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Alexander Gerst: 1. ARISS-Kontakt (German)

27. Juni 2018

Nachdem Alexander Gerst am 8. Juni auf der Internationalen Raumstation angekommen ist, gab es für die Schüler des Werner-Heisenberg-Gymnasiums in Leverkusen und des Schickhardt-Gymnasiums in Herrenberg im Rahmen seines ersten ARISS-Kontakts die Gelegenheit, ihm per Amateurfunk Fragen zu stellen.

In Mainz-Ebersheim haben sich die Weltraum-Kinder der Katholischen Kindertagesstätte St. Laurentius intensiv auf den Raumflug Ihres Astro-Alex vorbereitet. Auftakt war ein Blick auf den Mond an der Paul-Baumann-Sternwarte der Astronomischen Arbeitsgemeinschaft Mainz e.V., der Appetit auf mehr machte. Aktivitäten, wie ein Raumfahrer-Training, das Herstellen von Astronauten-Nahrung oder Experimente zum Einfluss des Horizonts auf Funkverbindungen mit Walkie Talkies, machte kleine Experten aus ihnen.

Heute besuchten sie dann meine Amateurfunk-Station, um gegen 12:32 Uhr Ortszeit zuzuhören, wie sich die Stimme Alexander Gersts aus dem Rauschen schälte, als die ISS sich im Westen über den Horizont erhob. Mit einem Blick aus dem Dachfenster vergewisserten sie sich, dass die Antenne auch brav die Bahn der Raumstation am Himmel verfolgte. Klar und deutlich hörten sie die Antworten auf die Fragen der Schüler, die ihnen von ihrer Erzieherin vorgelesen wurden, da die Schulen hinter dem Horizont nicht zu hören waren. Nach 10 Minuten verabschiedete sich Astro-Alex und seine Stimme verschwand wieder im Rauschen.

Link für den Download als WMV-Datei

Technische Details
Frequenz: 145,800 MHz FM
Empfänger: YAESU FT-897
Antennen:
– 17 Element Yagi F9FT für ISS in Horizontnähe bei Auf- und Untergang
– 3 m Parabolspiegel mit 145 MHz Feed in AZ/EL-Montierung für den Überflug

 

13 cm Beacon GB3MHS now GB3MHZ

June 23rd, 2018

When switching to 13 cm after monitoring GB3MHZ on 23 cm, I heard typical PI4 sound followed by a callsign in CW. So I learned, former GB3MHS changed the callsign to GB3MHZ and is transmitting in PI4 now.

New Beacon DB0MFI on 23 and 13 cm

June 18th, 2018

This morning I had a look for DB0MFI, a new beacon on 1296.940 MHz in JN58HW. It is audible with 529 constantly via tropo and peaking 579 via aircraft scatter. The power is 5 W into a 4 times stacked big wheel antenna.

 

In the afternoon I went for it on 2320.940 MHz. Faint reflections on some airplanes were audible and traces could be seen in the waterfall of WSJT-X Wide Graph:

Microwave Contest June 2018

June 3rd, 2018

As can be noticed now, the fears, many Microwavers would prefer to go to the HAM RADIO fair in Friedrichshafen, were overdone. It was a nice contest and in the 23 and 13 cm sections I worked more stations than in the last contests in May and March, as well as in all previous microwave contests I participated in June before. As can be seen in the maps, my honey pot is the east.

QSOs on 23 cm in Microwave Contest June 2018

The signal levels were very strong and I managed to work HA5KDQ on 23 cm in SSB over a distance of 830 km via Aircraft Scatter (ODX). To be honest: I am sure, we would have been faster in using CW 😉

QSOs on 13 cm in Microwave Contest June 2018

Working on 13 cm was big fun and ODX was HG7F over 817 km in a quick QSO in CW (as usual). When I went to bed at night, I already had 22 QSOs on this band with an average of 457 km per QSO.

Hannes, OE3JPC, was so kind, to send an audio record of my signal on 13 cm.

First steps have been done on 3 cm. But there is a lot of potential for improvements.

So it was not really a problem to quit two hours earlier to attend a barbecue with the family.

