Celebrate 20 years of ARISS by receiving SSTV images from the ISS

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):

Another Successful Activation – Naushon Island MA006S

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.

Crew is on Naushon Island in Tarpaulin Cove (NE most red mark)

Unfortunately there was a Geomagnetic Storm going on today as well, making conditions very poor on both 20 and 40-meters.

Bad Propagation across all bands

Jim KA1ZOU at mic, John K1JSM logging, Willy W1LY and Paul K1YBE looking over the cove

Paul K1YBE, John K1JSM, Willy W1SYE (standing), Jim KA1ZOU

Successful Activation of Nashawena Island MA017S

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.

Nashawena is located right next to Cuttyhunk, on the eastern end of the Elizabeth Islands

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:

Two of the many cattle on the island, with Jim KA1ZOU logging, and Willy W1LY at the mic

Jim KA1ZOU logging, Willy W1LY at mic, John K1JSM sitting, and Paul K1YBE standing

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:

Pete W1LAB hears that happy news that Nashawena can be activated

Support boats in foreground. John’s cabin cruiser and Pete’s RIB.  Antenna at waterline.

Successful Activation of Penikese Island

John K1JSM, Pete W1LAB, Willy W1LY, Paul K1YBE, and Jim KA1ZOU had a successful activation of Penikese Island (FN41mk) today, which officially became US Island MA060S at 11:06 AM local time.  The weather was dreadful, and most of their work was on 20 meters due to some issues on 40 meters, but a temporary antenna got them on the air on that band for their final 40 minutes.  They began operation at 10:25 AM and were off the air at 2:40 PM local time.

The crew sheltered under two tents on Penikese Island

Willy W1LY at the mike, with Paul K1YBE (left) and Jim KA1ZOU (right)

Another view of the operation with John K1JSM walking to his boat in the upper left. (That is the NE part of Penikese visible across the cove in the upper left of the photo)

They got hammered with at least two inches of rain in a few hours (parts of the Cape received 4″).

NCRC Meeting Monday July 10, 7 PM at KVH

Happy 4th of July!

Just a reminder that we will be having our regular meeting on Monday July 10, at KVH, at 7 PM.

In addition to a brief business meeting that will review our Field Day results (record setting), there will be a presentation of a Nova movie called “Secrets of the Sun” afterward.  This movie lasts 52 minutes and is a great way to learn about helioscience (science of the sun), how Solar Flairs and Coronal Mass Ejections work, and the processes that drive them.  This is a great background for understand radio propagation as well. By the end of the movie you will understand that the news media almost always reports on Solar Flairs, but the real hard hitting punch is carried by the Coronal Mass Ejection days later.

There is a post on our website ( http://w1sye.org/?p=3326 ) intended to stimulate some thought — will there even be a solar cycle 25?

Finally, don’t forget, our intrepid gang of Island Activators will be in the Elizabethan Island chain, and will be activating new islands starting Friday July 7.  Keep up to date with what is going on by checking our website!  (See http://w1sye.org/?p=3337 )

Be safe, enjoy the holiday, and hope to see you at our next meeting.