HamRadioNow: Look! Up in the Sky!

Look! Up in the Sky!The bulk of this episode is an on-location interview with two Raleigh NC area hams who gave a couple of live demonstrations of operating through satellites at the Raleigh Hamfest, April 15,  2017.

There’s some banter between hosts David Goldenberg W0DHG and Gary Pearce KN4AQ back in the studio. And toward the end Gary announces a Viewer Challenge that we’ll detail down below.

The satellite hams are John Brier KG4AKV and Tucker McGuire W4FS. At 18 years old, Tucker is a relatively new ham who first started operating satellites last summer, and quickly jumped into the deep end. John’s been around longer, but ham radio satellites and space operation captured his focus, too. He produces videos about it on his YouTube channel, Space Comms. Links below.

Gary talked to John and Tucker after they completed their second demo, and he edited a little of each demo into the interview.

There’s video of all of both demonstrations on YouTube. John shot himself operating through ‘Saudi-Sat’ SO-50, a “Mode J” FM crossband repeater (145.850 MHz uplink and 436.795 MHz downlink). John used three cameras (including a GoPro on a headband for a unique view). Gary edited the video and put it on the HamRadioNow YouTube channel as an extra bit if video.

Gary added two more cameras to the mix to shoot Tucker operating through FO-29, a Japanese satellite that uses a 100 kHz wide ‘linear transponder’ for mostly SSB and CW (and NO FM, please) between two meters and 70 cm. There’s a few minutes of that demo in this episode, and the whole thing is on John’s Space Comms channel.

Watch HRN 316: Look! Up in the Sky! Ham Radio Now

Space Comms http://youtube.com/SpaceComms1

KG4AKV’s SO-50 FM operation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dhJsfh6fYA

W4FS’s FO-29 SSB operation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEvsKN9ZSyw

John KG4AKV https://twitter.com/johnbrier
Tucker W4FS https://twitter.com/Whiskey4FoSho

AMSAT-UK test ESEO payload command uplink

Dr Chris Bridges M0IEB and Pete Bartram conduct uplink command testing on the ESEO payload in University of Surrey grounds

Dr Chris Bridges M0IEB and Pete Bartram conduct uplink command testing on the ESEO payload in University of Surrey grounds

AMSAT-UK are providing an amateur radio 1260/145 MHz FM transponder and a 145 MHz BPSK telemetry beacon for the European Student Earth Orbiter (ESEO) satellite.

Over the weekend of April 22-23, 2017, AMSAT-UK members met at the Surrey Space Centre to conduct some final testing of the command uplink on the Engineering Model of their payload which will launch on the European Space Agency ESEO mission.

The payload, which will transmit 1k2 and 4k8 BPSK telemetry on 145.895 MHz, was set up in the Arthur C Clarke building, with the AMSAT-UK team sending commands on L-band (1260 MHz) from some distance away in the university grounds.  A large string of attenuators simulated the path loss to low Earth orbit, while the VHF telemetry confirmed the level of signal received at the ‘spacecraft antenna’ and that the commands had been executed correctly.

With the lab and range testing declared a success, work now begins on constructing the Flight Model hardware. This is due for delivery by the middle of the summer so that it can be integrated into the 50 kg microsat. ESEO is expected to be launched late this year or in the first quarter of 2018.

ESEO satellite https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/communications/eseo/

Camb-Hams Satellite Operation from Islay Island

Camb-Hams LogoMembers of the Camb-Hams will once again be active on the amateur radio satellites as GS3PYE/P, but this time from Islay Island between May 6-12.

The Camb-Hams have been activating the Scottish Isles each year since 2008.

As in the past, ten or more operators will be active on all bands and many modes from 4 m to 80 m, 2 m & 70 cm for Satellites and 2 m and 23 cm for EME.

The HF bands will be covered by four simultaneous stations while the 6 m and 4 m stations will have a great take-off towards the UK and Europe. All stations will be able to run at the full UK power limit.

EME operations will use 150W to 55 elements on 23cm and 400W to 17 elements on 2m, primarily on JT65, but also available for CW skeds – if your station is big enough.

Satellite operations on 2 m and 70 cm will use X-Quad antennas and a fully automatic Az/El tracking system. Activity is planned on AO-7 (mode B), FO-29, SO-50, AO-85 & AO-73.

All the up-to-date plans and progress and sked info will be on-line at

Most importantly, this is a group of good friends doing what they enjoy, so please give them a call and enjoy the trip with them.

