Most Recent Blog Posts

  • M.O.R.E Project gets some good P.R.!

    The MORE Project , to Make Amateur Radio Easier is a project co-sponsored by our club to add new interested hams to our ranks, especially underrepresented demographics, including women and younger enthusiasts. The project has had several groups going through the training classes, and spawning other to teach elsewhere.. or via the Internet.

    Rebecca Mercuri K3RPM, reports that one of our Technician class students, Nicole Kirch, wrote a great article about the MORE Project for the SoundGirls (women in Audio Engineering) website: https://soundgirls.org/becoming-a-ham-venturing-into-the-world-of-amateur-radio/

  • Steve Miller KD2DUL Silent Key

    The David Sarnoff Radio Club mourns the death of KD2DUL, Steven Miller, on April 25, 2022. Steve was a regular on our Tuesday evening nets, and an active volunteer with ARES.

    His obituary noted that Steve was an environmental scientist with a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, but we knew him as an engaged club member and a friend. As it notes:

    “After retiring, Steve rediscovered his adolescent hobby of amateur radio. He was relicensed as KD2DUL and made new contacts near and far. He also served terms on the Princeton Environmental Commission and the Princeton Board of Health.”

    Our condolences go out to his wife of 32 years, Olga Boyko, and his children Pauline and Edward Miller.

    “A memorial service will be held at 2 pm on Saturday, May 7, 2022, at the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Ave., Princeton NJ 08542.”

    The photo is from our “Yankee Swap” at the 2014 Holiday Party.

  • Martian Picnic Photos April 2022

    Scattered showers and cooler temperatures kept the picnic in Grovers Mill, New Jersey brief, but it was good to meet in person!

    Group Shot!
    Picnic was BYOLunch
    Checking the weather report… the rain held off
    Rebecca pondering
  • Park On The Air -April 16 2022

    Photos of the DSRC effort to put the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park “On The Air” on a Saturday morning.

    Gathering of Hams at an out-of-the-way corner of the park in Kingston, NJ
    Don brought a “SOTA” antenna, with clip connections to shorten the antenna depending on the band. We used 40 and 20.
    Dan got things started with his portable radio setup
    Alex made his first HF contacts!
    A group effort
    Don supervised.
    Ben even made a CW contact or two!
    A fun time was had by all.
  • Meteor Scatter Discussion April 2022

    The investigation of meteor scatter communication began with this message from Bob, N2LO:

    Lyrids Meteor Shower 2022
    2022 April 15 to 29 duration
    2022 April 21 to 23 peak
    WSJT settings..
    MSK144
    50.260 MHz RF
    Ftol 200
    Rx 1500Hz audio
    Report 0
    T/R 15s
    AutoSeq <
    East coast point West
    Transmit: odd / first

    Bob is referring to software called WSJT-X found via: https://www.physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wsjtx.html

    Bob sent a map showing his success:

    Map of stations heard over previous 24 hours. N2LO

    Soon N2GJ chimed in:

    True story:
    The first time I operated a VHF/UHF contest at Joe Taylor’s QTH (K1JT), he was briefing the operators on the operational plans for the event. He told us he planned on using “meteor scatter” later in the afternoon.
    When he asked for questions, I asked, “But, Joe, don’t we have to wait until nighttime for meteors?!”
    After a longish pause, he gently explained that meteors enter Earth’s atmosphere 24/7, although we only see them at night. To say I was embarrassed by my ignorant question would be an understatement, but his kindness softened the blow!
    Later, I heard these weird pings in the speaker as signals bounced off the ionized meteor trails. Joe also explained that, based on the altitude of these tracks, there is a limit to the distance two stations can be in order to hear each other. I don’t remember the actual number but I recall it being a bit over 1,000 miles or so.


    N2LO sent this link to a NASA sourced presentation:

    METEOR SCATTER COMMUNICATIONS: THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE PINGS
    DR. ROB SUGGS KB5EZ SPACE ENVIRONMENTS TEAM LEAD NASA/MSFC/EV44
    NASA METEOROID ENVIRONMENT OFFICE
    MSFC AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
    NORTH ALABAMA DX CLUB OCTOBER 2017
    https://ntrs.nasa.gov/api/citations/20170012398/downloads/20170012398.pdf


    N2LO also posted an excerpt from page 6 of an online .pdf document which lists “Daytime” meteor showers (and also, on another page, night time ones):

    “radio observers, we list the UT peak times for these showers (see also the remark below):
    April Piscids (144 APS) – April 22, 22h
    ; ε-Arietids (154 DEA) – May 9, 15h
    May Arietids (294 DMA) – May 16, 16h
    ; o-Cetids (293 DCE) – May 20, 15h
    Arietids (171 ARI) – June 7, 16h
    (more details see page 10);
    ζ-Perseids (172 ZPE) – June 9, 18h
    ; β-Taurids (173 BTA) – June 28, 17h

    Signs of most were found in radio data from 1994–2008, though some are difficult to define individually because of the proximity of radiants. The maxima of the Arietids and ζ-Perseids tend to blend into one another, producing a strong radio signature for several days in early to mid June. The shower maxima dates are not well established. An apparent modest recurring peak around April 24 occurs perhaps due to combined rates from more than one shower. Problems of shower identification concern the δ-Piscids (previously listed as having a peak on April 24). The IAU list does not recognise this currently as a genuine shower. Similarly, the o-Cetids are not listed in the IAU shower list; the number and abbreviation given here are actually for the IAU source called the “Daytime ω-Cetid Complex”, because that seems a closer match to the o-Cetids as defined by earlier reports.”

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/352741920_2022_Meteor_Shower_Calendar

    Note that the document’s “Table 5” on page 25 has day and night showers listed and an indication of how strong the showers are using “ZHR” Zenithal hourly rate as an indicator for how many meteors can be detected in an hour. (the η-Aquariids, around May 6th are about three times the ZHR as the Lyrids were for April 21.)

    N2LO reported more success on April 21, 2022:

    Map showing stations heard by N2LO April 21, 2022

    N2CTW had some success listening on the morning of April 25, using an IC-746PRO and an unmatched G5RV dipole on six meters:

    Here’s 30 seconds of graph showing WA2FZW QSO with K0TPP:

    Two “Fast Graphs” Intensity is signal levels at different frequencies over time. Color is intensity, frequency as v and time as h, also signal level in green Note “ping” on lower graph.

    The upper graph shows a local station WA2FZW sending a signal for any available meteors to reflect back to earth.

    The “ping” on the lower graph is K0TPP’s signal being reflected by a meteor. The peak is at 6.4 seconds after 10:24:30.

    The window snapshot below also shows what settings were used. The “Standard Messages” were not used, this was a “listen only” monitoring exercise.

    Band Activity log and settings panel from WSJT-X Note 102430 “ping” is shown it graph above.

    I hope this helps you get into Meteor scatter communications…. on 6 Meters, 10 Meters, 2 Meters or wherever you want to try!

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