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This archive lists the past items of interest to the general amateur radio community in Hawaii.


Hello cqtube.com

December 25, 2008

Check out www.cqtube.com for videos on amateur radio. Merry Christmas!

Giant breach in earth's Magentosphere

December 25, 2008

If you're wondering why we have had such bad winter storms on the mainland this past week, check out this NASA web page. In the winter, about a week after a major solar flare (X3 on December 11), the continental mainland picks up the "Siberian Express" over the North Pole. That's something that's not observable in Hawaii. Mainland stations get a double whammy, due to the radio disruptions, the winter storm and loss of power.

For a further example, see the correlation between the string of solar flare activity of March 1993 and the March 1993 Storm of the Century blizzard. The added charged solar material interacts with the Earth's magnetosphere, and alters the amount of charged particles ionizing the upper atmosphere. The changing magnetic field affects the ocean currents and moves the jet stream. The altered jet stream brings up warm moist air from the Caribbean and tropics, and brings down cold polar air from the North Pole. These meet up over central North America, bringing intense winter storms and heavy snowfall.

ISS Crossband repeater pass doppler information for Dec 24

December 24, 2008

The ISS passtimes through Jan 5 are calculated and in the following file. See this text file with doppler information for details on the pass.

There is a special crossband mode for Dec 21 through 26. The uplink is 145.99 MHz PL 67.0 Hz, plus/minus 3.3 kHz doppler. The downlink is 437.80 MHz, plus/minus 10 kHz doppler.

ISS Crossband repeater pass doppler information for Dec 21

December 18, 2008

The ISS passtimes through Jan 5 are calculated and in the following file. See this text file with doppler information for details on the pass. There is a special crossband mode for Dec 21 through 26. The uplink is 145.99 with a CTCSS tone of 67.0, and the downlink is 437.80. Check www.issfanclub.com for the latest status. See www.arrl.org for information on the upcoming ISS modes.

The uplink is 145.99 MHz PL 67.0 Hz, plus/minus 3.3 kHz doppler. The downlink is 437.80 MHz, plus/minus 10 kHz doppler.

ISS Crossband repeater pass doppler information for Dec 7

December 7, 2008

The ISS passtimes for tonight, December 7 are calculated and in the following file. See this text file with doppler information for details on the pass. See the next posting for additional details on how to work the ISS. Tonight may be your last chance for quite a while to access the crossband repeater. Check www.issfanclub.com for the latest status.

Honolulu stations, for those of you who've been trying, you're starting to get the proficiency of making a crossband contact. Remember to keep your exchanges very short, as the usable time is probably about a minute or so. These are lower passes at far greater distances than last night, so you'll need more power on the uplink, and a better antenna or receiver on the downlink.

Please listen and allow contacts with Norm, NH7UA who will be trying from Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. His usable passtimes for these passes are about 30-45 seconds later than Honolulu.

The uplink is 437.80 MHz, plus/minus 10 kHz doppler. The downlink is 145.80 MHz, plus/minus 3.3 kHz doppler.

For Norm, NH7UA, doppler pass time for Kona has been included in the second half of the file.

Good Crossband repeater pass of the ISS tonight, Dec 6 8:16 pm, 61 degrees

December 6, 2008

Looks like there will be a nice 61 degree pass starting tonight at 8:16 pm. The ISS should be in crossband repeater mode, and should offer an excellent chance at this rare mode. See this text file with doppler information for details on the pass.

The uplink is 437.80 MHz, plus/minus 10 kHz doppler. The downlink is 145.80 MHz, plus/minus 3.3 kHz doppler. Gary, WH6C remembered that his UHF radio can tune in 5 kHz increments. It is highly recommended to set your UHF radio to do 5 kHz or less tuning increments, and tune for the doppler shift.

Due to the limited amount of time, if you hear solid activity on the crossband repeater, DO NOT call CQ. The usable part of the pass for most stations is perhaps one minute long at most, so we're trying to squeeze as many valid two-way contacts as possible. Just call one of the stations you hear, give your callsign, and give a "59" signal report. For example, if you hear me, just say "AH6RH, KH6XYZ, 59". If I hear you, I would reply "KH6XYZ, AH6RH, 59", and those two transmissions constitute your contact. Remember to share the pass with new stations you hear. You will extend your passtime if you use the 5 and 10 kHz doppler tuning on the uplink. See these pages for more info on working the ISS.

EARC DH 146.88 MHz repeater tuned up

December 6, 2008

The EARC Diamond Head 146.88 MHz repeater was tuned up this morning, and should have increased receiver sensitivity and performance.

Many thanks to KH7HO, KH6JKG, KH6MEI, KH7R, AH6RH, WA6TTR, KH7U, NH7YY for making it happen.

Special ISS Operations in Dec 2008 to commemorate W5LFL

November 30, 2008

December 2008 marks the 25th anniversary of Owen Garriott W5LFL's flight onboard STS-9, and the first manned ham space operations. ARISS and the International Space Station commemorates the anniversary with a series of special operating modes, including crossband repeater operations and live QSOs. See the AMSAT's Web Site for details.

Approximate passtimes for Hawaii can be found at this web page.

ARISS Telebridge with ISS, Sun Nov 30 10:20 pm, 145.80 MHz

November 30, 2008

There was an ISS telebridge contact audible over Hawaii on Sunday, Nov 30 starting at 10:20 pm on the downlink frequency 145.80 MHz.

