144 MHz: International Space Station on SSTV

Amateur Radio On the International Space Station (ARISS) has organized another Slow Scan TV event scheduled to start October 27 about 10:00 UTC and end October 29 around 19:30 UTC with a series of 12 pictures.

The following images were decoded on October 29, 2018 with the MMSSTV software on 145.800 MHz, Mode PD120. More information about amateur radio on the ISS can be found on the ARISS website.

The ARISS team in Poland has made available a special reception certificate for radio enthusiasts that participant in this ARISS SSTV Event. Directions on how to receive the certificate can be found here.

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QSO with K1JT

Today K1JT, Dr. Joe Taylor, Nobel Prize Winner and father of the WSJT Software Package, showed up on 17m in FT8 mode. It was just a short and “digital” contact but very glad to meet this great personality and Radio Amateur on the band.

Nice Tropo Opening on 144 MHz

Working towards the west is not so easy from this location. The terrain is steadily rising and signals on 2m from the UK are rare. Just the well-equipped contest stations on the British East Coast could be heard from time to time.

A first good band opening this autumn took place yesterday, on Monday the 08th of October. Already at noon, stations from Normandy and southern England were reported in the DX cluster. Unfortunately, there was little activity in SSB, nothing in CW, but good activity on the FT8 Mode frequency 144.174 MHz. I heard and worked some stations from southern England and France. F6DBI from IN88 called me over an distance of 1,021 km for todays ODX. As a very big surprise I got a reception report from EA1UR in IN53tf over a distance of 1,693 km via PSK reporter! Unfortunately, I did not receive any signal from him. Whether it was a duct connection or aircraft reflections remains open.

On Tuesday morning the opening continued, stations from the UK were louder as on Monday evening. Once again FT8 was the preferred mode. Surprisingly Mark, EI3KD from IO51vw popped in over a distance of 1,287 km and was logged at 08:31 UT.

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First 2m Sporadic E in 2018

Yesterday evening, May 28, the ES season 2018 for my QTH was started. Within a good hour, 2x CT and 5x EA stations found their way to the log. The signals were not very loud and could only be heard very briefly, usually not longer than a minute. Nevertheless, it was long enough for 4 new QTH Locator and an ODX of 2.098 km. More informations about this opening are here.
This event was followed by two further short ES openings on the 3rd and 4th of June.
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VHF Contest May 2018

The storm “Friederike” in mid-January 2018 had caused some serious damage to the antenna system. Unfortunately, there was no time to fix it all until now. Among other things, the rotors direction control for the VHF / UHF / SHF antennas failed and the 70cm and 23cm antennas as well as the Spiderbeam for Hf are damaged. As a result the dish for 10 GHz could also not be rotated.
So for 2m I had to use the 14 element EME antenna in the garden with only 3m height above ground and right in the middle between the noisy houses.
Despite all these problems stations from 12 Countries and 46 Squares found the way into the log. ODX with 831 km was IO2V from JN56 and the overall score some 50.000 points.
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Another Great Week on 144 MHz EME – 3 new DXCC’s

The last months of the 2m EME activity were marked by problems with the SSPA’s antenna relay and a mechanical failure of the vertical rotor. Unfortunately I missed some very interesting EME-DXpeditions like PJ2T, TD9FYC and CR2EME.
After the problems could be solved (many thanks to my friend Karl-Heinz DH8WG for the great work on the rotor), the German DXpedition PJ6E could be logged on Monday April 23 as a new DXCC # 69. DF7KF and DM1AC had a great signal with only one 14 element XPol antenna.
Next was the first known activation from Kosovo on 2m, Z66EME. Uwe, DG8NCO, had several technical problems and  with only an 8 element antenna on his side and with a bit of patience he was still good to work – DXCC # 70 for me.
On Friday evening, April 27, 2018, 7P8Z from Lesotho was next in line. Bernie, ZS4TX had travelled there for just 2 days and worked more than 100 stations via the moon on the first evening with his 2 x 18 element horizontally polarized antennas. DXCC # 71 could be celebrated.
Unfortunately, I missed the Italian DXpedition 3B8MS to Mauritius. The team had a lot of problems with noise all the time and so only very well equipped stations could be worked from there – no chance for my small single antenna EME station.

Worked All Continents – WAC 144 MHz

Beeing active on 2 m since 1973 with an interruption of more than 25 years I finally completed the “144 MHz WAC – Worked All Continents” last December and received the Award today.
Many thanks to 3V8ONU (Africa, CW-Meteor Scatter 1979), K1WHS (North America,  CW-EME 1982), UG6AD (Asia, Sporadic E 1989), VK5APN (Oceania, JT65-EME 2017) and PY2GN (South America, JT65-EME 2017) for making this possible.

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Back in 1983, that means 35 years ago, I completed the 432 MHz WAC just with CW-contacts. Now the question is: Which band is next for WAC?

144 MHz: International Space Station on SSTV

From December 06-08 the ISS again send SSTV pictures. The images are always transmitted in SSTV mode PD 120 on the frequency 145.800 MHz in frequency modulation. The images were decoded with the MMSSTV software. More information about amateur radio on the ISS can be found on the ARISS website.

Pictures received Dec. 07, 2017 between 17:27 – 17:32 UT

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Pictures received Dec. 08, 2017 between 16:32 – 16:42 UT
Last picture was received while ISS was between Crimea Peninsula and Caspian Sea, abt. 2.500 km away.

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Great Weekend on 144 MHz EME

Since I was not active on 144 MHz EME over the last 2 months due to vacations and other commitments, this weekend was a real goal. Conditions were excellent all weekend and Faraday was mostly cooperative.

At moonrise on Friday evening I completed a QSO with Australia, a very problematic direction from my location because of manmade noise at low elevation angels. Wayne, VK5APN, gave a new DXCC, new ODX with 15.528 km and finally the last missing continent Oceania. The second new DXCC this night was RA9CHL in the asian part of Russia.

On early Sunday morning, a QSO with the German one-man DXpedition V31EME and another new country, DXCC # 65, succeeded. Not easy to fight against so many well equipped multi-antenna-stations. Uwe, DG8NCO, did a really very good job and catched also weak signals out of the pileup.

Another highlight was a QSO with IK1FJI, Walter, who also works with only one Yagi. This completed my first 1 Yagi – 1 Yagi Moonbounce contact.

A total of more than 40 QSO’s and 38 initials were logged, a really great EME weekend. Listed details are here.
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144 MHz EME: Back in business


There was a lot of work to be done in the garden during the last weeks: No, not only mowing gras, but also a larger hole had to be excavated and filled with concrete. Then mounting a stable metal pole on it, a rotor and, of course, another antenna. An 8m long 12 element DK7ZB Yagi was the choice, 14.1 dBd gain. Not much at all for a 2m EME system, but we’ll see what’s possible. 

On Saturday afternoon everything was ready to go for the first test. The automatic tracking system worked perfect and turned the antenna exactly to the moon, who was almost in the south. Just only 30 degrees elevation and almost 2 dB additional pathloss – not very promising. Will this be enough to hear someone?

It was enough! UA4AQL was easily detected in the waterfall, calling cq in JT65 mode. One periode calling and he came back to me – whow, what a good feeling! After this initial contact, four more QSO’s followed with LZ2FO, RX1AS, OH4LA and F4DJK.

Listed details are here

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