Just Ahead in Radiosport. Post #4531

Source: “The ARRL Letter”, dated 25 September 2014.


October will be a busy and exciting time for contesters, DX chasers, and certificate hunters.

Here is a summary of upcoming Radiosport events for October, 2014:

01 October:  CWOps Weekly Mini-CWT Tests.

03 October:  NS Weekly Sprint.

03-05 October:  DX/NA YLRL Anniversary Party.

04 October:  TARA PSK Rumble.

04-o5 October:  Oceanania DX Phone Contest.

04-05 October:  Russian World Wide Digital Contest.

04-05 October:  Worked All Britain HF Contest.

04 October:  New Jersey QSO Party.

04-05 October:  California QSO Party.

05 October:  RSGB 21/28 MHz Contest.

06 October: EU Autumn Phone Sprint.

06 October:  OK1WC Memorial Contest.

07 October:  ARS Spartan Sprint.

08 October:  432 MHz Fall VHF Sprint.

These are just some of the contests being conducted in October, 2014.  For a full explanation of these events and pertinent rules, check out the ARRL Contest Calendar–http://www.arrl.org/contest-calendar.


For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily.

You can follow our blog community with a free email subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed.

Until next time,

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Amateur Radio Payload on Lunar-orbiting 4M-LXS To Transmit Messages from the Moon. Post # 4531.

Source:  TV Technology, dated 26 September 2014.

Reporter:  Doug Lung.

Comment:  Russ Roberts (KH6JRM).

Summary:  With the right equipment, you may be able to receive messages from the moon sometime late next month.

Article excerpts:

The Amateur Radio payload on the lunar-orbiting 4M-LXS spacecraft will carry up to 2,500 thirteen-character digital messages to lunar orbit for retransmission using the JT65B mode on 145.990 MHz.

The mission is scheduled to run slightly longer than eight days, with the lunar flyby occurring about halfway through the mission.  The orbiter is one of the bes models for Beijing‘s new lunar probe Chang’e-5, which will land on the moon, collect samples, and return to Earth.

LUXspace said the 4M spacecraft will transmit continuously on 145.990 MHz (+/- 2.9 kHz) at 1.5 W into a simple quarter-wave monopole antenna.  “Transmission is based on a 1-minute sequence and a 5-minute cycle.  The transmission will start 4670 seconds (77.8 minutes) after launch”.  You will need  the free WJST software to decode the signals.

More details are available on AMSAT UK’s 4M-LXS Lunar amateur radio payload web page and LUXspace’s Manfried Memorial Moon Mission (4M) website.



This will one of Beijing’s most ambitious space probes.  Luckily for amateur radio operators and short wave enthusiasts, the payload will carry an amateur radio transmitter.  I will try to receive these signals with a homebrewed loop antenna.  If the mission is successful, scientists should gain more knowledge of our nearest neighbor in space–our own moon.

For the latest in Amateur Radio News and Events, please check the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated throughout the day.

Thanks for joining us today!

Until next time,

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Dipole and Inverted V Antenna Basics

One of the first antennas I rebuilt after the passing of Tropical Storm Iselle (o7-08 August 2014) was my trusty 80-10 meter inverted v.  The previous inverted v was torn up badly by 60-65 mph winds from the storm.  I managed to salvage most of the 450 ohm ladder line and a good portion of the antenna segments.  While I was researching for better ways to “harden” my wire antennas, I came across this helpful article by Dave Tadlock on the construction, mounting, and tuning of dipole and inverted v antennas.  While I incorporated much of Dave’s ideas, I elected to keep the inverted v as a multiband antenna, covering 80 through 10 meters.  With 450 ohm ladder line fed into a 4:1 current balun and using a short length of RG-8X coax to connect the balun to my trusty Drake MN-4 transmatch or the standby MFJ 941-E Versa Tuner II, I had an antenna capable of serving these amateur radio bands.  Each antenna element was 67-feet/20.42 meters long, giving me resonance at approximately 3.500 MHz.  With the ladder line, balun, and transmatch combination, I was able to get a 1:1 SWR on all amateur radio bands between 80 and 10 meters.  Dave’s video is well organized and loaded with many valuable hints.

You can check out the latest amateur radio news and operating events by following the news feeds in the blog sidebars.  These news articles are updated daily.

You can follow our blog community with a free email subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed.

Until next time,

Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

KH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog. 07 September 2014. Post #4474.