WAE III Award on VHF/UHF/SHF Bands

May 8th, 2018

Recently, when getting the WAC Award for 23 cm, I outed myself, not really being an awards collector. The other day some HAMs proudly presented the first WAE awards for FT8 only contacts on Facebook. So the question was, how far would I come with VHF and up. Surprisingly I found QSLs for 42 WAE countries and 100 band points, when checking my shoe boxes and the  QSL systems in the Internet.

2018: WAE III, 100 of the 106 Band Points on 144 MHz to 2320 MHz

As electronic QSLs were involved, these had at least to be imported to the German “DARC Community Logbook”, short DCL, for the award application. It´s not my favourite, because there are problems to enter and store QSOs on the GHz bands. I asked the developer about and he mentioned, that it isn´t intended for. So I decided to interpret DCL as “Direct Current Log”. No wonder, there also was no way to delete the six embarassing shortwave QSLs, it had imported automatically.

 

New Beacon DB0WML on 13 cm

May 7th, 2018

The other day I noticed some cluster spots about a new beacon DB0WML in JO31MU on 2320.910 MHz. So I had a look for it today. Nothing via tropo, but nice reflections on airplanes.

At least I was bearing to an A380 in a distance of about 30 km at a height of 12 km with 33° elevation, to record this clip.

Also I was lucky to get a snapshot of this particular bird!

The beacon is runnung 1.5 W into a 10 dB slot antenna according the information in beaconspot.eu
The beacon is operated by DARC local chapter N40, keeper is Rudolf, DK8QU.

The screenshot shows DB0UX on 2320.900 MHz, DB0MJ on .904 and DB0WML on .910 in good Neighbourhood.

VHF/UHF/SHF Contest May 2018

May 6th, 2018

It´s one of the rare moments in the life of a Radio Amateur, when his shack is cleared up. Beyond believe, everything was up and running 2 hours (!) before contest time. Being a kind of bewildered, I sorted the stuff on my desk. The amazing result can be admired in the photo I took hereafter.

Starting with a nice QSO with M1CRO in SSB on 23 cm, I tried the new 3 cm Equipment, mounted on the VHF/UHF pole. 1 W into a 50 cm dish should be enough to collect first experiences. Two QSOs over 100 km were entered to the log. Quite nice, but further tests showed, that the topography is not ideal to cover larger distances, without the help of e.g. tropo, aircraft or rain scatter.

QSOs on 23 cm in blue, on 13 cm in red

Then I had my focus on 1296 and 2320 MHz, as usual. At least 58 QSOs, 36 squares and 14 DXCCs on 23 cm and 32 QSOs, 25 squares and 10 DXCCs on 13 cm have been logged. ODX, as last year, was HG7F in JN97KR over 817 km on both bands. Having an easy exchange on 1296 MHz, it took us nearly 20 minutes of hard work to puzzle a QSO on 13 cm as well. I remeber, last year it was vice versa.

F5ZBM on Air again!

April 20th, 2018

The french beacon F5ZBM is on air again. I found it accidentally, when looking for other french beacons. It is at a new location in JN18MN near Paris transmitting on 1,296.8475 MHz. Nice to monitor it in Mainz via aircraft scatter over a distance of 406 km!


The keying is in F1 with a very narrow spacing. Power is 10 W ERP into a slot antenna, as can be seeen at BEACONSPOT.eu

Another view on F5ZBM in WSJT-X Wide Graph

 

DB0TUD as Beacon #60 on 23 cm

March, 23rd, 2018

With the dish bearing eastwards tonight I mentioned the trace of a signal appearing and disappearing close to the local beacon of DF5AY. A quick look at beaconspot.eu told me, DB0TUD should be around there.

I copied DB0TUD in summer 2017 via rain scatter on 13 cm, but never on 23 cm so far.

Curious about the source of the signal after catching a “…UA…”  I turned the dish to Dresden and monitored the frequency for about an hour. The mostly short appearences of the signal correlated with planes crossing the path to DB0TUD in JO61UA. After an hour or more I got a reflection containing some CW : ” …0TUD JO61…”.