Two radios and a card table

On January 18 the Bullitt ARS set up 2 HF stations in a room that once housed a young Thomas Edison.  The Edison House at 739 E Washington St in Louisville is an old boarding house turned museum.  Now on the historic building register, it was once slated for demolition as the neighborhood has become primarily industrial.

The museum sports many of Edison’s inventions and the room in which the club operated was the place that Edison slept and did many of his early experiments.  If you get to the Louisville area, the museum is definitely worth the $5 admission price.

Father and son team tackle the pile-ups (KC4WQ on left, KI4GDR on right)

The Bullitt ARS put 215 QSO’s in the log over a 5 1/2 hour period, all the while battling an urban S9 plus electrical noise.  The room in which Edison lived was not very large, about 12×12 and the club squeezed 2 HF radios onto a small card table in a corner, so as not to impede other visitors to the museum.  Needless to say the quarters were cramped but spirits were high and contacts were made.

Antennas were installed a bit after 8:30AM local time.  Temperatures hovered at a balmy 15F.  Feedlines were laid between the fence and building and snaked in the front door.  How many times did Edison himself walk up those steps?  Needless to say, the antenna crew was happy to get inside and get the final connections made.  The first QSO was logged about 9:45AM local and the pileups began.

Putting a special event station on the air isn’t a difficult task.  It takes finding or creating a ‘special’ event, getting the equipment and operators together, and letting the world know that you will be on the air.  The Bullitt club decided to focus on SSB operation only, due to the limited time and space. Publicity was via QST and a Facebook event page.  Many ops commented they saw the event on one of the published sites.

A special event station is a great way to get your club ‘doing something’.  Find an event unique to your community, share the idea with the event organizers, fire up some excitement and get on the air.  Remember the QSL is the final grace of a QSO so it is important goodwill to make your certificate or special QSL card unique.

Have some fun, get your club some ‘on the air’ time beyond field day and put some Q’s in the log.  Info on this event can be found at www.ky4ky.com/special

Skywarn Days

Submitted by Rick Singleton, KC4S

The Louisville Office of the National Weather Service (NWS) was a participant in the 2013 edition of Skywarn Recognition Day (SRD) operating as WX4NWS. This is an annual event that usually falls on the first Saturday (GMT) in December and runs for 24 hours. Nationally, 103 NWS offices across the country signed up to participate. The goals of SRD are (1) for the participating NWS offices to contract as many other NWS offices as possible and (2) for amateurs to contact as many NWS offices as possible. Locally, SRD began at 7P EST on December 6 (0000 GMT, Dec 7) and ran through 5P EST on Dec 7 (2200 GMT).

Larry K4LLR and Ray K4RDE braved the snow to erect antennas

For the Louisville office, there was some doubt as to whether or not SRD would even “get off the ground”. The long term forecast a week out looked very “wintery” with some possibility of icing the day of set up (Dec 6) and dangerous driving conditions for most of it. SRD is dependent on local amateurs coming to their local NWS offices to set up and operate. If it was going to be unsafe to get to the office, then SRD would not take place.

On Thursday, Dec 5, it was decided to continue as planned. While the Louisville NWS office has an amateur VHF/UHF radio station, they do not have HF. SRD for the Lousville NWS office was like ARRL Field Day in several respects with the most significant being operating in “abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions”; at least set up and tear down was.

The SRD coordinator, Rick Singleton (KC4S), provided his portable HF gear for the event. Set up began about 12:30P on Friday, Dec 6, in windy conditions with freezing rain and sleet. Temps were in the mid-30s and falling. He was assisted by Ray Tillman (K4RDE), Larry Rodan (K4LLR) and Josh Edlin (WW4KB ). An aluminum push up mast was erected with a Cobra UltraLite Senior suspended at 38 feet as an invented vee with the ends at about 6 feet.

K4RDE working 40 meters

The ladder line feed was then run over to a fiberglass push up mast at 25 feet to suspend it over the entrance walk way to the NWS office. The screw on caps on the 4” port in the NWS conference room were removed allowing for an easy run of coax from inside to the antenna feed line. It was now about 3:30P. The freezing rain and sleet was changing over to snow and they were finished outside.

