasure to hear the satellite identify itself in
Safe Mode then later on have the chance to try the transponder on some
early morning passes nothing quite like the feeling of hearing yourself
come back J
That same day in the evening I had my first AO-85 QSO with Dave M0SAT, and
since then I’ve made a further 10 QSOs, although it’s worth remembering
that the satellite is still being commissioned, there has been some
problems with the operating styles of people which has made completing QSOs
hard due to people keying up, saying ooola and other such things, it’s
worth having a read of DK3WNs tips on how to behave on a pass*that said it
isnt limited to AO-85 but also SO-50.
The post New Amateur Radio Satellites appeared first on 2E0SQL.

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Contesting in Guernsey

Posted: 02 Oct 2015 06:27 AM PDT
http://www.2e0sql.co.uk/2015/10/02/c...g-in-guernsey/


July saw the annual return to Guernsey for the IOTA Contest, although this
year certainly felt different with the loss of Louis 2U0FER, however we
promised ourselves we’d carry on the trip.
The trip as always starts with the travel across 3 days before the IOTA
Contest, this meant that Paul (M0TZO) and I flew out of Gatwick and Iain
(M0PCB) took the boat with a large amount of the gear we would need to put
the station on air.The Arrival
On arrival Tom (2U0TKB) met Paul & myself at the airport and transferred us
to Les Maingys Activity Centre (Scout Camp) which isn’t too far from the
old camp site however this change meant that we didn’t have to operate the
contest from Rousse Point but the biggest bonus was a huge field and power
no generators needed this year thus less faffing about!
After dropping kit off we headed into St Peter Port to pick up some local
sim cards (No ThreeUK Feel at Home on Guernsey!) one for keeping an eye on
work (magicbug) and another for the D-Link 4G router we planned to use for
DX Cluster and general web access, after that we headed to the pub to wait
for Iain’s ferry to arrive into the harbour before going for lunch as a
group.Guernsey Support Crew Team Photo
Once back at the campsite we started to unpack and setup the station, what
we didn’t expect was the amazing help from the local radio amateurs, who
wanted to make sure we had a fantastic and stress free time. On Wednesday a
large number of the Guernsey ARS turned out to help set up the antennas and
have a BBQ with us.Station starts to take shapeGU9V Contest Station
This meant on day one we had a Hexbeam, 80m dipole, WARC band dipoles set
up and running inside the operations tent and that evening Iain and myself
hit the bands to see what conditions were like resulting in around a 100
QSOs each.
Due to the lack of needing to-do much Thursday meant we had time to go back
into St Peter Port to have a look around the shops & port to see what tax
free goodies we could purchase and frequent a few coffee shops for a drink
or two.
That evening we managed to put the 40m dipole up and hit the bands again as
2U0SQL & MU0PCB for a bit before retiring to the pub down the road for a
few drinks before we called it a night.
Friday with nothing antenna or radio related to complete we decided to hit
the bands before heading out for a nice lunch after that we had a quick
trip to Rousse point to enjoy a relax at the Kiosk.
Friday evenings are the Guernsey Amateur Radio Societies meet up so we
joined them at the bunker for a chat about plans and what we’d all been up
to since IOTA 2014 and also borrow a usb to serial adapter after we forgot
to pack extra! If you’re visiting the island we highly recommend meeting up
with the local hams.It’s Contest Time!Run Station
Saturday morning arrived normally this would mean packing up camp and
heading to Rousse Point but this time we didn’t have to the station was set
up and ready to go so after a cooked breakfast made by Tom 2U0TKB (Thanks!)
we setup the two laptops for the contest.
This proved simple enough running N1MM+ so we didn’t fall foul of serial
number issues we suffered during 2013 this was completed quickly with the
only problem being clock sync issue this wasn’t a problem after doing NTP
sync and running N1MM+ in Admin mode.
This meant we still had about 3 hours to kill so again we hit the bands to
pass the time, what I found personally was that 2U0 prefix seemed very
popular with German stations (Thanks for the QSOs!) so a lot of the time I
was running DL pile ups for a few hours.
As the contest started Iain was on the run station to operate CW (He’s the
only CW op!), while I operated the multiplier station to find stations for
easy pickings this worked nicely with Iain enjoying nice runs for two
hours, however we soon found out that 15m seemed poor and 10m wasn’t any
better which was evident in the breakdown I was quite pleased after the 2
hour multing slot was over and I switched with Iain. Mult Station
