FCC’s Spectrum Dashboard

Many hams feel that they “own” the ham bands. Nothing could be further from the truth, though. In the UHF and microwave regions, we share those bands with other services.

Don’t believe me? Try out the FCC Spectrum Dashboard. According to this website,

The Spectrum Dashboard allows new ways for citizens to search spectrum in the United States. Use the dashboard to find out how spectrum is being used, who owns spectrum licenses around the country, and what spectrum is available in your county.

It covers the frequency range 225 MHz – 3.7 GHz, which are the frequencies generally deemed the best for wireless broadband service, and therefore, the frequencies most sought after right now.

You can do all kinds of searches, including:

  • search by frequency band,
  • search by service,
  • search by location, and
  • browse through the spectrum.

I just did a search for frequencies used by the amateur radio service and discovered that we share the 420 – 450 MHz band with the following services:

  • Industrial/Business Radio Service
  • Public Safety Radio Service
  • Radiolocation Service

This is a great tool for any ham interested in spectrum issues.

Are Wouxoun Radios Illegal?

IC-2ATOn our ham radio club’s mailing list, a new Tech innocently asked what kind of HT he should buy. Since he mentioned that he was going to an upcoming hamfest, he asked about used equipment, and several folks suggested that he look for an ICOM IC-2AT (see right), noting that they were ruggedly built and that many were still in service. They didn’t really not that tuning them involved flipping thumbwheel switches and that to get PL tones you have to purchase a $40 board that you have to mickey-mouse into the radio, but hey, they are built like the proverbial brick outhouse.

Wouxun KG-UVD1Some guys suggested buying one of the new Chinese HTs (see right) now being sold here. They noted that for just a little more than $100, you not only get a dual-band radio, but a boatload of accessories as well.

At this point, Jeff, W8SGZ, our self-proclaimed club curmudgeon wrote:

I’ve been doing a little research.

The US “dealer” is Ed Griffin W4KMA, owner of KMA Antennas in N. Carolina (www.wouxon.us). So at least there is a US presence. The only thing that  concerns me is one little specification : spurious emission is listed as <30dB.

Part 97 says ” For a transmitter having a mean power of 25 W or less, the mean power of any spurious emission supplied to the antenna transmission line must not exceed 25 uW and must be at least 40 dB below the mean power of the fundamental emission, but need not be reduced below the power of 10 uW.” The question is, is their 30dB enough to get down to 10 uW? With only 5 W to start with, maybe it is.

The particular model in question, KG-UVD1P, is FCC “certificated” (I love that word, it’s so nonsensical) under Part 90, so it should be at least of a certain quality level. And at half the price of anything comparable from the Big 3 (or 4 if you count Alinco), it doesn’t sound bad.

Now, according to my calculations, -30 dB, only gets you down to 5 mW. To get down to 10 uW, spurious emissions would have to be -57 dB. When I replied with that information, Jeff said:

This little radio is causing me a lot more work than I like, but once I get my teeth into an investigation, I can’t seem to let it go.

Although the sales literature (what there is of it) states 30dB for spurious emissions, the User Manual states 60 dB. From what I can make out from the test reports submitted to the FCC, the actual attenuation is in the mid 20s (depending on frequency).

And most bizarre of all is this except from a letter from Wouxon to the FCC:

We would like to have the 136-174 MHz frequency range appear on the face of the FCC Grant of Certification for our Part 90 Certification. This frequency range contains frequencies regarded as usual & customary by the United States Federal Government and its various departments, user organizations and the military.

  1. The applicant plans to ensure that USA users, other than those specifically identified in this letter, not operate within bands which are not allowed by the Part 90, as controlled by the users’ FCC station license.
  2. This devise will not be marketed to USA users, other than those identified in the letter, namely the US Government and its various departments & military, for operation in frequency range out of Part 90.
  3. The applicant acknowledges that it is a violation of FCC rules if the device operates on unauthorized frequencies

Is it just me, or does all this sound like W4KMA is in violation of FCC regulations by selling these to US hams? And are US hams who buy and use them in violation as well?