     Date       Time           Azimuth   Elevation
     ---------------------------------------------

Aos: 2008/11/30 22:20:21 324.8 0.0 Max: 2008/11/30 22:25:16 49.3 58.0 Los: 2008/11/30 22:30:12 134.8 0.0










See the www.issfanclub.com for details on the contact.

KH6HAK's FD 2001 Web page

November 30, 2008

Hank, KH6HAK contributes his web page on the ISS contact during Field Day 2001. See the KH6HAK's FD 2001 Web Page for details.

Oahu Testing sessions on Dec 10

November 30, 2008

A reminder that the December 10 testing session is at Hawaii State Civil Defense EOC, Diamond Head. Get there by 5:45 pm. Contact Ray Moody, AH6LT to sign up. See the CDARC Testing Schedule Web page for details.

End-fed antenna matchbox project

November 15, 2008

Chuck, NH6XL has come up with a matchbox project which matches an end-fed antenna to 50 ohm coax. See End-fed matchbox Word document Part 1 and End-fed matchbox Word document Part 2 for details on the project.

Two-way VHF Packet Contact made between Hawaii and California

November 1, 2008

Scott, WA6LIE and I hooked up on a VHF Packet contact through the International Space Station (ISS), the first Hawaii-to-California packet contact through the ISS. The record contact on 145.825 simplex on a very low pass (3 degrees max, 2.5 degrees at the start of the mutual window). The mutual window was about a minute 20 seconds or so. The first packet was at 01-NOV-2008, 19:02:06z, and a two way established at 19:02:25z. The contact was good for a distance of 2,400 statute miles. See the ISSFANCLUB web site for further details. Further details and reporting in the days to come.

New Dec 10 testing session added

October 19, 2008

New testing session added for December 10, at Hawaii State Civil Defense EOC, Diamond Head. See the CDARC Testing Schedule Web page for details.

Oahu JOTA at Sand Island, Sat Oct 18 to Sun Oct 19

October 12, 2008, updated October 19, 2008

Dr. Richard Ando, WH7HZ is organizing a JOTA event for Sand Island this Saturday and Sunday, Oct 18 to 19. See the Boy Scouts Website and the ARRL Website.

Update: Troop 49 contacted the ISS for a JOTA contact. See the www.issfanclub.com Website. Thanks to Wayne KH6MEI, Ron AH6RH, and Bob NH6XO for making it happen. Also thanks to Robin, AH6CP and Jason NH7JH for providing coverage and oversight during the Tonga earthquake alert on Saturday evening.

Hawaii Simulated Emergency Test (SET) Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:00 - 12 noon

September 10, 2008

The Hawaii Simulated Emergency Test (SET) will be held on Saturday, Oct 18, 2008 from 9:00 - 12 noon. All amateur radio operators are encouraged to participate. Initial frequencies for the state-wide event are:

  • State-wide VHF Repeater system: 147.02+, 147.04+, 147.06+ MHz
  • State-wide HF frequencies: 7088 kHz LSB, 3993.5 kHz LSB
  • EARC Diamond Head repeater: 146.88- MHz

There will also be a joint operation of Project SOS with Honolulu REACT on FRS Channel 1, from 10:00 am to 12 noon. Amateur radio operators are encouraged to pass progress reports with Rob, KH7MW on the EARC Mauna Kapu repeater on 146.80- MHz.

Further details to be passed along as it develops.

EARC event, Sat Oct 25, Hawaii Kai Boat Ramp

October 5, 2008

The EARC will be holding an event at the Hawaii Kai Boat Ramp on Saturday evening, Oct 25. See www.earchi.org

Upcoming CDARC Testing sessions on Oahu

September 10, 2008

There are three more testing sessions for the CDARC remaining for this year. The dates are Sept 10 (C&C DEM), Oct 1 (SCD Diamond Head) and Nov 19 (C&C DEM).

See the CDARC Web Page for details.

Charles Simonyi, KE7KDP, going up to the ISS a second time!

October 2, 2008

Charles Simonyi, KE7KDP, will be heading to the ISS for a second time. See www.issfanclub.com

Pile-up Busters!

September 29, 2008

Check this out! YouTube video

Using 20 Meter Meteor Scatter to Enhance Contesting

September 28, 2008

During the 2008 Hawaii QSO Party, Martin Barr KH6MB and I believe we encountered 20 meter meteor scatter which improved our contesting contacts early in the morning.

TBX-8 Code Talker Radio on eBay

August 4, 2008, updated Sept 26, 2008

Code talkers were a group of Navaho American Indians that provided secure battlefront communications in the Pacific Theater during World War II. There operations were classified for many years, but have since been declassified and even became material for a Hollywood movie.

Even less is well known about the "portable" tube-based radios they used. This week, eBay has a pristine Garod TBX-8 unit for offer, complete with a hand-cranked generator. If you're into QRP and want to see how it was done in the old days, check it out. It'll make you appreciate your Yaesu FT-817.

See the eBay Website for details.

Update: The Foundation for The National Cryptologic Museum in Ft. Meade, Maryland won the auction and received the shipment, preserving this rare beauty for future generations to learn the story of the Navaho Code Talkers. See the NCM Foundation Website for details.

