ARISS Contact to be Friday May 6

The ARISS and NASA organizations have just announced that the All Saints Academy contact with the International Space Station will take place on Friday May 6th.

Both Thursday and Friday will be busy days for the NCRC members working at the event, with equipment tests and walkthroughs the day before, and getting things ready prior to the event start just before noon.

Our orbit will be a descending one, beginning at approximately 12:44 PM local time and continuing until approximately 12:54 PM.  It will rise above the horizon to our northwest, pass to our southwest, then set to our southeast, reaching a maximum elevation of 56 degrees.

ARISS Orbit for All Saints Academy Contact Friday May 6

ARISS Orbit for All Saints Academy Contact Friday May 6: 12:44 to 12:54 PM Local Time

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 12.23.42 PM

The NCRC RF Team will be able to practice on an earlier orbit from 11:07 to 11:17 AM local time, so we will know that our gear is good to go before the main event.

NCRC RF Team members should report to ASA at 9:00 AM Friday May 6.

Guests will start arriving at 11 AM, and all guests must be seated prior to 11:56 AM when the official event begins.  The long call to N1ASA “NA1SS this is All Saints Academy, N1ASA, do you copy?” will begin at 12:43 and continue until contact is established.  From that point, RI students will ask as many questions as possible during the 8-10 minute window of communication.

Our Astronaut will be Jeff Williams.  Colonel Williams has many ties to Rhode Island.  He is a 1996 Graduate of the US Naval College, and received an Honorary Doctorate from Johnson & Wales University in 2007.  During this mission aboard the ISS, Expedition 47, Jeff is expected to break the cumulative days in space record currently held by Astronaut Scott Kelly.

Astronaut Jeff Williams

Astronaut Jeff Williams, International Space Station Expedition 47


Turnip Island is OFFICIAL – now CT036R

Congratulations to the Turnip IOTA Crew (Rich, KC1ARO and Paul, N1PSX) for officially activating Turnip Island.  The following is from Paul, N1PSX:

CT036R is official… 30 contacts yesterday including Aruba and Canada, mostly on 20m some on 40m… States ranging from California, South Dakota and Oklahoma to Pennsylvania, New York and Virginia, the Carolinas, and many others… River water was very low, complicating transport with rocky interjections, but we got out there with two radios, two antennas and lunch… The island was official by noonish

OSECA Net a Rousing Success!

The OSECA net debuted this past Tuesday, December 2, at 1900 local time on the KA1RCI Network.  By any definition, it was a rousing success, with 32 check-ins in just over an hour.  John King, WA1ABI, had the honor of being the first Net Control station.

OSECA stands for Ocean State Emergency Communion Alliance.  It was formed with a goal of providing a forum for those hams involved in EmComm throughout the state.  Representatives from multiple EMAs checked in (Providence, Coventry, No. Smithfield, Wakefield, Narragansett, Westerly, and Portsmouth, to name a few), as well as other served agencies and non-emergency public service groups.

The OSECA net is held on the FIRST and THIRD Tuesday of each month at 1900 local time on the KA1RCI Network.  Despite its focus on EmComm, all hams, especially those who are looking for an agency to join, are encouraged to participate.

NCECT Participates in Multi-Agency Shelter Communication Drill

NCECTs John King, Ted Wroble, Rick Brendlinger, Dave Brown, Chuck Kesson, Dermid Gray and Bob Beatty, along with three other Red Cross hams planned for and participated in a multi-agency Shelter Communication Drill held this past Saturday at the Middletown and Jamestown shelters.  Willy MacLean was also instrumental in the planning process.

Communication facilities located at the Gaudet School (Middletown Shelter), Middletown EOC, Melrose School (Jamestown Shelter), and Providence Red Cross were utilized.  Participants were from NCECT, Middletown EMA, Portsmouth EMA, Jamestown EMA, and the Red Cross.

By any estimation, the drill was a great success.  It demonstrated an ability to develop and coordinate a multi-agency communication plan, and successfully carry out Shelter to EOC communications using four different communication channels (Landline, Red Cross Repeater, Ham Repeater, and Ham Simplex).  Despite three drill “failures” (Phones down, Red Cross Repeater Down, Ham Radio Repeater down), the plan proved to be resilient, and messages were successfully transferred using NIMS/ICS procedures.

The resourcefulness of Ham Radio was well apparent as one system after another “failed”.  The Ham’s technical skills, and frequency agility came to the rescue.

Hats off to our own John King for all his hard work in developing the plan and setting up the drill.  We know RIEMA was paying attention, and hopefully this sort of drill activity will spread throughout the state.


Chuck Kesson, KB1ZZX, passes a message at the Middletown EOC during the July 26 Shelter Communication Drill

Newspaper Article and Dave Brown Photographs

Field Day 2014 is behind us (although Willy is probably still dealing with all the towers/tents/cables/etc.) but two nice things can help us remember what it was all about.

The first is a wonderful collection of photographs by our own Dave Brown, KC1AAA.  You can see those by clicking here.

The second is a very nice story that describes what Field Day is all about, written by the Editor of the Portsmouth Times, Jim McGaw.  Jim came by at the perfect time, when Rob White was helping a couple of scouts at the GOTA tent.  You can see Jim’s article here.