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Archive for June, July and August 2013

August 2013 meeting

Thailand's first amateur radio satellite
likely to be launched in 2015

Tanan, HS1JAN explains when the launch of Thailand's first amateur radio satellite is likely to take place during the August meeting of RAST.

HS1JAN provides a presentation about JAISAT-1

Sunday, August 4 was an appropriate day for a RAST meeting since August 4th is Thailand's National Communications Day with ceremonies having been held in the morning at the offices of Thailand's regulator, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).
Things were much less formal at Sena Place Hotel, however, when over 40 RAST members, guests and visitors attended the first monthly meeting to be organised in two months which was presided over by Pornchai (Joe), HS2JFW. Many other committee members were also present with a committee meeting having been held earlier in the morning.

Suwan, HS1SKQ (standing in the middle, facing the camera) from King Mongkut Institute of Technology, North Bangkok introduces himself at the beginning of the August RAST meeting.

As usual, the meeting began with brief introductions by visitors and returnees, with the new faces including Ban, E20NHL who had recently obtained his intermediate class licence and several ajarns from King Mongkut University of Technology, including Suwan, HS1SKQ and an ajarn from Kasetsart University.
Returnees were Hans, HB9DKZ/HS0ZBT on his way back to Switzerland from China, and Stig, LA7JO/HS0ZGD who has been upgrading his station in Phimai.
The university lecturers were at the RAST meeting in conjunction with a presentation about plans to launch a Thai amateur radio satellite which were outlined by Tanan, HS1JAN who is the project manager of JAISAT-1, Thailand's Joint Academy for Intelligent Satellites for Amateur Radio of Thailand.

The Thailand Amateur Radio Satellite Group intends to launch an amateur radio satellite in 2015 and Tanan began his presentation by reviewing the development and evolution of amateur radio satellites, beginning with OSCAR-1 in 1961.
Since then, satellites have been launched by radio amateurs in many countries and they have become much smaller in size with examples being the Cubesat -- merely a 10cm cube in size and pictured above on the table in front of the notebook computer -- while there are now kits available such as for the TubeSat where the price of the kit includes a free launch.
Plans for the 2015 launch are broken down into three phases and JAISAT-1 is currently in Phase one, which began in June this year and should finish in December with experimental tests for the microcomputer, linear transponder, ATV broadcasting tests with balloons and arrangements with the launching country.
Phase 2 (January - June 2014) will see the prototyping of the design for the equipment to fit the Cubesat format while Phase 3 (from June next year until December 2015) would be the working process for the launch, he said.
The modules of the satellite will comprise APRS and a beacon, a packet bulletin board system (PBBS), ATV by HD camera, a linear transponder full-duplex repeater and red, white and blue lighting to symbolise the Thai flag, Tanan added.
In September last year and again in May 2013, Tanan had made presentations at RAST meetings about amateur radio ballooning providing plans and then the outcome for MSBAT-3 which had been a precursor to the JAISAT programme -- with RAST having been a co-sponsor of these activities all along.
Appropriately, Tanan's outline of plans for Thailand's first amateur radio satellite was followed by another demonstration of amateur radio capabilities embedded in hardware -- namely a robot. Nimit, HS1IFU/K6XOX showed a robot (pictured at right) that he had built himself in California following the tsunami that struck Japan in 2011.
The robot, which was over 15-inches high, incorporated a Geiger counter and has APRS capabilities. Impressive, indeed.
Following these two presentations, RAST President Joe announced that he would postpone his planned presentation about RAST's participation at the Friedrichshafen hamvention to next month -- adding that by which time Champ, E21EIC may have returned from Japan to provide a first-hand account about the Tokyo Ham Fair where RAST will be exhibiting at booth A12 on August 24-25.
In the meantime, RAST will also be busy preparing to support the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) at ITU Telecom World 2013 at Impact Arena in Bangkok where the organization that consists of national amateur radio societies around the world will have a booth from November 19-22.
Last month, IARU Region 3 Chairman Gopal Madhavan, VU2GMN had visited Bangkok and met with RAST President Pornchai, HS2JFW and Liaison officer Tony, HS0ZDX to discuss plans for this event.
The RAST President also announced that work was about to begin at AIT to renovate the HS0AC club station building there with plans to replace the door, paint the interior, replace the electrical sockets and check the wiring and circuit breaker as well as bringing in new furniture.
RAST has also acknowledged a generous donation of amateur radio equipment from Suwit, HS7ECI that includes a Kenwood TS-450S transceiver, three VHF transceivers: an Icom IC-W21AT, an IC-2S and a Standard C-168 along with a host of equipment that includes an antenna tuner, a Daiwa rotor, low pass and line filters, a Heil foot switch and Icom microphone, a Bencher paddle, a Kenpro memory key, an AEA DSP-232, coax switches, a Diamond SWR meter, coaxial cable and a Sony ICF SW7600 receiver.
During the meeting Gen Prasit, HS1DN also announced that he would like to donate some hardline coaxial cable to RAST, for which the society is most grateful since a considerable amount of coax will be needed to set up several operating positions as the club station at AIT gets back on the air.
While the August RAST meeting didn't have a presentation from our president about Friedrichshafen there are a couple of photographs below that provide an idea about the size and scope of the booth at the ham radio fair in Germany.