There has to be a loophole somewhere that I am missing. I mean hams are continually retuning commercial (ie Part 90) equipment to use on amateur frequencies. Why would this be any different? The applicant acknowledges that it is a violation of FCC rules if the device operates on unauthorized frequencies.

So, what do you think? It sounds to me as though the Wouxoun radios don’t meet spec and should not be allowed to be sold in the U.S.

The W8SRC Repeater Guide

“The W8SRC Repeater Guide” is a database of analog FM repeaters across SE Michigan, parts of NW Ohio, and parts of SW Ontario that is constantly updated based on my reception.

On a linked repeater system, “Activity” refers to the activity of that particular repeater being transmitted on.

PLs in parentheses mean that the repeater sometimes requires the given PL. If you want to key up a repeater on this database with a PL in parentheses, key up the repeater with carrier access first; if that fails, use the given PL.

At the bottom of the post you will see when this repeater database was last updated and the last 5 updates of the database.  Updates include additions, deletions, or any frequency, PL, VOIP node, or callsign change of a repeater, as well as if a repeater goes down or back up.

Repeaters in bold indicate any involvement in repeater programming that I have done.

For information on the nets that take place on some of these repeaters, check out the post, “Southeastern Michigan Area VHF/UHF Nets.”

Metropolitan area covered (County[ies] covered)

