Kennedy Space Center Amateur Radio Club - N1KSC
Kennedy Space Center Amateur Radio Club - N1KSC

Latest News

ELAD TM2 Controller Installed

Posted Apr 8, 2019 (Website Editor)

An ELAD TM2 manual controller, a recent acquisition by the Club, was paired up with the previously installed ELAD FDM-S2 SDR receiver.  The TM2 allows the use of the SDR software without the need to watch the screen of the PC, or when the PC screen is crowded with other various programs such as our logging program during contest operations.  A main tuning knob, two additional control knobs, plus 6 programmable buttons allow for easy user interface for those who prefer manual control.  A multi-color LCD display compliments the user interface.

Cape Canaveral Lighthouse - N1KSC Donation Brick Plaque

Posted Apr 2, 2019 (Website Editor)

We received a nice framed picture and thank you letter from the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation.  Last fall the club voted to make a donation to the CC Lighthouse Foundation in the form of a personalized engraved brick "KSC Amateur Radio Club N1KSC", located on the CC Lighthouse Keepers Walkway on the north side of the lighthouse close to the base of the lighthouse.  The CC Lighthouse Foundation has kindly supported KARC radio operations on-site during the International Lighthouses & Lightships Weekend event (3rd weekend of August annually).

HEIL Parametric Receive Audio System

Posted Mar 28, 2019 (Website Editor)

A recently donated HEIL Parametric Receive Audio System (PRAS) is a state-of-the-art audio system that enhances the internal audio systems of amateur radio receivers.  The PRAS allows radio operators to modify, shape, and improve the audio output of receivers using three equalization controls.  The PRAS consists of an active parametric EQ w/ two headphone outputs and a HEIL 24-watt powered 2-way speaker.  The PRAS has been installed in the ops console for use with the Yaesu FT-450 HF transceiver.  Give it try next time you operate!

ELAD FDM-S2 SDR Receiver Installed

Posted Mar 27, 2019 (Website Editor)

The recently donated ELAD FDM-S2 SDR Receiver (see Feb 14th 'News' posting) has been installed in the Shack Ops Console.  Two LMR-195 coax cables w/ RCA-to-N connectors were fabricated (one each for the HF & VHF inputs to the receiver.  The ELAD FDM-SW2 software is loaded on "iMac Alpha", and provides complete control/display of the little black box.  The addition of this state-of-the-art software defined radio adds a wide range of new capabilities to the club shack for monitoring the HF & VHF bands.

Motorola HT Charging Stations Installed

Posted Mar 27, 2019 (Website Editor)

Two Motorola 6-bay HT charging stations were installed on the south-east wall of the Shack (by the Guest Ops Desk).  These HT/battery chargers are now the permanent home for the dozen Motorola XTS-5000 HT's that we acquired for club use.  A reminder that the HT's may be used by any club member, but must be signed out for use on-center and a property pass obtained if taken off-center (coordinated w/ the club property manager).

New Coax Cable Hanger Panel

Posted Mar 23, 2019 (Website Editor)

A new radio gear coax cable hanger panel has been fabricated/installed in the shack providing easier access and organization of the various cables running to the antenna patch panel area.  The easy clip & release hooks allow quick access to the radio coax cable(s) you wish to use, initially organized left to right to match the Ops Console layout of radio equipment.  The hanger panel has 17 clips available; hard to believe we have 14 coax cables hung already running from all of our various radio gear in the shack.

N1KSC UHF Repeater Testing & Upgrades

Posted Mar 22, 2019 (Website Editor)

Upgrades to the club repeater on top of the VAB were performed 3/21 & 3/22, along with de-sense testing of the system performance.  Additions to the repeater include a larger rack enclosure hosting an upgraded UPS with increased battery capability (and future expansion growth for additional backup capacity).  Additionally, an EMR pre-selector/pre-amplifier has been installed to provide additional receiver selectivity and sensitivity.  During de-sense testing of the repeater equipment, a suspect short length of Heliax flex coax was replaced with a length of LMR-400, which we believe will improve system performance.  Thank you to John McCardle KN4OBL, Chris Durso AA4CD, Dave Harrison KE8GIJ, Michael Seay WA4ECT, and Scott Vangen WB0QMZ for their time & skills to complete this work on behalf of the club.  


