Archive for month: August, 2008

Poor Man’s Guide to WSPR Spots

August 31, 2008 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

Okay, so I’ve been playing around with generating various kinds of visual signals on the MEPT subband on 30m. That’s the 100hz wide band just above 10.140Mhz, and it’s fun, because there are a number of “grabbers” which have the spectrum displays from their radio receivers available on the web. But there is a minor […]

Thunderbirds are go!

August 31, 2008 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Yesterday, I took the wife and the future daughter-in-law to Travis AFB for their airshow. It was a blast. Lots of cool planes, culminating in a nice show by the Air Force Thunderbirds. I snapped a lot of photos, this one probably being the best.

MV beacon on 30m

August 29, 2008 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

Well, inspired by Bruce’s “Flying W” beacon, and realizing that it was a pretty nice and efficient way to send out an easily identified beacon signal, I coded up a really simple little program to generate the “MV” beacon signal (my initials). I then powered on the FT-817, while I didn’t see anything registered on […]

Amateur Radio Station W1BW in the Morning

August 29, 2008 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’ve been trying to monitor (intermittently) some of the beacon activity on 30m. This morning, I managed to capture Amateur Radio Station W1BW, who is transmitting a “W” shaped carrier every few minutes on 10.140050. Here’s my spectrogram from this morning’s recording. The first one seems to be the strongest, but if you look carefully […]

YouTube – Cute-1.7 + APD II Earth Movie

August 27, 2008 | Amateur Satellite | By: Mark VandeWettering

YouTube – Cute-1.7 + APD II Earth Movie From the amsat-bb: We release the movie taken by Cute-1.7 +APD II. It was taken above Japan. The movie is very short. But, it is the 1st movie taken by 3 kg satellite in the world. From this movie, we could confirm that the satellite rotates at […]

Speed of Light, measured tonight…

August 25, 2008 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

Well, I was bored, and it was getting close to midnight. There was nothing really going on on any of the amateur radio bands, so I got to thinking. Light travels about 186,000 miles per second, or about 186 miles per ms. On 10Mhz, NIST broadcasts a standard time signal from stations in Colorado, and […]

Morning K & M beacons, testing my new 500hz CW filter

August 24, 2008 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

Ordered a new Collins 500hz filter for my FT-817 from W4RT, and installed it (really simple, remove some screws, disconnect speaker, plug in the module in the obvious place, reconnect speaker and screws and you are done). It really does help with cw and digital. As an example, this morning I tuned down around 7.039 […]

More 30m beacon activity….

August 23, 2008 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

Somebody is sending out a CQ. I just noticed it at the end of a recording I did, but he’s retransmitting again now. I’ll let the recording go for a while, then try to figure out who it is. Until then: Addendum: It was WB5FKC.

BibliOdyssey: Early Microscopes

August 23, 2008 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Courtesy of BibliOdyssey: Early Microscopes, a collection of very cool etchings showing, well, early microscopes.

Ether busting in the AM…

August 22, 2008 | Amateur Radio, QRSS | By: Mark VandeWettering

Well, I woke up this morning, kind of bleary eyed, and decided to see if I could reach any of the other QRSS grabbers during the morning hours. VE1VDM’s grabber is apparently only receiving his transmit signal, but W1BW was up and running… There I am, drifting up in frequency across the bottom. Copy is […]

QRSS Grabbed from CM87ux -> FN85ki

August 17, 2008 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

Well, I was experimenting a bit. I dusted off my QRSS3 iTunes beacon idea, and set it going. VE1VDM had his “big ears” grabber going, so I started watching it. He’s in grid FN85ki, which is roughly a 3000 mile path. To help assure success, I was sending 5 watts (horrendous, I know, but I […]

Slow Feld Hell Examples…

August 15, 2008 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Hellschreiber is a method of sending text over radio. It basically is a kind of primitive fax machine: it sends each character as a 7×14 matrix of dots. If the receiver hears a signal, it plots a dot, otherwise it plots a space. Each character is scanned left to right, bottom to top, and are […]


August 13, 2008 | Computer Graphics | By: Mark VandeWettering

Well, I’m sitting at The Standard (a frankly far too chic hotel for a forty something computer geek like myself), it’s not quite 7 A.M. and I spent my first day at SIGGRAPH. I’m hear mostly for the benefit of recruiting: sitting in the booth, answering questions and showing up at our Pixar User’s Group […]

SWL on 30m…

August 10, 2008 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

I was monitoring the 30m PSK31 subband this evening, and it seemed to be fairly quiet and also picking up some pretty good DX. I heard WP3UX and WP4U chatting with ZL4AS. The first two stations are in Puerto Rico, about 3600 miles away, and the ZL is about 7000 miles away. I think that […]

Space Tracking Notes

August 10, 2008 | Amateur Radio, Amateur Satellite, Amateur Science | By: Mark VandeWettering

Sven Grahn’s Space Tracking Notes talks about his efforts in using radio to track satellites. There is all sorts of really good stuff in here, a lot of it having to do with tracking the secret launches of Russian satellites during the Cold War. Very, very neat stuff.