Frequency Input PL Callsign Activity Comments
Ann Arbor area (Washtenaw)
29.640 29.540 114.8 WD8DPA Down Linked to 444.975
51.740 51.240 88.5 W2PUT Down Linked to 927.9875 locally, and 444.100 and 927.4875 in Milan, IRLP node 4428
145.150 144.550 100.0 N8DUY Active Skywarn/ARPSC, courtesy tone introduced by W8SRC
145.230 144.630 100.0 W8UM Medium Echolink node 301138
146.740 146.140 (107.2) WB8UPM Inactive
146.920 146.320 (100.0) KT8TD Active  ARPSC Backup
146.960 146.360  (100.0) WB8TKL Active  Owned by W8PGW
147.420 147.420 (100.0) W8SRC Down Medium-coverage simplex repeater, at 100 watts ERP from 24 feet AGL
224.340 222.740 W8UHW Inactive
224.380 222.780  (100.0) W8PGW Inactive
443.050 448.050 107.2 N8LBV Inactive
443.500 448.500 (100.0) W8PGW Inactive
443.650 448.650 100.0 N8AMX Very inactive
444.075 449.075 82.5 WR8DAR Very inactive
444.975 449.975 107.2 WD8DPA Down Linked to 29.640
446.150 441.150 100.0 W8SRC Medium Wide-coverage repeater, at 72 watts ERP from 32 feet AGL, KC8LMI linked repeater system, HF/6m/2m/70cm remote base, AR Newsline, ARRL Audio News, NOAA weather receiver
927.9875 902.9875 131.8 (use D025) W2PUT Inactive Linked to 51.740 locally, and 444.100 and 927.4875 in Milan, IRLP node 4428
Chelsea area (Washtenaw)
145.450 144.850 100.0 WD8IEL Medium
146.980 146.380 100.0 WD8IEL Medium Programmed by W8SRC
224.160 222.560 100.0 WD8IEL Medium
443.575 448.575 100.0 WD8IEL Active CMEN linked repeater system, Echolink node 41083, Allstar node 28236, programmed by W8SRC
Howell (Livingston)
145.410 144.810 162.2 K8JBA Very inactive
146.500 147.500 131.8 N8EOC Inactive ARPSC, Shared Non-Protected Repeater (SNPR)
146.680 146.080 (162.2) W8LRK Active Skywarn
444.525 449.525 100.0 W8LRK Inactive
442.675 447.675 141.3 W2GLD Medium Echolink node 636674, IRLP node 4615, Allstar node 27845, HF/6m/2m remote base, AR Newsline, ARRL Audio News, NOAA weather alerts
Jackson area (Jackson/Ingham)
51.620 51.120 100.0 KA8ZXX Active Wide-coverage repeater, backup repeater programmed by W8SRC
145.310 144.710 110.9 K8YQP Inactive Remote base, low coverage repeater, programmed by W8SRC
145.470 144.870 114.8 W8IRA Medium IRA linked repeater system (linked to Lansing)
146.880 146.280 100.0 W8JXN Medium Skywarn
147.360 147.960 100.0 KA8HDY Active KC8LMI linked repeater system, Echolink node 644275, remote base, mainly programmed by W8SRC
443.175 448.175 77.0 WD8EEQ Inactive
443.875 448.875 100.0 KC8LMI Very active KC8LMI linked repeater system, Echolink node 644275, wide-coverage repeater, remote base, programmed by W8SRC
444.175 449.175 100.0 KA8YRL Inactive IRLP node 4463
444.950 449.950 W8SRC Active Temporary low-coverage repeater, at 50 watts from 30 feet
927.0125 902.0125 131.8 N8URW Active KC8LMI linked repeater system, Echolink node 644275, remote base
Lansing area (Ingham/Eaton/Shiawassee/Clinton)
51.700 51.200 192.8 WB8RJY Very inactive Wide-coverage repeater
52.960 52.460 KD8PA Down
145.390 144.790 100.0 W8BCI Active
145.470 144.870 107.2/100.0 W8IRA Active IRA linked repeater system (linked to Jackson)
146.700 146.100 107.2 W8BCI Medium
146.940 146.340 100.0 W8BCI Active
147.020 147.620 100.0 N8DVH Inactive
147.080 147.680 103.5 K8CHR Inactive
147.280 147.880 100.0 KB8LCY Active CMEN linked repeater system, Echolink node 41083, Allstar node 28236
224.980 223.380 100.0 W8BCI Inactive
442.025 447.025  173.8 N8JI Inactive
442.050 447.050 100.0 N9UV Inactive
442.400 447.400 100.0 N8DVH Inactive
442.425 447.425 100.0 KD8PA Usually medium
442.900 447.900 77.0 W8MSU Very inactive
443.000 448.000 107.2 KD8IFI Inactive CMEN linked repeater system, Echolink node 41083, Allstar node 28236
