Apollo 11 45th Anniversary Special Event Station – N4A

The Marshall Space Flight Center Amateur Radio Club (MARC), WA4NZD, will be operating a special event station to commemorate the 45th Anniversary of Apollo 11.

Operations will be from Jul 17 0500Z – Jul 22 0459Z, (midnight CDT) using the callsign N4A (NASA for Apollo),

We will be self-spotting on the DX cluster and will be on various bands and modes.

QSL via Logbook of the World or eQSL. Paper QSLs will be available with an SASE to WA4NZD MSFC Amateur Radio Club, c/o Donald Hediger, ES32, Huntsville, AL 35812.

Check http://wa4nzd.wordpress.com or WA4NZD on QRZ.COM for availability and other frequency announcements.

Club stations from several other NASA centers and various museums will be on the air during the mission anniversary.

Rob

KB5EZ

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Apollo 11 45th Anniversary Logo

Alabama QSO Party (June 7, 2014) Adventure

A month ago Stephen KK4IBB and I WA2JQZ tried to operate the Alabama QSO Party for the first time. The idea is for hams outside the state to work folks in the state, including as many counties as they can. For us here, we try to work everyone, including as much variety of states and Canadian provinces as we can. It is a 12 hour affair, from 11 AM to 11 PM CDT, once a year on the first Saturday in June. It was something completely new for us.

Stephen arrived at the station a little after noon, and I got there about a half hour later. Stephen already got us started on 20 meters. We had a hard time finding any Alabama QSO stations at all on 20. The band was busy with so much else going on!

However Stephen did find something interesting, which he told me about when I arrived. He had contacted a museum ship, the destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy (DD850) with the call sign NB1CR. I then showed him a website printout I had brought with me, which listed 104 museum ships and nautical museums that were operating that weekend — it was also Museum Ship Weekend, and that had caught my attention too.

We carefully tuned through the band, but we managed to contact just one caller for the Alabama QSO Party, N2MM.

But along the journey, what we found we liked was to talk to the ships. We eventually found six. We also worked a lighthouse in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island (operated by W1SYE), in a completely different event.  And there was a military commemoration in Stewart, Florida, another event.   I think we were very tempted to just forget all about the Alabama QSO party and keep exploring. We definitely enjoyed discovering the ships, and learning some nautical and military history.

There’s more to the museum ship story. But I want to save that for another post. Thinking it made sense to work from the high frequency bands to the lower, we eventually gave up 20 meters (which seemed like the real “party” band — it was a non-stop party), and moved to 40. Where could the Alabama QSO Party be?

We eventually found something we were looking for. On 7.24 MHz we came upon a group of Alabama stations working together. I counted 5 stations, each from a different county. One of them, N4DTC, Marvin, called “CQ Alabama QSO Party”. When other hams would call in, he made the QSO, then invited the caller to work each of the other Alabama participants. We gave them a call. It took time and patience, yet it was very effective.

By then it was mid-afternoon, and it was time for Stephen to go. I decided to stay, and joined that 40 meter group. Some of the Alabama members left or took breaks, and some others joined in too at various times.  While I was there we had participants from the counties of Cherokee, Elmore, Lamar, Lee, Limestone, Madison, Montgomery, Talladega, and Walker. With them I logged about 50 Alabama QSO Party QSOs. Rob KB5EZ later told me that usually we don’t work so many for that event. So we ended up doing pretty well after all. For many contests we’ll tune and seek contacts. And lately we’ve been calling CQ on our own more too. Here was something new for me as well, a spontaneous net had come together to help everyone who chose to participate.

Rob also later told me I had met Marvin before. He is KL0ET. He visited the club earlier this year after he returned from Afghanistan (where he was T6MC). He did an excellent job on our frequency, keeping everything running smoothly and friendly. N4DTC is the club station at the Drake State Technical College here in Huntsville.

