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24 November 2022
Finally got around to reediting, updating & posting five of my past published TCA articles: "Antenna
Tales" (RM051), "FM Voice & Data & the ISS" parts 1 & 2 (RM052 & RM053) & "Radio Science:
VLF" parts 1 & 2 (RM054 & RM055). See Radio Magic.
20 November 2022
The amazing NOAA satellite flight engineers have
done it again! They have remotely fixed whatever was ailing the aging NOAA-15 back in October & it's once again transmitting
APT satellite weather images.
31 October 2022
Added support material for my next TCA column "Telemetry-over-WSPR: Part
NOAA Official Notice: "The NOAA-15 AVHRR scan motor current began showing
signs of instability on Oct 18 at approximately 1800Z when the current began to gradually rise from about 205 mA to about 250 mA where
it remained until Oct 24. At about 0000Z on Oct 24, the current began rising again throughout the day peaking at about 302mA on Oct
25. Scan motor temperature began rising about the same time & is currently steady at about 29 degress Celsius. The instrument
is still producing data but it is highly degraded. This behavior may be a sign of an impending scan motor stall but requires further
investigation. Options for recovery are limited."
25 August 2022
Added support material for my next TCA column "Telemetry-over-WSPR:
Part 1 (RM056) & supplemental articles (see Radio Magic).
21 August 2022
Really exciting news because the ISS finally has
separate FM voice VHF/UHF & VHF data/APRS transceivers. Special event SSTV VHF FM transmissions will still use 145.800
MHz (mode PD180).
From ARISS.org: August 12, 2022—"ARISS is pleased to announce that starting yesterday, August 11, simultaneous
operations of the ARISS Voice Repeater & digital APRS communications on the International Space Station (ISS) is now a reality.
Current ARISS operations include voice repeater transmissions with the JVC Kenwood D710GA in the Columbus module & APRS packet
operation from an identical radio in the Service Module (Zvezda). Packet operations are on 145.825 MHz.
Frank Bauer, KA3HDO states, “Simultaneous operation of APRS & the voice repeater on ISS is transformative for ARISS and represents
a key element of our ARISS 2.0 initiative, providing interactive capabilities 24/7 that inspire, engage and educate youth & lifelong
learners—especially life-long learning in ham radio operations.” Bauer continues, “Our heartfelt thanks to Sergey Samburov, RV3DR,
for making this crucial ARISS 2.0 initiative become a reality.”
The Columbus Module radio uses the callsign NA1SS & the new
Service Module radio uses RS0ISS. Aside from the callsigns, the radios are identical & packet operations are the same as
before. You can use RS0ISS, ARISS or APRSAT as the packet path. Also, both radios are expected to be on full time, except during educational
contacts, EVAs, & dockings or undockings."
Replaced my old wired personal weather station (PWS) with the awesome Tempest Weatherflow PWS with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi,
Alexa & Weather Underground connectivity. It has a plethora of sensors: lightning, solar UV and radiation besides the
usual ones. All self-contained with no moving parts because of sonic wind and haptic rain sensors. Only took a few minutes to
get it running & displaying my site's weather on the provided personal web page (shared with others or private), added to my Alexa's
skills (also supports Google) & my Weather Underground profile. It uses an AI (artificial intelligence) engine to combine
your weather data along with others available in the same area to improve the accuracy of its customized local forecasts.
03 August 2022
Major home renovations completed after nearly four weeks of what was supposed to take only two weeks plus I
went way over budget as more & more "money pit" problems reared their ugly heads! Still more stuff to do but the most important
& expensive stuff has been completed.
The good thing is that I was able to reinstall all my antennas & receivers from
scratch to neaten & clean things up & finally found the source of RF noise affecting my VLF antenna. Seems that a thin
copper oxide bridge had formed across the RG-6 coax foam between the centre copper pin & the connector's
casing/ground. It created a perfect semi-conductor (diode) & RF noise generator! Somehow, moisture had got in & because there's
12 volts sent up the coax to power an active amplifier, weak electrolysis slowly did its thing! Cut off a couple of inches of coax
& attached on a new connector & no more RF noise!