MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL USERS

 

Santa  visited the International Space Station (see link below)

 

Click link below  for full video

https://www.space.com/norad-tracks-santa-claus-trip-to-international-space-station?jwsource=cl

Earthlings and astronauts chat away, via ham radio

Earthlings and astronauts chat away, via ham radio

astronaut
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

The International Space Station cost more than $100 billion. A ham radio set can be had for a few hundred bucks.

Perhaps that explains, in part, the appeal of having one of humankind’s greatest scientific inventions communicate with Earth via technology that’s more than 100 years old. But perhaps there’s a simpler explanation for why astronauts and  operators have been talking, and talking, for years.

NASA astronaut Doug Wheelock was just a few weeks into his six-month mission at the  station when feelings of isolation began to set in.

Wheelock would be separated from loved ones, save for communication via an internet phone, email or social media. At times, the stress and tension of serving as the station’s commander could be intense.

One night, as he looked out a window at the Earth below, he remembered the space station’s ham radio. He figured he’d turn it on—see if anyone was listening.

“Any station, any station, this is the International Space Station,” Wheelock said.

A flood of voices jumbled out of the airwaves.

Astronauts aboard the space station often speak to students via ham radio, which can also

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CAARC 2020 Official Field Day Scores

I finally looked in the December QST for the 2020 ARRL Field Day Results.

Boy, are there a lot of entries to read through this year.

Our Central Alberta ARC showed 7 entries for a total of 2,928 points. These were the participants that I could confirm in the listings (my digital copy had very small print and I don’t think it supports “Find”}:

(December 19, adding information VA6SJA)

Station Class Points

VE6CIA     1D                               644

VA6SJA     1E                               384

VE6WCE    1D                                56

VA6MPM  1B 1 Operator Battery 155

Points accounted for 1,239.

In addition, by some technical glitch, it appears that the VE6BLD entry was not recorded. He sent in his entry and used the club name Central Alberta ARC. That station had 372 voice QSOs which would have added 372 points to our total.

As a matter of interest. there were scores as low as 2 in the 1D category and 46 in the 1E category. So, you should not have felt that your score was too low to submit.

Did you participate under the Club Name of Central Alberta ARC? Would you like to add your statistics here?

If you cannot look up your own score, send your claimed score to me at va6sja@rac.ca and I will try to confirm it.

John VA6SJA

SOTA Activations, Short Video Example

If you have been curious about what a SOTA activation looks like, this video is typical of our beautiful Canadian mountain SOTA activations.
Paul Mower
VA6MPM

 

VE6BLD’s solar pop can heater to warm your shack from the sun.

In 2014 I found a video on you tube of a man in Newfoundland who had built a solar pop can heater. I decided I would build one for my big shop in the back of my large town lot. There is a south facing wall to install it on a foot away from the wall for safety reasons as it can produce 80 -90 degree C!  I had an old double pane window in the shop that was about 3 by 7 feet. So the project began. I also had the aluminum frame from a score clock which had been removed from a school gym which turned out to be the perfect depth to fill with rows of pop cans after being insulated with 2 inch styrofoam. The metal frame also had a perfect indentation on the front to install the double pane window. See the pictures in the link below for how I  built  this pop can heater. I used a small squirrel cage fan on the inlet in the garage and another one on the outlet in the garage. There is a temperature sensor at the top of the outlet pipe connected to an adjustable digital temperature control ($8.00 on ebay). I can set any temperature to turn on the fans and I can also adjust the differential to turn off. As soon as the sun comes up and shines on the heater  it  will quickly come to the set temperature I programed of 32 C. The heater was tested to  produce up to +180 degrees F  (+80 degrees C) before I installed the fans. This is a good reason to have 2 fans so it will not melt the heater if one fan quits! Today Nov 11, 2020 the sun was very low (temperature – 12 degrees all day) but the heater quickly rose to +32 C and the thermostat turned the fans on. The heater produced a steady +18 C temp into the garage all day until there was no more sun shining on it. ! Darn nice free solar heat. 

Click the pictures in the gallery 

 

Click this link to see the picture gallery of this project 

 

 

 

Field Day 2020 Operations at VA6SJA

  • My First ever HF QSOs from my home station under my own call sign
  • My relatively vintage equipment worked!
  • I copied the ARRL Field Day Bulletin a few times and reconciled the copies
  • My first ever Field Day message to my Section Manager
  • But some of my things needed fixing

This is some of my Field Day story. What is yours? Anyone else who participated in Field Day is welcome to post about their efforts to this web site.

This post is a follow-up my post of October 27, “Preparations for Field Day 2020 at VA6SJA.”

Although I have participated in or visited a Field Days operation every year except four since 1994, this is the first time that I have set up and operated my own station for Field Day.

I regularly carry my cellular telephone around with me, alas, my first reaction is not to take photos when something happens. So unfortunately, I have no photos off this period

Since I was operating Class 1E, all radio operations including receiving the Bulletin would have to be under emergency power, from any of my gasoline generator, my truck battery (in my truck), and a small gel cell, as well as my laptop battery. I did however plug my laptop in to my generator power.

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WORLD 2020 CONTEST SCHEDULE, QRP ETC.

World 2020 contest schedule, if anyone is interested.

WA7BNM Contest Calendar

https://www.contestcalendar.com/index.html

VE6BLD multi-coax junction box on my tower

I have just completed building and installing a multi-coax junction box on my tower. I have 9 coaxes coming down the tower and feeding through a 4 inch pvc conduit to the basement. Every time a thunderstorm approached I would have to go behind my operating desk in the shack and disconnect them all. Two of the lines are 7/8 inch hardline with 1/4 inch solid core center conductor. Any lightning strike would have a direct path to the shack- not great!! I had an old aluminum weather proof  box which was used for a chart recorder in a town pump house. Please see the pictures for the construction and finished product. There is also another WP box three feet away to connect the coaxes from the house to a grounding bar during bad weather. The red banana plugs ground the disconnected  coax coming down the tower after they are disconnected. This way there is no path for the lightning to enter the house through the coaxes.

Stolen repeater

The Border Communications Group suffered a loss of equiment a short time ago. 1- Yaesu DR-1X repeater, 1- Arcom 210 controller, 1- CDM750 UHF and 1-CDM 1550LS Motorola mobile radios and 1 Solar Panel Charge Controller from an active repeater site. All interface cables also were taken. Cables were custom configuration to allow special features. (Southern Alberta)
Anybody hearing of a great deal on a Yaesu repeater and / or controller . . . .be aware. It may be stolen.