As the new week begins, here are some of the leading news stories we’re following:



Source:  QRZ.COM via W4PC

HRD Software, LLC announces the release of version 6.2.72 of Ham Radio Deluxe.  This is a maintenance release for Ham Radio Deluxe that provides fixes and enhancements to the software.  The developers have been working to address a few issues of particular concern to ur operators.  This maintenance release resolves issues regarding DM memory leak that was occurring on some machines, as well as a repair to the QSK function when selecting cluster spots.  Additionally, twelve new island groups were added to IOTA.  Additional enhancements or fixes can be viewed on our website.  We provide the 6.27 release at no charge to all registered uses of our 6.x software.  You can download the 6.27 release at:  http://ham-radio-deluxe.com.


Source:  ARRL

ARRL Audio News is a summary of the week’s top news stories in the world of Amateur Radio, hosted by Sean Kutzko, KX9X.  Compiled from the “ARRL Letter”, ARRL Audio News condenses the major Amateur Radio news highlights of the week into a fifteen-minute audio report. Enjoy ARRL Audio News anywhere, on your smart phone or tablet, your local repeater, or stream it on the go.  Each edition of ARRL Audio News runs about 15 minutes. For those airing the program on repeaters, listen for the letter “K” sent in Morse Code every three minutes or so.  That signals a five second pause in the audio.  We provide these breaks to give you a moment to prevent your repeater from timing out or inset a repeater ID.  The 05 September 2014 edition contains these stories:  New Amateur Radio Vanity Call Sign Fee set at $21.40; Next “Red Badge Day” will be held on 21 September 2014–this is a good chance to “rack up” some serious Centennial QSO Party Points;  Amateur Radio Transponder will accompany Japanese Asteroid Mission into deep space. To download your free copy of the ARRL Audio News, visit http://www.arrl.org/arrl-audio-news.

SOUTHGATE AMATEUR RADIO CLUB NEWS HIGHLIGHTS (see blog sidebar for complete listing)

Source:  WIA News

3.4 GHz under threat in Australia.

WIA News has issued an update on the “worrying situation” regarding 3.4 GHz in Australia.  Back in June,  the WIA advised amateur radio operators that the 9 cm Amateur Radio Band may be in jeopardy.  You can read all that Roger Harrison (VK2ZRH) prepared in the “Hot Issues” section of the WIA web page, or go direct to:  http://www.wia.org.au/newsevents/hotissues/current/index.php.

Now the Department of Communications has placed a Consultation on draft Direction to the 3.4 GHz band spectrum for the National Broadcasting Broadband Network spectrum gap on the web.  An exposure draft of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (3.5 GHz frequency band) Direction 2014 has been issued for public consultation.

The draft Direction relates to the use of spectrum in 3400 MHz up to and including 3425 MHz and from 3492.5 MHz up to and including 3542.5 MHz.  Submissions to the draft proposal are due by 22 September 2014.

Essex Hams capture ISS Gagarin Images.

As part of the Essex Ham Field Day on 06 September 2014, images celebrating Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin were captured in two passes from the International Space Station.  Pete (M0PSX) from Essex Ham said, “Receiving a fairly clear signal live SSTV from the International Space Station was quite a crowd pleaser, and the icing on the cake of another fun gathering of Essex Hams.”  Four stations were active on the field day with seven different verticals deployed, either for live QSOs or for testing.  Modes worked included voice, PSK31, JT65, and SSTV.  For images from the Galleywood Common Field Day, visit http://www.essexham.co.uk/news/essex-hams-galleywood-06-sept-2014.html.

Tentative schedule set for Eritrea DXpedition.

Despite some difficulties, Zorro (JH1AJT) is still planning on operating from Eritrea, leaving Japan in the morning of Sunday, 14 September, and arriving in Asmara on Monday, 15 September arond 03:15 local time (UTC + 3).  He will be fully occupied with meetings on Tuesday, 16 September 2014 through Friday, 19 September 2014.  There will be very little time for operating during these busy days.

On Saturday, 20 September 2014, and Sunday, 21 September 2014, there will be a good chance for him to get on the air for about 20 hours.  He plans to shut down his station and leave the hotel at night.  Then he will leave Asmara at 04:15 local time, with a Japan return date of noon on Wednesday, 24 September 2014.  Catch him if you can.

Be sure to check the blog sidebars for more amateur radio news and events.  These news feeds are updated daily.

You can follow our blog community with a free email subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed.

Until next time,

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM)

Site Administrator.

