Bouncing Signals off the International Space Station

What if I told you that even without any astronauts actively working a radio and making contacts, there was still a reason to point your antenna at the sky when the ISS passes over and throw some RF at it? Well, it’s true, and it’s nowhere near as difficult to accomplish as you might think; in fact the last two nights in a row I’ve successfully sent a radio signal up to the ISS and gotten one in return. How? I’ll tell you! There are a number of objects in orbit that we as amateur operators can actually transmit to. There are a number of low-powered satellites of various modes you can talk through, but the ISS is the most well known of LEO (low earth orbit) objects for obvious … Read more >>

Sunshine Corner

Byron AK4XR with Plaque and Coffee cup

Happy birthday to our club members celebrating another year this month –  Jack, KN4HHQ; Steve, KB4OF; Ken, WB4ZOH; Philip, KI4WCC; Jeff, KM4FTK; George, K4GVT; Sandy, KM4JUS; Rosalie, KN4ZLY; Dwight, N4GSD; Mary, KK4GOW; Jeff, K9VEG; Richard, KJ4ZIH and Luther, WA3FMO. Hope everyone found a way to celebrate his or her special day! Very happy to announce we have a new member of the Heartney clan, Ben was born on June 19th to Elizabeth, KG4TVM & Nick, KG7SOM.  They live near Seattle, so if all goes well we will see them in August. Way back in February, we had our last in person club meeting and it was the elections of officers.  My intention was to present a plaque to Byron, AK4XR at the March meeting for his service as club president … Read more >>

VP’s Corner

USCGC Eagle (WIX-327), formerly the Horst Wessel and also known as the Barque Eagle, is a 295-foot barque used as a training cutter for future officers of the United States Coast Guard. - Wikipedia

Hope everyone had a safe and happy Independence Day as we celebrated our nation’s birthday. August marks another important birthday – that of the U.S. Coast Guard, tasked with protecting our shores from smugglers and terrorists. As we honor that anniversary, here’s a sea story about one of that service’s epic battles. It began 100 years ago this year with the passage of the 18th Amendment.     Popularly known as Prohibition, the new law forbade the import or manufacture of alcoholic beverages in the U.S. Predictable results followed its opening kickoff. British and Canadian distilleries ramped up to full production and the smuggling race was on. Seagoing smugglers loaded up motherships for rendezvous with small speedboats just outside U.S. territorial waters. The Coast Guard’s task was a daunting one. … Read more >>

13 Colonies Certificates arrive

13 Colonies 2020 certificate

The certificates from 13 Colonies special event are arriving.   If you get all 13 colonies, it is called a “sweep”.   There are also bonus stations for the Liberty Bell and a station in England.  Known club members include Al, KB4BHB;  Wayne, N7QLK and Ken, KE2N.  

KK4ZUU’S Excellent Field Day Adventure

My son James cooking while I setup (NLY, but he’s studying that Technician Manual again…)

My son and I set up a portable operation at Loft Mountain Campground for ARRL Field Day 2020 [FM08PF]. We operated solar/battery powered on 6M/40M SSB S&P, and on VHF/UHF FM Phone. We operated Sat from 6pm to 1030pm EST (shutdown to observe quiet hours), and on Sunday from about 11am to 3pm EST. We logged 64 QSO’s, all voice. The weather was beautiful, especially in the evening when temperatures were 55-60 degrees F overnight with a light 5-10mph breeze. If only we could have brought some of that evening weather back in a jar! The closest storm was north of us in Luray, VA (~30m north). The campground did not have online reservations, we went very early Friday to get a site (first come, first served) and by 1130am … Read more >>

OVH does distributed Field Day

haywagon operating - Gil KM4OZH

Due to the damn pandemic, we did not have our usual field day at Nokesville Park. However, many club member did participate in field day activities. Known OVH field day operators include Al, KB4BHB; Wayne, N7QLK; George, K4GVT; Butch, W4HJL; Jay, NQ4T; Tony, KM4KLB; Ron, K3FR; John, KG4NXT; Jeff, K9VEG; Wayne, N4HCR; David KK4ZUU, Kevin, KX4KU; Mark, WA4KFX;, Bill, N4SV; Ron, N4RDZ; and Jim, KM4SXM. If you were missed, let John, KG4NXT know and we will add you to the list. Wayne, N4HCR, wrote an article on field day that was published on the forbes website.  This is the link to it: There was a lot of digital operating this year. Three of us did FT8 with auto logging: Wayne, N7QLK; John, KG4NXT and Bill, N4SV. Mark, WA4KFZ … Read more >>