We Have Contact

Contact was made with the International Space Station. More details soon!

… And what a contact it was! Initial impressions from KS1G:

Everyone did a fabulous job delivering a quality radio and audio and visual experience and dealing with the last-minute (and TOO last minute!) crisis, including having to reboot the entire video streaming system just before contact, and my own fighting SatPC32 for the longest 2 minutes 54 seconds of my life to get the antennas pointing correctly. (I know what happened, why, and how to NOT LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN (he hopes)).

Once underway, the contact went quite smoothly. The school (thank you Sandy and Amy) did a great job shepherding the students to the microphone and cuing them to ask their questions. And there were some EXCELLENT questions. WE received great feedback from the school about the audio and video quality, particularly how clearly everyone could hear Astronaut Dr. Drew Morgan. Thirteen students were able to ask and get their questions answered; unfortunately we could not make up for the lost time upfront (ISS doesn’t have “park” on the gearshift) so we lost contact around the end of that answer. The students and staff (and all of us) gave out a loud cheer and congratulations all around. We followed the contact with a short Q&A by myself and John, N0JSD before the assembly concluded.

Afterwards, there were interviews by media; I know Loudoun Now, LCPS Public Affairs, and NBC4-TV were present. Brice Hilliard (who deservers huge credit for instigating this idea in the 1st place) and N0JSD were interviewed by NBC4, and LCPS PA chatted with me as well. After a quick pizza lunch in the library, it was time to pack up and depart. Loudoun Ashburn Fire Station arrived again with the tower truck and made quick work of getting our larger items off the roof. N0JSD got an added bonus – a ride in the tower to it’s maximum height! (that’s TWO “bucket list” items in ONE DAY, maybe 3 if NBC4 airs the video).

Social media was ablaze, I know there were several posts on Twitter from the school and the associated elementary schools. And a great behind the scenes shot (WA4TXE did a masterful job of directing the cats and managing backstage so everything went sufficiently smooth out front!)

I’d like to personally thank everyone for the help today. This was a team effort and it took a lot of people over many days to make it a success, including making a clean and safe departure this afternoon. So besides Jeff K0ZR, Paulson KG4TIH, Dave WA4TXE, John N0JSD, and me KS1G, our helpers for contact day included:

Kevin AK2M, Denny KF4TJI, Paul N4PD, John W0MPM, Kurt KI4FWB, Paulson’s colleagues Gary Walker, Dave Denison, Michael Parker, Cory McHale, Martin NV3H, Bruce KN4TS, and WA4TXE YL Cheri.

(Again, if I left anyone off or messed up a name or callsign, please tell me or Paulson and we’ll make the corrections)

So after all that, who wants to help another school talk to an astronaut on the ISS? I DO! (ARISS is taking applications for the 2nd half of 2020 through November, the window for 1st half 2021 is in May….)

Paulson is working on final edits of the contact and full program videos and photos, and we plan to have another post and a full report for the November LARG meeting. We will also get video from the school. If you have photos, please provide to Paulson (an upload folder link was emailed to the ariss list earlier this evening)

73s de KS1G

ARISS Scheduling Update

An urgent EVA to repair a broken power module on the ISS was performed on 2019-10-18. This work has caused the ARISS schedule to be moved back and is currently in flux. At this time the LARG ARISS team doesn’t know when the new window will be. Although based on orbital predictions it should be in the morning between 9a and 12p.

Setup is still targeted for the week of 2019-10-21.


Date StartEndDescription
2019-10-223:30pBefore 9pMove Hardware To School
2019-10-233:30pBefore 9pMove Antenna To Roof
&
Setup
2019-10-24TBD3:30pAny Pre-Rehearsal Setup
2019-10-243:30p5pDress Rehearsal
TBDTBDTBDISS Contact Day

Members Only Area Update

The k4lrg.org members only area now has two new folders

As of now the https://k4lrg.org/memberpublic/ directory does NOT have directory indexes enabled. You will get a “Forbidden” error if you go there without the full path to a file. For instance https://k4lrg.org/memberpublic/ and https://k4lrg.org/memberpublic/directory will fail but https://k4lrg.org/memberpublic/README.txt

Why? To make access to these resources quickly and easily available to all members.

LARG/ARISS/LCPS/FSMS – Test Setup v2

Steve (KS1G), Paulson (KG4TIH), Dave D, and Parker met early in the morning of Saturday, Oct 5th to setup all of the radio and A/V gear for the Farmwell Middle School Amateur Radio International Space Station contact occurring during the last week of October.

The setup shown below is a full radio, antenna, audio (radio operation, question students, and video computer), video, and streaming system.


Steve KS1G’s primary and backup radios plus a headphone amp (it’s total overkill) for him to control his headset monitor levels.
Main mixer, UPS, and a monitor for the streaming PC.

LARG/ARISS/LCPS/FSMS – Test Setup v1

Steve (KS1G), Paulson (KG4TIH), and Jeff (K0ZR) met early in the morning of Saturday, Sept 14th to setup all of the radio and A/V gear for the Farmwell Middle School Amateur Radio International Space Station contact occurring during the last week of October.


Paulson KG4TIH’s A/V gear and Steve KS1G’s radios setup and operational in a configuration similar to what will be used in late October for communication with the International Space Station.

BARC Father’s Day Hamfest & Marketplace

BARC, The Baltimore Amateur Radio Club, will be hosting a Father’s Day Hamfest & Marketplace on Sunday, June 16th 2019. Details are available on BARC’s website and in this PDF.

Please join us on Sunday June 16, 2019 for the BARC Father’s Day Hamfest and Marketplace in Upperco, MD. This exciting event features a giant flea market for traditional tailgating and food. New for 2019 are indoor rest room facilities and expanded advertising!
We continue the same value-based pricing…space is first-come/first-serve (no advance sales of admission tickets or space). Outdoor tailgating space continues at $5 each with admission of $5 each (donation). Hours: 8 am.-2 pm. Location: the Arcadia Volunteer Fire Company grounds, 16020 Carnival Avenue, Upperco, MD 21155. ARRL DXCC/WAS qsl card checking is available in the morning. Amateur radio license exam testing is not offered.
Returning for 2019… Tasty Treats, manned by Mr. Nick, who provides BBQ sandwiches, baklava, hot dogs, ice cream, coffee, and other goodies at affordable prices.
Remember, we are the last area hamfest each year before ARRL Field Day for those last minute shoppers. Note, sales of ammunition, fire arms, and pornographic material/media are prohibited.
A big thank you to our valuable volunteers, who helped with the 2018 hamfest, and Dave AB3TE our hamfest chairman.
Please join us again in 2019!!!. w3ft67@yahoo.com

https://www.w3ft.com/hamfest.htm

Radio Support Volunteers Needed For Reston Century Bike Club’s Ride

Reston Bike Club’s Annual Century depends on volunteers to have a successful event.

This year’s century is planned rain or shine to occur on Sunday August 25th, 2019 from 6AM to 5PM. This is the last Sunday in August.

Signup Link
Event Page

Schedule as it’s shaping up today:

  • Reston Town Center Rest stop – 6:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Ashburn Rest stop – 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Leesburg Rest Stop – 7:30 AM – 12:30 PM
  • Purcellville Rest Stop – 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
  • Old Mill Rest Stop – 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Lovettsville Rest Stop (Full Century Riders only) – 9:00 AM – 1:30 P
  • SAG Mechanics and Ride Marshalls – 6:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Melted Power Pole

This Power Pole connector was made with one of the black inserts upside down. The result is that during heavy usage one of the crimps pulled back causing arcing between it and its mate.