On 26 April, via technology managed by ARISS we participated in a contact with the ISS. It was a long signal chain that starts with a telebridge using a mobile phone link and PTT microphone that links to VK4KHZ (Shane) as a local moderator and ON4ISS (Jan) and then via RF to the ISS on 145.8 MHZ.
Our part was providing and environment and a local moderator VK2KZ Anthony Monger. There we some technical issues with a 6db variation in incoming and out going audio levels which produced a little sweating by the local operator in the room.
Following is the text of the ARISS Press Release:
ARISS News Release No. 21-23
ARISS Contact Scheduled for Students at St Scholastica’s College, Glebe, New South Wales, Australia
April 22, 2021—Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has received schedule confirmation for an ARISS radio contact with astronauts. ARISS is the group that puts together special amateur radio contacts between students around the globe and crew members with ham radio licenses on the International Space Station (ISS).
This will be a telebridge contact via amateur radio and students will take turns asking their questions of Astronaut Victor Glover, amateur radio call sign KI5BKC. English is the language that will be used for this contact. Both onsite and remote access will be provided to the student body at the time of the contact per Covid-19 guidelines. The downlink frequency for this contact is 145.800 MHZ and may be heard by listeners that are within the ISS-footprint that also encompasses the ARISS radio telebridge station.
ARISS team member Jan Poppeliers, in Aartselaar, Belgium using radio call sign ON4ISS, will serve as the ARISS relay amateur radio station.
The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for April 26, 2021 at 6:34 pm AEST (Sydney), (8:34 UTC, 4:34 am EDT, 3:34 am CDT, 2:34 am MDT and 1:34 am PDT).
St Scholastica’s College (about 1000 students) is an Independent Catholic day and boarding secondary school for girls founded by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St. Benedict. St Scholastica’s College is located in Glebe, a suburb of western Sidney, Australia. The school offers courses in the fields of science and mathematics in their STEM curriculum. Students also have participated in the ACTURA space program in the U.S. with some students visiting NASA facilities through a program with University New South Wales. _____________________________
As time allows, students will ask these questions:
1. How has being in the space station changed your beliefs and or perspectives of the universe? 2. What have you found out on the ISS that can’t be found out on Earth? 3. Has COVID-19 had an impact on life in the space station? 4. How do you keep in touch with your family when you are in space? 5. Do you ever feel existential terror from being in space and seeing how endless the universe is? / How do you deal with this? 6. I imagine your work, being so far away and of such a vast scale, would impact your mental health. Considering this, are there ways you work on your mental health onboard, and has your experience changed the way you think? 7. What was the hardest of the requirements for space travel for you to meet? 8. Do you believe that in the future, younger people will be able to go into space? 9. What made or motivated you to want to become an astronaut? 10. Can you see the effect of climate change from space? And if so, what are the phenomena you have observed? 11. What would you say is the most important skill for astronauts to have and master? 12. If funding for space exploration became scarce, how would you convince the world that space exploration was worth the investment? 13. Do you believe that the tests and studies you perform will cause great change and progress in the way we live or view the world? 14. When first arriving into the space station how did you feel? And how do you feel now? 15. Is there day and night in space? 16. Is NASA training similar to Roscosmos training? If so, how? What are the similarities/differences? 17. How long did you have to train and prepare to go into space and what was the training like? 18. Have you, personally, ever had to repair a part of the ISS due to damage caused by man-made space debris? And if so, what part of the spacecraft did you repair? 19. What is the best scientific advancement or discovery that the ISS has delivered to humanity? 20. Where does your waste (rubbish and sewerage) go? 21. Is the future of space travel likely to be in the hands of private companies like Space X or government agencies like NASA? 22. What impact do you think that the ISS has had on international cooperation?
The 4th edition of the Ferry Contest will soon be here. For those intending to participate please refer to the pages on our website which outline the rules and conduct of the event (Ferry Contest 2019).
Now is the time to dust off the handhelds, charge the batteries, read the rules, plan an approach and study the map. Alternatively you can just turn up on the day for a bit of fun playing radio and travelling our beautiful harbour. The Opal card has a $2.70 cap on Sundays with a slightly lesser charge for seniors.
The weather forecast is currently predicting a temperature from 19-28 C, partly cloudy and with light winds. The chance of rain is 0%. Follow the forecasts at the bureau of meteorology. Being a reformed optimist I shall pack sunscreen, a hat and a rain jacket to cover all options. It can be quite warm on the day. A water bottle is recommended.
For those arriving before the official commencement of the contest at 10:00 am there is the opportunity to check in to the club station which will be operating on our Paddington Repeater (147.025 +600 91.5 Hz) to enter the draw for a fabulous prize. The club station will also make regular broadcasts throughout the day and be available for contacts on the advertised simplex channels.
In addition, to celebrate our centenary, the special event station with callsign VI2BV100 will be operating randomly throughout the day. A contact will add 20 points and earn a special event QSL card. Achieving 5 contacts, each from a different location, will add a “centenary” of points to your final score.
I will be present at Circular Quay between 8:30 and 10:00 and will be watching out for individuals with visible antennas as well as listening on the Paddington repeater. This is a good chance to say hello, ask any last minute questions and gather an additional eyeball contact at the start of the contest.
In case nobody noticed the Ferry Contest is on this Sunday 12th March (10:00 – 16:00)! For those who are contemplating their preparation here are some ideas:
Dust off the radio(s) and check their operation Charge batteries and spare batteries Program the suggested frequencies Print log sheets Study the ferry map and timetable Read the contest rules
What to Bring
Handheld 2m/70cm Radio (+ backup radio if you have one) Extension microphone, headset or earpiece Extra battery QSL cards (Ferry Contest QSL cards are available on the day) Log sheets Pens/Pencil Ferry Map Ferry Timetables Opal Card ($2.50 all day!)
Backpack Rain jacket (for the strange March weather) Hat Sun glasses Sunscreen Water bottle – can fill on some ferries and wharves Snacks and/or loose change for coffee Camera for those unique Ferry Contest Moments
Maps and Timetables
Detailed maps and timetables are available from the Transport NSW website (http://www.transportnsw.info). It is important to refer to the Sunday timetables as there is significant variation in the timing of operation from weekdays on most of the routes.
The Opal card will provide the most cost-effective fare structure because of the $2.50 cap. Details of the Opal card can be found at the Opal card website (https://www.opal.com.au).
The club is planning a country DX station operation for the Oceania DX SSB Contest from 01-02OCT at a rural property near Robertson NSW, about 2 hours south of Sydney. Members are invited to join the contest operation and take this opportunity to participate in an easy international DX contest, where the DX is listening for Oceania stations – that’s us! Further information has been sent via the club email list.
I am looking forward to the Ferry Contest tomorrow. Only a few hours to go. I was thinking about packing my bags and what I should include. The weather looks like it could be hot at around 29 degrees and there is always a risk of a late shower or storm. With that in mind here is my list below.
God luck for those who are participating. I hope to hear you during the day.
On Australia Day, Australian amateur radio operators are allowed to use the special call sign prefix AX in lieu of the normal VK prefix. For NSW amateurs the special prefix is AX2 followed by letters of your callsign.
Celebrate Australia Day on Tuesday 26th January 2016 by using the AX prefix call sign.
Australia's oldest continuously licenced amateur radio club