MIR SSTV IMAGE: "Sky is not the limit in Amateur Radio", Image was received direct at KH6, captured with DOS program EZSSTV. View out the window of the MIR Space Station! Updated: with Sound Card Technology.
AO-27 HANDHELD QRP SATELLITE STATION: Tests from the roof of Castle Medical Center in Kailua, Oahu to Maui, Honolulu & AO-27 Satellite
AT CA QTH NOW
HAWAII QTH (1993-7/2000): KANEOHE BAY- Bay & Koolau Mountains HI QTH MAP.
CALIFORNIA QTH (Current): Weaverville- Near Trinity Lake in a National Forest CA QTH MAP
General Information- California (CN-80) & Hawaii (BL-11)
I will miss my friends on Oahu, Hawaii is a nice place to visit. "Paradise" is where you find it. I will continue to look in Northern California . "Aloha" 10/2000
This location is not great for radio, being surrounded by mountains on all sides. Thanks to towering mountains to the East in Shasta County, and the West in Humboldt County two meter voice and packet signals can reach the Pacific Coast or the North Sacramento Valley. The MIR Space station, AO-27 and other satellites have been worked at QRP to 50W ERP levels at various elevations and directions. HF DX operation with a simple antenna is a challenge, but regular QRP contacts are possible on most bands. The Trinity County Amateur Radio Club meets monthly. I have constructed their website and am the current Activities Chairman of TCARC.
I operate SSB/CW on FO-20 & FO-29. On the RS-12/13 & 15 satellites, I work SSB/CW on RS-12 and mostly CW on RS-15. There is a very limited footprint on RS-16, but I will give it a try when it becomes active. I contact MIR on the packet PMS from time to time, and am listening for the opportunity to talk to a Cosmonaut or Astronaut one of these days. I try to work the AO-27 FM voice satellite most days, the reception is not great but I keep trying to pull stations through. I use a standard cassette tape recorder on the FRG-8800 tape output , and review it after most passes to get decypher calls, etc.
When planning your potential scheduled QSOs with your computer programs, consider that you are limited by the local topography. At WB6FZH/KH6 there is a clear view to the northern horizon. This would be measured when standing facing North as; AZ325 through AZ360 through AZ055. As the compass reading increases past AZ055, the horizon rises to 5 degrees at AZ65, by the time you get to AZ90(E) it is 25 degrees, at AZ180(S) it rises to 35-55 degrees. At AZ225 the Koolau Mountains are still at 30 degrees, with AZ270(W) decending to 35 degrees, and finally, at AZ325 down to the horizon. Simply translated, the Towering Koolau Mountain Range is like a horseshoe behind me, with Honolulu on the other side.
Some orbital passes, including North America find the satellites passing behind the Koolau Mountains (East). This is only at the last part of the North to South Passes, and has not been a problem on South to North passes. It just slightly shortens my time window.
The GOOD NEWS is that very good signal reports on FO-20/29 have been recieved from Alaska in the North, to Northern Canada, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Arkansas, Iowa, Arizona, and California. The RS Sats are less predictable because of downlink propagation, but many contacts in these same areas have been made. AO-27 "the orbiting repeater", is heard a few moments at a time during its mid-morning passes past KH6. Many contacts From the previously listed areas have been made, and I am learning to talk fast!
If you need an Oahu Satellite QSO, consider contacting the Koolau Amateur Radio Club, they will try to refer you to a Windward Oahu station that works AO-27, UO-14, FO-20/29 and other satellites. .
The AO-27 & UO-14 satellites can be accessed by the "portable" station (a hand-held beam antenna, 2 meter HT at 1 or 2 watts output and a hand-held scanner with 70cm pre-amplifier) or the fixed station equipment at 5 to 35 watts output.
Contacts have been made with most of the ISS Expeditions, and audio recordings have been made of those and other downlink activity. You may listen to these with Real One/Real Audio on the Trinity County Amateur Radio Club Website.
In 1999 during the MIR Digipeating Experiments digipeat QSOs were made with about 30 stations from Canada in the North, Mexico in the South, and Michigan in the East as MIR passed above. Special QSLs were issued and a display for use in schools is being developed to celebrate this event. (Isopole & 2-5W Radio w/386 LT & KPC-3(old) TNC (MFJCOM)
The interim antenna system has been installed (7/2000) It is a single 20' mast with a cross beam supporting several antennas at 15'. The initial configuration is an ARROW dual-band "J" (70CM & 2M) on the cross-arm, a M2 70CM "Eggbeater" (Located at the top of the mast), and 50-1300 Mhz Modified Discone type VHF/UHF Ground Plane for scanner use (doubles as extra 2m/70cm antenna) also on the cross-arm. A short loaded CB whip for 10/11 meter activity may be also added to the cross-arm for convenience later. A 2 Meter "Eggbeater" antenna has been mounted 20" above the peak of the metal roof of this building about 35' horizontal separation from the other antenna structure, and 10' vertical separation from the 70CM Eggbeater at the top of the mast. It seems to be OK for low-medium "duplex" operation on FO-20/ 29, UO-14, AO-27 and other satellites.
Soon: A dual-band 2m/70cm 5 element beam elevated to 30 degrees may also be mounted nearby.
The Yaesu 2mtr transverter is connected to the 1976 Yaesu FT-101F, and will be used in conjunction with the Yaesu FRG-8800 AM/FM/CW/SSB receiver and associated converters with monoband pre-amps utilizing a matrix of coaxial switches to allow maximum use of antennas and radios.
The station QTH is at 2400' with mountains all around that range to above 5,000 feet. Medium to High Passes will be required.
A more comprehensive description of the elevations required to contact satellites in various directions will be mapped soon.
FOR HAWAII CONTACTS: You can contact the Koolau Amateur Radio Club, for assistance in making scheduled satellite QSO on Windward Oahu, Grid Square BL-11, UO-14, AO-27, FO-20/29 , etc. Satellite Operator.
When planning satellite QSO attempt, It is best to suggest a couple of days and passes. It is probably best for you to call the Hawaii Station, That way if there is more than one station calling on the pass, you have the best chance. Modes will vary CW, SSB is fine (or FM for AO-27), CW will be easiest to copy for a weak signal. SSB is good too, it is your choice. The best times for me to operate are 0700 to 2300 local time. Under special circumstances, other times would be considered. UTC is +8 or +7 in California dependent on daylight savings time (0700 local= 1500 UTC). Please review my QSL information page for my contact address,etc.
7/2000: "CA Station On The Air" with interim antennas.
5/01/98: G3RUH MFJ upgraded TNC/Modem recieved KO-25 w/ALINCO DT-130!!- Modem works! No PacSat activity planned until TX/RX upgrade in 2000.
3/25/98: G3RUH MFJ modem installed to MFJ 1270 TNC, Looking for 9600 station to make terrestrial tests with, then will try the pacsats with 2 meter uplink from Alinco DT-150 and downlink to Alinco RX.
KH6 SATELLITE ANTENNA SYSTEM
CALIFORNIA ANTENNA SYSTEM
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Last Updated: December 1, 2003
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