4M-LXS Lunar ham radio payload | Southgate Amateur Radio News

Beijing plans to launch a Lunar spacecraft on a journey lasting 196 hours that should take it around the Moon before returning and re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere (4M-LXS Lunar ham radio payload http://t.co/CDo0RGMbGp)…

Source: www.southgatearc.org

On 23 October 2014, 1800 UTC,  The Peoples’ Republic of China will launch  a lunar orbiting spacecraft on a 196 hour mission that will circle the moon and re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere.  The launch vehicle will carry an amateur radio payload known as 4M-LXS, which will transmit on 145.980 MHz, using the JT65 Digital Mode.  You can download a free copy of the JT65 software at:  http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

See on Scoop.itKH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog

Ham Radio Payload to Circle the Moon: – eHam.net

Ham Radio Payload to Circle the Moon: eHam.net A lunar flyby with a ham radio payload transmitting JT65B mode on 145.990 MHz is expected to take place toward the end of this year, giving earthbound radio amateurs the opportunity to receive some…

Source: www.eham.net

Here’s the latest update on the 4M-LXS lunar probed to be launched by mainland China.


According to the “ARRL Letter”, dated 14 August 2014, China has announced plans to launch a lunar orbiter carrying a 14 kg, battery-powered payload known as 4M-LXS.  Signals from the amateur radio payload will be transmitted by the free WJST software (JT65 mode) on 145.990 MHz).  You can download the software by Joe Taylor (K1JT) here:  http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt.  The orbiter is one of the test models for Beijing’s new lunar probe Chang’e-5, which will land on the moon, collect samples, and return to earth.  The orbiter will be launched into a Lunar Transfer Orbit and then perform a lunar flyby before re-entering Earth’s atmosphere after 9 days.  The launch is planned for the end of this year.


Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

See on Scoop.itKH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog

“goTenna” device converts smartphone into HT.

The device enables your smartphone to send and receive messages in the MURS band (151-154 MHz).

This little device may come in handy if you wish to talk with friends nearby.  “goTenna” is an app that runs on a smartphone or tablet that connects to goTenna via Bluetooth.  The system sends and receives messages in the 151-154 MHz range, the same frequencies as the MURS service.  The company claims the range at “personal height” will approximate the distance reached using a 2-meter HT (144 MHz) in simplex mode.  The most reliable range for the “goTenna” device will be a mile or less, although more range can be expected over unobstructed patches of water and desert.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

See on Scoop.itKH6JRM’s Amateur Radio Blog

Simple Ham Radio Antennas. A 80-10 meter Inverted vee antenna. Post #287.

One of the easiest and most cost effective antennas you can build is the 80-10 meter inverted v, a variant of the HF Doublet (horizontal dipole).  The antenna requires a single support mast, two smaller poles to tie off the “drooping” elements, and 450 ohm ladder line/300 ohm television twin lead connected to a balanced “tuner” to work all amateur radio bands between 80 and 10 meters (3.500 MHz to 29.999 MHz).  If you don’t have a balanced “tuner”, run the ladder line or twinlead to a 4:1 current balun and use a short length of 50 ohm coaxial cable to connect the balun to your “tuner.”

During the course of moving into our new home in the Puna District of Hawaii Island (we’re moving slowly, since we’re still working part time), I found a nice spot for a mast in the middle of our planned garden in back of the garage.  Since our home is on 1 acre of agricultural land, I have plenty of room for antennas, including loops, slopers, verticals, horizontal dipoles, and the inverted v.


One 33-ft/10.06 meters MFJ telescoping fiberglass mast.

One “Ladder Lock” connector to attach the ladder line to each antenna element.

75-ft/22.86 meters of 450 ohm ladder line.

Six feet of RG-8X coaxial cable with UHF connectors.

Two pvc support poles to tie off the drooping antenna elements. I had two, 10-ft/3.04 meters pieces of schedule 40, 2-inch/5.08 cm diameter pvc pipe sections in the garage.

Two ceramic end insulators to tie off the ends of the antenna elements.

One 5-ft/1.52 meters wooden stake to support the fiberglass mast.

Two 5-ft/1.52 meters wooden stakes to support the tie off posts for the inverted v.

One W9INN 4:1 balun.

One transceiver.  For this project, I used my trusty Ten-Tec Argosy II.

One Heathkit Dummy load.

One low-pass filter.

One Drake MN-4 antenna transmatch.

One “counterpoise bundle” for the Drake MN-4 transmatch.

Nylon ties and vinyl electrical tape.

Basic tools, including soldering iron, wire cutters, screwdrivers, etc.

One hundred 135-ft/41.15 meters of #12 AWG house wire.  I had a spool left over from a wiring project at the new house.  No sense wasting valuable copper.

