Free course allows ‘hams’ to earn initial license

CHARLESTON — A course pre­sent­ed by the Charleston Area VE Group is help­ing ama­teur radio oper­a­tors, also known as hams, gain their ini­tial license. The course will review the ques­tion bank for the exam in order to famil­iar­ize those with the con­tent of the exam­i­na­tion.

Category: General News, Misc

DSLWP amateur radio satellites launched to Lunar orbit

DSLWP is a lunar for­ma­tion fly­ing mis­sion led by Harbin Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy for low fre­quen­cy radio astron­o­my, ama­teur radio and edu­ca­tion. It con­sists of a pair of 47 kg microsatel­lites launched from the Xichang Space Cen­ter into a lunar trans­fer orbit at 21:28 GMT on Sun­day, May 20, 2018 and they will enter a 300…


A radio ama­teur and Puer­to Rico Air Nation­al Guard mem­ber involved in hur­ri­cane recov­ery there died on May 2 when a Her­cules C‑130 air­craft crashed in Geor­gia, killing all aboard. Among the nine fatal­i­ties was Eric Cir­cuns, WP4OXB, of Rio Grande, Puer­to Rico. The car­go plane, attached to the Puer­to Rico Air Nation­al Guard’s 156th Air­lift Wing, went down short­ly after take­off while on a rou­tine mis­sion to Ari­zona.

Eric had been part of this unit, and this air­craft had served dur­ing both hur­ri­cane Irma and Maria,” ARRL South­east­ern Divi­sion Assis­tant Direc­tor and Assis­tant Puer­to Rico SM Jose “Otis” Vicens, NP4G, said in a state­ment. “The peo­ple of Puer­to Rico thank him for his ser­vice and ulti­mate sac­ri­fice. He will be remem­bered.”

Accord­ing to media accounts, the 60-year-old air­craft was under repair in Savan­nah before it took off. It had been used in sev­er­al hur­ri­cane relief and recov­ery efforts and was report­ed to be on its way to Ari­zona to be decom­mis­sioned.

From  ARRL

Category: General News


China’s twin-launch Chang’e 4 mis­sion to the far side of the moon will place a pair of microsatel­lites in lunar orbit “to test low-fre­quen­cy radio astron­o­my and space-based inter­fer­om­e­try.” The two satel­lites, DSLWP-A1 and DSLWP-A2 (DSLWP = Dis­cov­er­ing the Sky at Longest Wave­lengths Pathfind­er) are expect­ed to launch in June. They will car­ry Ama­teur Radio and edu­ca­tion­al pay­loads, but not a transpon­der.

Equipped with low-fre­quen­cy anten­nas and receivers, the astron­o­my objec­tives of the two space­craft will be to observe the sky at the low­er end of the elec­tro­mag­net­ic spec­trum — 1 MHz to 30 MHz — with the aim of learn­ing about ener­getic phe­nom­e­na from celes­tial sources. They will use the moon to shield them from radio emis­sions from Earth.


Devel­oped by stu­dents at Harbin Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy (BY2HIT), the Ama­teur Radio pay­load onboard DSLWP-A1 will pro­vide a telecom­mand uplink and telemetry/digital image down­link. The open telecom­mand pro­to­col is designed to allow ama­teurs to send com­mands to take and down­load images. DSLWP-A1 down­links are 435.425 MHz and 436.425 MHz; DSLWP-A2 down­links are 435.400 MHz and 436.400 MHz, and they will use 250500 bps GMSK using 10K0F1DCN or 10K0F1DEN (10 kHz wide FM sin­gle-chan­nel data) with con­cate­nat­ed codes or JT4G. JT4 uses four-tone FSK, with a key­ing rate of 4.375 baud; the JT4G sub-mode uses 315 Hz tone spac­ing and 1260 Hz total band­width.