Inside set up was a breeze. SRD would be conducted from the warmth of the NWS Conference Room. The HF equipment was all contained in a portable sound system rack case. It was just a matter of removing the covers, plugging in the power supply, connecting the coax and running a ground wire between the case ground block and connecting to the previously driven ground rod outside by the wall port. The radio (Yaesu FT-857D with a LDG YT-100 tuner) was tested and was ready for the 7P start time.

The Louisville NWS last participated in SRD in December 2011 with the same set up as 2013. However, in 2011, there were no weather issues and about 20 amateurs had signed up for the 22 hour event. Twelve signed up for SRD 2013. Two of those could not make it due the weather. Ray and Larry, mentioned above, started things off on HF at 7P and were the only ones scheduled for Friday. They operated for 1.5 hours and called it a day. It was snowing, roads were bad and they had not been home since arriving at 12:30 for set up.

Operations resumed about 6:20 AM with Chris Demarsh (KI4RDG), Wes Temple (KB9OIC) and Rick Singleton (KC4S). The rest of the day went smoothly with the following operators throughout the day:

  • Chris Bean (N9TED)
  • Ray Tillman (K4RDE)
  • Larry Rodan (K4LLR)
  • John Holman (N4TVS)
  • Don Walker (KU8J)
  • Blair Schneider (KK4RXJ)

Ray and Larry came back on Saturday to help with the vacant spots for those that could not make it in. Operations ceased at 5P EST on Saturday and most everyone helped with the tear down including Josh who had helped set up on Friday. Everyone was on their way home by 6:30P due to the great team effort.

The crew, warm and toasty as the snow swirled outside

A few of the participants were getting back into ham radio, becoming active on HF or getting on HF for the first time; another way SRD was similar to ARRL Field Day. Larry (K4LLR) had recently become active on HF. John (N4TVS) was becoming active again in ham radio. Don (KU8J) and Blair (KK4RXJ) had just been licensed in June, but not as just TECHS; Don had tested to Extra and Blair to General. SRD was the first time for Don and Blair to be on HF and Blair make her first HF contact.

SRD 2013 was a success for the Louisville NWS office as an operating event. While not the contest atmosphere that ARRL Field Day can be, there is still that friendly competition among the NWS offices. As of this writing (Jan 5, 2014), not all participating offices have reported their results, but out of 42 NWS offices listed at http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mtr/hamradio/2013/2013History.php, adding Louisville to the results will place them #9 in QSOs (275), #5 in states contacted (43) and #10 in NWS offices contacted (34). Not bad with the adverse weather conditions for the event.

Photos and additional info can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151808731301569.1073741837.500506568&type=1&l=98a0e3e31d

 

 

New KY-SEC John Hudson, KO4XJ

New KY Section Emergency Coordinator:

I would like to announce that John Hudson, KO4XJ, has assumed the

duties of Section Emergency Coordinator effective Jan. 1, 2014.

John has a long history of public service and he served four years in

the U.S. Army in communications. He was licensed in 1988 and currently

holds an Advance class license. He is is past president of the Paducah

Amateur Radio Association, and has serviced as McCracken County EC and

District 1 DEC.

John is settling into his new position with the help of outgoing SEC

Kenny Garrett, N4KLG. We owe a big collective “thank you!” to Kenny

for the leadership and energy he has devoted to the KY ARES program

for the past 4-1/2 years. He has provided the direction and vision

that has helped advance and improve the ARES program in the Kentucky Section.

73,

Jim Brooks KY4Z

——————————————————————–

ARRL Kentucky Section Section Manager: James Brooks, KY4Z

ky4z@arrl.org

ARES/SKYWARN ACTIVATION

ARES/SKYWARN ACTIVATION

At 0900 AM Jan 6th, 2014 Tony Edwards WX4JK with the National Weather Service in Jackson, KY came on the East KY Linked Repeater System calling for snowfall reports. He took 14 reports.

