Category Archives: Satellite

Beta Testing

I have volunteered to be a beta tester for the new Heavens Above Android app.  It is still in the early stages as yet, and as of today, 47 testers have signed up (in the Google community).  Being this early into the process the app is looking good.  The developers have been quite responsive and open to suggestions.

As they tell it, there will be two versions of the final product, free and paid.

As of 20 November 2014, the Heavens Above app has gone into a published status.  Check it out.  Nice app.

11/25: There is now a paid version in the Google Store for this.  Cost is $4.99.

73 de Mike, W6GYC

AMSAT Fox-1C

AMSAT has a Fundrazr campaign in progress to raise funds to launch the Fox-1C satellite in 2015.  Please become a part of this great opportunity and donate to help get this satellite launched.  please follow the link to the right to donate.

Also, if you are not already, please consider becoming a member of AMSAT.  Follow the link to the right at the AMSAT logo to get to their website, www.amsat.org

73 de Mike, W6GYC

My First Award

Yes, in recognition for my first Amateur Radio Satellite contact, AMSAT gave me an award.  Well, it cost me a couple of bucks, but I got it.

Yes, a few dollars (yes, it helps support the great work of the AMSAT volunteer workers to spread the word, and help in the advancement of Amateur Satellite knowledge), and you too can have this nice certificate sent to you.  It is a fun way to commemorate your first “bird” contact.

Check out: the AMSAT store.

amsat_com_club

73 de Mike, W6GYC

Back on Track, Sort of

Well, last night produced 2 satellite passes.  The first was LO-78.  The beacon was on so there was no transponder active, but I did manage to hear the beacon,

SO-50 is coming back.  I did hear the bird, but was unable to make any contacts.  it was pretty busy.

Oh, well.  Onward and up word, so to speak.

73 de Mike, W6GYC

Patience, is a virtue

Well, the SO-50 skeds are still not cooperating with my availability times, so I patiently wait.  I have been trying for LO-78, but to no avail.  While listening for LO-78 last week, I did catch the ISS packet bursts.  I think I got my skeds confused.  But, exciting none-the-less.

73 de Mike, W6GYC

Lithuanicasat 1 News

Lithuanicasat 1 just received it’s own OSCAR designation, it is now known as LO-78.  Some other news is that the FM transponder is turned on.  For more information on this, see the AMSAT web page.  It will be nice to have another FM bird in the sky.

LO-78s transponder it seems will be turned off at times to recharge/conserve battery power.  If you listen to the beacon frequency of 437.275 MHz and you hear the beacon, the transponder will be off.

As of 28 July 2014, LithuanicaSAT has reentered and is End Of Mission

73 de Mike, W6GYC

Stinky

Well, passes have not been good that fit into my available time slots for getting out with the antenna.  I have a few possibilities coming up this weekend, so maybe I will get lucky.  I did have a partial contact last week with a gentleman in Illinois, but we were not able to complete the QSO.  Oh, well.

73 de Mike, W6GYC

My First. Woo-hoo

OK.  Sunday 3/30/2014 at 1955 local.  So, there I was.  In my backyard.  I had made a new set up for my antenna.  I was monitoring for SO-50.  I heard QSOs.  I made my call.  I snagged one.  KL7R.  The call is from Alaska, but my contact was in grid DM53, which contains part of Arizona and New Mexico.  Wow what a trip.  On 5 watts.  That was over 500 miles.

The weather has been a little stinky.  Stormy, and since I am not the kind to go out in a storm and hold a piece of highly conductive metal to the sky.  I will have to wait for my next opportunity.

I am getting some pics together.  Keep a lookout for them.  Coming soon!

I am really jazzed.

73 de Mike, W6GYC

Tracked That Bird

Well, yesterday I picked myself up an Arrow II satellite antenna.  After fiddling with it, labeling the pieces for easy set up, I set out to try to track my first bird (satellite).

SO-50 was making a low pass to the east this evening at 0353UTC (2053 local).  I set up as I had seen in several videos, knew where the birds would rise and waited.

At about 2056 I picked up the first audio I have heard from an amateur satellite.  I did not bother at this time to note call signs, etc., I was just jazzed on successfully tracking my first satellite on amateur radio.

The contacts were heard for about 10 minutes, until the bird dropped below the north-east horizon.  My interest and curiosity is piqued.  Off I go on a new adventure.

73 de Mike, W6GYC