Working Satellites

By Malt Massie, KC8DWD

This article first appeared in the June 1997 issue of "Hello Radio", the quarterly newsletter of the Lawrence County, OH ARES and RACES groups. Ken Massie-WN8F Editor. It then appeared in the July 1997 "ARNS Bulletin", Steve Auyer-N2TKX editor.

Working satellites is one of Ham Radio's hidden treasures. Do you want to try out Space Communications? Do you have to spend a fortune? Well, not entirely. Believe it or not, you can try out the Russian Easy-Sats with as little as 10 Watts on 2 meters. RS-10 is the name of one bird that can be worked easily. RS-10 receives signals on 2 meters and retransmits them on 10 meters. You can work RS-10 on a Technician Class License. RS-10 is a CW/SSB only transponder. The satellite is much like a repeater, except it has much more bandwidth, allowing many channels of QSO to take place on a single pass. Unlike most TV satellites, ham satellites are synchronous, meaning they rotate the earth, and are not at a fixed location. This means we have to track the satellites with computer software.

If you have Internet access, you can find information on how to predict satellite pass times. RS-10 has a CW beacon on 29.357 MHz. However, the frequency may actually be a few kilohertz higher or lower than 29.357. Why? Well, we run into a thing called Doppler effect. Just like the train whistle goes up in pitch until it passes, then proceeds to drop. As the satellite gets closer and farther from the earth, the frequency changes. Two other terms, up-link and down-link, are often used. Up-link is your 2 meter transmission; the down-link is your signal coming back out on 10 meters. One obstacle is the need for a 2 meter transmitter and 10 meter receiver. It's best to use headphones with the 10 meter receiver. When you transmit, you will hear your signal coming back down.

Antenna wise, a dipole will work fine for 10 meters. A 5/8-wave vertical is great; a 1/4 will also work. If you don't have a 2 meter all-mode, you can use a mobile by hooking up a straight key to the PTT (push to talk), and the ground so that pressing the key shorts PTT to ground. Your signal will have a chirpy sound, but it's enough to make a contact. This will work for CW only.

Another thing to consider-the satellite moves fast. It's only above the horizon for a period of minutes. RS-10 goes around the world in 90 minutes. Start out listening for the beacon. Once you hear a good signal, then start trying to make your contacts. Use the beacon to judge the Doppler effect. If it's I kilohertz higher, your signal will probably come down 1 kilohertz higher.

First, try a series of dits to try to hear your signal on down-link. Adjust transmit frequency until you hear it. Be careful not to cause interference to ongoing QSO'S. Try calling CQ, CQ RS DE call sign, call sign K. Then listen. It's not uncommon to hear people start tuning up to you as soon as you start calling CQ. That way they're on frequency when you're done calling CQ. Remember time is limited. Most contacts exchange calls, state, name, signal report. Typical response to CQ is: KC8DWD DE W3TFA OP STAN 559 MY KN. Sometimes you might only get a call sign.

Let's just say with 10 watts you can make some contacts a whole lot farther than on the local repeater. I worked Canada, Florida, Maryland, Nebraska with my first few tries. RS-10 also has a CW robot. The Robot calls CQ and tells the up-link frequency.

You can call the robot back by calling RS-10 DE call sign AR. High speed CW works best. If you successfully make it, it will call back call sign DE RS10 QSO NR 450 OP ROBOT TU USW QSO NR 450 73 SK. QSL cards are available from Radio Sport Federation, Box 88, Moscow, Russia. Make sure to copy the QSO number. Another new term transponder, the RS10 receives all signals from 145.860 - 145.900 MHz and transmits them on 29.360 - 29.400 MHz meaning if your up-link is on 145.861, the down-link will be 29.361. Don't forget about Doppler shift. Never try to operate FM. CW is permitted only between 145.860 - 145.870 MHz. SSB is reserved for 145.870 - 145.900 MHz. Below is the pass bands chart. Hope to hear you on the bird. Have fun.

Up-link Mode A 145.860 -145.900 MHz.