Please provide feedback to the club on the repeater's performance in the weeks ahead if you notice a change.  We are very interested in the system behavior from your perspective (e.g. increased/decreased quieting, stronger/weaker gain, etc.).

Motorola XTL-5000 UHF Transceiver On-Line

Posted Mar 18, 2019 (Website Editor)

The Motorola XTL-5000 UHF Transceiver is now operational in Bay #1 of the Ops Console.  The base unit is programmed with preset memory channels for easy selection of the N1KSC repeater for both analog (FM) & digital (P25) modes, along with a number of simplex frequencies for local communications.  Simply patch up the coax cable labelled "Motorola XTL-5000 UHF" to the desired antenna (typically the Diamond X-300AN), power-up the rig, and you're good to go!

Replacement EML UPS Installed - HF EMI Noise Now Gone!

Update Mar 7, 2019 (Website Editor)

Fantastic news - the new Eaton UPS has been installed/activated, providing contingency switch-over power for the EML spectrum monitoring control room.  The nasty EMI noise from the old UPS unit, that plagued our radio HF operations since we first activated the club shack, is now gone!

Replacement EML UPS Has Arrived!

Posted Feb 22, 2019 (Website Editor)

A new high-capacity Eaton UPS has arrived at the EML building, which will replace the existing old UPS system, used for the EML spectrum monitoring control room during power transfers to generator.  The current UPS has been the known source of our severe HF EMI QRM noise, particularly on the 20m band.  When the installation is complete our operating environment should be much quieter in the HF bands, and the need to schedule a shutdown of the UPS during our operating events will be a thing of the past.

70cm Pre-Amp Replaced on Satellite Antenna Array

Posted Feb 19, 2019 (Website Editor)

Our new Systems Officer (John McCardle KN4OBL), along with the help of Dennis V. KI4KNC & Scott V. WB0QMZ, replaced the Icom AG-35 70cm pre-amp on the satellite antenna array.  The previous 70cm pre-amp was inadvertently damaged during use when troubleshooting SurfSat late last year.  The new pre-amp was checked out, and the club satellite station is now back fully operational.


On a related satellite note, a 2018 edition of Getting Started with Amateur Satellites has been kindly donated by AMSAT & Dennis V.  This definitive reference is written for the new satellite operator by Gould Smith (WA4SXM), but includes discussions for the experienced operator who wishes to review the features of amateur satellite communications.  Now's a great time to come by the shack and learn how to work the birds!

"HI" In-The-Sky!

Posted Feb 19, 2019 (Website Editor)

During a recent visit (Feb 14th) by Dr. Robert Suggs KB5EZ (NASA/MSFC) to the KARC shack, we were entertained overhead by a pair of USAF Thunderbirds practicing aerobatic maneuvers over KSC air space.  During a particular overhead pass we took notice that one of the pilots might have been trying to say "HI" to us on the ground (flying east to west, so read the pilot induced smoke contrail right to left).  dit-dit-dit-dit  dit-dit (Hmm...)


Donation of ELAD FDM-S2 SDR Receiver

Posted Feb 14, 2019 (Website Editor)

Orlando Hamcation was this past weekend (Feb 8-10), with thousands in attendance, including several club members.  One of the interesting developments to happen with amateur radio in recent years has been the infusion of Software Design Radio (SDR) technology into our hobby.  One of the companies at Hamcation displaying amateur radio SDR integrated hardware/software systems was ELAD Electronics (Italy).


ELAD Electronics CEO Franco Milan generously donated a model FDM-S2 SDR Receiver to KARC.  The FDM-S2 is a 16-bit Direct Sampling Receiver covering 9 kHz - 52 MHz HF (plus FM Band and 135 - 160 MHz VHF range in undersampling mode).  This SDR will provide the club shack with a panadaptor view of the HF/VHF spectrum, including various display & signal analysis options with the included software.

Note: Federal Government Shutdown (Dec 22, 2018 - Jan 25, 2019)

NASA & contractor personnel were furloughed during the five week period.  The January 9th KARC monthly meeting still occurred, and was an off-site social gathering at Brix Project in Titusville.

