When 10m is on, it’s REALLY on!

dx_propThis whole week, the 10m band has been through the roof. Being a ham for as long as I have, this is my first time ever working the 10 band. Previously, I have spent the majority of my time on the 20m and 40m bands, but when I saw that 10m was active, I figured I would give it a shot.

I have been working stations all over Europe and have even worked my longest contact ever, some 12,000 miles into South Africa! I also was able to make contact with a station in the Western Sahara! If only this would last…

My First SOTA Activations!

SOTA LogoRecently, I have been taking an interest in SOTA (Summits On The Air) and this week, being a holiday week, I had the chance to go on my first expedition. For those that don’t know, SOTA is “Summits On The Air”; Take your gear, climb a mountain or hill and make at least 4 contacts in order for it to be a successful activation. What I thought was great about SOTA is that it would give me a reason to actually go somewhere and do something. It seems like more and more over the past few months, I have become a homebody and when I’m not on the road working, I tend to never leave the house. No, literally… I have had complete weeks that I didn’t venture out to do anything more than check the mail. It was time to take my amateur radio hobby up a few notches… or feet.

Read more about the journey…

It’s a Good Night for 20m to Eastern Europe!

Wow. I just happened to turn on the radio tonight at approximately 11:30 local time and the 20m band was going crazy with PSK31 activity. In a matter of a few minutes, I was able to make no less that three contacts to Russia, Croatia, France, and Sardinia. Now I’m actually torn about whether I should stay up and attempt some more contacts, or do the right thing and get some sleep! 🙂

Raspberry Pi FAIL!

I know that many of you are waiting on my Raspberry Pi D-STAR script, and unfortunately, I don’t have good news again for you tonight. Apparently, the Raspberry Pi that I was trying to use tonight to test the script is a dud and has been fighting me all night. Sometimes it will boot, sometimes it won’t. Sometimes it will work and others it won’t. I am pretty sure that this is just a bad board.

I will be returning to my home QTH on Friday night and will finalize the script and testing. I am very close and was just doing the final testing when my last failure occurred. As soon as I have it ready, I will post it here. Thanks for your patience and understanding. 73s.

D-Star and Raspberry Pi Write-Up – Coming Soon!

For those of you that are waiting for my step-by-step instructions for getting the Raspberry Pi to work as a controller for the DVAP, I promise that it’s coming soon! While working on the instructions, I remembered that there were a few steps that initially gave me some trouble, so I am attempting to decipher them and simplify them a little. I have also been thinking about writing an installation script that could automate the complete process, from the initial installation to the configuration of the repeater and gateway. Anyone have any thoughts?

Stay tuned…

APRS Contact with the ISS

After some trials and tribulations, I was finally able to bounce an APRS signal off of the International Space Station this afternoon.  Needless to say, there are only a few chances per day to even attempt a contact, and each of those windows is approximately 5 minutes long.  That doesn’t give you much time to make changes and try again!  After getting a little help from KF4GTA, I was able to get my Kenwood D-710a configured to digipeat on 145.825 MHz and just had to wait for the next pass.

Once the space station was within about 800 miles, the radio started lighting up like crazy.  After a few quick attempts to send packets, I got my innergalactic confirmation!

WP_000129

My radio wasn’t the only one to light up when my packet was received. This next image is from Bobby’s radio, located a few hundred miles away from me. Basically, anyone within range of the space station got the same confirmation of my radio signal! For a very brief second, I was immortalized in geekdom!

issphoto

I must admit that it is a pretty cool feeling when your radio lights up with a confirmation of a radio acknowledgment from RS0ISS! While attempting some packet communications a few days ago, I heard a voice come over on 145.800.  After a few breaks and listening for a few minutes, I could tell that it was one of the astronauts answering questions from a school on the east coast.  I was only able to hear the downlink frequency, but it is just amazing knowing that you are listening to someone that is talking from 273 miles above the earth while moving at 17,000 mph!

I think I’m addicted!  I just wish it flew over a little more often.