Of the contests I’ve participated in over the last year and a half, the Alabama QSO Party is definitely the most locally oriented.  True, the VHF contests often have a local character when there’s no propagation; but when those bands open suddenly, we visit neighbors near and far. The Alabama QSO Partly invited everyone to come to meet us.  In turn, as I saw we did, we genuinely offered our hospitality.  I felt part of a community.

To close, these are the eQSLs we received for the Alabama QSO Party. (We posted them small.  But click on them and you’ll see more detail.) They are a nice variety.

Thank you everyone who contacted us.

- Gary WA2JQZ

AI8F 20140607 WA4NZD 40m LSB ALQP GA_50pcW1MLK 20140607 WA4NZD 40m LSB  AL-QSOP OH_50pcW8DM 20140607 WA4NZD 40m LSB ALQP MS_50pcNZ4CW 20140607 WA4NZD 40m LSB AL QSOP GA_50pcNJ9U 20140607 WA4NZD [WA2JQZ] 40m LSB AL-QSOP IN_50pcN4HID 20140607 WA4NZD 40m LSB AL QSOP KY_50pcN4EMP 20140607 WA4NZD 40m LSB AL-QSOP AL_50pcKJ8O 20140607 WA4NZD 40m LSB ALQSO-P MI_50pcKC4QWM 20140607 WA4NZD 40m LSB AL-QSOP AL_50pcKC4OR 20140607 WA4NZD 40m LSB ALQP AL_50pcK9JN 20140607 WA4NZD 20m LSB AL QSOP IL_50pcK8L 20140607 WA4NZD 40 LSB AL QP OH_50pcK0BRT 20140607 WA4NZD ALQP MO_50pcAJ1F 20140607 WA4NZD 40m LSB AL QSOP AL_50pcW4UT 20140607 WA4NZD 40m LSB AL QSOP TN_50pcW3UC 20140607 WA4NZD 40m LSB AL QSOP MD_50pcWJ4HCP 20140607 WA4NZD 40m LSB AL QSOP TN_50pc

 

 

Field Day 2014 Update #2

Satellite antenna

During the previous week we completed repairs on our satellite antennas, just in time for Field Day. We updated obital elements data, and successfully tested by tracking and communicating through VO-52. (Photo: N4MSN)

 

N4MSN operating HF SSB with N4CNY

N4MSN operating HF SSB with N4CNY supporting with logging. Club members took turns operating, and with helping log and verify information

KA0S operating late night digital (RTTY & PSK31)

KA0S operating late night digital (RTTY & PSK31) on 20 and 40 meters.

WB5RMG operating VHF with N4CNY.

WB5RMG operating VHF with N4CNY.

Some initial results from our Field Day ops: We had 10 operators: WB5RMG, KK4IBB, KB5EZ,  N4CNY, WA2JQZ, N4MSN, KA0S, WB8ELK, K3XM, and W4VM. We logged 304 contacts using Phone, CW, and Digital modes, on 40, 20, 15, 6, 2 meters, and 70 cm. One contact was via the VO-52 amateur satellite. 10 contacts  were logged while using solar power.

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Field Day 2014 is here .!.

Has it really been a whole year since Field Day ?
(updated 20140629)
The club has had a lot of activity getting ready for the summer contest season, and this weekend will be a focal point. I wanted to start a new post, and let everyone know that WA4NZD will be active in the “1F” category, as our facility at NASA/MSFC is an informal auxiliary EOC that exercises to support both the Marshall and the Redstone communities. We will run one transmitter, which covers 160m thru 6m. We will also have an active VHF station to cover VO-52 satellite, 50MHz, 144MHz, 432MHz.
Surely you can find us somewhere. Work us everywhere you can.

Oh, and to find us, if you already have access to the base – please drop by to see whats a goin on. http://wa4nzd.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/quick-maps/

We hope to come back and update this post thru the weekend, so check back.

UPDATE: 20140629 – back for more . . .

The log indicates that KA0S was here until 03:45 local, and I was back at 08:15 after leaving at 01:00 CDT. WA2JQZ got here at 09:30, with fresh muffins and coffee. N4CNY just arrived as well, and is going to listen on 6m. Only one contact on 6 this morning, from Texas, and 2 meters has only been a little noisy.

