23cm band in the spotlight with regulators

RNSS - Credit IARU Region 1

RNSS – Credit IARU Region 1

The Chair of IARU Region 1 Spectrum Affairs, Barry Lewis G4SJH, reports on the meeting of the ITU‑R Working Party 4C (WP4C) on February 15-19 which discussed the amateur radio allocation at 1240-1300 MHz.

On the IARU Region 1 site he writes:

During the week February 15–19, the preparatory work for WRC-23 agenda item 9.1b continued in ITU‑R Working Party 4C (WP4C). The WRC agenda item has initiated technical studies on coexistence between the radio navigation satellite service (RNSS) and the amateur services in the 23cm band. As usual, the IARU participated in the meeting and delivered key information on amateur activities in this important microwave band. This information is vital to ensure the amateur services are realistically represented in the studies as they move forward.

It remains vital that national amateur communities present their views on the importance of this band to their national regulators in a consolidated and consistent manner.

To assist with this the IARU-R1 is developing supporting material that member societies can refer to when addressing the topic with their national regulator.

The work on this topic will continue throughout the year and beyond both in ITU‑R and in the regional telecommunications organisations and the IARU is committed to ensure every organisation understands the amateur position on this important microwave band.

Source IARU-R1 https://www.iaru-r1.org/2021/23cm-band-in-the-spotlight-with-regulators/

The ITU‑R WP4C Summary Meeting Report notes “The only administration that can be considered supportive towards proper treatment of the Amateur Services in this work is Germany”, read the report at https://www.iaru-r1.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Report-from-WP4C_Feb-2021.docx

RSGB consulting on their new Direct-To-Full exam

Proposed Direct-To-Full Exam - credit Exam HamThe RSGB’s Examination Standards Committee has launched a consultation to ask for the views of the amateur radio community on a new, Direct to Full licence exam which would run in parallel with the existing three-tier system.

Key points:

• A single 75-question multiple-choice exam (2.5 hours)
• You can take the exam online from your own home
• No need to take lower level exams (Foundation or Intermediate)
• Theory-only, no practicals required
• Pass mark 50/75 (67%)
• As per existing online exams, instant results at the end of the exam, and if passed, UK Full callsign typically within a week
• An exam pass will give you the internationally recognised HAREC qualification

The background to this consultation and a link to the proposed syllabus can be found on the RSGB website:


There is also a link to a short survey which asks specific questions but also gives you an opportunity to add additional comments or questions.

The consultation will run until Sunday, March 14, after which the Society will gather the results and announce them in due course.

We would encourage everyone to take part in this consultation.

How does the UK’s proposed Direct-To-Full exam compare with those of other countries:

Country  Questions  Minutes Allowed
UK          75           150
Eire        60           120
Spain       60           120
NZ          60           180
France      40            60

An overview can be seen on the Essex Ham site at https://www.essexham.co.uk/direct-to-full.html

You can take part in the Amateur Radio Exams survey being conducted by Essex Ham at

First QO-100 satellite contact from Indonesia

Team from the Telkom University Telecommunication Engineering Student Association

Team from the Telkom University Telecommunication Engineering Student Association

Indonesia’s national amateur radio society, ORARI, reports on the first contacts from Indonesia via the Qatar-Oscar-100 geostationary satellite transponder that took place on Thursday, January 27, 2021. Those involved were Farid Farhan YC1HVZ, Remco den Besten PA3FYM and Rene Stevens PE1CMO.

ORARI’s report says a team from the Telkom University Telecommunication Engineering Student Association (HMTT) led by Farid Farhan YC1HVZ, succeeded in conducting the first contact from Bukit Moko (Grid square OI33UD), Bandung, West Java with a satellite elevation of 0.8 degrees at an altitude of 1200m+.

Over several months Remco den Besten PA3FYM, and Rene Stevens PE1CMO had helped Farid Farham YC1HVZ get equipment operational for use on the QO-100 satellite which has an uplink in the 2.4 GHz band and a downlink in 10.45 GHz.

Farid’s location in Bandung is on the edge of the satellite’s footprint and he didn’t have a clear view to the horizon so Farid had to travel to a location in the hills of Java to get an unobstructed path to the satellite which had an elevation of just 0.8 degrees.