September EARC General Meeting Presentation

September 6, 2008, updated September 26, 2008

The topic for the September 2008 EARC General Membership meeting is on how to get on HF if you're a Technician class licensee. A number of our members hold the Technician class, and have not gotten on the air with their own equipment. This session steps you through the kinds of equipment to acquire, how to assemble and configure the station, and how to make that first HF contact.

The presentation will also finish up on operational details on making contact with Richard Garriott, W5KWQ, the sixth space tourist that will be in orbit in mid-October.

See the EARC Website for details.

P.s. Thanks guys for letting me know you read these web pages. At least I know my time is being put to good use.

How to make a wind generator

September 25, 2008

Check out this YouTube video on how to make a wind generator. Click here for part two. Click here for part three.

Check out www.windbluepower.com.

ARISS Telebridge, Thu Sept 25 1:34 am, 145.80 MHz

September 25, 2008, updated September 29, 2008

There was an ISS telebridge contact audible over Hawaii on Thursday, Sept 25 starting at 1:34 am on the downlink frequency 145.80 MHz. The pass was 59 degree elevation, descending (North to South) to the east of Honolulu. Contact with Michael Sobell Sinai School, Harrow, Middlesex, United Kingdom.

Update: AH6RH copied the downlink contact. Signal was 20 dB over 9 on a 1/4-wave mobile whip. The BBC News has an article on the event. Paul Perreta, G3SEA, provides the following link to G6LVB's site and a 45 Mbyte video file of the pass. Michael Sobell Sinai School ARISS video Great to see the students that heard the contact.

ARISS Telebridge, Sat Sept 13 5:48 am, 145.80 MHz

September 9, 2008, updated September 13, 2008

There was an ISS telebridge contact audible over Hawaii on Saturday, Sept 13 starting at 5:48 am on the downlink frequency 145.80 MHz. This was a good chance to test your receive equipment, practice your techniques and see if you're ready for the October sessions with Richard Garriott, W5KWQ. A reminder: Do NOT transmit during an ISS telebridge session. The ISS equipment is a Kenwood TM-D700, medium power (10 watts), into a quarter wave vertical facing towards earth. The pass was 17 degree elevation, descending (North to South) to the east of Honolulu, visible, starting at 5:48 am.

     Date       Time           Azimuth   Elevation
     ---------------------------------------------

Aos: 2008/09/13 05:48:00 338.9 0.0 Max: 2008/09/13 05:52:57 57.7 17.7 Los: 2008/09/13 05:57:03 113.1 -0.0








See the www.issfanclub.com for details on the contact. The doppler calculation text file was updated with the keplerian elements, elevation, azimuth, the position, the doppler effects and range in kilometers for this pass, calculated for Honolulu.

Update: KH6CPU, N6NCT, WH7PL, AH6RH, NH6TY, NH7ZD, KH6ZZ copied the downlink contact. Signal reports varied from S2 with a walkie near an apartment window to S5 on a mobile whip indoors near an apartment window to S9 on an outdoor antenna. Approximately the last 30 seconds of the pass was difficult to copy on a doppler corrected radio and a 1/4-wave magnetic mount antenna. You can click here to hear a recording of the contact made by Bob, KH6ZZ.

Ham Radio Class at Kaimuki Adult Education Classes

September 10, 2008

Warren Munro, KH6WM, will be offering ham radio classes at Kaimuki Adult Education school (Kaimuki High School) for the last time. The classes start Thursday, Sept 11, 2008 for ten Thursday evenings.

See the Classes Web Page for details.

REACT SOS Drill on October 18, 2008

May 22, 2008, updated Sept 10, 2008

Members of the local REACT chapter came to the EARC meeting to inform and partner with us on a upcoming communications exercise entitled REACT SOS Drill scheduled for September 6, 2008 from 10:00 am to 12 noon.

The goal is to have the general public equipped and educated on using Family Radio Service (FRS) radios tuned to FRS Channel 13 (no CTCSS or PL tone) as a means of communicating in the event of a local disaster. Rob, KH7MW presented details at the August EARC meeting. If you establish contact with a person on Channel 13, log the time, exchange your first name, your location (cross street intersection, which floor of a building if you're in a building, or mobile) A hot wash meeting is scheduled for Maryknoll High School on Monday, Sept 8. Click on this link to get to the Honolulu REACT web site. Click on this link to get to the National SOS project web site.

Update: Five REACT members, ten ham radio operators, and one other person participated. One of the lessons learned from this event is that a stock FRS radio can communicate two or more miles. A surprising two-way contact was from Richardson Field near the Aloha stadium, to lower Mililani and the Mililani area.

Based on the success of the Project SOS event in Honolulu, the Honolulu REACT will hold another Project SOS event on Saturday, October 18, 2008 from 10:00 am to 12 noon, on FRS Channel 1. Amateur Radio operators are encouraged to monitor FRS Channel 1 and participate, and pass along summary information as SET (Simulated Emergency Test) messages that morning. Future details forthcoming.

The Ham Band

Sept 5, 2008

Jan, OZ1ADL and Andrew, OZ1WJ delight and educate us with their musical rendition of rebuilding their station in Denmark. The unusual music video show us that morse code is not only practical, it's musical.

Richard LaChance, WH6T

August 25, 2008

Richard LaChance, WH6T is our second entry to the Hall of Fame.

Analog 2m is alive again!