443.525 448.525 100.0 W8CLI Inactive
443.625 448.625 100.0 N8HEE Medium
443.700 448.700 WB8RJY Medium Does not identify itself
444.000 449.000 173.8 N8TSK Inactive Identifies as N8TSK and KD8AGP
444.575 449.575 107.2 N8OBU Pretty active CMEN linked repeater system, Echolink node 41083, Allstar node 28236
444.850 449.850 141.3 WC8CLI Inactive
445.500 440.500 94.8 KD8AGP Very inactive Shared Non-Protected Repeater (SNPR)
910.250 439.250 N8OBU ??? ATV repeater (LSB input, AM output)
927.525 902.525 131.8 (use D073?) KB8FUN ???
Flint area (Gennessee/Shiawassee)
51.860 51.360 K8DAC ???
145.190 144.590 100.0 W8YUC ???
145.290 144.690 100.0 N8IES Medium
145.410 144.810 91.5 W8YUC Inactive CMEN linked repeater system, Echolink node 41083, Allstar node 28236 (also used in West Branch, but still inactive, and not linked up)
146.780 146.180 151.4 W8CMN Medium
147.060 147.660 100.0 N8NJN Inactive Low-coverage repeater
147.100 147.700 100.0 KC8KGZ Active
147.260 147.860 100.0 KC8KGZ Very active Skywarn
147.340 147.940 100.0 W8ACW Medium
147.380 147.980 100.0 N8NE Inactive
224.060 222.460 100.0 N8NJN Inactive
224.180 222.580 88.5 KF8UI Medium
224.480 222.880 100.0 KC8KGZ Inactive
224.620 223.020 100.0 W8FSM Inactive
224.860 223.260 100.0 N8IES ???
224.960 223.360 W8YUC Down
442.250 447.250 100.0 KA8ZAU Inactive
442.300 447.300 91.5 W8YUC Inactive
442.350 447.350 107.2/88.5 W8FSM Active CMEN linked repeater system, Echolink node 41083, Allstar node 28236
442.625 447.625 100.0 N8IES Medium CMEN linked repeater system, Echolink node 41083, Allstar node 28236
443.200 448.200 151.4 KC8YGT Medium
443.975 448.975 67.0 KB8PGF Inactive
444.025 449.025 100.0 KB8SWR Medium CMEN linked repeater system, Echolink node 41083, Allstar node 28236
444.200 449.200 107.2 W8ACW Inactive
444.375 449.375 W8JDE Inactive
444.600 449.600 W8JDE Inactive
444.650 449.650 100.0 KC8KGZ Inactive
927.5375 902.5375 131.8 N8VDS Inactive CMEN linked repeater system, Echolink node 41083, Allstar node 28236
927.6875 902.6875 131.8 (use D025?) W8FSM ???
1253.250 439.250 KC8KGZ ??? ATV repeater, input on LSB mode, output on AM mode
South Lyon (Oakland)
147.040 147.640 110.9 K8VJ Active
White Lake (Oakland)
145.490 144.890 67.0 N8BIT Usually inactive
Clarkston (Oakland)
146.840 146.240 100.0 K8NWD Medium/active
Detroit area (Wayne/Oakland/Macomb/Essex, ON)
53.760 53.260 151.4 W8FSM ???
53.940 53.440 NE9Y ???
145.110 144.510 100.0 W8DET Inactive
145.170 144.570 100.0 KA8SPW Inactive Currently still identifies as K8RUR
145.270 144.670 100.0 K8UTT Medium Linked to 224.520
145.330 144.730 100.0 WR8DAR Very active  Skywarn
145.350 144.750 100.0 K8UNS Active
145.410 144.810 118.8 VE3EOW Medium
145.430 144.830 100.0 W8JIM Pretty inactive
145.470 144.870 118.8 VE3RRR Medium
146.640 146.040 100.0 W8HP Very active
146.760 146.160 100.0 KE8HR Very active  Skywarn
146.860 146.260 100.0 KK8GC Medium
146.900 146.300 100.0 W8OAK Very active  Skywarn
147.000 147.600 118.8 VE3WIN Active
147.060 147.660 118.8 VE3III Medium Canwarn
147.080 147.680 100.0 N8LC Active AR Newsline
147.140 147.740 (100.0) N8KD Medium
147.160 147.760 100.0 WR8DAR Active
147.180 147.780 100.0 K8UO Very active
147.200 147.800 100.0 WA8MAC Inactive
147.220 147.820 N8EDV Very inactive
147.240 147.840 WY8DOT Medium
147.330 147.930 151.4 KC8LTS Inactive APCO-P25 repeater, can key up with FM transceivers
224.360 222.760 103.5 KC8LTS Very inactive?
224.460 222.860 N8EDV ???
224.520 222.920 100.0 K8UTT Very inactive Linked to 145.270
224.700 223.100 100.0 K8PLW Medium
442.100 447.100 107.2 K8PLW Inactive