Down-link 29.360 - 29.400 MHz.

Beacons 29.357 MHz., 29.403 MHz.

Remembering the OWs of Early Ham Radio (Part 2)

By Donna L. Halper

Another pioneer OW was Edith Retch, a District One colleague of both Eunice and Irving. Though Edith was a few years older than Eunice, both women were very much ahead of their time. Like Eunice, Edith had never planned to get involved with radio. After graduating from college with highest honors, she distinguished herself in an area that was unusual for women in the early 1900s-- athletics. She won several trophies in ice skating, and she and Hazel Wightman earned the National Women's Doubles tennis championship in 1909. But it was World War I that helped her to discover radio-- the military was training women to be radio operators, thus freeing men for combat.

A number of women who wanted to serve their country took this training, and Edith was among them. She too fell in love with radio, and while she never did get into the commercial side, she became a fan of the amateur game. Her proficiency earned her the position of radio inspector for the Signal Corps, and when the war ended, by 1919 she had her ham call letters-- 1RO. (Later, she would be 1ZR.) She was so expert at code that when the first Boston Radio Show took place in 1922, it was she, along with District One Radio Inspector Charles Kolster (1RI), who judged the code sending events. Edith was also an examiner for the old Postal Telegraph Company, known for her high-speed sending, and in her spare time, she was a member of the Greater Boston Spark Coil Club. Like Eunice, Edith Retch was also active in ham radio throughout her entire life.

In District 3, there was another noteworthy OW, Elizabeth M. Zandonini (3CDQ, later W3CDQ). "Emzie" was a woman of many talents, including being fluent in Italian, Spanish, French and German (part of her job at the Bureau of Standards was doing scientific translations), like Edith Retch, Liz became involved with radio around the time of World War l: with the Public Health Service, she taught radio communication to disabled soldiers in Army hospitals, helping them acquire new skills. The willingness to teach about radio was something she displayed for her entire life. But Liz was more than a teacher. She was an accomplished builder and designer of equipment at a time when women were not expected to know about engineering (l have numerous articles from magazines of the early 1920s where editors explained that a women just did not have the brain power to figure out such complicated things. One editor suggested that if receivers were more attractive to look at, more women would be interested...). Like Eunice Randall Liz wanted to learn as much as she could and she was fascinated by how things worked. She especially enjoyed working CW, and years after most hams had moved exclusively to phone, she stated in her application for membership in the Old Old Timer's Club, "I operate only on CW, and in the 40 meter band." Ironically, when Liz applied for membership in 1965, it was Eunice who was Secretary-Treasurer of the OOTC, proving what a small world it is!

Liz Zandonini was a life-long resident of Washington, D.C., where she was an active member of the Washington Radio Club, and of course she was proud to be an ARRL member too. An interesting photo of her at her rig appeared in several newspapers in early February of 1925. The caption, which called her a "remarkable young woman" and "one of the most skilled operators in Washington", described the equipment and noted that she had built it all herself. "Her set consists of two 50-watt bottles in parallel, energized by 1500 volts rectified alternate current. The set is entirely of her own construction, as is also the three tube receiver. She has been heard in England as well as in every part of [the United States]."

As with Eunice P. Randall's illustrious amateur career, it would take many more pages for me to detail all of the achievements "Emzie" accumulated in her long involvement with ham radio-- she not only belonged to the OOTC but also was in the YLRL, the QCWA, and what was then called the IRE (Institute of Radio Engineers). Also, during her years with the Radio Section of the Bureau of Standards, she maintained their museum and showed famous visiting scientists what her department was working on.

A few of the OWs in New York got together in May of 1922 and started what may be the first organization for women in ham radio. It was called the Women's Radio League, and its founders included several OWs whose names you might know. Marianne Clayton Brown (2AOA) held a first class commercial license, and like Mabelle Kelso a decade earlier, Marianne trained to be a marine operator and wanted to serve her country. But Navy too had a policy that prohibited women from serving aboard ships, the same policy that the Marconi company had. Not wanting her training to go to waste, she ended up working al the Marconi factory in Aldene, New Jersey; ironically, her job was testing transmitting equipment for the Navy. Blessed with a sense of humor and the ability to write well, she got several articles published in radio magazines during the early 20s. As for her station, which she of course built herself, it was so impressive that it was named "Station of the Month" by what was then called "Radio Amateur News" in April of 1920-- first prize was $5, which we may assume was a lot of money back then... She was the first OW to win this award.

