Tag Archives: internet

New NN4SA Website is Active

NN4SA Website banner

http://nn4sa.wordpress.com/, our new website for our new NN4SA call sign is now active. All of our future updates will be posted there.

The WA4NZD website that you are reading now, https://wa4nzd.wordpress.com/, will remain available.
At some point in the near future, comments will be disabled on this site.
We want to keep this site for reference,
but please direct your comments into the new site .

Thanks  /;^)


2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

STS133 – Discovery Launches !

Discovery is finally away, and has now met up with the ISS for a visit.

Launch of STS133

STS133 leaves Florida, heading for ISS. (Photo by NASA)

It seems like a long time ago that we ran the Special Event Continue reading

NanoSailD completes ejection

Last month we were listening on 437.275 MHz, trying to confirm ejection of NanoSail-D from NASA’s FastSat. Nothing was heard, confirming that the sub-satellite had not separated. Time goes by. . . (just over a month actually) and as Wednesday afternoon comes around, Stan – N4PMF receives a request from Dean Alhorn to try listening again. (recent updates are noted in RED )
WB5RMG and N4PMF went to the club station and got ready for the 4:50 pm flyover. Shortly after Dean arrived we heard the first packet, and thought we were going to need to scrape Dean off the ceiling – he nearly exploded with joy.

Dean Alhorn sees first NanoSailD telemetryStan &

Can you tell Dean is happy ?

When he saw that we had received a string of telemetry, and had it on the screen, we thought he might cry. Words alone could not describe his elation.

NanoSailD tlm received at WA4NZD

Raw telemetry string as received

This one simple burst of ‘noise’ on the radio will help Dean and his team to determine more precisely what time the ejection took place, and from that – when to expect the sail to deploy. The FM amateur radio downlink on 437.275 MHz is the only source of spacecraft status (the exact center frequency may well be 437.270, and don’t forget – there can be a +/- 10 kHz doppler correction needed). More listeners are needed. The sail is set to deploy after 3 days (which is reported now to be sometime around 10pm EST -or 0300z 21 Jan). The battery may last a little beyond that. We need telemetry collected from all over the world. You can watch the status on the ‘Dashboard‘, and participate in ‘live science’ by submitting your captured data. You can also follow on Twitter.

The official mission page is :

Thanks Dean for letting us help you with this, as this is one of the many ways that this Amateur Radio Club can be a valuable asset to the Marshall Space Flight Center – and we were proud to participate.


One of our club members, Stan – N4PMF has logged his first ARISS contacts.
He also extended Holiday Greetings to the world by way of the ISS relay.

Stan's APRS greeting

Stan's Holiday Message

This may look trivial, and it really is not that difficult – this short text string was encoded into a 1200 baud packet burst on 145.825 MHz with only 5 watts. The beacon packet was heard and retransmitted by the ham radio payload onboard the International Space Station, as it passed overhead at some 17,500 miles per hour, a mere 200 miles above Stan’s house. A ground-based station (K8YSE-3 in this case) heard the packet as relayed by the ISS, and passed it over the internet to the APRS-IS database, and we can see Stan’s location on the map because the beacon also had his Latitude & Longitude embedded. Hams do this all the time, you can see other stations as well.

Stanz on da map !

N4PMF gets on 'The Map'

You can click on the map to go to http://ariss.net, for a current view.
Also shown here is a copy of some of the additional traffic seen during that pass.

raw packets

some additional packets

There are stations around the world that enjoy making brief contacts this way.
If you have an old TNC, or have tried the newer soundcard modems, try this !
The program that Stan and I use is called UISS, and can be found on the creator’s website http://users.belgacom.net/hamradio/uiss.htm . This makes it really easy – Thanks to Guy – ON6MU for a fun and functional program.

ChristmasCard for ISS crew

We just sent a Christmas Card to the ISS crew on orbit…. Pretty cool .!.
You can too : http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/postcard/

card comments

Holiday Greetings for the ISS crew


Huntsville Hamfest 2010

Hamfest Followup Report – 2010 0823

I thoroughly enjoyed the Huntsville Hamfest this year, and was especially gratified by the welcoming responses I received as I spread the word that
our MARC was alive again. I wanted to make certain that the word was out.

In addition to everyone that I already knew, I made sure to Continue reading