Nimit describes the robot with APRS (on the table in front of him) that can take readings with a Geiger counter built in that he created during the August RAST meeting.

RAST exhibits at Friedrichshafen Messe

Led by RAST President Pornchai (Joe), HS2JFW the society participated in the ham fair in Friedrichshafen, Germany from June 28 to June 30, 2013. The Friedrichshafen Messe is the largest amateur radio ham fair in Europe with some 15,300 visitors attending this year and the event was a big success for RAST, according to Gerd, DK5FJ/HS0ZKF who provided these photographs.
In the picture above Gerd is seen with Joe at the booth and below the RAST president can be seen in the background with Benjamas while among those standing in front of the booth are Thida, HS1ASC along with Christofer, DJ7PI and Gerd.
According to Gerd, many hams from elsewhere in Europe and from other countries around the world visited the RAST booth and a large number of visitors signed the attendance book.

Heinrich Dreher-Tonja,
HS0ZEL, is a Silent Key

The Radio Amateur Society of Thailand and the radio amateur community in Udon Thani are deeply saddened to learn that RAST life member Heinrich-Hans Dreher-Tonja, aged 72, passed away in Udon Thani on July 9, 2013 after suffering from dengue fever.
Heinrich had held the Thai callsign HS0ZEL and he also had the Swiss callsign HB9CKB. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
May he rest in peace.

June RAST meeting

Suwarapong (Art), HS4LKW explains how the Khon Kaen Amateur Radio Technology group (KART) is planning to celebrate 22 years of the HS4AK club station with a seminar on June 15 at the Rajamankala University of Technology to RAST members at the June meeting. RAST President Pornchai, HS2JFW is seated behind him at the podium while Teera, HS4UEL and Nares, E20YLM are standing at right. -- HS0ZDX photo

Khon Kaen gets ready to mark HS4AK
club station's 22nd anniversary

After introductions made by visitors, new members and returnees, the June RAST meeting began with one-minute of silence in memory of the late Eduardo Campos-Tortosa (Eddy), HS0/EA4BKA who passed away from acute emphysema on May 23, aged 72.
A RAST member for almost 40 years, Eddy had helped the society in many ways, serving as international secretary from 1978-1980 and in other capacities after that as well as participating in all major RAST events.
In the late 1970's Eddy had joined the late Kamchai Chotikul, HS1WR-SK and Sribhumi Sukanetr, HS1SS, a former director-general of the Post and Telegraph Department on camera in a Thai TV Channel 4 programme to explain the benefits of amateur radio to the public.
Eddy's body was cremated on May 27 at Wat Nong Yai in Pattaya following a Catholic Mass and Buddhist funeral rites.
May he rest in peace before a joyous rebirth.

Introducing themselves at the June meeting were David, HS0ZLG, a US ham for 45 years along with his XYL Judy, KD6BBO, along with Tetsuya, JA6TWU, a Thailand resident for two years, and Suwarapong, HS4LKW from Khon Kaen. Also present at the meeting was returnee Eric, HS0ZLC along with IARU Region 2 Director Hans, DF5UG, HS0ZFU and 9M2QQ.