Among the other founders of the Women's Radio League was Abby Morrison, a young woman with a talent for writing about radio in an understandable style: she clearly had the technical knowledge, but like Marianne Brown, she knew how to get it across to even the novice. Abby contributed articles to such publications as Wireless Age, which retorted to her as a "radio expert", and she was also mentioned in "QST" and "Radio News" on several occasions throughout 1922-23. She was the first president of the Women's Radio League, and she was also an emissary for helping more young women to become knowledgeable about amateur radio-- because of requests for radio courses that would appeal to women, the YWCA in New York began a series of talks, which included instruction on how to make various types of radio equipment. Abby Morrison was one of the women asked to teach these courses. (It's a mystery that I have not been able to find her calls, although I know she was a licensed ham in the early 20s. If you know them, please send them in my direction!)

I mentioned how Marianne Brown was the first OW to win an award for her ham station. The next OW to win first prize had been a telegraph operator as far back as the 1880s, and came to the wireless in the late 19-teens. May L. Smith of Manchester New Hampshire (1BAE) won the award for Station of the Month in September of 1920. And as Edith P. Rotch could attest, ham radio keeps a person young-- SIXTY years later, in the 1980s, May Smith could still be found, now as W1BDN, sometimes working phone and sometimes CW.

Earlier in this article, I mentioned a 15 year old who worked from her high school station. Rena Jane Frew did not abandon amateur radio after high school. Like many women in the 1920s, she became a teacher, whose specialties were science and radio courses. I have also read about Elizabeth Bergner in the Chicago public schools and Rachel Thompson in the Boston Public Schools, both of whom did the same; they often spoke at radio shows about the educational benefits of radio, and each ran the station at the high school where they taught. [ have read testimonial letters from several of Rena's students, who were inspired by her to become hams. Rena Jane Frew was named "Miss Radio" at the first annual Radio World's Fair in New York in 1925, a prize given to "the most enthusiastic female radio fan"-- she won for the large number of stations with which she had made contact, both in ham radio and as a dx'er, but perhaps she also should have won for the number of young people who developed a love of amateur radio thanks to her.

I could go on-- there are so many other deserving OWs from the pioneering days of amateur radio. In "CQ-YL", it mentions that Emma Candler was a ham as early as 1915, working from station 8NH in St. Mary's, Ohio. In the 1919 QST Call Book, she and her husband were still in St. Mary's, operating 8ER. Perhaps some of you made contact with an OW from the early 1920s whose name I haven't mentioned; if so, I want to know about her. It is my commitment that these pioneers of radio should not be forgotten! (By the way, while this article is mainly about the women of the teens and early 1920s, a word of tribute should be given to somebody who got her start in the 30s, whose efforts on behalf of women amateurs made a major impact-- the late Ethel Smith, K4LMB, who founded the YLRL in 1939. Before she became ill last year, she and I spoke at great length, and she told me how she was working on up-dating and expanding the information in CQ-YL. She sent some of her files to me, and I promised I would continue that research. I dedicate this article to her memory.)

Donna L. Halper is a radio consultant, a writer, and a broadcast historian. She is on the faculty of Emerson College in Boston, and is one of the editors of the Boston Radio Archives on the internet. She can be e-mailed at [email protected]

Your J AVA-Enabled Browser Operates Remote Radios...

This appeared in the February-March 1999 issue of the "Log", the newsletter of the West Park Radiops, Glen Williams, AF8C Editor. It was taken from the April 1999 issue of the ARNS Bulletin, Steve Auyer, N2TKX Editor.

