Balloons continue to amaze amateur radio enthusiasts.

A small balloon equipped with amateur radio equipment has made a successful transit from Australia to Brazil.



The pico balloon flight by a team an Australian team led by Andy Nguyen (VK3YT) left Central Victoria, Australia on Sunday, 13 July 2014 and travelled successfully across the Pacific Ocean. The balloon didn’t land, but was last known by ARPS to be at an altitude of 8,727 meters, some 80 km north of Brasilia. Folowers of the project believe the high-altitude balloon left the coast of Brazil  early on 22 July 2014, heading east.  Andy said he used a small solar panel to keep transmitters active and he carefully watched the forecast for unusual Jet Stream winds.  The 10mw ARPS transmitter is on 145.175 MHz, identifying itself as VK3YT-8 and used THORB and OLIVIA 8/250 with RSID on 434.500 MHz.  Thanks to Jim LInton (VK3PC) for the update.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

Saying goodbye to HAMSAT VO-52.

Battery failure dooms Indian satellite.



AMSAT India’s amateur radio satellite, VO-52 has been decommissioned, effective 11 July 2014.  The satellite, with a design lifetime of only 1 year, was launched 05 May 2005.  The satellite exceeded all expectations and was a popular "bird" throughout South East Asia.  AMSAT India spokesman, Mani (VU2WMY) said the lithium ion batteries failed in VO-52 and attempts to bring the satellite back to life have failed.  Mani said "HAMSAT VO-52 will always be remembered by all of us here in ISRO as one of the greatest satellites of ours."  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

UK 434 MHz balloon reaches Alaska.

Party balloon travels far.



An ordinary party balloon equipped with a 434 MHz solar-powered transmitter launched by Leo Bodnar (M0XER) from Silverstone, UK travelled east across Asia and has reached Alaska.  Two of Leo’s other balloons are still airbourne between Japan and Mongolia.  Talk about endurance from an ordinary object!  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

Congressman Claims FCC Won’t Enforce, Investigate Broadcast Indecency

Congressman chastises the FCC for not adhering to broadcast standards covering indecency.


Thanks to reporter David Hall for this juicy tidbit from the commercial broadcast world.  It seems as if everyone connected with broadcasting, and to some extent in Amateur Radio, wants the FCC to "crack down" on indecent programs and advertising on the airwaves.  Oklahoma Congressman James Lankford claims that complaints of indecency on broadcast stations have gone "uninvestigated and unenforced."  All well and good, but remember, FCC enforcement usually means more personnel and equipment to monitor the airwaves for compliance.  That translates into money, something Congress has been unwilling to release for many worthwhile projects.  We can all desire better enforcement on a number of issues, both commercial and amateur, but, until Congress shows a willingness to pay for extra monitoring, all of this wrangling is just talk.  Show me the money and then I’ll believe the complaints have merit.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

The First Social Network: Chewing the Rag With India’s Ham Radio Operators – NDTV

NDTV The First Social Network: Chewing the Rag With India’s Ham Radio Operators NDTV In an office in Qutub Institutional Area, Sandeep Baruah, Scientist-E with the Vigyan Prasar, a part of the Department of Science and Technology, sits down to…


A well-done  essay on the history, challenges, and future of Amateur Radio in India.  Ham operators in India have been in the forefront of providing emergency communications for areas devastated by natural disasters.  The article also contains some more pleasant aspects of the hobby, including "rag chewing" and the exchange of electronics information. India has also orbited satellites carrying amateur radio beacons.  Hams in India face many hurdles, including long waits for licensing exams, expensive equipment, and non-participation in amateur radio activities by newly licensed operators. So far, Indian hams have met their challenges in the highest traditions of Amateur Radio.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

Ham radios aid in rescue of injured hiker on Boulder County trail – The Daily Camera

Ham radios aid in rescue of injured hiker on Boulder County trail
The Daily Camera
Boulder County emergency dispatchers received a call just after 12:30 p.m.


According to the "Boulder County News," amateur radio played a significant role in the rescue of an injured hiker on the Fourth of July Trail near Boulder, Colorado.  Boulder County emergency personnel received a call from a Colorado Springs man who was said ham radio operators were in contact with another ham operator near the scene of the incident.  An amateur radio operator with the rescue group was able to reach the ham operator on the scene and confirm the location of the injured party.  Officials said ham radios used to find Michael Schuett were a "huge benefit" to the rescue units.  It pays to carry your HT with you.  Good job by everyone involved!  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

UK CubeSail Ham Radio Satellite | Southgate Amateur Radio News

UK CubeSail Ham Radio Satellite.CubeSail is an exciting, ground-breaking educational satellite project at the Surrey Space Centre (SSC) that hopes to launch into a 680 km Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) from India…


Watch out for this interesting satellite from the Surrey Space Center in the UK.  The educational satellite will be launched into a low earth  sun synchronous orbit this December from a space facility in India.  A key feature of the "CubeSail" satellite is a 25 square meter sail which will "demonstrate the propulsive effect of solar radiated pressure"  and show "the deorbiting application of the sail as a drag augmentation device."  The satellite will provide beacons for amateur radio operators, most likely using a 9600 Bit/s AX.25 RC-BPSK downlink on 435.240 MHz.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).


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