Time to start another year .!.
Sometimes it seems like we didn’t do much as a club, but just look back on this last year in the blog, and you will find NanoSail-D, VHF contests, Field Day, the Final Shuttle Launch Special Event, and points in between. We have come a long way in bringing the MARC back to life, and can be proud of that. We logged over 250 HF contacts during the STS-135 commemorative, and have sent certificates to all stations who sent us a SASE. The eQSL logs for this last year’s events will be uploaded before long, so please be patient. /;^)
Sure we have a ways to go – but we already have plans in place to replace the HF beam rotor, and get our satellite tracking hardware back into operation. We need to focus our attention and get our motivation into gear to operate the multiple modes available on the International Space Station (ARISS is now a formal payload). We are very close to being ready to support voice and packet contacts. Just a little more and we can even support school contacts via telebridge, as requested by the ARISS payload manager N5VHO.
In addition to now holding Army MARS license AAR4CMF, we will likely be hosting a remotely managed HF transceiver for the MSFC-EOC, and be in a position to support their participation in local/regional SKYWARN activations. (We need to draft a new MOU…)
AND… BTW, speaking of EOCs – our participation in the 2011 Field Day event was nothing to sneeze at. We may have only logged 99 contacts, but that gave us a score of 248 points in the 1F category. There were only 38 entries nationwide in the ‘EOC’ class, and we were the only entry from Alabama, so we actually took top place in our category for this section.!.!. Wow.
OK, so if that is not enough motivational content, here is a quick picture I shot last might watching the ISS fly over my backyard. About 30 seconds of light captured the neighbor’s rooftop, my HF vertical, and a slice of the ISS orbit as they pass by at 17,500 miles/hr…. We need to establish WA4NZD as a presence both with voice and on the packet radio with our Space Station…..
Come by the club station at Bldg 4622 and see how things look these days, it has come a long ways just this year. (Oh Yeah, it is time to pay up some dues – for those that haven’t yet… ) This is NOT a government funded operation, and we do need YOUR support).