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

Latest News

Donation of ELAD FDM-S2 SDR Receiver

Posted Feb 14, 2018 (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 aa4kn@amsat.org

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 https://nasaontheair.wordpress.com 

Once received, Images can be posted and viewed at 
spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_SSTV/index.php. 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 AMSAT.org and ARISS.org websites, the AMSAT-BB@amsat.org, 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"!

Shack Timing System Relocation

Posted 8/25/2018 (Systems Officer)

The shack's timing system has been relocated to a new position in the left ops console (middle-lower rack mount cabinet).  This allowed the removal of the blue half-rack cabinet that was adjacent to the guest ops desk, making more room for the left-most operator position and easier access to the antenna patch panel.  The timing equipment is easily accessible behind the removable close-out door, with the three clock display selector switches located at the top position.  Power is on the same UPS as the logging iMac.

EML Ham Shack 'QSL Wall' Reaches Saturation!

Posted 8/23/2018 (Systems Officer)

Wow - the QSL cards keep coming in, and we now have over 300 cards on display on the shack east wall.  With the club having over 3,600 contacts to-date, it appears that ~8% of our radio contacts enjoy doing old school QSL card exchanges, in which we're all to happy to oblige.  It's a delight to have so many creative and unique cards from around the country & world on display in the shack, and we're now looking into where we can expand our display area (possibly into the adjacent hallway).  Thank you to all who take the time to work the cards & logging as they come in, it's a great outreach activity that we all can be proud of.

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