August 17, 2008

Eric, WH7JE made a new home for a used Kenwood TS-700A. So, there's two of us running analog VFOs on two meters, along with Sam, KH6BTV. Eric is having a boatload of fun learning his radio inside and out, and (re)learning the art. Any one running crystal FM mobile/portables radios, or am I the only one?

Moxon Antenna Project

August 12, 2008

Randy, KH6IB and the six meter gang passes along information on a simple antenna design that's easy to build and produces good results. They sound good on six meters.

Click this link to check out the Moxon antenna project.

EU opening, August 4, 2008

August 5, 2008

Europe was open on 20 meters last night. Ernie, NH7L passes along this video recorded by PD3EM in Holland, which highlights the massive pile-up at KH7Y last night.

Click this YouTube video from PD3EM to see, hear and experience the pile-up at the European end.

Hawaii QSO Party, Aug 22-24, 2008

August 4, 2008

The Koolau Amateur Radio Club is sponsoring the Hawaii QSO Party on the weekend of August 22. The event is intended to put Hawaii stations on HF to allow those wishing to make a Hawaii contact an opportunity to do so.

See the KARC Website for details.

Many thanks to Richard LaChance, WH6T ex-AH6IO, SK who started the QSO party years ago. Richard was very enthusiastic about amateur radio, operating a lot of DX, hosting license testing sessions, operating from a number of DX locations throughout the Pacific. He is sorely missed.

Increased HF propagation

August 4, 2008

Ernie, NH7L reports on Saturday night of slightly increased HF propagation and is hopeful that solar activity is on the rise. (Of course, with the sunspots gone, almost anything is an increase in HF propagation.) The mobile/portable stations are working Europe and other locales on 20m.

"Eran and Martin have been working dozens of Europeans from Lapland to Bulgaria, plus European Russians, night after night lately with big (33-foot) verticals at Waimanalo Beach. Not just on CW but also on SSB. Tonight I worked SSB stations in Wales and southern England with a small parked mobile vertical. Heard Italians but they didn't hear me. These were the first Europeans I've worked on SSB in a year or longer ... maybe as long as two years. Granted, I haven't had much time for radio for at least the last year, so that may not mean much. Tonight's solar numbers: flux 66, A = 2, K = 1. Yet 20 meters was humming from about 4:30 p.m., when I was hearing East Coast stations real well, until 9 p.m. when I shut down."

"Jim in Rarotonga, E51JD, was telling somebody tonight that for the longest time, conditions were miserable down there. Some days he could hear almost nothing, not even VKs and ZLs. For the last few weeks, though, he said, he's been working the world again. But it's not consistent from day to day, he said."

Oahu 6m and 2m SSB Activity

August 4, 2008

The activity on 6m and 2m SSB continues to grow. On Saturday August 2, 12 stations checked into 50.125 MHz after the 9:00 am Healthcomm net. Newcomers include Sam, KH6BTV, Wayne, KH6MEI and George, AH6GK. Yaesu FT-817's and FT-857D's were predominant in the mix.

Activity then shifted to 144.200 MHz for a short roundtable. Among the radios that were put on the air include the Kenwood TS-700A, Icom IC-202S and Kenwood TR-751A.

That evening, Wayne KH6MEI, Cedric WH7JI and Ron AH6RH further tested Wayne's SSB capability. Wayne and Cedric are able to hear each other faintly, but not enough to make out the conversation. Wayne is located in Salt Lake and Cedric is in Lanai City.

A test on Sunday evening between Malcolm, Ron and Cedric was able to verify CW configuration and transmit operation from AH6RH and CW receive operation at KH6MSH and WH7JI.

August EARC General Meeting Presentation

July 27, 2008

The topic for the August 2008 EARC General Membership meeting is on improving your chances for talking with a ham astronaut. Richard Garriott, W5KWQ ex-KE5QNX, the sixth space tourist will ride to the International Space Station on October 12. Here's your chance to snag that rare astronaut contact. Richard Garriott is son of Owen Garriott W5LFL who was the first ham astronaut, operating aboard the Space Shuttle mission STS-51.

See the EARC Website for details.

Dr. Randy Pausch

July 27, 2008

One of the most insightful and inspiring lectures captured on video was presented by Dr. Randy Pausch. While he wasn't a ham, his insights are just as valuable to those aspiring in the world of education and for living a full life. Every student in high school should view it.

If you haven't seen the video, click here to see it in YouTube.

He also has a lecture on time management. Click here to see it in YouTube.

He answers ten questions in an interview with Time magazine. Click here to see it in YouTube.

And, he gave a final surprise visit to the 2008 graduates at Carnegie Mellon to give them the charge at the commencement ceremony. Click here to see it in YouTube.

Wikiquote has a series of Randy's quotes. It's good material to review when you've had a bad day in the office. Click here to read it.

The hams had their own version of such a wise and inspirational person. Professor Katashi Nose, KH6IJ was an inspiration to many students in Hawaii, and for ham radio operators around the world. Click on this link to read about him.

EARC Mini-Field Day

July 18, 2008

The EARC will have it's mini-Field Day at Hawaii Kai boat ramp this Saturday, July 19 starting at 4:00 pm.

See the EARC Website for details.