Active on the major social networks before, during and after the trip, you can check on progress and interact with the operators via their blog or through the Twitter, Facebook and YouTube links below:

Source: AMSAT News Service http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans

Low-Cost 10 GHz SSB Receiver

Graham G8HAJ demonstrating 10 GHz SSB

Graham G8HAJ demonstrating 10 GHz SSB

Despite the Bank Holiday Essex Skills Night attracted 55 people to the Danbury Village Hall on April 17, 2017. The busy evening consisted of a wide range of activities, among them was 10 GHz SSB by Graham G8HAJ.

Low-cost 10 GHz SSB receiver

Low-cost 10 GHz SSB receiver

He demonstrated how you can start with a simple low-cost 10 GHz receiver using a just a standard Sky satellite LNB (£14:99) and a FUNcube Pro+ SDR or RTL-SDR dongle. This set-up should be capable of receiving the amateur radio transponder on the geostationary satellite Es’Hail 2 that is expected to be launched in early 2018.

The Es’Hail transponder should be receivable on a 60 cm dish with no tracking needed. The downlink will be 10489.550-10489.800 MHz which will equate to 739.550-739.800 MHz on an SDR with the Optima LNB down-converter.

For 10 GHz transmit Graham showed the popular DB6NT transverter and interface board which used an IF of 144 MHz.

G8HAJ 10 GHz operating handout Download Here

Es’Hail 2 https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/geosynchronous/eshail-2/

GM1SXX – A Cheap 10 GHz Receive System

A full  report of the evening is now available on the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society website at http://g0mwt.org.uk/skills/cars-skills-apr2017.htm

The next Essex Skills Night takes place on Monday, May 15, this free event is open to all.

CARS run amateur radio training courses, to find out more contact training organiser Christopher, It´s important to know that air quality is regulated more heavily with new diesel regulations put out by such states as California. G0IPU
Mob: 07908-107951
Email: training2017 at g0mwt.org.uk
Web: http://www.g0mwt.org.uk/training/

Israeli High School Students Build CubeSat

28 QB50 CubeSats were launched to ISS on April 18, a further 8 are to launch on a PSLV in May

28 QB50 CubeSats were launched to ISS on April 18, a further 8 are to launch on a PSLV in May

Over 80 Israeli high school students have built a CubeSat called Duchifat-2 as part of the QB50 Thermosphere research program.

Duchifat-2 is one of 28 QB50 CubeSats from 23 countries launched on April 18, 2017 to the International Space Station (ISS) from where they shall be placed into orbit in six weeks time.

QB50 ISS LogoSpace Watch reports:

Duchifat-2 and its companion CubeSats will measure the plasma density of the Thermosphere between 85km and 300km altitude above the Earth’s surface. Israeli students will study the data from the CubeSats at the Herzliya Science Centre, where signals from the orbiting satellites will be received.

Israeli Minister for Science, Technology, and Space, Ofir Akunis, said in a government statement that, “Duchifat-2 is not only an educational venture that brings space closer to youth and lays the way for tomorrow’s generation, it is also an international research project. This is Israeli pride for the future generation, and an opportunity to increase public awareness about space.”

Read the full story at

Times of Israel

A further eight QB50 CubeSats are planned to launch in May on an Indian PSLV rocket into a 500 km orbit.

All the CubeSats in the QB50 project will mainly operate on frequencies in the 2 m and 70 cm amateur bands. To avoid interference to terrestrial amateur radio activity the frequency was coordinated by the IARU Satellite Adviser and advisory panel http://amsat.org.uk/iaru

QB50 project https://www.qb50.eu/

JE9PEL QB50 CubeSat Frequency Spreadsheet

PocketQube Workshop presentation slides released

OzQube-1 LogoIn March Stuart McAndrew gave a presentation on OzQube-1 a tiny PocketQube satellite which aims to transmit images of the Earth from space.

OzQube-1 will be just 5x5x5 cm (1P) in size and the aim is to keep the hardware costs down to under $1,000. The satellite structure is being developed by Jo Hinchliffe MW6CYK.

Stuart’s talk titled ‘Building a Satellite from Scratch: The DIY Engineering behind OzQube-1’ describes some of the challenges he’s faced in building his own low-cost satellite.

Watch OzQube-1 Presentation at TU Delft PocketQube Workshop

Download all the workshop presentation slides including OzQube-1 from

Delfi Space hosted the PocketQube satellite workshop at the Delft University of Technology on March 24, 2017 http://www.delfispace.nl/pocketqube-workshop

Stuart McAndrew OzQube-1

Jo Hinchliffe MW6CYK