New Amateur Radio Packet Gear Awaits Unpacking, Installation on Space Station

New Amateur Radio Packet Gear Awaits Unpacking, Installation on Space Station

12/18/2018New Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) packet equipment awaits unpacking and installation on board the station after arriving in November as part of the cargo transported via a Russian 71P Progress resupply vehicle. The new packet module for NA1SS will replace the current packet gear, which has been intermittent over the past year.

“With the arrival of Progress complete, the crew has to find free time unpack Progress, uninstall the intermittent module, and then set up and test the replacement packet module,” explained Dan Barstow, KA1ARD, senior education manager of the ISS National Laboratory (CASIS), an ARISS sponsor.

The ISS packet system was reported to have gone down in July 2017, although it unexpectedly came back to life the following summer. At the time of the failure, NASA ISS Ham Radio Project Engineer Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO, said the revived system would fill the gap until the replacement packet module was launched and installed. The packet system operates on 145.825 MHz. ARISS hardware team members on the ground were able to locate a functional duplicate of the ISS packet module that has been in use on the ISS for 17 years. ARISS said the subsequent installation will depend on the crew’s busy schedule.

In an email to ARISS and other groups CASIS supports, Barstow pointed out that ARISS is an official back-up system for astronauts to talk with Mission Control in the unlikely failure of the station’s primary communication systems.

Bartow said that in 2017, hams relayed nearly 89,000 packet messages via the ISS — an average of 243 every day. The statistic so intrigued and amazed Barstow that he decided to get his Amateur Radio license and gear to join in the activity.

Satellite stalwart and ARISS supporter Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK, won the December 2018 QST Cover Plaque Award for his article, “Making Digital Contacts through the ISS.”

Current International Space Station (ISS) crew members Serena Auñón-Chancellor, KG5TMT, Alexander Gerst, KF5ONO, and cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev are scheduled to return to Earth on December 20 on a Soyuz vehicle.

SSO-A mission with Amateur Radio satellites launched December 3

From AMSAT.UK

SSO-A mission - credit Spaceflight

 

Spaceflight’s SSO-A SmallSat Express mission, carrying many amateur radio satellites, launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 18:34 GMT on Monday, December 3.

Watch the launch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wq8kS6UoOrQ

ESEO 437.040 MHz beacon received by Surrey Space Centre

ESEO 437.000 MHz beacon received by Surrey Space Centre

64 small satellites from 17 countries were launched on this mission, some with amateur radio payloads. A full list of satellites, can be found at
https://directory.eoportal.org/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/content/-/article/sso-a

Four microsatellites including ESEO, carrying an AMSAT-UK FUNcube-4 transponder, were deployed about 2 hours and 13 minutes after launch.

60 CubeSats including Jordan’s JY1SAT carrying a FUNcube-6 transponder and capable of transmitting Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) images deployed about 2 hours later.

Jean Smith VE6CDS SK

EMO worker tries to drum up enthusiasm for ham radio

EMO worker tries to drum up enthusiasm for ham radio

In an emergency, ham radio is an essential form of communication, Mike Johnson says

A free workshop about ham radios will be held in Sackville on Oct. 22. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

A ham radio probably isn’t the first form of communication a person thinks about in an emergency, but sometimes, it’s the only one that works.

Ham radios can use wireless transmission to send messages to battery-operated radios.

And they can be useful when large storms knock out telecommunications, says Mike Johnson, the Cumberland Regional Emergency Management co-ordinator.

He is partnering up with EOS Eco-Energy and the West Cumb Amateur Radio Club to hold a free workshop in Sackville to try get more people interested in ham radios.

Different technology

Johnson, who is also a member of the WestCumb club in Amherst, N.S., said that when we lose essential communications such as cellphones, landlines and the Internet — a ham radio can come to the rescue. Hurricane Michael, which struck Florida this week, devastated normal channels of communications.

Storms that knock out telecommunications for long periods of time create more problems for co-ordinated emergency response, he said.

He said he’s already seen how ham radios could help in New Brunswick.

In January 2017, a massive ice storm knocked out power to thousands in the northeast for days.