An East KY ARES/SKYWARN Emergency Net was immediately activated by KY4JLB Johnnie Brashear ASEC Region 4. More reports where send to Weather Service by e-mail throughout the activation after being collected by Radio with the help of WB4WAU Allen Epling EC Pike County who then came onboard as Net Control with Alternate Net Control KI4MOA Larry Thacker AEC Pike County. An alternate frequency of 7.242 was established in case of repeater failure. The Letcher County ARES/SKYWARN Net was run on Linked System at 9 PM with Donnie Eldridge KJ4LOB AEC Letcher Co Net Control collecting temp. reports which were also sent to National Weather Svc in Jackson. Shelter openings were also announced on the net. Eastern KY ARES/SKYWARN Emergency Activation was Terminated at 10 PM with Operators encourged to listen to their radios next day due to low temps.

Listed below are a list of the 41 Operators who were on radio during this Emergency Activation to help collect snowfall amounts, temp readings, road conditions, and shelter openings.

KY4JLB Johnnie Brashear Perry Co ASEC Reg 4

WB4WAU Allen Epling Pike Co EC

KI4MOA Larry Thacker Pike Co AEC

WX4JKL Tony Edwards Breathitt Co

K4TDO Tim Osborne Breathitt Co AEC

WA4SWF Fred Jones Lawrence Co

KY4BP Brian Prater Pike Co

KY4RF Steve Ramey Pike Co

N4QBE Chris Riffle Letcher Co EC

KK4CZO Gary Oliver Perry Co DEC Dist 10

KK4LLG Ernie Fugate Knott Co EC

KF4MF Danny Wright Letcher Co AEC

KF4KPL Daniel Hensley Lawrence Co

K4SJA Steve Addison Owsley Co

KC4CG John Ingram Harlan Co

KJ4FVX Johnny Saylor Harlan Co

KK4IFF Jimmy Hatton Perry Co

KA4AOU Jim Osborne Perry Co

WB4NZS Morris Caudill Perry Co

WB4IEA Bob Spurlock Perry Co

KK4UUY Dacker Combs Perry Co

K4AVX John Farler Perry Co

N4KJU Johnny Hager Johnson Co DEC Dist 9

KR4YP Rick Ervin Leslie Co

KJ4LOB Donnie Eldridge Letcher Co AEC

KI4COX Keith Mckinster Carter Co EC

WB4CTX Jim Hicks Bracken Co EC

KR4WI Mathew Hollins Breathitt Co EC

KK4IWE Darren Watson Estill Co

KD4HPR Jack Buckley Knott Co AEC

KK4QBV Joh Back Letcher Co

KE4OZS David Mcpherson Knott Co

KF4EJS Chris Hacker Johnson Co EC

KF4XL Frank Belcher Pike Co

KD4ZDJ Cory Farmer Pike Co

AF4NO Greg Hess Pike Co

KK4LMU Davc Bailey Carter Co

KJ4UDN Rick Stevens Greenup Co

KI4UOL Johnny Primeau Pike Co

KD4HPR Jack Buckley Knott Co AEC

N4TLL Tim Lewis Letcher Co

First APCO P25 Phase 1 Mixed Mode Repeater

Kentucky’s first APCO P25 Phase1 Mixed Mode Repeater is on the air.

Hey guys pass this along to your club lists.

The K4TDO 146.850/146.250 is now Coordinated and on the air in Hazard, KY. This repeater is running in APCO Project 25 Digital (P25) and Analog Mode. (Mixed Mode)

What does all this mean…….?

Well in this format the repeater will repeat either FM Mode it is given by the user, P25 Digital or Analog.

It is running in 12.5 KHz Narrow Band. With 2.5 KHz of Deviation both on P25 Digital and Analog.

Here is how to program your radios.

Program 146.850 Narrow Rx with CTCSS Tone 77.0 Hz and 146.250 Narrow Tx with CTCSS Tone 77.0 Hz.

If you have a P25 Radio program the same frequencies with NAC (Network Access Code) of 293 Tx and Rx.

It is important that you program your radios with Tone Decode in order to not hear the P25 Data when the repeater is being used in Digital Mode.

It’s very annoying trust me….lol

Now all this does not leave out the folks that don’t have a newer radio that does Narrow Band…i.e 2.5 KHz Deviation.

You can still use the repeater with 5 KHz deviation. Just back off the mic a few inches and we should be able to communicate just fine.