Two Meter Oahu-Lanai 2m Simplex contacts

July 18, 2008

Cedric, WH7JI made two meter simplex contact between Lanai City and Oahu this past week. On Saturday, July 13 at 9:03 pm local, Cedric and Ron, AH6RH made a 2m SSB contact on 144.200 MHz. Cedric ran a Yaesu FT-897D into a vertical, both with a linear amp and without. Signal strength was S0 to S3 at Kapiolani Community College. Signal strength improved up to S9 along stretches of the road leading to the Kaimuki Fire Station. Ron ran an Icom IC-910H running 100 watts into a Diamond NR73BNMO mag mount.

On Sunday, July 14, contact was reestablished on SSB. Operations shifted to 146.52 MHz FM simplex, where an S3 contact was established.

Cedric reports being able to hear Eric WH7JE and Malcolm KH6MSH very faintly from Oahu, but was unable to make two-way contact. Norm, NH7UA expressed interest in making contact from Waimea or Kohala Coast. Randy KH6IB was also heard active on 144.200 on Oahu on Thursday, July 18.

Fourth of July 6 Meter net a success

July 4, 2008, updated July 18, 2008

Randy, KH6IB hosted a six meter net this morning around 9:25 am on 50.125 MHz USB till about 10:00 am. Seven stations showed up.

  • KH6CB, Jim, Waimanalo
  • KH6DAN, Dan, Mililani
  • KH6ETG, Gordon, Manoa Valley, Icom IC-756, 100 watts.
  • KH6IB, Randy, Salt Lake, Yaesu FT-857, 50 watts into a Hustler 54 inch mast.
  • WH6PD, George, Ewa Beach
  • AH6RH, Ron, Round Top, 5 watts. Rig was Yaesu FT-817, 5 watts into an Ironhorse 6m magmount vertical.
  • W7TAE, Daryl, Kailua
  • NH7ZD, Steve, Moilili, Ranger.

Tom, AH6ZZ joined us after the net from Chinatown running 50 watts into his condo railing. Gary, WH6C expressed interest in the next net. Eric, WH7JE, Cedric, WH7JI, and Malcolm KH6MSH are gearing up for 6m.

Randy reports Hawaii 6 meter activity on 50.125 USB intermittently after the friendly net concludes on 7290 kHz, which occurs around 9:30 am local. Remember, KHON-2 stops Channel 2 analog NTSC transmissions on Feb 17, 2009.

Thida, HS1ASC in town

July 3, 2008

Ron has the pleasure of meeting Thida, HS1ASC for dinner at Jim WH6GS and Bev Yuen AH6NF's place and talked of ham radio in Thailand and Hawaii, and the KARC-EARC Field Day 2008. Ron talked of emailing Ruckdee Chotjinda, E20JLS from the Nikon email reflector many years ago, and watching Bill McArthur, KC5ACR autograph the QSL card of a Thai ham at Dayton Hamvention 2007. Jim and Bev have a photo album here.

Thida put together a video of the KARC-EARC Field Day activities, which is visible on YouTube. Hank KH6HAK's public service announcement on KITV can be seen on YouTube.

EARC Educational Workshop on Direction Finding

June 19, 2008

The EARC invites you to an education workshop Saturday, June 21 at the Kapiolani Community College Campus from 9:00 am to 12 noon featuring a workshop on Direction Finding and VHF propagation techniques. This is a follow-on to the presentation at the EARC May General Membership meeting on DF'ing by Ron, AH6RH, which was well received.

The presenters for this workshop are Ron, AH6RH and Bev, AH6NF. The topic is expanded from the core talk on DF'ing to include related topics: a review of VHF propagation (to give adequate discussion of the effects of Oahu's terrain and urbanization), the use of maps for plotting readings, strategies for effective DF'ing and anecdotes on past DF'ing activities. Time will be set aside to demonstrate and interact with DF'ing equipment.

Many thanks to Eric Ty, WH7JE for making the room available. Click here for a map of the campus. The talk-in frequency is 146.88- MHz.

The KH6HME Beacons are being heard in Southern California

June 19, 2008

It's that time of the summer. California stations reporting hearing the KH6HME beacons from the slopes of Mauna Kea. The conditions for tropo ducting between Hawaii and California could happen anytime in June or July.

Hawaii QSO Party

June 19, 2008

The Hawaii QSO Party is coming up the weekend of August 23rd. Click here for more details.

Sixth Space Tourist set to ride to the ISS this fall

June 19, 2008

Richard Garriott, W5KWQ ex-KE5QNX, the sixth space tourist will ride to the International Space Station this fall. Here's your chance to snag that rare astronaut contact. Click here for more details.

SuperFerry Maritime mobile

May 25, 2008

Dean, KH6DT and Kris, WH6OV maintained amateur radio contact while maritime mobile this afternoon on the SuperFerry as it left Honolulu Harbor at 3:00 pm. Contact was established on 444.35+, and maintained for about 23 minutes into the Molokai Channel, at an estimated distance of seven miles into the channel. One of the radios used was the Standard C508 handheld running 1/4 watt into a Diamond SRH-519 operating in the middle of the passenger cabin. The contact ended at 3:38 pm.

Makani Pahili 2008 Exercise Results

May 25, 2008, updated May 26, 2008

On Wednesday, May 21, 2008, amateur radio operators with the Hawaii State CD RACES program operated the KH6HPZ station at SCD EOC in Birkheimer Tunnel within Diamond Head crater from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, in conjunction and support of the annual Makani Pahili hurricane exercise. On Saturday, May 23 from 9:00 am to 11:30 am, the amateur radio community, HSCD RACES and Pacific Section ARES participated in a communications exercise simulating the recovery from the exercise hurricane, organized by Pacific SEC Kevin Bogan, AH6QO.

