CCARC NEWS 13-21
THE PERIODIC NEWSLETTER OF THE CENTRAL COAST AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
ISSUE No 13-21 16th. June 2013
In this Issue:
- Another club’s magazine.
- New Fox-1 Satellite coming next year.
- A useful CCARC repeater.
- New carpet in lecture room.
- Broke & fixed.
1. Another club’s magazine.
During the week I came across the “Sierra Signals” club magazine from the Sierra Foothills ARC. As you’ll see it’s published by the ISSU company who have “apps” for mobile phones and tablets as well as well as being readable directly through your PC browser program using the link below.
There are also other Amateur Radio Club magazines on the site such as “Elements” “Airtime” and “Short Skip” – and I’m sure several more – simply scroll down the page and you’ll find free on-line mags on many subjects from clubs and organisations around the world. There is a lot of Australian content from what I can see, but that could also be that the website knows I am in Australia and hence is presenting local content. In any case, ISSU appears to be a site that’s worth looking around.
2. New Fox-1 Satellite coming next year.
AO-51 (AMSAT OSCAR 51) went out of service about a year ago. it was the easiest satellite to work from Australia using a simple HT and handheld aerial set-up. The new FOX satellite is expected to provide similar easy access from next year – here is a report from the Southgate News:
Ham Radio CubeSat Fox-1 update video
AMSAT VP for Engineering Tony Monteiro, AA2TX, provided an up-to-the-minute review of AMSAT-NA’s next satellite, Fox-1, at the AMSAT Forum at the 2013 Dayton Hamvention.
The first of a number of satellites planned for Project Fox, Tony reviews the motivation for building a CubeSat, the components that comprise Fox-1, and the capabilities and experiments included. He describes the launch assigned by NASA for Fox-1 and gives a brief look at future Project Fox satellites.
The FM voice uplink of Fox-1 will be on 435.180 MHz and the downlink will be 145.980 MHz with an optional sub audible FSK digital carrier channel. The satellite will carry a camera that can take a VGA (640×480) image of the Earth every minute, it will take 50 seconds to download each image.
Watch Fox-1 Status Update, by Tony AA2TX – 2013 Dayton Hamvention
Further information on Fox at
IARU Coordinates Frequencies for Fox-1a Ham Radio CubeSat
3. A useful CCARC repeater.
Well of course all of our repeaters are useful but one that I consider particularly useful is the 438.075 MHz FM VK2RAG repeater at Somersby. This 70cm repeater has good coverage of the Central Coast as an analogue FM repeater for use by all whether at home, mobile in the car or using your handy talkie. The extra feature this repeater has however is IRLP which means it can be linked to hundreds of other repeaters around the world. A how to use article from Dave VK2JDH was featured twice in our Smoke Signals quarterly magazine, so I wont go into detailed instructions here of how to use it suffice to say you need a transceiver that is capable of sending “DTMF” tones (as you hear on a telephone) either fron the rig itself or more often from the rigs microphone. If your rig doesn’t have DTMF tone capability it can normally be added for a few dollars by buying a new microphone that is suitable for your model of rig off eBay or similar stores.
Once you have the DTMF capability switch to the repeater as normal, make sure no one is already using it and announce your call sign and that you are about to access IRLP, then while on transmit type in the number of the other repeater or reflector (group of repeaters) you want to be linked to, on your transceiver or microphone and release the PTT. An automated voice will announce whether you have successfully linked the two repeaters or not. If all is OK, listen to make sure no one is already talking at the other end and then give your call sign and “listening via IRLP through -callsign of other repeater-“. With any luck after a call or two you should get a contract. As the repeater you have linked to may be at the other side of the world, consider what time it is there – you are unlikely to get a contact if the time at the other repeater is the middle of the night you are unlikely to get a contact!
Once you have finished you contact – or if you found no contact, you should close the link again using those DTMF tones – while on transmit type 7 3 on the keyboard and release the PTT there should be a response that the link has been dropped.
Here are some interesting node numbers to try –
9070 – Alaska USA Reflector
3574 – Utah USA repeater
6900 – Christchurch NZ repeater (may not be operational)
5612 – Polpero, Cornwall England Repeater
If you are away from the coast and want to get back into our repeater at Somersby, out IRLP Node number is 6060.
The complete list or IRLP “nodes” is located at: irlp.net – select “Node Info / List of nodes and frequencies” from the side options. There are also IRLP “broadcasts” that you can listen to and these are also listed on the irlp.net web site – select “Listen Live” from the options on the left hand side.
For those in the Woy Woy peninsula area Doug VK2MDC provides an IRLP node access point on 145.100 MHz – this is not a repeater, just an access node but you access IRLP through it in the same way as described above via this simplex channel.
IRLP is allowed to be used by all classes of license, the only caveat is if you dial-up a repeater that comes out on band you are not authorised to use (e.g. 6metres for a foundation call) you will be operating illegally.
4. New carpet in lecture room.
Thanks to Bob VK2PEP for organising it and to the members who first helped to move the furniture out and then back into, the lecture room at Kariong so that a new carpet could be installed. This is part of the ongoing renovations to the club rooms. The Radio Room got a new carpet a few months ago, the walls were repainted a few months before that. It’s good to have the club rooms renovated and I’m sure we all thank those involved in doing this work.
What’s next I wonder ?
5. Broke & fixed.
No items for Broke & Fixed this week – all CCARC infrastructure is operational.
This section lists items from previous CCARC NEWS that are still current and may need your input:
- CCARC membership fees become due from July 1st and have been set at $35 for the coming year.
Anyone reading this on the website who is not yet a member of the CCARC, please consider joining by emailing ccarc @ ccarc.org.au for full details.
For what’s coming up in the next few months at the CCARC, please check the club calendar, accessible from the header on any page on the website.