The turnout for the meeting was good with around 50 members attending who would learn about a seminar and other activities to be organised by the Khon Kaen Amateur Radio Technology (KART) group to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the HS4AK club station later this month.
The seminar, to be held on June 15, 2013, is called "Amateur Radio is More Than You Think" and will be one of several such seminars conducted in Thailand that aim to develop knowledge about various aspects of the hobby and promote the use of new technology and techniques for amateur radio communications. Previous such seminars have been held in Bangkok, Lampang, Surat Thani and Surin.
The day-long event will take place at the Rajamangkala University of Technology in Khon Kaen and will feature presentations about HF operating and contests, about satellite communications, packet radio, APRS, ARDF, EME, Echolink, ballooning and disaster communications using amateur radio, according to Suwarapong, HS4LKW.
Khun Suwarapong was accompanied by Nares, E20YLM and Teera, HS4UEL and the group has been selling T-shirts to promote the event and to raise funds. To coincide with the seminar there will also be a novice class amateur radio examination on the morning of June 15 and a VEC volunteer FCC examination for a US licence a the Rajamangkala University of Technology in the afternoon. (Please contact Champ, E21EIC if you intend to take this exam at e21eic(AT)gmail.com ).
There will also be a special team effort in the All Asia DX CW Contest over the weekend of June 15-16 from the HS4AK club station.

Also at the June meeting, Champ came forward with a DXCC Award for Sakol, HS1JNB and former RAST President Mayuree Chotikul, HS1YL made the formal presentation to Sakol (pictured below) for DXCC on the 20-metre band in the mixed mode category.
RAST President Pornchai, HS2JFW also announced that Thai amateur radio operators would participate in an international ARDF in Penang, Malaysia on June 30, while Rudy, HS0ZEA announced that John Vajo, HS0ZAA was selling two Kenwood TS-870 amateur radio transceivers and a Collins 30L1 along with four 572B vacuum tubes. Rudy may be contacted at ruri1(AT)gmx.net for more details or if you are interested.
The next RAST meeting will take place on Sunday July 7, 2013 at the Sena Place Hotel although RAST President Pornchai said he would not be present himself since he would be attending and participating at the ham fair in Friedrichsafen in Germany where RAST will have a booth. He will be joined there by several Thai amateur radio operators and many RAST members resident in Germany, Switzerland and other nearby countries.

Eddy, HS0/EA4BKA is a Silent Key

Eduardo Campos-Tortosa (Eddy), HS0/EA4BKA, formerly HS1ALP, passed away on May 23 from complications arising from acute emphysema. This image of Eddy, created by Peter P. Bunnag in December 1985, was on display at his funeral services in Pattaya on Monday, May 27, 2013.

Former RAST secretary succumbs to emphysema

Eduardo Campos-Tortosa (Eddy), HS0/EA4BKA and formerly HS1ALP, passed away at 02.35 a.m. on the morning of May 23 from complications arising from acute emphysema. He was 72 years old.
Eddy, who had served for many years as a diplomat at the Spanish Embassy in Bangkok, had been a member of RAST for almost 40 years and he had helped the society in its long struggle for amateur radio to be recognized by the Thai Government as a legitimate and legal activity.
This included making an appearance in the mid-1970's on Thai Television Channel 4 with former RAST President Kamchai Chotikul, HS1WR-SK, and former Director General of the Post and Telegraph Department Sribhumi Sukanetr, HS1SS to explain amateur radio to the public.
Eddy had also served on RAST committees on several occasions, including holding the post of International Secretary for the society from 1978-1980.
He had been active on the air from Thailand under the callsign issued by RAST which had been HS1ALP and later, and up until he passed away, he had operated with the callsign HS0/EA4BKA from his station in Pattaya.
Eddy had also participated in all major events organized by RAST, including many Southeast Asia Network (SEANET) conventions, most recently being the convention hosted by RAST in Lampang in 2007.
He will be deeply missed by his family and his many, many friends around the world.
A funeral service and Mass in Pattaya was conducted on the morning of Monday, May 27 at St Nikolaus Catholic Church in Pattaya and this was followed by a cremation ceremony at Wat Nong Yai a short distance from the church. The services were attended by members of his family and relatives, close friends and representatives from RAST.
May Eddy rest in peace before experiencing a joyful rebirth.

For earlier news about RAST and developments regarding amateur radio in Thailand, please check our earlier archive here while a report and pictures of the RAST New Year party can be viewed here