442.175 447.175 123.0 KC8LTS Very active CMEN linked repeater system, Echolink node 41083, Allstar node 28236
442.275 447.275 100.0 W8TX Very inactive
442.475 447.475 88.5 W8JIM Inactive
442.500 447.500 107.2 WB8NXP Active  IRLP node 4460
442.775 447.775 107.2 N8BK Very inactive Echolink node 331551
442.800 447.800 107.2 WR8DAR Medium
442.925 447.925 100.0 N8LC Inactive Low-coverage repeater, Echolink node 47081
443.075 448.075 123.0 WW8GM Medium/inactive
443.100 448.100 82.5 WR8DAR Medium
443.125 448.125 107.2 N8DJP Medium
443.225 448.225 107.2 W8HP Inactive/medium
443.475 448.475 88.5 WR8DAR Active
443.550 448.550 107.2 KA8WYN Inactive
443.625 448.625 151.4 KC8UMP Active
443.725 448.725 100.0 K8ZKJ Inactive
444.000 449.000 100.0 WB8CQP Inactive
444.225 449.225 107.2 N8XN Medium
444.300 449.300 118.8 VE3RRR Inactive
444.325 449.325 107.2 W8OAK Medium
444.350 449.350 82.5 K8UH Inactive
444.425 449.425 118.8 WR8DAR Very inactive Low-coverage repeater
444.600 449.600 118.8 VE3WIN Inactive?
444.750 449.750 K8PLW Very inactive
444.800 449.800 110.9 N8OVI Medium
444.875 449.875 123.0 K8UNS Inactive
927.125 902.125 131.8 (use D025?) WR8DAR ???
927.250 902.250 131.8 (use D025?) W8FSM ???
927.2625 902.2625 131.8 (use D025?) W8FSM Inactive CMEN linked repeater system, Echolink node 41083, Allstar node 28236
927.4875 902.4875 131.8 (use D025?) KC8LTS Inactive? CMEN linked repeater system, Echolink node 41083, Allstar node 28236 (connected to links or not?)
927.5125 902.5125 131.8 (use D025?) N8NM ???
927.6875 902.6875 131.8? (use D025?) K8UH Medium Echolink node 71379
Monroe area (Monroe/Washtenaw/Lucas, OH)
29.680 29.580 W8HHF ???
52.780 52.280 K8OF ???
145.310 144.710 W8YZ Inactive?
146.610 146.010 103.5 K8ALB Medium
146.720 146.120 100.0 K8RPT Very active  Skywarn
146.940 146.340 103.5 W8RZM Inactive
147.120 147.720 103.5 K8ALB Inactive
147.270 147.870 103.5 W8HHF Very active Skywarn
147.345 147.945 103.5 WJ8E Medium
147.375 147.975 103.5 W8RZM Very active Skywarn
224.140 222.540 103.5 W8HHF Inactive
224.440 222.840 103.5 WJ8E Down?
224.540 222.940 103.5 WB8OET Inactive Low-coverage repeater
442.650 447.650 100.0 K8RPT Inactive?
442.825 447.825 100.0 K8RPT Medium
442.850 447.850 103.5 W8HHF Medium
442.950 447.950 103.5 WJ8E Medium Skywarn
443.300 449.300 103.5 N8UAS Medium
443.750 448.750 103.5 KI8CY Very inactive Low-coverage repeater
443.775 448.775 103.5 KC8GWH Inactive
444.025 449.025 103.5 W8MTU Down ARES
444.100 449.100 82.5 W2PUT Very active Linked to 927.4875 locally, and 51.740 and 927.9875 in Ann Arbor, IRLP node 4428
444.275 449.275 107.2 W8AK Inactive
444.550 449.550 100.0 N8OSC Inactive
444.850 449.850 103.5 N8EFJ Very active
444.925 449.925 103.5 W8MTU Inactive ARES
444.950 449.950 103.5 N8LPQ Active
927.4875 902.4875 131.8 (use D025) W2PUT Medium? Linked to 51.740 and 927.9875 in Ann Arbor, and 444.100 locally, IRLP node 4428
927.9125 902.9125 131.8 KD8KCF Medium KC8LMI linked repeater system, Echolink node 644275, remote base
1285.000 1273.000 WJ8E ???
1287.000 1275.000 WJ8E ???
Lapeer area (Lapeer)
146.620 146.020 100.0 W8LAP Very active Linked to 443.450, Skywarn
224.800 223.200 100.0 W8LAP Inactive
442.700 447.700 100.0 W8LAP Medium
443.450 448.450 100.0 KG8ID Medium Linked to 146.620
Hillsdale area (Hillsdale)
147.060 147.660 151.4/179.9 KC8QVX Medium
147.440 147.440 103.5 K8LRC Inactive Simplex repeater, programmed by W8SRC
444.825 449.825 107.2 KC8QVX Medium IRLP node 4812
Adrian area (Lenawee)
145.370 144.770 85.4 W8TQE Medium
443.375 448.375 107.2 K8ADM Inactive
444.675 449.675 123.0 W8TQE Inactive

