Author Archives: Jay Moore

Jay NQ4T'S IGate setup

Jay makes APRS iGate for SOWW Bike Ride

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Outside of things like packets bouncing off the ISS, APRS does have a legitimate use other than just playing around with packet. In fact, one of the original uses of APRS by it’s designer, Bob Bruninga, while a research engineer at the USNaval Academy in the 80s, was for plotting the positions of naval ships over HF. He later developed a more advanced version for tracking horses during a 100 mile endurance run. Of course, this was long before the use of GPS that allowed even more accurate position reporting along with automated beaconing. For the SOWW race, there was some very limited APRS usage; a few of the Nam Knights had APRS trackers placed on their motorcycles. The location of our race was quite rural, and there was question as to if the trackers on the motorcycles would be… Read more »

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 reasons; just about everyone knows what it is! While being… Read more »

March Meeting – CANCELED

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Ladies and Gentlemen, COVID-19 has been confirmed in Prince William County. County officals have canceled all events at county facilities until further notice. In light of this, and to protect everyone’s health; it has been decided that the March meeting has been cancelled. We will continue to plan on having the April meeting as normal and will make any changes as we know how this unfolds. Stay safe. 73 Jay NQ4T 

burned and exploded network stuff

Lightning strikes Jay Moore’s house

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As a ham, we know lightning is our enemy. These big powerful bursts of static electricity can carry a lot of voltage, almost as much current, and is the absolute enemy for our antennas, our electrical supply, and the equipment connected to both. In most cases, many of us will never see a direct lightning strike; and I’m glad to say I’m still technically part of that club. But on the evening of September 2nd; I found out just how destructive an indirect lightning strike can be. Thunder had been booming for quite a while and it was getting further and further away when it happened; a super bright flash, a loud boom, and a house that shook like an earthquake (actually, it shook more than the earthquake.) The power immediately went out and everyone wondered what happened. I went… Read more »