We had a total of six amateur radio operators at State CD, plus amateur radio operators on all major islands. Over 25 stations were on HF, including Red Cross, County EOCs at Maui and Hilo, and individuals at homes and other locations were operating on 7.088, 7.080 and 3.9935 MHz. Another dozen were on the state-wide VHF Repeater system.

This year featured a major push to implement and test the use of the NIMS (National Incident Management System) ICS-213 message form. It was used for the first time in Hawaii and the majority of the messages were exchanged in ICS 213 format. This may have been one of the first amateur radio exercise in the nation featuring extensive use of unmodified ICS-213 message forms for formal radio message handling. Given this was the first time, the use of the form and message handling protocol worked reasonably well. The advantanges of the form were it required little training, could be picked up quickly by new operators, the ICS-213 format clearly notes the sender and the intended receiver of the message, and the received message could be given to another person for subsequent handling. During the Wednesday exercise, incoming messages were entered into the EOC email system for handling by the EOC staff as part of the exercise simulation.

The ICS-213 radio forms used for this exercise were the standard form as issued by the US Government Printing Office. Since the original form was designed for use within an EOC and not intended to be used for radio messaging, during this exercise it quickly became apparent that adjustments were needed such as noting the operator position (HF vs VHF), inbound vs outbound message, date/time received or sent, the message number and the name of the operator handling the message were required. The information was written in the margins, and the revised forms have been reposted on the web. This version does not include a word count check, and it is unclear if a count is needed if the communications channels are clear and the operators are proficient.

Termites, HF DX'ing in Hawaii, 10 meters and South Africa

May 22, 2008, updated May 25, 2008

At tonight's EARC General Membership Meeting about Direction Finding, termites started to fly around the room at about 7:20 pm (Thursday, May 22, 2008). The old timers in Hawaii have a saying. "When the termites fly, head to Magic Island and ten meters will be open to South Africa." I couldn't leave the meeting, as I had the presentation to make, but 20 meters was open tonight, with various SSB and CW spots of KH6 from about 8:00 pm to 10:30 pm local time, including KH6ND and KH6XS. Ten was probably open too, even at the bottom of the sunspot cycle.

So, for about the next week, tune around 17, 15, 12 and 10 meters between 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm Hawaii Standard Time (0500z to 0800z). You just might hear and work DX signals.

Update: On the evening of Friday, May 23, I mobiled out and heard a lot of stations on CW for the WPX CW contest. Heard KH6ZM working 10m CW. Did not have a chance to work the bands as I encountered equipment problems, but will try again.

Update2: On Saturday evening, May 24, a number of stations were heard on 40, 20, 17 CW, as well as some SSB. Just because it's the bottom of the sunspot cycle, it doesn't mean that the bands aren't open. They are. You just need to work the bands and make contact.

EARC Direction Finding workshop, Sat June 21 9:00 am - 12 noon

May 22, 2008

As a follow-up to tonight's EARC General Membership Meeting about Direction Finding, an EARC educational workshop will be held on Saturday, June 21, 2008, from 9:00 am to 12 noon at the Kapiolani Community College Campus right behind Diamond Head. Featured will be more detailed discussion on VHF simplex communications, and equipment demonstrations for direction finding.

In the meantime, practice your VHF simplex communication, to better understand how VHF signals behave (or misbehave).

AH6RH and AH6NF work goat mobile/portable station, N0TU atop Mt. Herman, Colorado

May 19, 2008, updated May 20, 2008

Amateur radio operators Ron, AH6RH and Bev, AH6NF at the beach in Mokuleia made contact with Steve, N0TU atop Mt. Herman, Colorado on Saturday, May 17, 2008 on 20 meters. Steve was running a Yaesu FT-817 on only 5 watts at the very bottom of the sunspot cycle. There were only three sunspots, and a sunspot number of 23, so the contact was quite exceptional. It was also unusual because Steve's equipment was hauled to the top of the mountain via two goats! Click here to see Steve's YouTube video of the contact.

Ron and Bev were running a Yaesu FT-817 radio, into a Tokyo Hy-Power HL-50B amp and LDG Z-100 auto-tuner running 50 watts into an Ironhorse 20 meter vertical antenna mounted onto an Alpha Delta tripod, powered by a 33 amp gel cel wheelchair battery. Steve was running a Yaesu FT-817 radio, into a Buddipole antenna, powered by a 7-amp gel cel that he had the goats carry up the slope, along with the rest of his radio equipment. (Great idea, as a 7-amp gel cell is pretty heavy to carry in a backpack.)

Video of the ISS passing overhead

May 20, 2008

Click here to see a video of the ISS made by amateur astronomer Dirk Ewers of Hofgeismar, Germany hosted on the www.spaceweather.com website. He used a 5-inch refracting telescope to track the ISS on a 75 degree pass.

China Earthquake Emergency Communications Operations on 14.270, 7.050 and 7.060

May 13, 2008

Amateur radio operators are requested to keep clear from frequencies 14.270, 7.050 and 7.060 Megahertz in order to keep the frequency clear for radio operations regarding the emergency in China due to the recent earthquake.

Look Ma! Europe, and with no sunspots!