Last updated:

07/05/2014

Last 5 updates:

Changed antenna height for the 446.150 W8SRC Dexter repeater from 24′ AGL (966′ ASL) to 32′ AGL (974′ ASL).

147.420 W8SRC Dexter simplex repeater is off-air.

Changed the W2GLD Pinckney repeater’s frequency from 445.500- to 442.675+.

Updated features for the 446.150 W8SRC Dexter and 443.875 KC8LMI Aurelius repeaters.

Changed the KD8KCF Toledo repeater’s frequency and PL tone from 927.225 PL 100.0 to 927.9125 PL 131.8.

Understand the Unlicensed Services

We share several of our UHF bands with unlicensed services, and from time to time, you’ll encounter those signals on the bands. Another reason to be familiar with them is that there are companies that have their eyes on them.

A recent article on this topic, “Understanding regulations when designing a wireless product in the unlicensed frequency bands,” notes:

The wireless unlicensed frequency bands—especially the industrial, scientific, medical (ISM) bands—are the most appropriate for many new applications and products. They are part of the frequency spectrum that can be used without a license. However, products developed in these bands still are required to be compliant with rules defined by the country’s regulatory bodies before being deployed in the field. This article focuses on the technical design requirements and mandates for the US region.

Could be interesting reading.

AM/FM/2m?

The C. Crane Company has for many years sold radios that they claim have superior AM band performance. They used to advertise a lot on the Coast to Coast AM radio show, touting how the radio was capable of pulling in the show, even if your local station didn’t carry it. They probably still do, for all I know.

There is, of course, a ham radio connection. Art Bell, the longtime host of the show, is W6OBB.

At any rate, C. Crane is now selling the CC-Radio2, which not only touts it’s AM-band performance, but also includes coverage of the 2m ham band. The website says,

The addition of the 2-Meter Ham band may make the CCRadio-2 a life saver during an emergency like hurricane Katrina. 2-Meter Ham operators are early on the scene and they donate their time while handling perhaps 90% of the emergency coordination efforts. The CCRadio-2 can act like a simple radio scanner and search the five memories for ham operator communications. The sensitivity (squelch) can be adjusted for best results.

The C. Crane website has a whole Web page devoted to the 2m band and ham radio in general.

C. Crane sells a whole bunch of stuff that might be of interest to ham radio operators. It’s a site worth checking out.

More Sweet Tweets

Here are some more links to interesting Web pages I found by Twittering:

  • N3OX’s Remote Tuner Control. N3OX has added some servo motors and controls to a manual antenna tuner so that he can move it closer to the antenna, but still control it from inside the shack. Very inexpensive solution.
  • Band Plans for 900 MHz and Above. KB9MWR feels that the future of ham radio is above 900 MHz. I don’t know that I totally agree, but I do think we need to start thinking more about those bands. Give this a read.
  • Morse Code vs. Text Messaging. Chas Sprague, who’s not a ham, ruminates on how Morse Code could make text messaging more efficient. I wholeheartedly agree! Someone get this man his ham ticket.
  • Ham Logging as a Service. There’s been a lot of twittering about this KE9V blog post. I like the idea myself, and if I had more time, I might even take a crack at it. Anyone want to collaborate?
  • Planning a Digital ATV Station. After pondering a digital ATV station for the museum, I opted to go analog. If I’d seen this article first, I might have opted to stick it out and go digital.

Digital TV?

