February 2018 Satellite Report

by Peter 2M0SQL in IO87ip
Elgin Cathedral

Elgin Cathedral

February was a cold month up in Elgin, saw a reasonable amount of snow and of course freezing temperatures which doesn’t make you want to go outside much, so limited shack improvements, I’ve also been busy on the work front with more clients wanting small shop front style websites so radio has mostly been limited to weekends.

However, there is still plenty of interesting things happening on the satellites.

VY0ERC GoFundMe for Arrow

On the 2nd of February, Gabe AL6D started a GoFundMe to raise some funds for the club in Nunavut could operate from EQ79 and ER60 which are rare squares. The Fund was to get enough money to pay for an Arrow II antenna and some coax jumpers.

The community rallied around the idea and it was funded within 15 minutes, now there is anticipation for QSOs!

2M0SQL Shack Updates

Elevation Rotator Failure

The 22nd of February was a sad day here at the 2M0SQL QTH, the elevation rotator decided to stop working, after doing some quick fault checking deemed it to be motor related as the cables worked fine on both outputs.

Friday the 23rd saw me taking the AMSAT kit apart to get the rotator down which isn’t a fun job when the wind chill was lurking in the -2c range but got it done.

In between this process, Charlie GM1TGY messaged me to say he had an elevation rotator which he kindly dropped by Saturday and by Sunday afternoon the antennas and rotator were on the mast and I had made QSOs by 4 pm.

The damaged rotator is going back south to England for repair thanks to my sister taking it with her!

ERC-M Replaces the FoxDelta ST2

This month saw a slight change with the setup, I decided to switch the Fox Delta ST2 unit after being offered an ERC-M unit which has similar capabilities however the added functions of built-in ethernet and other small improvements, hopefully, get that installed in the coming months.

PicSat Tests FM Repeater

On the 15th of February the PicSat team did a surprise transponder test, sadly I wasn’t aware it was happening else I’d have been on, however, they did share this short tweet with video.

2M0SQL Best Contacts of the Month

February, of course, saw QSOs with the regulars on the satellite passes, however, each month there is QSOs of note on AO-7 I was able to work Adam K0FFY for the first time in EN31, Adam was out portable with an arrow braving the cold weather, also on AO-7 worked WB8RJY & K3SZH.

On AO-91 it was nice to hear a new station from Iceland this being TF8TY (HP83) you normally only hear TF when someone’s visiting on holiday. CU2ZG provided a new square (HM77) which added to my VUCC total.

On FO-29 the only transatlantic QSO was WB8RJY but always good to work across the pond, I’m sure this will improve as it heads back to peak orbit.

SatPC32 version 12.8d Released

Version 12.8d has been released of SatPC32 the most commonly used application for automated stations, the updates include improved IC-9100 cat command support and many bug fixes.

It can be downloaded from Erich DK1TBs website

Active Satellites

Linear Satellites: AO-7, AO-73, UKube-1, EO-88, FO-29, XW-2A, XW-2B, XW-2C, XW-2D, XW-2F, CAS-4B, LO-87

FM: AO-85, AO-91, AO-92, SO-50

Live Status Reports available on AMSAT Status

Hopefully, March will bring QSOs with VY0ERC and you never know a few extra squares and some improvement in the weather!