SSB pileups seemed similar to the CW ones although maybe a bit slower but
even with 100w we had a steady stream of QSOs going in the logbook and the
two hour shifts kept rotating through till 2am between Iain and myself up
till 1:30am when I called it quits however by 11pm we’d passed a 1000 QSOs
so the target was well insight.
This left Paul (M0TZO) and Tom (2U0TKB) to man the station till 5am when
Iain got up again for another CW stint before I took over just after 7am
after a quick shower (luxury we quite enjoy) this 2 hour operating stint
turned into 4 hours however this turned out nice as the first hour on 20m
was slow at times but then soon as we hit 8am the rate suddenly jumped up
(Europe woke up?) and this carried on till 11am when Iain took over for the
final two hour shift taking us to the end trying his best to eke out QSOs
on 15m.
Between all this the multiplier station was being manned by anyone who
wanted to have a go which turned out to be mostly 2U0TKB (Tom), 2U0WGE
(Rob), M0TZO (Paul) what we did learn is that we lost quite a few
multipliers on 20/15m by not having dedicated antennas for the multiplier
station.How did we do?Claimed Score for IOTA 2015
Considering we declared this would be a fun entry it turned out to be an
excellent overall result compared to previous entries, this year changing
the callsign to GU9V rather than MU0HTJ certainly helped reducing time to
send and confusion of people receiving!
After finishing 1953 QSOs which was actually less than the previous year by
one, however we managed to eek out some extra multipliers to provide us
with a score of 4,223,850 million which is a difference of 277050.
We did have nearly a perfect split of SSB/CW QSOs which means we probably
have the rota perfectly aligned this is the second year in a row we have
managed this.
It was disappointing that we worked so little on 15m but conditions just
didn’t seem to allow us to work much more without having a detrimental
effect on the QSOs going in the log so focus switched to multipliers only
on that band when available.
More interesting was that 10m provided zero QSOs for us, looking at the DX
Cluster there was some Sporadic-E however we certainly didn’t notice
anything of the sort which possibly lost us a few extra points but can’t
have everything!
We did however see a big improvement on 80/40m which QSOs totals being much
higher, we did have a change of antennas switching from verticals to simple
dipoles which probably worked to our advantage of working Europe rather
than DX either way we aren’t complaining!
Overall the main band was 20m, which provided us with most of the day time
QSOs although much lower amounts of North America towards the evening as
the band seemed to fade out for us resulting in moving to 40m to pick up
the easy UK multipliers.Improvements?
What did we learn? Of course there’s always room for improvement although
looking at the results this year it looks like we might have hit the limit
of huge game changing results in the low power section on Guernsey and the
limitations of the equipment available (without taking more masts and
bigger antennas) vs the man power available to set it all up.
We certainly need to make a more concerted effort to make use of the
multiplier radio but at the same time to-do this we need to improve the
antennas it has available to use, we’re thinking along the lines of a
triplexer on the hexbeam to allow us to share the one antenna across all
the radios.
Other things could be how we operate during the night there’s a period
between 2am -5am where the rate on the run radio drops considerably, this
could be also down to experience of some of the operators and improved with
guidance and also more confidence to keep calling CQ.Post Contest
After quickly backing up the logs onto Dropbox we decided it was time to go
in search of some celebration lunch in St Peter Port followed by some
rather nice cheesecake sat by the harbour (recommended!)
The evening was not surprisingly spent back on the air operating using our
own callsigns, well the antennas are set up seemed poor choice not to
operate.2U0SQL Stats from Win-TestTourist day!Little Chapel
Monday we’d always set aside to-do some touristy things, we did think about
going to the Island of Herm for lunch and a explore however with the
weather being poor (Wet & Windy) we decided to not to instead opting for
another wander around St Peter Port, before having a look at Little Chapel,
then the German occupation museum. We did hope to have a look at the German
Underground Hospital but sadly it had closed due to loss of power (maybe
next time).
Monday evening and Tuesday morning was of course spent packing down
antennas and tents ready for heading back to Gatwick and onwards to home
which wrapped up an amazing trip.
We look forward to doing it all again next year.
The post Contesting in Guernsey appeared first on 2E0SQL.


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