For our Ham Radio at the Hands-On Museum project, we want to set up a television station. My first thought was to buy a transmitter from PC Electronics that sends standard-scan analog TV. Then, I got to thinking, why bother with that? If our goal is to show that we’re at least up with current technology, then shouldn’t we be doing digital TV?

I have found a bunch of European hams doing digital TV using the European standard and one page of links on DXZone:

So far, though, I haven’t seen anything on ATV using the new US standard. Is anyone out there experimenting with this or even making gear that I can purchase?

German AMSAT First To Bounce Signals Off Venus

From the April 3, 2009 ARRL Letter:

On March 25, a group from AMSAT-DL bounced radio signals off the surface of Venus, marking the first time Amateur Radio operators have bounced radio signals off another planet. According to AMSAT-DL President Peter Guelzow, DB2OS, the Earth-Venus-Earth (EVE) transmission is another step in preparing for a mission to Mars.

According to an AMSAT-DL press release, the team’s transmitter was generating about 6 kW CW on 2.4 GHz. Guelzow said that signals were sent from a ground control station at the IUZ Sternwarte observatory in Bochum: “After traveling almost 100 million kilometers and a round trip delay of about 5 minutes, they were clearly received as echoes from the surface of Venus. This was the first German success to receive echoes of other planets. In addition, this is the farthest distance crossed by radio amateurs, over 100 times further than echoes from the moon (EME reflections).”

The EVE experiment was repeated on March 26 for several hours with “good echoes” from Venus, Guelzow said. “Morse code was used to transmit the well-known ‘HI’ signature known from the AMSAT OSCAR satellites.”

For receiving the EVE reflections, Guelzow said that the team used a fast Fourier transform (FFT) analysis with an integration time of 5 minutes. “After integrating for 2 minutes only, the reflected signals were clearly visible in the display,” he said. “Despite the bad weather, signals from Venus could be detected from 1038 UTC on until the planet reached the local horizon.”

Guelzow explained that with the EVE reflections, the high power amplifier “has therefore passed this crucial test as a final key component for the planned P5-A Mars mission. By receiving generated echoes from Venus, the ground and command station for the Mars probe has been cleared for operational use and the AMSAT-DL team is now gearing up for building the P5-A space probe. AMSAT-DL wants to show that low-budget interplanetary exploration is possible with its approach.”

Development, design and construction of this first German Mars mission have been achieved by AMSAT-DL and its partner organizations, Guelzow explained. “Already a third of the total project costs were performed. More work shall follow during the mission. AMSAT-DL would like to demonstrate that their approaches to low-cost space missions are feasible.”  

Information provided by AMSAT-DL. Pictures of the equipment used can be found on the AMSAT DL website.

New Year’s Resolutions

I know it’s pretty dopey to do New Year’s resolutions, but I’m going to do it anyway. Maybe if I list them, I’ll actually get some of them done this year.

  • Build more. High on my list of things to build is “A Simple Regen for Beginners.” I even have the PC board already. I’d also like to try some of the receivers described by George, G3RJV, at the two Four Days in May that I’ve attended.
  • Put up that 80m loop antenna. I’ve been saying that I”m going to do this for a couple of years now.
  • Get on 900 MHz. I’m throwing in an easy one. I’ve already sent off the check to get a 900 MHz radio so that I can get on the repeater here in Ann Arbor. Over and above just getting on, though, I want to explore some digital communications possibilities.
  • Work on some Mac software projects. It shouldn’t be too hard to come up with some simple ham radio software that will run on the Mac.

Space Station QSO a Success

Thanks to Ig, N0EFT, and his crew:

  • Tim, WA8VTD, back up radio operator;
  • Steve, KB9UPS, ARISS mentor and antenna and az/el rotor operator;
  • Olivia, KC8VGH, who handled the microphone and kids; and
  • Candy. KD8IPC, who made the initial contact and helped with the kids;

yesterday’s Space Station contact from the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum was a success. Despite the low orbit (21 degrees), the contact lasted nearly nine minutes and they were able to ask 14 questions.

I hope to post video later, but in the meantime, here are a couple of news stories: