Here I am a month after the last post and it is has been a month of very little ‘radio antics’.
I was acutely aware that since the end of September my wife had become a radio widow so promised not to lock myself away in the shack for a while and have been doing some much needed painting and decorating around the house.
I haven’t been in much of a radio mood anyway as I have been unwell and am still not fully over my last wobble. Band and weather conditions have been rubbish with a sustained period of high wind and rain including storms Abigail and Barney. As a precaution I dropped the pole and it became apparent I had some maintenance to do on the OCFD.
The shack too had been in need of some sorting out, which I thankfully I did muster enthusiasm to tidy up.
While being largely uninspired I haven’t been completely radio silent, I did get on air for the South Kesteven ARS 2m net but found myself suffering some QRM again
It isn’t the first time I’ve seen this sort of signal, but I had thought it had gone away, it seems it is back and stronger! This was an ARISS contact I monitored back in 2013 before I was licensed with a similar noise.
After using the SDR to identify the noise I realised I have been neglecting the FUNCube Dongle for far too long. So ordered some new SMA adapters from HamGoodies and pressed it back into service. I have been using it to decode the telemetry from the FOX-1A (AO-85) satellite with the updated software and have now got myself on the leader board even if the collinear is currently horizontal about four feet off the ground!
I remembered I dabbled a few years ago with decoding PMR DMR using the SDR and a scanner with a discriminator tap using various programs but they were very hit and miss at the time. I reacquainted myself with the various projects and had a go at decoding some amateur transmissions.
Finally this week I gave a presentation at SKARS on the subject of HABs and how to plan a HAB launch. Following on from the Eggsplorer-1 and Hamfest “Pigs In Space” HAB launch I decided to try to explain everything I had learned for anyone else contemplating giving it a go!
It was a long talk (perhaps too long) as I covered everything from building the electronics, software, making the payload box, getting the right balloon, parachute, gas, obtaining permission and then the prediction, launching tracking and recovery.
It was a great turnout with a lot of interest.