April 30, 2008, updated May 2, 2008

Even at the bottom of the sunspot cycle, with zero sunspots on the surface of the sun, it's possible to work Europe from Hawaii. Ron, AH6RH tipped off Bev, AH6NF that there might be an opening on Monday or Tuesday of this week. A satellite had detected a burst of X-rays on 1408z on Apr 26, followed by a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection). NASA's twin STEREO satellites recorded a million mph particle wave spreading from the sun.

Bev tuned up on 20 meters on Apr 30, 0640z to 0815z (Tuesday, April 29 8:40 to 10:15 pm HST) and scored a nice pile-up with Europe. Bev got 75 European QSOs, 21 European countries (Scotland and Estonia were new for Bev) and was spotted 7 times. Bev noted that the band faded out just as if someone had turned off a light switch.

Another opening occurred the next night, from May 1, 0630-0745z (Wed, Apr 30 8:30-9:45 pm HST). Bev, AH6NF worked Europe during the opening. Randy, KH6IB and Bill KH7XS also had pile-ups. Bev talked with Roger, DL5RBW who noted that propagation to the Pacific has been poor the past month, until the past two evenings.

Eran, WH6R reports that he and Martin Barr, KH6MB worked several hundred European stations on 20 meters CW and 20 meters SSB to Ukraine on 100 watts that evening with a end-fed vertical ten feet from the ocean. They were active from 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm local.

On the evening of May 2, the opening to Europe had closed. Ron, AH6RH heard South Africa and China, and wound up working one UA0 for the evening. A solar wind from a coronal hole is scheduled to arrive around May 5.

Even if the solar indexes suck, a nice CME can make your day (or evening)! Stay on your toes, and you just might score another opening and a pile-up! Monitor www.spaceweather.com for more timely updates.

Astronaut-ham expected in Oct 2008

April 20, 2008

For those of you who missed out on Bill McArthur KC5ACR, the astronaut-ham aboard the ISS space station, there's another astronaut-ham expected to go up in Oct 2008.

Richard Garriott, KE5QNX is expected to be the sixth space tourist aboard the ISS. His father is Owen Garriot, W5LFL, who made history in 1983 as the first astronaut-ham operating the first Amatuer Radio station in space aboard Columbia STS-9.

See this link for further details.

Now is the time to read up on the section at this website on Space Communications, make preparations and get some practice.

Mac for amateur radio

April 19, 2008

The Mac for Ham Radio page has been updated.

Anderson Powerpole for amateur radio

March 30, 2008

This is the story of how the Anderson Powerpole became the national standard power connector for 12 VDC power for amateur radio operators involved in emergency communcations.

Mac for amateur radio

March 29, 2008

If you're looking to buy a Mac and wondered what you'll need to get it working for ham radio, you'll find this page interesting.

Your first ham station

March 29, 2008

If you're studying for your Technician exam and wondered what kinds of options and equipment are possible for your first ham radio station, this page may be of use to you.

EARC workshop tentatively set for Saturday, June 21, 2008

March 28, 2008

The EARC will be putting on an educational workshop. Tentatively set for Saturday morning, June 21. Details forthcoming.

EARC meeting Thursday, May 29, 2008 -- Direction Finding

March 28, 2008

Ron Hashiro, AH6RH, will be presenting on the basics of VHF direction finding at the EARC General Membership meeting, Thursday evening, May 29. He will be discussing advanced topics one-on-one after the presentation.

PDF Presentation on APRS digipeating through the ISS

March 28, 2008

Peter, AF6DS has a good 40+ page PDF presentation on how to digipeat APRS packets through the ISS.

See this link

State-wide RACES VHF Repeaters now connected with Kauai

March 19, 2008, Updated March 28, 2008

The state-wide link for the SCD RACES VHF repeater system has been restored to Kauai. It's been many years since the repeater and link has been restored. Many thanks to Robin, AH6CP for pulling together the project team to reconnect the system.

The double beep heard on the Kauai 147.04 repeater indicates that it requires attention for adjustments or repairs. Repairs will take a while.

The Diamond Head 147.06 repeater has been running substantially reduced power output since March 12. Repairs will take a while.

EARC meeting tonight was a huge success!

January 24, 2008

The first EARC General Membership meeting tonight was a huge success. The most lively ham radio club meeting I've been to in years. About 40 people were in attendance. Our president, Wayne KH6MEI opened it with updates and information from the various committees. After the break, Chuck NH7XL gave a short presentation on PSK-31 on 40 meters. After that, it was the swap-and-shop time, trading/buying/giving all kind of stuff and people breaking up into groups of two or three, mingling and talking about all kinds of ham and non-ham items. Very lively conversation. We had guest Cedric, WH7JI from Lanai City at the meeting. If you weren't there, you missed out! Next month's meeting will be at the Red Cross Headquarters on Diamond Head Road.

Rare chance to participate in a 40 meter EME experiment

January 17, 2008, Updated: January 19, 2008

The HAARP research project in Alaska is conducting an unusual lunar experiment, bouncing 40 meter signals off the moon to an receiving array in New Mexico. Operating times are Jan 18 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm HST and Jan 19 8:30 - 10:30 pm HST. See ARRL Bulletin ARLX002 for details.

I filed this report for operations on Friday evening.

