31 Mar 2014

Geo Stationary Satellite Transponders expected to Launch.

Spotted this on news feeds yesterday and I think it will be pretty cool when this project is up and running, I really think it will help more radio amateurs explore the Microwave bands a bit more so I'm looking forward to the launch date at the end of 2016:

Two Geostationary Ham Radio Transponders

AMSAT-DL President, Peter Guelzow DB2OS, has confirmed there will be two amateur radio transponders on the Geostationary Es’hail 2satellite planned to launch at the end of 2016 

Peter Guelzow DB2OS has provided the following information:

Es'HailSat-2 will carry two geostationary “Phase 4” amateur radio transponders. Es'HailSat-2 will provide a 250kHz linear transponder intended for conventional analogue operations in addition to another transponder which will have an 8MHz bandwidth. The latter transponder is intended for experimental digital modulation schemes and DVB amateur television. The launch date is expected by the end of 2016.

Precise uplink and downlink frequencies remain to be finalized but the uplinks will be in the 2.40-2.45GHz and the downlinks in the 10.450-10.500GHz amateur satellite service allocations. 

Both transponders will have broad beam antennas to provide full coverage over about 1/3rd of the earth’s surface. Precise operational plans will be finalised over the coming months but it is anticipated that only quite simple ground equipment will be required to use this satellite.

A team of amateurs, led by Peter Guelzow DB2OS (President of AMSAT-DL) are providing technical support to this ground breaking project which is expected to provide an exciting new phase of activity for radio amateurs for the 21st century.

The project is a result of a concept proposed by the Qatar Amateur Radio Society.

Es’hailSat announces tender process for Es’hail 2

Es’hailSat – the Qatar Satellite Company 

Presentation by Peter Guelzow DB2OS, President of AMSAT-DL, at the 2013 AMSAT-UK Colloquium

AMSAT Deutschland 

27 Mar 2014

M0XII/P - UKAC 50Mhz Contest - March

March's UKAC 50Mhz Contest from locator square IO91MP was busy at times but many multiplier squares missing. Weather conditions up at IO91MP were very cold with temperatures dropping to 2-3 degrees Celsius but it was dry all the same, activity this month especially up to the North of the country was again fantastic from locator's IO82, IO92, IO83 & IO93 squares, conditions seemed to be a lot more favorable around these squares within the middle of the UK and it really has made me reconsider my portable location to be in with some chance of competing with stations in the above squares mentioned. Unfortunately band conditions this month were only average as I also suffered with heavy QRM and at times including some strange QRN building up towards the North throughout the contest which made life very difficult pulling out the weak ones in the noise but a big thank you to all who persisted with great patience. 

At the best of times during this contest it felt like you had to fight with some stations to hold down onto run QRG, yet there was plenty of band space??! I really don't understand some stations why they don't / can't listen on a QRG in all directions especially when using arrays, then if nothing is heard in all directions then ASK "is this frequency in use", when nothing is heard back then proceed and call your CQ its not that hard. It's such a shame that the DX code of conduct is a thing of the past these days and not taken into consideration in our hobby any more, why people don't listen and running out of patience is beyond me!!! I'm not the band police but it really pisses me off the way some stations carry on. 

Anyway my observations of the 6 meter (50Mhz) band conditions over the last 3 months have noticed that the band has been down below average especially from IO91 Square, I really hope this long wait to the start of the Sporadic E season ends soon as it would be really nice to hear some European DX stations into the evenings.

This month I finished the contest with a claimed score of 81 QSO's and 9 Multiplier squares and a total of 77,427 points with a total of 4 DXCC entities worked, it was really nice to catch Ian GM3SEK up in Whithorn in Scotland in IO74 Square as my furthest DX of 415Km on one of my favourite modes CW just towards the end of the contest, it was a really nice surprise. Thanks again to all stations for the points and multipliers this month it was much appreciated.

My working conditions again was the same as last month an FT847 Transceiver with 100 watts into a 5 Element Home brew Yagi up only about 10 foot from ground.

Here is a shot of my Portable setup:

 Below is a Map of the QSO's made during the contest from Locator Square IO91MP:

Again thanks to all who gave away points during this contest and I do look forward to working you again in the next UKAC contest.


