July 29, 2017

New APRS Satellite to be deployed

A new satilite supporting APRS will be orbiting the earth soon. The QIKCOM-1 module containing an APRS transponder and Terrestrial Alert beacon will be deployed from the ISS on 21 Aug 2017.

Built as a student project Amateur Satellite module at the Naval Academy, and attached to the NovaWurks SIMPL spacecraft, it will function identically to the ISS transponder on 145.825 MHz with the same ARISS alias and once they widely separate, will permit possible dual-hop experiments between it and the ISS APRS digipeater.

Read more about it here.

July 27, 2017

A Chance to Listen to the Stars on HF

The Arecibo ionospheric HF heating facility will be operational for a research campaign from 24 to 31 July 2017. Because the facility transmits on the HF frequencies 5.125 and 8.175 MHz, it is possible that its signals can be heard world-wide.

QSL cards are available for interested listeners. The new Arecibo ionosphere HF heater nominally transmits 600 kilowatts net power (100 to 200 megawatts effective radiated power) and has a unique Cassegrain dual-array antenna design that increases the gain of three crossed dipoles for each band using the signature 1000 ft spherical dish reflector.

Here's the complete article.

July 05, 2017

Hospital Repeater back to FULL power

Thomas, a ham who works with ETMC in Tyler, has replaced the hard-line in the W5ETX machine (146.92). The repeater is located at the top of the ETMC hospital in Henderson and is owned by the ETACS group in Tyler.

The repeater was having some issues getting out and Thomas discover the SWR was off the charts a couple of months ago when he was trouble-shooting the problem. He also noticed there was water in the feed-line. He turned the repeater down to 5 watts to protect the radio.

Sure enough, he was able to locate the source of the problem a couple. Apparently, a portion of the hard-line jacket had been cut and water had gotten in. It had completely corroded the inside to the point that the whole line was being held together by what remained of the jacket.

Since then, he has installed new feed-line and brought the repeater back up to full power! Don't forget, the repeater is continuously linked to the other W5ETX machines in Tyler, Hawkins and Edom.