Twenty-five ft/7.62 meters of nylon rope.


The antenna was built in the garage, because all of my tools and electrical outlets are located there.

The telescoping fiberglass mast was extended to its full length (33-ft/10.06 meters) and the “Ladder Lock” device was attached to the eyelet ring at the top of the mast.

The wire was cut to my chosen frequency of 3.500 MHz using the formula 468/f(MHz)=L(ft). According to the formula, the total length of the antenna would be 133.71-ft/40.76 meters. I rounded off the length to 134-ft/40.76 meters.  Each antenna segment would then be 67-ft/20.42 meters. You may want to cut your wire elements a bit longer to allow for swr adjustments.

I threaded the ladder line through the “Ladder Lock” and soldered each antenna segment to its respective leg of the ladder line. I covered the soldered joint with several layers of vinyl electrical tape.

At the free end of each antenna segment, I attached a ceramic insulator and a small piece of nylon rope to tie off the segment to a support post.

The ladder line was run down the fiberglass mast to a point 16-ft/4.87 meters above ground level. The ladder line was secured to the mast with nylon ties.

The mast was then hoisted onto its wooden stake with the two antenna elements being left free for the moment.

The free ends of the antenna elements were attached to their tie off posts (the 10-ft/3.04 meters pvc pipes). Each tie off post was hoisted into position.  The antenna was adjusted for a uniform “v” shape.

The ladder line was lead to the W9INN balun attached to the garage wall (about 8-ft/2.43 meters above ground level).  Ten feet/3.04 meters of RG-8X went from the balun to the window patch panel.  Inside the shack, a 6-ft/1.82 meters piece of RG-8X ran from the patch panel to the Drake MN-4 transmatch.  The Argosy II, dummy load, and the low pass filter were connected to the Drake MN-4 transmatch with 3-ft/0.91 meters lengths of RG-8X coaxial cable with UHF connectors.  Finally, a “counterpoise bundle” was attached to the ground lug of the Drake MN-4 transmatch.

Initial results:

With the Drake MN-4 in the line, I was able to get a 1:1 match on 80, 40, 30, 20, 15, and 10 meters.  I was running a full 50 watts from the Argosy II.  Results on 80, 40, 30, 20 and 15 meters were excellent with several 59 (SSB) and many 599 (CW) contacts made in Hawaii and on the U.S. mainland. The ten meter band was very noisy at my location and no contacts were made.  Eighty and Forty meters were best in the early evening hours, while 30, 20, and 15 were most usable during the early afternoon to early evening hours.

If you want a versatile, simple antenna that covers 80 through 10 meters, please consider the easily made inverted v.  If you have two high supports (trees, masts, or other structures), you might get a slightly better signal with a horizontal dipole erected at a height of 40 to 60 ft/12.19 to 18.29 meters above ground level.  Even though the apex of my mast was only 33-ft/10.06 meters above the ground, the antenna did very well on both local and DX stations.

This was an enjoyable antenna to build.  Give it a try…you might be surprised how well it works.



For updated amateur radio news and happenings, please check out the news feeds provided at the top of this post. These feeds are updated throughout the day.

You can follow our blog community with a free email subscription or by tapping into our blog RSS feed.

Until next time,

Russ Roberts (KH6JRM).

Ham radio 132 km contact at 122 GHz – Southgate Amateur Radio Club

Ham radio 132 km contact at 122 GHz
Southgate Amateur Radio Club
We have started with 24 GHz to align the antennas both sides and have made QSO´s on 47, 76 and 122 GHz.

Source: www.southgatearc.org

According to “The Southgate Amateur Radio Club”, a team led by Rudi (OE5VRL) has pushed the DX frontiers back a bit on 122 GHz.  Rudi has posted a YouTube video showing the contact over a 132 km path on 19 October 2013.  For more microwave news, you can subscribe to “Scatterpoint”, which is published 10 times a year.  For details, visit http://www.microwavers.org.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

Youth Net to become a regular event | Southgate Amateur Radio News

The SARL Youth Net on Sunday 6 July at 15:00 was well supported.

Source: www.southgatearc.org

An experimental Youth Net sponsored by the South African Amateur Radio League (SARL) was such a success on Sunday, 06 July, that a regular net will become a regular event for amateur radio clubs in South Africa.  The next session is set for Sunday, 03 August 2014, 1500 hours (local time) on 7070 kHz.  The objective of the Youth Net is “to bring young people together.”  Sounds like a great idea.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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