February 2018 NABRC Monthly Newsletter #email

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February Meeting

WHEN: Monday, February 12, 2018
6:30 PM - Fellowship
7:00 PM - Meeting

WHERE: Aiken Regional Medical Center
6th Floor, Classrooms A and B
University Parkway
Aiken, SC

TALK-IN: 145.350 Mhz (-) (PL tone: 156.7)

Program: HT WORKSHOP. For this meeting please bring your HT and the owners manual. Carl, KP2L, will be the "MC" and you will be conducting various exercises using your HT, so that you can become familiar with the basic operation of your HT. We will be helping each other where needed. If you have a way to program an HT from a laptop bring that equipment to help others get going. And if all goes well, we will show how to "cross band repeat"!!

Also, Carl has scheduled a club build of the QRP GUYS KD1JV code trainer board for the March meeting. The price of the kit with a battery is $20.00 (maybe a little less which he'll refund). He'll be collecting the money to order kits from those who wish to participate in the build. Here is the link:

School Club Roundup

Starting Monday, February 12 and running through Friday, February 16 is the bi-annual ARRL School Club Roundup. School clubs from around the United States will compete to see who can make the most contacts during this week. Both local school clubs will be participating in this wonderful event.

Schofield Middle School

The Schofield Middle School, Aiken SC, Technology and Ham Radio Club, N4SMS will be on the air all 5 days starting around 2:15PM till about 6:30PM.

N4SMS will be mostly working on 20m SSB and some on 40m SSB. This club placed first overall twice in the nation in prior contests, and in the past couple of years, first in middle schools. We will be operating a ICOM 7300 with a Elecraft KPA500 amp.

They could use a couple of additional Elmers this week. If you can help out for any part of the schedule, please come. We will have cookies, snacks, non-adult beverages, and on Friday PIZZA. Let us know if you can help out. You can email Kent, KQ4KK at khufford@... for more information or to let him know you can help.

North Augusta High School

The North Augusta High School Amateur Radio Club, K4NAH, will be on the air each day from 3:00 till 6:00 PM. They could use some help setting up as well. If you can help, we will start setting up each day at 2:30 PM at the Auditorium. You will need to stop by the office first, so please allow time for signing in.

On Friday, we too will have pizza for the students who participated in the Roundup.

We will be operating on 20 and 40 meters off an inverted V wire dipole running 100 watts.

If you would like to help or for more information, please contact Greg, K5CVD, at godseygreg@....

Contesting Class

The Swamp Fox Contest Group (SFCG) is sponsoring an intermediate level contest class. It will include concepts and practices going beyond the Field Day type operating most are familiar with and targeting those people already knowing the basics and wanting to improve their contest scores. The skills can be used for Field Day, but will be focused on participating in other contests happening throughout the year. It will likely be on a Saturday and last about 4 to 5 hours. They have done something similar the last couple years with a basic class. In this case, it will be assumed people have been in several contests and/or Field Days and want to explore how to be more competitive. It won't be starting out at the "Why contest?" or "This is how you make a contest contact." level. Attendee's should already know that part of the puzzle.

Expected topics will be things like antenna height and take off angles, methods to help break pile ups, making contacts flow more efficiently, improving your Search and Pounce technique, how to run stations by calling CQ, using N1MM contest logger tools to increase contact rate per hour, operator attitude, internet sources to help with self improvement efforts, and things to think about before the contest if you are planning on putting forth a serious competitive effort where you hope to place well in the contest.

The SFCG is looking for input about what people would be interesting in learning and if there is any interest in this kind of class. They are looking to hold this class around April or May of this year.

If you are interested or would like to offer suggestions, please contact Kevan at knason00@.... Any suggestions are welcome and if you would like to attend or not, please take a moment to email Kevan. Thanks!


Canadian Radio Amateur Finds Resurrected NASA Satellite

When he's not on ham radio, Scott Tilley, VA7LF, an amateur astronomer, hunts spy satellites. Using an S-band radio from his home in Roberts Creek, British Columbia, Tilley routinely scans the skies for radio signals from classified objects orbiting Earth, according to a recent article on Earlier this month, he saw the signature of IMAGE (Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration), a NASA spacecraft believed to have died in December 2005. The discovery has delighted space scientists.

"The long gone and nearly forgotten IMAGE spacecraft has come back to life and been detected by an amateur astronomer," said Mission Manager Richard J. Burley at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), which confirmed that what Tilley spotted is, indeed, IMAGE. Amateur observer Paul Marsh, M0EYT, in the UK, provided the first independent confirmation of the IMAGE signal.

NASA said on January 29 that observations from five sites were consistent with the RF characteristics expected of IMAGE.

But just to make certain beyond a shadow of a doubt, scientists at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab collected telemetry from the satellite that identified the spacecraft as IMAGE. A NASA team has been able to read some basic housekeeping data from the spacecraft and will continue to analyze data from the spacecraft to learn more about its condition. This will require adapting old software and information databases to more modern systems.

After the spacecraft went silent, an unsuccessful 2007 effort was made to track IMAGE in the hope that a "long shadow encounter" would drain the battery enough to cause IMAGE to reset its control hardware. When that effort failed, the mission was declared to have ended. Space scientists now theorize that an even longer eclipse -- or other event -- did reset the system and bring the transmitter back to life.

Launched in 2000 on a mission to monitor space weather, IMAGE mapped plasma patterns around Earth, keeping tabs on the planet's magnetosphere as it responded to solar activity; on-board ultraviolet cameras shot images of Earth's auroras. "It had capabilities that no other spacecraft could match -- before or since," said Patricia Reiff, a member of the original IMAGE science team at Rice University.

Reiff said UC Berkeley still has a ground station that was used for real-time tracking and control and is scrambling to find the old software to see it they can get the spacecraft to respond.

"[IMAGE's] global-scale auroral imager would be fantastic for nowcasting space weather," Reiff said. "Fingers crossed!" -- Thanks to Alex Schwarz, VE7DXW;; NASA

From the February 1, 2018 ARRL Letter.

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