4 Mar 2014

50MHz UKAC February 2014 Results

The following is from Roger - G4BVY

The activity level in the 50MHz UKAC is increasing month by month. February saw another all time record entry of 180 stations. Again conditions were poor and portable stations were confronted by freezing temperatures and high winds. There were 295 active stations in 23 UK squares and 4 non-UK squares. Conditions again caused difficulties in making high multiplier numbers. M1MHZ (IO92) worked 18 squares, M0VXX/P (IO82) 16 squares and G3WIR/A (IO91), G4NOK (IO93), GI4SNA (IO64) and M1DDD/P (IO93) 15 squares. The best tropo contact was between GI4SNA (IO64) and G3YOA (JO02) at 523kms. In total there were 18 tropo QSOs greater than 400kms. GM4VXX/P reverted to meteor scatter and had 6 contacts, including 3 UK stations, between 700 and 1074kms. The conditions caused an increase in logging errors and 6.1% of contacts were disallowed.

A disturbing trend this month saw a number of stations operating in the DX window for G to G contacts. Entrants are reminded that operation is not allowed between 50.100 and 50.130MHz except for inter continental QSOs.

So looking at the table for the last two month I've managed to maintain 4th position in the restricted section out of so far 142 entries, hopefully band conditions will improve for the next contest the March 50MHz UKAC which is at 2000 local time on Tuesday 25th March 2013.

Look forward to working you in the contest ;)


73's DE EI5IX / M0XII - Pat

3 Mar 2014

The Aftermath of the 2014 March 144/432 Contest

So now that everyone has recovered after the weekend's March 144/432 Contest, I would like to express my deepest concern for the lack of UK and EU activity during this major Contest, especially compared to this time last year in the same Contest. 
Poor band conditions with the lack of Tropo & Sporadic E propagation resulted in many stations coming on-air, working what they could hear and then closing down. 
The 144Mhz & 432Mhz Bands overnight were as quiet as a mouse and this is ridiculous in my opinion for a 24 hour national contest. I have noticed that the UKAC activity nights on both bands 144Mhz & 432Mhz has more activity on a Tuesday Night than a full weekend of contesting. This is fantastic for a Tuesday night activity but it seems the same stations have lost interest in Major contests at weekends and it is all about the UKAC these days? 

I for one have lost interest in the UKAC on both 144Mhz / 432Mhz bands as it seems a complete waste of time from IO91 Square, every month you look at the activity on both these bands and you see that this contest favours stations within squares in the middle of the UK and it is great to see that there is nice activity up there on the bands but as for the multiplier situation in this contest the South of the country is forgotten about especially when working stations in EU these multiplier's are not counted in the UKAC contest. A bit of a joke really and off putting to any new station on the bands. The RSGB should really consider stations throughout the UK as a lot of us could not be bothered until there is a level playing field in place.  

However, I enjoyed the March weekend and I must say a big thank you to the Middlesex DX group for inviting me along to participate in this years contest. Thanks to John G0KLX, Jason M1PRO, Simon MW0TBI, Carl 2E1IDC, Steve G1OFW and Kevin G1KAW for putting in a huge effort this year in getting two powerful stations up and running for the 24 hours of the contest.

144Mhz Station

432Mhz Station

Antenna Array's

We finished the contest under the callsign M0MDG/P from Square JO00EW on Sunday 3rd of March at 14:00z on 144Mhz & 432Mhz with a claimed score on 144Mhz of 236 QSO's at 358 points per QSO totalling 84,451 points. 
We worked 12 DXCC entities within 55 different locator squares and our furthest DX contact on this band was DR1H at 782km in square locator JN59OP. 
Our claimed score on 432Mhz was 106 QSO's at 299 points per QSO totalling 31,718 Points. We worked 8 DXCC entities within 28 different locator squares and our furthest DX contact on this band was DL8QS at 637km in square locator JO43KH.
I'm looking forward to the results of this contest as it was like pulling teeth, slow, long and certainly tested the patience of all involved at the best of times.
Thanks to all for the QSO's and the Points I look forward to the next contest. 73's