The microsatel­lites rep­re­sent the first phase of the Chang’e 4 mis­sion. The satel­lites will pig­gy­back on the Chang’e 4 relay pack­age and will deploy into 200 × 9,000 kilo­me­ter lunar orbits. The mis­sion involves plac­ing a relay satel­lite in a halo orbit to facil­i­tate com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the Chang’e 4 lan­der and rover, which will be sent to the far side of the moon in Decem­ber. Because the moon’s far side nev­er faces Earth, the satel­lite is need­ed to serve as an Earth-moon relay. The Chang’e 4 mis­sion will be the first-ever attempt at a soft-land­ing on the far side of the moon.

From  ARRL

The U.S. Nation­al Sci­ence Foun­da­tion is accept­ing pro­pos­als from any­one who wants to take over oper­a­tions.

By Asso­ci­at­ed Press and Dan­i­ca Coto
Jan 25, 2017 

The future of one of the world’s largest sin­gle-dish radio tele­scopes is in ques­tion after the U.S. Nation­al Sci­ence Foun­da­tion announced Wednes­day it was accept­ing pro­pos­als from those inter­est­ed in assum­ing oper­a­tions at the Areci­bo Obser­va­to­ry in Puer­to Rico.

The announce­ment comes as the fed­er­al agency runs out of funds to sup­port the obser­va­to­ry, which fea­tures a 1,000-foot-wide (305-meter-wide) dish used in part to search for grav­i­ta­tion­al waves and track aster­oids that might be on a col­li­sion course with Earth.
Offi­cials with the foun­da­tion stressed in an inter­view Wednes­day with The Asso­ci­at­ed Press that the agency prefers that the obser­va­to­ry remain open with the help of col­lab­o­ra­tors that would pro­vide a fund­ing boost.

Our (com­mu­ni­ty reviews) have rec­og­nized that Areci­bo does great sci­ence and will con­tin­ue to do great sci­ence,” said Ralph Gaume, act­ing divi­sion direc­tor for the foun­da­tion’s Divi­sion of Astro­nom­i­cal Sci­ences.

How­ev­er, he warned it’s pos­si­ble none of the pro­pos­als that have to be sub­mit­ted by late April will be cho­sen. This would leave the foun­da­tion with alter­na­tives includ­ing sus­pend­ing oper­a­tions at the obser­va­to­ry, turn­ing it into an edu­ca­tion­al cen­ter or shut­ting it down.

The first hint that the 53-year-old obser­va­to­ry was at risk came a decade ago, when a pan­el of experts rec­om­mend­ed it be shut down unless oth­er insti­tu­tions could help the foun­da­tion. The agency finances two-thirds of the obser­va­to­ry’s $12 mil­lion annu­al bud­get, and offi­cials said it could pro­vide some $20 mil­lion over a five-year peri­od to a poten­tial new oper­a­tor.

Sci­en­tists use the obser­va­to­ry in part to detect radio emis­sions emit­ted by objects includ­ing stars and galax­ies, and it has been fea­tured in the Jodie Fos­ter film “Con­tact” and the James Bond movie “Gold­en­Eye.” It attracts about 90,000 vis­i­tors and some 200 sci­en­tists a year that use the obser­va­to­ry for free to do research, said obser­va­to­ry direc­tor Fran­cis­co Cor­do­va.

How­ev­er, he told the AP that could change depend­ing on the type of pro­pos­als sub­mit­ted.

Per­haps in the future, sci­en­tists might have to pay to use it,” he said, adding that the obser­va­to­ry still plays a key role in research includ­ing the study of solar erup­tions capa­ble of dis­rupt­ing elec­tron­ic equip­ment.

The obser­va­to­ry has been threat­ened in recent years by big­ger, more pow­er­ful tele­scopes in places like Chile and Chi­na, where offi­cials recent­ly unveiled the Five-hun­dred-meter Aper­ture Spher­i­cal Tele­scope, or FAST.

The foun­da­tion said it expects to make a deci­sion by late 2017 as it awaits com­ple­tion of a final envi­ron­men­tal impact state­ment, which will out­line all alter­na­tives for the obser­va­to­ry’s future.

Category: Antenna

Solar-Terrestrial Data

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