Pete W1LAB, Jim KA1ZOU, John K1JSM, and Willy W1LY, had another island adventure on Saturday July 22. They traveled with two RIB boats to East Island, which is a few thousand feet from Sakonnet Point. They were on the air shortly after 10:30 AM, and were off the air right after 1 PM. All operations were carried out on 20 meters. This time there were no RF issues and they made a large number of contacts, officially activating East Island as RI029S
***Saturday July 22 Update – Now QRT ***
The team has taken down the station and are heading back home after another successful activation done entirely on 20 meters. East Island is now officially RI029S.
The NCRC Activation Crew is anticipating an activation of East Island, which is located off of Sakonnet Point this Saturday July 22. They should be on the air around 10:30 AM and will start on 20 meters (14.260 +/-), and shift to 40 meters (7.230 +/-) around lunch time.
This will be a new US Islands activation, since it hasn’t been activated before it is listed as RI029, but hopefully will become RI029S with a successful activation as W1SYE this Saturday.
Beginning around 21:25 UTC on Thursday July 20, the ISS will be broadcasting SSTV images (using SSTV Mode PD 120 or PD 180) to commemorate the 20th anniversary of ARISS. SSTV images will be sent at 145.80 MHz FM using the highest power radio and best antenna in the ISS. Signals are so strong that typical external antennas will have no issue producing S9 signal levels. The event is expected to continue over a 2 day period.
If you have a soundcard interface of some kind for your FM radio, you can use a free software program called MMSSTV, which can be downloaded here: http://hamsoft.ca/pages/mmsstv.php
A lot of good information on using MMSSTV with the ISS SSTV signals can be found on the ISS Fan Club page here: https://www.issfanclub.com/node/9802
Another reference can be found here: https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/iss-sstv/
The next several days of ISS passes over our area are shown below (times in UTC, so subtract 4 hours for local time — the first pass over our area after the event start is Friday July 21 at 02:56 UTC, which is actually 10:56 PM on Thursday July 20):
If it’s not one thing (heavy rain, HF Contest), it’s another (solar storm, failing TX). Nevertheless, the Activation Crew of Jim KA1ZOU, Willy W1LY, Pete W1LAB, John K1JSM, and Paul K1YBE, had an exciting time activating one never before on the air island a day in the Elizabeth Island chain.
Today’s activation became official at about 15:10 UTC, meeting the US Island program rules, making Naushon Island MA006S. Even thought Murphy was nipping at their heals, causing their radio to fail to transmit on 20-meters this morning, he was behind the curve just enough to allow them to make 30 contacts before the rig refused to transmit on 40-meters as well. Whew!
The crew setup in Tarpaulin Cove to be leeward of the WSW winds.
Unfortunately there was a Geomagnetic Storm going on today as well, making conditions very poor on both 20 and 40-meters.
While today’s weather was much better than the torrential rain yesterday, the RF environment proved to be quite challenging with the IARU HF Contest underway today and tomorrow. It was hard to hold a frequency open. On top of that, the TS-570D simply refused to enter RX from time to time.
Nevertheless, Paul K1YBE, John K1JSM, Willy W1LY, Pete W1LAB, and Jim KA1ZOU actually had a very successful activation of Nashawena Island, making it officially MA017S about a half-hour after getting on the air. Thanks to all the stations that helped and continued to contact them.
Nashawena Island is privately owned, and permission to go ashore is quite difficult to obtain. In a process that began months ago, they finally received permission yesterday and immediately changed their plans to activate it today.
The bands were quite full today, busy with the IARU HF Contest, but they managed to find a hole to operate in.
Pileups were impressive all day long as you can hear here:
The Island only has 2 full time residents who tend to it and the cattle that graze there:
The photos have been provided by Pete W1LAB who always is behind the lens, but here is a picture of him aboard the support boat: