My good friend Kurt – AD0WE has updated his QRZ page and also his personal website located at https://www.morsecode.ninja. For the past 3-4 years now, I have alerted the club of his activities because of his positive influence on me within this hobby and he has been kind enough to contribute a few articles to our newsletter, and also because we share a common interest in CW. We actually worked a CW Contest together in 2019 at the University station W0QQQ in Manhattan, Kansas. He is at the top of his game when it comes to CW, and he is willing to share his experiences and his mentorship teaching CW which is second to NONE!
An interesting article found on his Ninja website is one about ‘Morse Code Revival’. He has discovered from an interesting report according to Google Search Trends, that Morse Code interest is on the rise. I never thought it could happen, but as Kurt mentions, thanks to sites like the “CW Academy” which is a website/club for CW operators that also teaches CW in an online classroom environment with code proficiency up to 25 WPM. Both Kurt and I are life members of this club, and life membership now is up to about 2500 members. Many of the members participate in the multiple weekly CW Ops Tests (CWT) which is a session of contest operations that lasts only for about 1 hour each time, several times every week. My lifetime membership number is 2346. When it comes to logging such events, there are several programs available on the CWOPS website. Some of the logging programs are CQRLog, CQ/X, DX4WIN (raw file), DX4WIN (sorted file), DXLab’s Spot Collector, DXLog.net, GenLog, Logger32, N1MM+, N3FJP, SD by EI5DI, SkookumLogger (Mac’s Only), TR4W, Win-Test, WriteLog, YFKtest and Ucxlog. Check them out as there is just so much out there. Also, there is the ‘Long Island CW Club’s online classes that promote the art of CW.
On another subject kind of related to CW, I did find another subject of common interest between Kurt and I and he has shared information regarding ‘Exploring Satellite Radio with SDR’. On his Ninja website, he talks about “a satellite (RS44) Russian bird built by students at Siberian State Aerospace University which was launched in December 2019”. It resides in a 775-mile orbit around the earth. There are several of us members of the GCARC interested in satellite communications. In the summer of 2021, I will be building a portable satellite antenna, because a dual band 2 meter/70cm beam is needed for this mode and hopefully I will also come up with a way to track the satellite of interest with a motorized tracing system. Hopefully by now, my friend has already built his motorized tracking antenna system, and I’ll be sure to ask Kurt about his experiences with satellite communications and his antenna system that he is perfecting. Kurt’s article about his personal experience with RS-44 is in detail on the Ninja website and is something to checkout if you are interested in trying to make a contact through a satellite. Kurt also created a video regarding the subject. According to Kurt’s article, the RS-44 satellite has a 60khz inverting transponder. Uplink is 145.965 MHz + – 30 kHz and a Downlink of 435.640 Mhz +- 30 kHz.) You may wonder what the 30 kc deviation is. Think of it as a moving train as it goes by. The sound you hear changes pitch and lowers in tone as it moves away from you. Likewise, as the satellite moves away, the receiving frequency drops by a maximum of 30 kc from the center passband before it is out of site and cannot be heard until the next pass. Kurt uses a program called SDRUno, which incidentally I also use as an SDRPlay pan-adapter on my computer for CW. The SDRUno program allows you to also record your communications, and of course Kurt does this in a live demonstration recording, using the software as he makes contact to a few amateurs using the 60 Khz inverting transponder which exist to reduce the Doppler shift. There are also satellites out there with linear transponders such as AO-73 (FUNcube-1), FO-29 and OSCAR-7. Note that these are SSB/CW transponders, so you can also listen and make CW contacts on the satellites which is of interest to me. There are at least 54 satellites listed on the Amsat page, which list dates and times of operation and locations to include elevation in degrees with azimuth headings.
As a project within the club, I would like to get together with other amateurs of this club who are interested in building a satellite antenna and maybe to include a satellite tracking system, and to be able to test it in real time, working through a satellite. For me, it would be the best of both worlds. We can combine SSB VHF/UHF SSB communications along with CW, making contacts through a satellite. My goal is to make a few satellite communication contacts through a satellite during one of our special events.
73, James – KW5CW