20140628_4227ax

N4MSN, W4VM, KK4RPQ, KK4TJP, N4CNY, WA2JQZ, WB8ELK, N5AYD, WB5RMG

We had a pretty good crowd at times last nite, several distinguished guests.

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CW contact with W3CWC, via VO-52

Field Day dramatically increases the challenges, even for CW via satellite. WB8ELK finally pulls one out on our second VO-52 pass just before it goes LOS over the Pacific Ocean. WB5RMG makes sure it logged. Thanks to W3CWC for that contact, worth 102 points for us (including the satellite bonus) .!.

Another update to come later…
Thanks /;^)

Apollo 11 Anniversary Special Event Station – N4A – 17-22 July, 2014

The Marshall Space Flight Center Amateur Radio Club (MARC), WA4NZD, will be operating a special event station to commemorate the 45th Anniversary of Apollo 11.

Operations will be from Jul 17 – Jul 22, 0000Z-2359Z, using the callsign N4A (NASA for Apollo),

We will be self-spotting on the DX cluster.

QSL via Logbook of the World or eQSL. Paper QSLs will be available with an SASE from WA4NZD MSFC Amateur Radio Club, c/o Donald Hediger, ES32, Huntsville, AL 35812.

Check http://wa4nzd.wordpress.com or WA4NZD on QRZ.COM for availability and other frequency announcements.

Club stations from several other NASA centers will be on the air during this same time frame.

 

Rob

KB5EZ

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Apollo 11 45th Anniversary Logo

2014 update

(Gary – WA2JQZ has been invited to contribute to the blog)

Although we’ve been quiet for awhile here, we’ve been focused on the club and we’ve been busy.

Since the last post here,
•we’ve been repairing our antennas and building new ones,
•we upgraded our CW capability by repairing our straight key,
getting a Vibroflex standard keyer paddle,
and building a Winkeyer kit (during the furlough),
•we’ve been operating portable and QRP in the field around Huntsville and on Monte Sano, on phone, CW, and JT65,
•we’ve become more active in contests,
•we won First Place in two 2013 ARRL contests within the Alabama Section for multi-operator, low power:
for the ARRL DX Contest in March, and the June VHF Contest,
•we’ve been getting on the air more, having casual QSOs, and getting to know more hams,
•we attended the Huntsville and Birmingham Hamfests,
•we’ve been having interesting guest speakers,
•we’ve been cleaning the station and we got better seats,
•some members have been volunteering in the community,
helping with a new high school radio club, giving license tests,
and working with ARES,
•some members have been working on upgrading their licenses,
•and more.
And we’ve been having fun.!.

We’re now getting ready to participate together in ARRL Field Day.

And we’re preparing for a Special Event in July!

- Gary

A good start for 2013

On the heels of a successful January VHF contest, our club has voted to approve a new set of By Laws at our February meeting. These have been sent to the MSFC Exchange Council for their approval. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their participation and continued interest in this club. This is how it works ; we want a club, we make it happen. Congratulations to all of us.

While preparing the 2012 Jan VHF Sweepstakes log for submission, I discovered that I had not uploaded any log entries to eQSL since 2010. Duuuuh….
And on top of that, the latest (current) QSL image was not on-line.
So – since I was off today on Holiday – I took care of all that.

the WA4NZD eQSL card

Our eQSL card is updated.

In addition to updating the image, I have uploaded the ADIF files for several recent VHF contests as well as a few Field Day activities. There is now a total of 614 outbound QSL entries on-line. We still need to process the previous STS special event logs into ADIF format so that we can upload those. We have lots of incoming eQSLs that we need to match up and verify with our logs.
This is how our Outbox looks as of now (mid-Feb of 2013)…

eQSL outbox detail

snapshot of eQSL Outbox summary

OK, Thanks again for all the support. This is how fun happens.
Keep up the good work thru 2013, and you will be proud of your club.
Spread the word, we can always find room for a few more new members.

Thanks  /;^)