CCARC NEWS 14-17
THE PERIODIC NEWSLETTER OF THE CENTRAL COAST AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
ISSUE No 14-17 9th May 2014
In this Issue:
- Working Bee at Somersby
- Repeaters to be Switched Off
- Smoke detectors prone to RF interference
- Ham Video premiers on Space Station
- History This Week
- Broke & fixed
1. Working Bee
There will be a working bee at the Somersby Repeater site on Saturday 17th May to carry out much needed maintenance. Free up your schedule for this day.
2. Repeaters to be Switched Off
Starting from next Thursday 15th May the following changes will be made to VK2RAG repeaters. These measures are being introduced to reduce overall power consumption at the installation, whilst minimising inconvenience to users. We are also investigating Solar Power for the site to further improve consumption and costs.
Between Midnight and 0600, all the un-used / low usage repeaters will be turned off, leaving on only 146.725, 438.075 repeaters, 145.175 APRS, 439.150 Packet regenerator, 146.6375 (D-* port C), 438.325 (D-* Port B), D – * Gateway.
To be switched off in frequency order will be 53.725 (6M), 145.600 B’Cast RX’s (FM-814 and FM-92), 439.725 (6M link), 439.950 (APCO 25), 441.00 (Rylstone link) and 1273.4 (23 cm.)
3. Smoke detectors prone to RF interference
The WIA report that a recall on certain smoke detectors prone to RF interference has been issued in Australia.
Photo Electric Smoke & Thermal detector 449 Series are used to detect smoke threats and communicate to a security panel.
The recall only affects certain model numbers manufactured between March 25th, 2013 and February 28th, 2014, which will have date codes between 13084 & 14059.
What are the defects?
When the Smoke Detectors are near a device with frequency levels ranging between 440Mhz – 470Mhz, the Smoke Detectors may possibly become idle or activate false alarms.
Some devices, other than 70cm Amateur gear, such as Satellite Phones and hand-held ‘Walkie Talkies’, also use this frequency range for their operation.
Frank VK2AKG via the WIA
4. Ham Video premiers on Space Station
5 May 2014Astronauts on the International Space Station can now talk with people on Earth with video using simple transmitters. ‘Ham TV’ has been set up in ESA’s Columbus laboratory and already used for talking with ground control.
Amateur radio enthusiasts have been able to poll astronauts circling our planet using standard radio equipment since the Station was inaugurated in 2000. Radio signals easily reach the orbital outpost flying 350 km above us on sets readily available to radio enthusiasts.
The new Ham TV adds a visual dimension, allowing an audience on the ground to see and hear the astronauts.
The hardware, developed by Kayser Italia, was sent to the Station on Japan’s space freighter in August last year and connected to an existing S-band antenna on Columbus.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins had the honour of being the first to commission the unit and broadcast over Ham TV. He had a video chat with three ground stations in Italy: Livorno, Casale Monferrato and Matera. The crew finished commissioning the set-up on 12 April for general use.
Just like standard television, the video signal is one way. The astronauts cannot see their audience but they will still be able to hear them over the traditional amateur radio on the Station.
Contacts are brief – the connection requires direct line of sight and the Station’s 28 800 km/h means it quickly passes through the field of view of amateur stations.
ESA has provided five ground antennas and equipment to the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station organisation to receive video from the Station. These stations can be transported easily and positioned to follow the laboratory as it flies overhead. Linked together in this way, the stations can supply up to 20 minutes of contact at a time.
Ham TV will add to ham radio for space educational purposes, offering schoolchildren the chance to talk and see astronauts in space with simple equipment.
Anybody can still hail the Station via radio and, if an astronaut floats by the always-on receiver, they might just pick up and answer the call.
For more information on how to get involved and organise an educational event, contact the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station organisation.
5. History This Week
A look back at events that made history this week –
compiled by the Summerland Amateur Radio Club of Lismore, NSW
Monday, 5 May, 2014
868 The first known dated printed book was the Diamond Sutra, a Buddhist scripture.
1660 Isaack B Fubine of Savoy, in The Hague, patents macaroni.
1752 Benjamin Franklin first tests the lightning rod
1840 The adhesive postage stamp was first sold in Great Britain. The “penny black” and “twopenny blue” stamps.
1851 Dr John Gorrie patents a “refrigeration machine”
1888 George Eastman patents “Kodak box camera”
1896 First horseless carriage show in London (featured 10 models)
1899 Lawn mower patented
1928 General Electric opens first TV-station (Schenectady NY)
1937 The Hindenburg burned while landing at the naval air station at Lakehurst, N.J.
1979 Radio Shack releases TRSDOS 2.3 computer.
2000 Conjunction of Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn & Moon.
BROKE & FIXED
No items for Broke & Fixed this week – all CCARC infrastructure is operational.
This section lists important announcements and possibly items from previous CCARC NEWS editions that are still current and may need your input:
Jaycar Tuggerah & Erina will give CCARC members a trade discount – approx 10% on purchases over $25. Make sure you ask for it. Thanks Rod VK2LAX and Col VK2ZCO.
Anyone reading this on the website who is not yet a member of the CCARC, please consider joining by emailing ccarc at ccarc dot org dot au for full details.
For submissions to this newsletter from CCARC club members please email the editor news-editor at ccarc dot org dot au
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.
Dave VK2DLS … News & Publicity Officer …