If you have a JAVA-enabled browser you can actually operate radios in foreign countries from your ham shack and even hear the audio. Oh, you will have to have the requisite audio plug-in and working speaker audio, of course.

First, you can connect to a radio through this URL:

The radio is situated in Huddinge, Sweden, 15 kms south of Stockholm City. The radio and computer attachments were set up by Kjeil Lindman, a Swedish Radio Amateur, SM0NHC. The radio is a remotely controlled radio with the amazing frequency span of 100 kHz to 1300 MHz. You are in control of an Icom PCR-1000 receiver. You have live audio and many features such as Chat, Frequency lists, filter and radio modes etc. You will need a Java capable browser and Real Audio 5.0 0r later.

Other radios are reputedly found at: sw1440/index, html (New York, USA)

(Umea, Sweden - several radios tuning from VLF to 1,300 MHz)

And you might also want to try:,htm

(live feeds from various radio stations)

(a list of radio station web pages from around the world)

(over 150 channels or radio, news, and whatever)
(up-to-the date National Public Radio broadcasts, plus a lot of information on NPR)


Because a number of individuals are willing to help and have the expertise to do it finding articles for a club newsletter has become much easier. Over the past few years individuals such as Gerry Crenshaw, WD4BIS and organizations such as the Amateur Radio News Service have made a newsletter editor's quest for new articles a lot easier.

In the old days we editors would have to rely on reprinting articles from major publications and those written by club members. Today there are many articles, some that have never been published, available to newsletter editors and they are free for the taking.

A good example of an individual who supplies articles for Amateur Radio Newsletters is Gerry Crenshaw, WD4BIS who provides a web site that is filled with articles he has written on all kinds of amateur radio subjects.

He offers the articles free of charge to all newsletter editors. The only thing he asks is that he Editor print his copyright notice and send him a copy of the newsletter in which his article appears. He says his reason for this is to assure his articles are being used. Otherwise there is no need for his web site.

An organization that offers articles that have been printed in other amateur news letters is the Amateur Radio News Service. The ARNS publishes a monthly bulletin that contains a number of articles and other things of interest to amateurs.

Newsletter editors may copy the articles and use them in their own newsletters. Editors are also invited to send articles from their newsletters to ARNS for publication.

ARNS also has a web site where they have all of their past articles stored. After visiting the web site I feel there are enough articles stored there for at least five years of publication.

Other amateur publications such as Worldradio and QST allow newsletter editors to copy articles published in them.

So all in all the newsletter editor's job of assembling a monthly newsletter has been made a lot easier because he does not have to search for articles as hard as he used to. This makes for a better newsletter all around.

-The Editor



The meeting was called to order by Gordon at 5:05 PM. Gordon explained that Pat was away on Company business.

There were sixteen people attending. All present introduced themselves.

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as printed in CQ.


Ted, KD2UB

Ted read the financial report that indicated that we are doing very well.


Gordon, KB2UB

There appear to be no complaints concerning the operation of the repeaters. There has been a couple using obscene language on the repeater. If anyone hears this repeated, please record the date and time.


Howard, W2QUV

There was one applicant who failed the 20-WPM test. There were five VE's present.


Bob, W2FPF

Bob reported that Mike, KJ6XE has turned in some contact reports.


Zak reported that the 20-Meter lunchtime net went good. The Thursday night 2-Meter Net had the usual three or four check-ins.

Gordon reported that there is a water tower being built across the former runway from Plant 5. Pat has been investigating the possibility of getting our antennas on top of it. Northrop-Grumman has won a contract to produce 32 more E2C's. This may mean more work in Plant 5. The company is planning to refurbish Plant 5 in anticipation of turning it back to the Navy. Refurbishment will probably include the Club shack on the roof.

Gordon also reported that he was invited by the Coast Guard to give a talk on proper radio procedures to new Coast Guard personnel. He reviewed the FCC rules and gave some other fundamental info. The Coast Guard is so short on budget that they cannot afford training for their people.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:18 PM.A discussion of the plans for Field Day was led by Mike, KJ6XE.