Remember any really loud radio, (Alinco is the worst, will simply be clipped off by the repeaters receiver.

Know I know someone is asking, why in the heck did Tim come up with such a crazy repeater scheme?

It is an attempt to get HAMs in the area to look at Digital Communication in the FM repeater band.

With Surplus P25 radios all over eBay for less than 150.00 each and tons of them at Hanmfests (mainly Dayton) this is a nudge in the Digital direction.

So why didn’t I go DStar? DStar is a fine Digital format for what it is good for. But at 400+ dollars a radio it’s not for me. Nor would I ask any HAM to spend 400+ dollars on a radio.  DStar repeaters also are Digital ONLY. No analog Mode of any type.

And since NO ONE ELSE makes a DStar compatible radio except ICOM I did NOT want to be stuck in that mode.

Give it a shot you be surprised how well P25 works.

73 Tim K4TDO

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Tim Osborne K4TDO

SERA Director for KY

Frequency Coordinator

84 harvey’s Ln.

Lost Creek, KY 41348

606-260-0275

www.sera.org

k4tdo@sera.org

Satellites from Kentucky

Two Space Launches from Two Continents in Two Day
byline:
Dr. Ben Malphrus  KJ4HVE

The week of November 18 was a big week for Kentucky and for space research. Kentucky Space and their partners launched two satellites from two different continents within two days of each other. On November 19, KySat-2 a nanosatellite collaboration between Morehead State University, the University of Kentucky, and Kentucky Space LLC., launched from NASA’s mid-Atlantic launch range in Wallops Island Virginia. Two days later on November 21, UniSat-5- a 40 kg microsatellite developed as a collaboration between Morehead State University, Kentucky Space, the University of Rome La Sapienzia Aerospace Engineering School and a commercial spin-off called the Group of Astrodynamics for the Use of Space Systems (GAUSS, Inc.), launched from Yasny Russia.

Members of the Morehead State University KySat-2 Design Team (Left to Right: Dr. Ben Malphrus, Zach Taulbee, Professor Kevin Brown, Travis Miller, Jennafer Grindrod, Murphy Stratton, and Twyman Clements) showing the flight model and engineering model of KySat-2

KySat-2 is a 1.3 kg (approximately 3 pound) CubeSat whose primary mission is technical demonstration of a stellar gyroscope– an innovative star imager that will use successive images of stars and mathematical models to determine the spacecraft dynamics. KySat-2 launched at 7:32 Eastern Standard time on Tuesday as a secondary payload on the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS-3) mission on an Orbital Sciences Minotaur rocket. ORS-3 will deploy eleven small research satellites for nine universities, one high school and one NASA Center. KySat-2 is a replacement for KySat -1 which was launched in March 2011 asa secondary payload on NASA’s Glory Mission but failed to reach orbit as the NASA Taurus A launch vehicle underwent catastrophic failure. Both KySat-1 and KySat-2 were selected for flight by NASA’s Educational Launch of a Nanosatellite (ELaNa) program. The KySat-2 satellite was built exclusively in Kentucky– the satellite bus, mechanical structures, electronic power systems, solar arrays, communications systems and antenna systems were built in Morehead while the flight computer and payload was built at the University of Kentucky– under the Kentucky Space partnership that was established in 2006.

UniSat-5 launched on Thursday from a Russian ICBM missile base near Yasny, Russia. The primary mission of UniSat-5 is to flight validate innovative space hardware (including a cutting-edge flight computer) to launch secondary payloads and to provide training for university students. UniSat-5 was launched on a Dnepr rocket (a modified SS-18 ICBM) by the Kosmotras- a jointly held Russian-Ukrainian company that now manages the highly successful series of Dnepr Rockets. Students and staff of the Morehead State Space Science Center developed may of the UniSat-5 spacecraft subsystems.

Dr. Ben Malphrus (Left) and Professor Kevin Brown (Right) at the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche in Rome Italy during the integration of UniSat-5 in October 2013. Dr. Malphrus is shown integrating one of the PocketQub satellites into the UniSat-5 bus.

