In todays interweb world it seems almost any website you go to has ads splattered all over their pages and annoying popups everywhere. This website wont be that. When you come to read a blog post or story it will not be interuppted by annoying ads. I frequent a number of other hams websites and I cant stand it when you are on your phone and the screen is nothing but ads or stuff not related to ham radio.
We purchased a small acerage in Charles Mix County, South Dakota. Grid Square EN03. Becky and I plan on this being our retirement home. With my M2 satellite array taking up half of my backyard in Sioux Falls, they will have plenty of air to breath out in the country. Our new home sits up on top of a small bluff overlooking the Missouri River Valley.
With Winter coming on quick, my first goal with the new station is to get my 43ft Zero Five vertical antenna installed along with its radial field. I am really excited for the opportunity to finally work the low bands with a lower noise floor.
Building a home sat station takes some research, design, cash and work. The new sat station will not be on the air until next summer. I don’t want to just bale wire it together and have issues. i will go through the full design stages, do it once and build it to last. My biggest challenge is going to build the support system for the M2 sat antennas. It is not uncommon for us to have 60+ mph winds here. When we do have windy days, I need to be able to lower them and tuck em away.
The HF vertical will go to the right of our home about 75ft from my ham shack. Wind the wind blows from the west or north, it will feel the full effects of it. I have been a ham operator for 36 years. This hobby never gets boring. The opportunity to start over and build a solid station is exciting and a great project.
I plan to blog my progress with the new station build here. So if you are bored or want to learn something new, follow along!
“Measure Twice and Cut Once”
I didn’t actually have to cut anything, but the old quote remains true when working with precise measurements and assembling antennas. The M2 antennas are a thing of beauty and very well built (that is an understatement). Care was taken to read the instructions a number of times and don’t skip a step. The elements are to one side so that I could adjust each one to make sure they are all centered correctly.
The 436CP42UG antenna is built and will go up on the tower this week.
M2 Antennas Have Arrived!
The new M2 antennas for 2m and 70cm are here. Both antennas are circular polarized. The 70cm will have the polarity switch allowing me to change from right to left hand polarization. The 2m Antenna will be updated with a polarity switch later.
This pair of antennas will allow me to better hear the satellites closer to the horizon. Jokingly I have said if a fly farts in space, I want to hear it.
More on the progress coming soon…
Upgrading Ground Station Antenna Array
The current satellite array is made of 2m and 70cm yagis that are more then 20 years old. One over 40 actually. Although they have served me well, there is better. The initial goal was to replace both yagis. After analyzing the the tower this weekend, I have taken the initiative to update the whole tower setup. Here is the current plan…
- Replace 145mhz Antenna
- Replace 435mhz Antenna
- Install pre-amp housing
- Raise mast 3 feet
- New coax jumpers
- Install new rotor plate
- Raise azimuth rotor
- Install video camera for observation
Without AMSAT and all of its volunteers, there would be no Amateur Radio in space. The only way we can continue to launch sats and encourage the next generation is by everyones support. You can easily support AMSAT by getting a simple yearly membership! If you have the financial resources, your contributions would be greatly appreciated. Lastly, offer to volunteer.
Learn more by visiting https://www.amsat.org
Want to learn more?
Are you looking to learn more about amateur radio satellites? There are a number of great resources out there. The first place to start is with the AMSAT, the Amateur Radio Satellite Corporation. They are the defacto go to when it comes to amateur radio in space.
Resources To Learn More About Amateur Radio Satellites
AMSAT – Amateur Satellite Corporation
What Are Amateur Radio Satellites?
Amateur radio has been in space for 50 years. Over the decades AMSAT has launched or partnered with many different organizations to launch ham radio into space. Ham sats allow licensed amateur radio operators to communicate via satellite and connect with other licensed hams all over the world. Amateur Radio Satellites are a great way to meet new people around the world as well as serve as a direct line of communications during disasters.
To me one of the most exciting parts of the hobby is chasing the sats as they race across the sky. Think about pointing a little antenna at an object the size of a softball out in space some 300ish miles away. Not only are you tracking that small object, you are doing so while it travels at 17,000 miles per hour!