SATCOM - WB6FZH Ham Satellite ISS MIR HamSat Communications

SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS-WB6FZH



NOTE: Operation from the edge of Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii has ended (1993-1999) and I have returned to Northern California.

Mir SSTV Image RX 3/99 in KH6 Greg on roof of Castle Medical Center, Kailua HI



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


NOTE: /KH6 Operation has concluded (1993-1999) and I have returned to Northern California

Kaneohe Bay, 
Oahu, HI Grid BL11 Trinity Lake, N. CA, Grid CN80 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



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SATELLITE OPERATIONS

General Information- California (CN-80) & Hawaii (BL-11)


LOCATIONS

HAWAII LOCATION (Operation 1993- 7/2000)

My former location was at the edge of Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii , facing North. The Grid Square is BL-11, and it is located: 21.25N/157.48W at Kaneohe Hawaii. Honolulu is 16 miles away, located to the South, on the other side of the Koolau Mountain Range that divides the island of Oahu. Kaneohe Bay laps at our seawall, and is a constant joy to view. When viewing a Map of Oahu, Locate the large bay on the North side of the island, That is Kaneohe Bay. I held several offices, wrote the newsletter and set-up the first KARC website. The Koolau Amateur Radio Club meets in Kaneohe monthly.

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

CALIFORNIA LOCATION (1973- Present)

The station location is in metropolitan Weaverville, on highway 299 in Trinity County, Northern California. It is in Grid Square CN-80, located at : Latitude 40.7335N Longitude 122.9340W. Weaverville 49 miles West of Redding, CA. The elevation is about 2500 feet above sea level, with The Trinity Alps rising to 5,000 above. The Trinity River and Trinity Lake are famous for their Trout, Steelhead, Bass and Salmon.

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.


SATELLITE OPERATIONS

HAWAII LOCATION- (1993 to 7/2000)- Note: Operation Ended in 2000

FO-20/29 & RS-12/15/16- SSB/CW, AO-27 FM VOICE

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. .

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA [CN-80]- (1973- Present)-Updated- 12/2003

The Weaverville satellite station is now on the air. Satellite and ISS activity is limited, due to priority ARES, MARS and other responsibilities. If you need this grid square (CN-80) for award,etc. contact me and we will arrange a satellite. The 145.8 mhz downlink of ISS is monitored 24/7 for voice and packet activity.

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.


SCHEDULED CONTACTS

FOR CALIFORNIA CONTACTS: If you would like to try a scheduled contact, for CN-80 GRID SQUARE, E-MAIL WB6FZH I will do the very best I can to help you make contact

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.


WB6FZH SATELLITE EQUIPMENT (California)


EQUIPMENT/STATION UPDATES-

10/2000: CA Station Antennas at first stage- see CA Operations Section.

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.


ANTENNA SYSTEMS

KH6 SATELLITE ANTENNA SYSTEM

CALIFORNIA ANTENNA SYSTEM


SATCOM LINKS- Satellite Communications Websites

NOTE: Some of these pages are disappearing, sorry for any dead links!


PARTS, KITS & MANUFACTURERS


Please Send URLs of other Satellite Websites and Satellite Operators for listing here. Thanks!-Greg


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73- Greg WB6FZH


Last Updated: December 1, 2003

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