CAT17 videos on Es’hail 2 and DigiTwist satellite tracker

The British Amateur Television Club have made available videos of the talks given at the CAT17 event held at the Finningley Amateur Radio Club on September 9-10, 2017.

Among the videos are:
• Es’hail 2 satellite update by Dave G8GKQ
• DigiTwist an experimental low cost satellite tracker by Brian G4EWJ
• Introduction to Optical Communications by Bernie G4HJW
• 5.7 GHz Linear Amplifiers for the ADALM Pluto by Brian G4EWJ

Watch Es’hail 2 satellite update by Dave G8GKQ

Watch DigiTwist an experimental low cost satellite tracker by Brian G4EWJ

The other videos can be seen at

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Colloquium 2017 Saturday Gala Dinner

The 2017 AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium is combined with the RSGB Convention on October 14-15 at the Kent Hills Park Conference Centre in Milton Keynes, MK7 6BZ.

If you wish to attend the 2017 AMSAT-UK Colloquium, you should book to attend the RSGB Convention.

The schedule is at

BUT BEFORE YOU BOOK you might like to consider attending the AMSAT-UK Gala Dinner on the evening of Saturday. October 14 as an alternative to the RSGB Convention dinner. The AMSAT-UK dinner will be held at the Hilton Hotel, which is about 1 km from the Kent Hills Conference Centre; a taxi ride is about £3 per cab. Detailed times will follow, but it will follow similar lines to AMSAT-UK Gala Dinners in previous years. There are normally a few speeches, trophy presentations etc etc.

If you wish to attend the dinner you MUST book this in advance. Dinner Jackets or suits definitely NOT required.

The dinner will be a three course affair, and the cost above does not include drinks which will be available from the hotel bar.

Note that when you book on the RSGB web site you should use the Pick and Mix option to avoid paying for their dinner!

You can book the RSGB Colloquium via

You can book the AMSAT-UK Gala Dinner at

2M0SQL Satellite Report

Peter 2M0SQL says that instead of submitting reports to magazines about his satellite activity he’s decided to write blog posts instead allowing more viewers to see what can be worked.

He recently moved to Elgin in Scotland and as a result his DXCC/VUCC totals were reset to zero, so he’s trying to focus on working as many new grid squares and countries as possible.

Although with no real fixed permanent setup at his new QTH he has still made 158 contacts using 11 satellites. Among the notable contacts in July were those with Gabe Zeifman NJ7H who operated from Iceland, the Faroe Islands and then Greenland.

Read the 2M0SQL July Satellite Report at

Follow Peter on Twitter at

Peter gave a talk on Portable Satellite Operation to the 2016 AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium, watch the video at


437 MHz Sprite satellites deployed

437 MHz Sprite Satellite

Scientific American magazine interviews radio amateur Zac Manchester KD2BHC in the article Breakthrough Sends Smallest-Ever Satellites into Orbit.

On June 23, 2017 six tiny satellites were sent into low-Earth orbit as secondary payloads on the Venta and Max Valier satelites that were launched on the Indian PSLV-C38 rocket. These six satellites are comparatively dainty, but punch far above their weight. Called “Sprites,” each is a 4-gram flake of circuit-board just 3.5 centimeters on a side, packing solar panels, computers, sensors and communications equipment into an area equal to a U.S. postage stamp.

One Sprite apiece is attached to the outside of each mothership — the Latvian Venta satellite and the Italian Max Valier satellite, the latter of which also holds four additional Sprites awaiting deployment into space as wholly independent spacecraft. Radio telemetry from minuscule magnetometers and gyroscopes on the deployed Sprites would then be used to track the spacecraft as they shift, spin and tumble, to better understand their orbital dynamics.

Signals on 437.325 MHz from at least one of the exterior-mounted Sprites have been received in California and New York.

Read the Scientific American article at

Zac Manchester KD2BHC had 104 Sprite satellites launched into orbit on board KickSat-1 on April 18, 2014 but the Sprites failed to deploy

First family-friendly amateur radio event at The Royal Mint Experience

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

A unique event is taking place at The Royal Mint Experience, The Royal Mint’s new visitor centre in Llantrisant, Wales from July 30 to August 5, 2017. Local school children and members of the public have been invited to “The Royal Mint Radio Experience” to enjoy a fun, informal and interactive workshop.

They’ll have the opportunity to send and receive radio signals with FUNcube-1, an educational satellite launched in 2013 which is used by schools and educational groups all around the world. Visitors will also exchange greeting messages with radio enthusiasts across the world and, as each country is contacted it will be logged on a large map. The target is to contact each of the 100 countries with which the Royal Mint has worked during its 1,000 year history! The national amateur radio societies in many of those countries have contacted us to say that their members are looking forward to greeting the children on air.

In addition, during the sessions each person will be able to learn how to send their name using Morse code and will receive a special certificate to confirm their achievement.

RSGB General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB said: “We’re delighted to be supporting this event which will give visitors to the Royal Mint a chance to experience the wonder of amateur radio and satellite communication. Amateur radio has many links with the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) curriculum and can lead to rewarding careers.”

Members of the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB), Barry Amateur Radio Society (BARS) and AMSAT-UK will be running the special amateur radio station whose call sign GB4RME (GB 4 Royal Mint Experience) has been granted by Ofcom just for this event.

RSGB Regional Manager and BARS Chairman Glyn Jones, GW0ANA added: “We believe this is the very first time any amateur radio station has been allowed to operate from a Royal Mint anywhere in the world, so it really is a unique occasion!”

The FUNcube-1 Fitter message transmitted by the satellite says:
“Greetings from space to visitors, staff and team G B 4 R M E . Amateur Radio special event and demonstrations at the Royal Mint Experience South Wales. 30 Jul to 5 Aug.”

The Royal Mint Experience

Barry Amateur Radio Society


Bittern DXers get 10k Lottery Grant

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

The Eastern Daily Press report the Bittern DX Group in North Walsham have been awarded £10,000 by the Big Lottery Fund.

The newspaper story says:

The award will help them continue to introduce people to the world of technology, and the possibilities that radio communication can offer people.

But the news wasn’t only celebrated in North Walsham, or even Norfolk, as the announcement was transmitted from a satellite orbiting the Earth.

The satellite, FunCube1, as built by members of the Amateur Radio community and launched into orbit on 21st November 2013.

It was built with the goal of enthusing and educating young people about radio, space, physics and electronics, and is the first satellite with outreach as its primary mission and demonstrates the depth and breadth of the hobby of Amateur Radio.

The Bittern DXers hope that with their new funds they can continue to work on initiatives such as the Educational Outreach Project which entails the group taking their equipment to public events and teach people about their hobby.

Read the full newspaper story at

The FUNcube-1 Fitter message transmitted by the satellite said:
“The Bittern DXers are delighted to announce they have received a National Lottery Awards for All grant for their Educational Outreach project bringing amateur radio to the public.”

Information on the FUNcube-1 (AO-73) satellite can be found at

Bittern DXers

Any amateur radio club can apply for a Big Lottery Fund grant, details at

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