2019 KARC Officers Installed

Jan 2019 - The following officers were installed:
  • President: Kevin Zari (KK4YEL)
  • Vice President: Michael Seay (WA4ECT)
  • General Secretary: Jim Hale (KA3DHV)
  • Treasurer: Mike Williamson (KF4PGQ)
  • Systems Officer: John McCardle (KN4OBL)
  • Activities Officer: Robert Schwader (KN4NNJ)

First 6m Meteor Scatter QSO!

Posted Dec 13, 2018 (Systems Officer)

With the recent installation of the new 6m Yagi Beam antenna, we now have access to the "Magic Band", the lowest portion of the VHF spectrum allocated for amateur radio use.  A very unique mode of operating in this band is that ability to do 6m Meteor Scatter QSO's, the first of which was accomplished Thursday morning (with the help the Leonids meteor shower).  The contact was with W4IMD (EM84) in north Georgia, a distance of ~430 miles.  The QSO was established with WSJT-X (Ver 2.0), that allows for weak signal digital QSO's.  It's pretty incredible to think that this contact was enabled by little chunks of space rocks entering our atmosphere, and leaving an ionized charged trail behind that reflects our RF signals well beyond typical VHF line-of-sight restrictions between two stations.  We hope this will be the first of many more meteor scatter QSO's to follow!

ARISS SSTV Joins with NASA On The Air for a Special Event

Posted Oct 19, 2018 (Systems Officer)


ARISS News Release   No. 18-12 

Dave Jordan, AA4KN

ARISS SSTV Joins with NASA On The Air for a Special Event

Oct 19, 2018: Amateur Radio OnThe International Space Station (ARISS) is planning a very special Slow Scan TV event currently scheduled to start October 27 about 10 am UTC. Helping to support the event will be NASA’s Space, Communication and Navigation (SCaN) Dept.  The Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program manages NASA’s three most important communications networks. The Space Network (SN), Near Earth Network (NEN), and the Deep Space Network (DSN. 


Just as in past ARISS SSTV commemorations, 12 images will be downlinked, but this time with 6 featuring the SCaN educational activities while the other 6 images will commemorate  major NASA anniversaries, ie when NASA was established, astronauts first landing on the moon, etc. In addition to the fun of receiving these images, participants can qualify for a special endorsement for the NASA On The Air (NOTA) celebration event. To learn more about NOTA, visit 

Once received, Images can be posted and viewed at The transmissions are expected to be broadcast at the usual frequency of 145.800 MHz using the PD-120 SSTV mode. Please note that the event is dependent on other activities, schedules and crew responsibilities on the ISS and are subject to change at any time.  More information will follow soon, so please continue to check for news and the most current information on the and websites, the, the ARISS facebook at Amateur Radio On The International Space Station (ARISS) and ARISS twitter @ARISS_status. 

SurfSat Alternate Ground Station Support

Posted 10/3/2018 (Systems Officer)

KARC assisted in attempting to contact "SurfSat"; a recently launched cubesat developed at the University of Central Florida (UCF), with co-investigators from KSC's Launch Services Program (LSP).  The satellite was launched Sept 15, 2018 aboard a Delta II rocket out of Vandenberg into a polar orbit.  The satellite carries an experiment that will gather information about how different surfaces of a spacecraft react to electrons and ions encountered in space.  Unfortunately, no contact with the 2U CubeSat has been successful to-date from the UCF ground station, so we offered to attempt uplinking the proper command sequence while listenening for a downlink response using our new directional circular polarized Yagi satellite antennas.  No joy on our initial try with the satellite pass, but follow-up troubleshooting plans are in-work.

Satellite Antenna Upgrades Complete!

Posted 9/29/2018 (Systems Officer)

KARC successfully upgraded from the existing iso-loop satellite omni-directional antennas setup to a new directional (AZ/EL) circular polarized 70cm & 2m Yagi antennas setup purchased with club funds and generous donations from members.  The new antenna setup provides improved satellite communications reliability with increased signal gain and reduced signal fading. The upgraded satellite antenna system is fully operational and ready for club member use - go work those "Birds"!

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