UniSat-5 will also serve as a “mother ship” and after 18 days in orbit will 8 smaller satellites built by aerospace companies and universities. One of these nanosatellites, Eagle-1 is a PocketQub, and will be among the smallest spacecraft ever flown. A new satellite standard was proposed in 2009 by Professor Robert Twiggs (Morehead State University) for a satellite even smaller than the CubeSat called PocketQub. This Fempto-class satellite is a 5 cm cube and can fit in a pocket. The PocketQub leverages the CubeSat standard and also leverages the revolution in the miniaturization of electronics. PocketQub™s will ultimately have a wide range of applications including: space network nodes, sensor platforms, and miniature satellite constellations that are inexpensive, redundant, and spatially organized. The Eagle-1 spacecraft, designed and built by Bob Twiggs, his students, Dr. Garrett Jernigan and students at Sonoma State University in California, is designed to provide a component testbed for PocketQub technologies, primarily among them being a de-orbit system that also increases the spacecraft radar cross section. Eagle-1, weighing approximately 430 grams (just under one pound) is one of four PocketQubs and four CubeSats that will be deployed from UniSat-5. The UniSat-5 mission is historic in that it will deploy the world’s smallest satellites (PocketQubs) and the first satellites ever built and flown by the countries of Peru and Pakistan.

The ORS-3/KySat-2 Launch was visible from much of the East coast. A visibility map showing the expected elevation is shown above.

KySpace and the Space Science Center sent teams to both launches to cover the launch and early operations (LEOP). Jeff Kruth (Electrical Engineer), Bob Kroll (Space Systems Engineer), and Eric Thomas (Star Theater Director and Microfabrication Technician) were at the NASAfacility in Wallops Island Virginia with a group of 12 space science students working the LEOP.  Dr. Ben Malphrus and Professor Kevin Brown were in Yasny Russia working the LEOP for the UniSat-5/Eagle-1 mission. Mission operations for all three satellites are being conducted by students from the Morehead State University Mission Operations Center housed in Smith-Booth Hall.

These launches follow the successful launch of Morehead State’s first satellite, the Cosmic X-Ray Background Nanosatellite (CXBN) that was launched in September 2012.

The launch of the Minotaur rocket carrying KySat-2 was visible to much of the East coast.

KySat-2, UniSat-5 and Eagle-1 (dubbed on orbit as T-LogoQube) are all operating nominally and are being tracked daily by the Morehead team.

As of now, there are three satellites orbiting the Earth that were built in Kentucky. This represents an extraordinary accomplishment for Kentucky Space, our partners, NASA Kentucky and indeed for the Commonwealth.

 

W1AW all over the place

Welcome to 2014. Seems like the ARRL is at it again.  W1AW will be operating from each and every state in the union during 2014.  Each week there will be 2 different states represented on the air.  This first week of 2014 featured WV and NC.  Kentucky will be on the air in March and late July/early August.

This year long effort is the ARRL’s centennial celebration.  The ARRL has been speaking up for amateur radio for 100 years.  In my humble opinion, without the voice and membership of the league, amateur radio would have faded into oblivion decades ago.

So, here’s the ARRL challenge for 2014.  Work All States W1AW should be a fairly easy task.  But you do need to get on the air.  Also working league members, officials, etc will be a point based award program.  For instance, working the ARRL President will garner you 300 points toward the award.  And loading all your QSO’s to the LoTW will automatically calculate and score your points.

There are also tons of special events that go on each and every week.  Many are weekend based (since that’s when most of us have free time for radio) but many others operate throughout the week (such as school club roundup).  This month the Bullitt ARS will be operating KY4KY from the Edison House in Louisville.  This is an old boarding house, now museum, where Thomas Edison boarded when he arrived in Louisville as a Western Union operator.  Edison was a mere 19 years of age so some of his early experiments were started at this little house in the Butchertown section of Louisville.  Look for the Bullitt club on the air January 18 from 1400-2100Z 10-40 meters.

Most of all, get on the air.  Put some QSO’s in the log.  Experience different modes.  Learn CW and experience the history of that amazing communications mode.  Load some soundcard software and putz around on PSK or RTTY or JT65.  But communicate!  After all, that’s what radio is really all about.

Have a great 2014 and see ya on the air!