I passed my radio amateur exam in March 2013 and I registered the callsign PD4KH (pappa delta four kilo hotel!). PD4KH on qrz.com
I am usually located around maidenhead locator: JO22NC
I upload logs to eQSL.cc during and after being active on the radio. I upload logs to ARRL Logbook of the World, www.qrz.com and hrdlog on a regular basis. I like paper cards via the QSL bureau so I send those out and I will respond when I receive those. Notifying me via e-mail that you would like a card is also possible.
I appreciate QSL reports for QSOs.
gallery of eQSL cards received by PD4KH.
D-Star digitale amateur radio (Nederlands)
I added a new country in amateur radio contacts: Oman.
eQsl card from A45XR Oman
In a lot of the amateur radio contacts I have location information is exchanged. This is done in the Maidenhead Locator System which uses letters and digits to pinpoint locations with an increasing precision. I give out my home location as JO22NC. In the contacts I make I also log all those locators and using the Linux version of gcmwin I plot these on great circle maps. The results:
I had a nice high pass of the SO-50 amateur satellite but no luck on making a contact. I heard several other active amateurs and noted their callsigns and locators: HB9OAB in JN46ME, MW0URC in IO82JB, DL3XAC in JO53GN and 9A5YY in JN75DH. Silence in the recording is when I transmit. I still trip over new (to me) callsigns when trying to reproduce them, so I need the recording to get all the details right.
This evening there was another interesting pass of the SO-50 radio amateur satellite. The maximum elevation was only 68 degrees so there would not be too much time with the satellite high enough above the horizon to make contacts. I heard the pass clearly but it was busy with other (very structured) contacts and some regulars helping a newcomer, so I decided to just listen.
This weekend gave me another chance to receive slow-scan TV (SSTV) images from the International Space Station. These images were transmitted to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz Mission. The usable passes from my home location were at a bit early times: 05:30, 07:10 and 08:43. And I really like to sleep out on Sunday, especially since I'm currently quite tired. So I opted to only go for the 08:43 pass and see what I could get. Timing of images was also bad: when I started to hear the ISS I heard the tones of the end of an image. But later a new image started and I managed to receive the whole image although some noise in the middle (some building in the way probably) made qsstv break the image in two parts, which I fixed using the gimp. Used equipment: laptop with gpredict for calculating azimuth/elevation and frequency correction, a tripod, the Arrow antenna, the FT-857 radio. I recorded the audio on the laptop with audacity and did the decoding with qsstv later, which gave me the opportunity to try it a few times to get the best decode.
In checking the satellite predictions for usable ISS passes this weekend I noticed a nice pass of SO-50 this evening (high enough and at a time not clashing with other things). So I decided to give it a try with the FT-857 radio and dragged everything out: radio, cat cable, audio cable, laptop, satellite antenna, headphones, power supply. And looked up how it all should work together. My last successfull satellite QSO was almost a year ago in august 2014 so the skills were a bit rusty. It was good to have an idea of the data exchanged in a typical amateur radio satellite contact. I listened, I answered a CQ from MW0HCC and he acknowledged me on the second try and we had a full valid QSO. Right after that happened I felt some rain so I started to stop early.. and later in the recording I heard that DL3XAC also came back to me but I missed that. Better luck next time on getting back to that callsign! It's clear 10 watts from the FT-857 works a lot better than 5 watts from the Wouxun, and someone told me the CTCSS from the Wouxun isn't as strong as it should be either.
I thought of this ages ago: Moving the lightning strike detector to the shed but only today got around to it because we had some serious chances of a thunderstorm earlier today which showed up on the lightning strike detector but the graph was completely screwed up again after I tried some psk31 digital mode transmissions on the 20 meter amateur band (14.000 to 14.250 MHz for me). So now it is in the shed. Moving it to a lower position does mean I will not get readings for thunderstorms as far away as I used to but I'd rather have usable readings at this moment. First tests with transmitting psk31/psk63 on 20 the meter amateur band after I changed it look like it doesn't count the transmissions anymore. Now to wait for the next good thunderstorm to see how that gets counted. Some blips are showing up. Update 2015-07-14: The first result seems to be that using the lights in the shed (tubelights with starters) shows up clearly. Using the radio still has no effect. I now await the first thunderstorm for more results. Update 2015-07-28: No thunderstorm has been reported by the KNMI weather institute thunderstorm archive within a short distance of my sensor. I guess the maximum range is quite limited now.
The last year in counted lightning strikes, showing clearly that I got active on 20meter psk31 in October 2014. The 'blips' before that are real thunderstorms.
I thought I heard short exchanges with locators and callsigns when I made the last recording of an SO-50 pass. But since this is all NATO spelling and without any indication which part was what it wasn't completely clear to me what I was hearing. So I asked on the Amsat-bb mailing list about the typical SO-50 exchange and got an elaborate explanation:
So I would answer with: callsign de Pappa Delta Four Kilo Hotel, Five Nine in Juliet Oscar Two Two November Charlie, QSL? With: Pappa Delta Four Kilo Hotel PD4KH my callsign, Five Nine the signal report (audio quality 5 and signal level 9), Juliet Oscar Two Two November Charlie the Maidenhead Locator for where I usually operate and QSL? the Q code for Can you acknowledge receipt?.
- Europe: callsign / signal report (normally 59) / 6-character grid locator.
- In other parts of the world like North America and Australia, signal reports are not normally given.
- The 6-character grid locator is useful in Europe, where we in North America usually just go with 4-character grid locators.
- In Australia, call signs and general descriptions of your signals (loud/clear, for example) are all that they exchanged. No 59, no grid locator.
This evening I had a nice pass of SO-50, maximum elevation 83 degrees, southwest to northeast so I decided to give it a try. I heard two callsigns distinctly and tried replying to them but they didn't hear me or didn't reply. I recorded the pass again with the line-in on my mp3 player. Using the simple earphones from my mp3 player gave me reasonable audio. The cable between the radio and the splitter was giving some issues again: I still had intermittent audio levels when the cable moved. Update: And I edited the audio file I recorded: took of the first noise until the first voices showed up in the audio. I may have cut off too much as I can't find the German callsign anymore that I was quite sure I heard.
The weather is finally getting better and some people really would like me to demonstrate satellite QSO's. So I need to get active again and make those contacts. One thing I wanted to improve was the recording of contacts. When I use the FT-857 radio with computer control I can record everything but I need lots of wires and equipment. I also want to record in a more 'lightweight' setup, with a handheld radio (or two for full duplex). So I dug up an older 3.5mm headphone splitter and used my iRiver ifp-795 in line-in recording mode to record the incoming audio while hearing it at the same time via headphones. Today I tested recording the audio from the Wouxun KG-UVD1P. Someone on repeater PI3UTR was nice enough to keep it busy. I had a reasonable recording, it had distortion. Next test is on a pass of the SO-50 satellite. Update: I had a low pass (about 30 degrees elevation maximum) and I noticed the cable between the radio (2.5mm mono) and the splitter (3.5mm stereo) was giving an intermittant contact so I resoldered it. Understandig the callsigns in the audio was still a problem, I had to turn up the volume quite high which led to a distorted recording. And when I leave the iRiver ifp-795 in line-in recording mode it does not shut down after some minutes of inactivity. I have to shut it down by hand or switch to mp3 player mode.