Operators dwindling

“It became very difficult,” said Johnson.

Today, ham radios are considered a hobby more than a necessity, and not many people know how they work.

“Our numbers are dwindling,” Johnson said of the amateur radio clubs.

But younger members are needed, especially since the clubs’ services may be needed even more as the climate changes.

“We still use Morse code to this day,” he said.

Requires a test

Johnson said there are a few steps to becoming a ham radio operator.

“You need to study, take the test, once you pass it’s a one-time cost,” he said. “It’s good for life.”

After that, it’s just buying the equipment to use. Equipment for amateur radio costs between $300 and $5,000.

The workshop will be held at the Sackville Royal Canadian Legion on Monday, Oct. 22, at 6:30 p.m.

Thanks to CAARC

SABRE-27 High Altitude Balloon

Hi

The weather is looking promising so we’re going to give it another try this Saturday, September 29.

Please pass this on to anyone you think may be interested.

73, Bruce – VE5BNC

Unfortunately we’ve had to postpone the flight due to terrible weather.  (near freezing, 40km winds and a mix of snow and rain).

I’ll re-send an announcement when we have it rescheduled.

Thanks

Bruce

 

Hi Bob

The Saskatoon Amateur Radio Club is planning on flying a VHF voice repeater on our next flight on September 22.  Please pass this on to anyone you think will be interested. More >

Report on CAARC 2018 Field Day

Well, ARRL Field Day is over for another year. Some Central Alberta amateurs operated this event from the Red Deer County EOC Amateur Radio Station. I would like to thank CAARC for encouraging me in this venture. I also thank Rod, VE6XY, and Stephen, VA6SGL, for trying to keep me grounded. And a special thank you to Brian for helping me understand the radios and correcting the aim of the HF beam antenna and for serving as Safety Officer. Ric Henderson, now Assistant County Manager of Red Deer County, found a way to let it happen. Ryan Mysko of Red Deer County served as the Red Deer County EOC member of our planning team. And a big Thank You to him for being patient with the preparations and testing and facilitating our access to the county’s radio station.

More >

Online petition about radio interference

Online petition about radio interference
Deadline for signatures: October 4, 2018

Radio Amateurs in Quebec have told us of a petition involving a radio station that is “generating interference on purpose”.

While we have not had a chance to investigate the specific details of the incidents the petition refers to we agree with the importance of acting to support the security of high frequency communications.

Those interested in signing the petition can do so at the following website:

https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-1631

The petition will be closed for signatures on October 4, 2018 at 9:33 am.

Alan Griffin

RAC MarCom Director

Jack Humphries VE6JRH/VA6IX Silent Key

Photo of Jack in operation

It is with sadness we announce the passing of Jack Humphries VE6JRH/VA6IX from Olds. Jack received his Amateur Radio license in June 2001 and had been very active on the bands ever since.  Jack was very instrumental in helping many hams obtain their licenses and he made many friends on HF and VHF.  Jack worked many stations around the world on various bands and was always listening and ready to engage everyone in a meaningful conversation. He will certainly be missed.

Jack’s funeral service will be held on Friday April 20th at 11:00 A.M. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3802 57 Ave. Olds.

The following is from a profile of Jack, written on the CAARC web site October 30, 2003.

I grew up on a farm southwest of Drumheller, Alberta, just south of the Horse Shoe Canyon. I came down with Diabetes Mellitus in 1947, which certainly changed my way of life.

My father took ill in 1950 and my work load at age eight got considerably heavier, with lots of chores to do. Dad then suffered a stroke in 1952 and work around the farm got a lot harder. I started driving truck and hauling grain when I was ten years old. Dad passed away in 1953 when I was eleven. I had a younger brother and two younger sisters.

I met my XYL in Calgary during 1960 and we went our separate ways until we married in 1965. We lived in Calgary, on 42nd Street SW, had two children, a boy and a girl. We subsequently moved to Olds, Alberta in 1969. We bought a shoe store in 1974 and sold it during the devastating inflationary early eighties. I presently work in Life Insurance and Mutual Funds as an independent broker.

Please click this link to read the complete profile of Jack.