An attempt on Monday, January 24, was unfortunately unsuccessful and Farid YC1HVZ returned to the hill on Thursday, January 27, for a test with Remco PA3FYM and Rene PE1CMO. At about 07:40 GMT they heard the first signals from YC1HVZ but Farid couldn’t receive the QO-100 signal. It’s rainy season in Indonesia, which makes it much harder – the 10 GHz downlink has to get through the heavy rain showers which attenuate the signal.

After a few tests conditions improved and Farid heard his signal coming back from the satellite and by 07:50 GMT it was possible to make a two-way contact. Rene PE1CMO was the first to receive Farid and the first who Farid received but it was Remco PA3FYM who made the first complete contact exchanging signal report, call and locator, after which Rene has a QSO with Farid. Unfortunately the signal in Indonesia then dropped due to clouds and rain but later it came back and YC1HVZ made six more contacts. Farid hopes to try that location again or go to a location on the beach on the west coast of Java for a DXpedition.

Congratulations to Farid, Remco and Rene.

See a translation of the ORARI report at https://tinyurl.com/IndonesiaORARI

QO-100 information https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/geo/eshail-2/

ISS SSTV 145.800 FM Jan 28-29

ISS SSTV MAI-75 image 9/12 received by Chertsey Radio Club on Baofeng handheld

ISS SSTV MAI-75 image 9/12 received by Chertsey Radio Club on Baofeng handheld

Russian cosmonauts on the International Space Station (ISS) are planning to transmit Slow Scan TV images on 145.800 MHz FM using the SSTV mode PD-120.

The transmissions are part of the Moscow Aviation Institute SSTV experiment (MAI-75) and will be made from the amateur radio station RS0ISS in the Russian Service module of the ISS.

Jan 28 – Starts after 12:10 GMT and ends at 17:15 GMT*

Jan 29 – Start about 13:10 GMT and ends at 18:05 GMT*

*Dates and times subject to change.

ARISS SSTV Blog https://ariss-sstv.blogspot.com/

Useful SSTV info and links https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/iss-sstv/

CHESS CubeSat Constellation to carry FUNcube transponders

CHESS CubeSat - Credit EPFL Spacecraft Team

CHESS CubeSat – Credit EPFL Spacecraft Team

In 2020, a project between AMSAT-UK, AMSAT-NL and Swiss universities started with the aim of equipping two Swiss satellites with a linear transponder for amateur radio.

CHESS - Three Unit CubeSat

CHESS – Three Unit CubeSat

With a linear transponder, several QSOs can take place simultaneously. The satellites can be operated in CW/SSB with the simplest equipment. The satellites also include features for classroom demonstrations and experiments. In numerous teleconference discussions, the technical possibilities could be sounded out and the realisation prepared.

The CHESS [Constellation of High Energy Swiss Satellites] project includes two satellites, which will be built simultaneously and later launched as a constellation. Both will provide a linear transponder for amateur radio use. The first satellite will have a nearly circular orbit at an altitude of 400 km. The second will have an elliptical orbit with an altitude of 350×1000 km.

The satellites themselves are a project of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) with support from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU – Institute of Electrical Engineering IET), the University of Bern, the Valais University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HES-SO), the Haute École Neuchâtel and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich. The amateur radio payload is a project of AMSAT-UK/-NL.

On 18 December 2020, the successful system requirements review took place. The project coordination between CHESS and AMSAT lies with the Amateur Radio Association of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts – Technology & Architecture, Horw.

The Swiss AMSAT Operators provide information about the CHESS project at https://www.amsat-hb.org/funcube-chess/

EPFL Spacecraft Team https://www.epflspacecraftteam.com/chess-1

CHESS - Three Board Stack

CHESS – Three Board Stack

Video of Dual-band Eggbeater Antenna talk

EI6EG 144-435 MHz Dual-band Eggbeater AntennaThe South Dublin Radio Club have shared the talk Joe EI6EG gave them on the construction of a 2m – 70cm Dual Band “Eggbeater” Antenna.

Also read this article – Build Your Own Satellite Antenna – by John Hemming G0UYT which appeared in the April 2019 edition of Practical Wireless magazine https://www.radioenthusiast.co.uk/news/feature-build-your-own-satellite-antenna

Watch Building a 2m – 70cm Dual Band “Eggbeater” Antenna

Follow the South Dublin Radio Club at https://twitter.com/SDRadioClub