Copied the HAARP array direct on 6792.5 and 7407.5. Signal was about S6 on the 6.7 Mhz freq, and around S1 on the 7.4 Mhz freq. Could not copy the EME bounce.

Rig is Icom IC-706 MK II G, without antenna tuner. Narrow 500 Hz filter used. Antenna was random wire antenna, about 35 feet up 12 feet -- in a random pattern. DSP Noise filter is the Clearspeech filter. The HAARP signal could be heard direct on 22 inches of antenna!

Rick, KH7O reports unable to copy the moonbounce echo due to S9 noise.

Other reports from the west side of the Big Island for operations on Friday evening.

Eric, KH6CQ reports S9 up, S3 down, on 40 meter dipole up 10 feet.

Roland, AH6RR reports S9+10dB up, S4-7 down, on Double Bazooka up 30 feet.

Norm, NH7UA reports S6-7 up, -10dB down, on 160m half-wave doublet up 20 feet.

Eric, KH6CQ filed this report from Waikoloa.

Aloha,

My station is located in Waikoloa Village which is on the northwest coast of the big island of Hawaii. I am using a Kenwood TS-850S transceiver and a half wavelength 40 meter dipole antenna which is 10 feet above ground level.

At 0500Z the moon was about 70 degrees above the eastern horizon.

Between 0500 and 0600 on 6.7925 MHz I could hear both the transmitted signal and the reflected signal. I presume the stronger one was the one you were transmitting and the weaker one was the reflection from the moon. During the hour I heard the weaker signal about 90 percent of the time and it was just above my noise level with the exception that at 0546 it peaked at S3. I noticed a brief pause in transmitting about 0530.

Time Strong Signal Noise Level
0500 S9 S5
0515 S9 + 10 dB S5
0530 S9 + 10 dB S5
0545 S9 + 10 dB S2
0559 S9 + 10 dB S1

Between 0600 and 0700 on 7.4075 MHz I also could hear both signals. I heard the weaker signal about 50 percent of the time. The weaker signal started at S1, climbed to S3 by 0630, dropped to S2 by 0645 and was barely heard at the end of transmission due to interference from a shortwave broadcaster with a signal strength between S2 and S3. I noticed about a 30 second pause in transmitting about 0629. There was more fading on the stronger signal at this frequency than the previous one.

Time Strong Signal Noise Level
0600 S9 S1
0615 S7 S1
0630 S9 S1
0645 S6 S1
0659 S9 S1

At 0700 the moon was directly over head.

Details on Roland's report

I received the HAARP test on 6.792.5 MHz. Transmit was S9+10db. Lunar Bounce was S4-7 with flutter at times my noise was S3-5. I did not listen on the second test. It seems that the bounce signal was about a 3 to 4 sec delay and would be in with the transmit signal than following so if your GC was not on a faster recovery time you might have missed the lunar bounce with a strong transmit signal. Antenna is a Double Bazooka @ 30ft and the Radio is a Kenwood TS-850S with Inrad filters. Roland Spoon AH6RR

Details on Norm's report

Signal Report - Moon Bounce - 18 Jan 2008

Freq Time Strength Comment
_MHz____W___________________________________________
6.7925 1900 S6-7(up), -10dB(dn) S0 noise lvl, no QRM

7.4075 2000 S6-7(up), -10dB(dn) S0 noise, some S1-2 voice QRM

Location: Hawai`i Island, Kawaihae, 20N, 156W, 500ft elev
Antenna: 160m half-wave doublet ("1/2-square"), OWL feed
102 ft horizontal, two legs 79 ft ea, sloped
20 ft up, sloped sides reduce ht to 12 ft up
Orientation: 305-125 deg (horizontal portion)

Rcvr: Kenwood TS-440S, 500Hz IF filter, CW mode, full RF gain,
no notch fltr

Software: Spectran 2.0, build 213 (8 May 2004)

Analysis: Refer to MP3 recordings, 2 per freq.

Uplink signal -32 dB consistently, both freqs.
Noise level -70dB approx, S/N 38dB
Peak at 829Hz ±, also side pks @ 2,3,4th harmonics

Downlink (echo) signal strength varied, max about -36dB
Peak at 834Hz ±, harmonics visible, 2nd down 35dB

Click here for one of the MP3 audio files.

2008, the year of the ICS-213 form!

January 12, 2008

The ICS-213 message form is the standard message form used by emergency management agencies during emergencies. 2008 is the year that emergency communitors in Hawaii will be pressing to practice and become proficient in handling the ICS-213 form on the air. The goal is to use that proficiency for the October 2008 SET. See the next item for details on how to pass the ICS-213 form on the air.

Passing ICS-213 NIMS message on the radio

January 12, 2008

See this web page for information on how to pass messages that are not composed on the ARRL Radiogram message form, including the ICS-213 NIMS message form used by emergency management agencies. It also contains a sample test message.

Writing practice test messages

January 5, 2008

See this web page for tips on how to write practice test messages for practice emergency nets. It also contains a sample test message.

Sunspot Cycle 24 has started!

January 5, 2008

The Space Weather Prediction Center of the NOAA has reported that the first sunspot of Cycle 24 has appeared in the sun's northern hemisphere. Happy days of better HF are coming! Thanks Ernie (NH7L) and Pete (KH6IRT) for passing that along.

Find out more by contacting:  rhashiro(remove this part)@hawaiiantel.net
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Updated: January 18, 2010

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