Archive - October 2012

‘Our’ Moon – Do you often gaze and wonder?

Full Moon732X520

Well for me the answer is ”Yes”. How lucky we are to be able to see this image from our backyards pretty much all day every day when weather is good?

Here are a few facts and stats you may like to know;

The distinct bright ray crater at the bottom of the image is the Tycho impact basin. The dark areas are lava rock filled impact basins: Oceanus Procellarum (on the left), Mare Imbrium (center left), Mare Serenitatis and Mare Tranquillitatis (center), and Mare Crisium (near the right edge). This picture contains images through the Violet, 756 nm, 968 nm filters. The color is “enhanced” in the sense that the CCD camera is sensitive to near infrared wavelengths of light beyond human vision. More facts below the image…..

Equatorial radius (km) – 1,737.4, Mean distance from Earth (km) – 384,400, Rotational period (days) – 27.32166
Orbital period (days) – 27.32166, Average length of lunar day (days) – 29.53059, Mean orbital velocity (km/sec) – 1.03
Mean surface temperature (day) – 107°C, Mean surface temperature (night) -153°C, Maximum surface temperature – 123°C, Minimum surface temperature  -233°C.



OQRS edit

Whilst attempting to keep our On-Line Qsl request Systems (OQRS) up to date and at the forefront of new software, both Tim (MØURX) and myself are currently reviewing new directions in OQRS which give more information not only for us, but also for you the customer. New ideas are currently under discussion and development which we hope to introduce in the coming months.

One new item currently on screen is the ability for you to view the list of Callsigns that we manage. I did have the facility under the administration side of things but now you also have access to this so you may not need to query Qrz.Com in the future. Seen in the image is        view Simply click it to see the list in full.

You may also not be aware that ifrequest you wish to check progress of a card, click

This will allow you to ‘log in” using your Callsign and Email address and the next screen will then give you a list of all the Qsl cards you have requested via the system and the current progress of the request.

We will keep you informed of changes when they occur but by all means, try the new additions out by clicking the main image above!


Mission to the Edge of Space


Felix Baumgartner, the man who tried to break the world’s freefall record by jumping from 23 miles above the earth, breaking the sound barrier, has jumped from space.

Felix Baumgartner, a 43-year-old former military parachutist, floated for two hours in a purpose-built capsule towed by an enormous helium balloon before leaping into the record books from 128,000ft – almost four times the height of a cruising passenger airline. Baumgartner reached an estimated speed of 1,342.8 km/h (Mach 1.24) jumping from the stratosphere, which when certified will make him the first man to break the speed of sound in freefall and set several other records* while delivering valuable data for future space exploration.

He broke the current freefall record of 19.5 miles held by Joe Kittinger. Mr Kittinger, who set his record in 1960, was the only person allowed to communicate with Mr Baumgartner while he was inside the capsule which carried him into space. Click here (or the image) to see the jump


55th Jamboree on the Air (JOTA)

jota 2012

Each year, more than 500,000 Scouts in more than 100 countries take to the airwaves on the third full weekend in October — and this year on the 20th & 21st October, it will be no different.

The Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) is an annual Scouting and Amateur Radio event sponsored by the World Scout Bureau of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). JOTA is an annual event where Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from all over the world speak to each other via Amateur Radio. Since 1958 — when the first Jamboree on the Air was held — millions of Scouts have met through this event. Many contacts made during JOTA have resulted in pen pal relationships and links between Scout troops that have lasted many years.

The 55th Jamboree on the Air is on 21st & 22nd October, 2012. The official hours are 0000 (local time) Saturday, 20th October (right at midnight Friday) through midnight (local time) Sunday, 21st October (midnight Sunday evening).



The Orionid Meteor Shower

2012-10-14 075111

Usually, waking up before sunrise is a good way to get a head start on the day. On 21st October, waking up early could stop you in your tracks.

Blame Halley’s Comet.  Every year in mid-to-late October, Earth passes through a stream of dusty debris from Comet Halley, and the pre-dawn sky lights up with a pretty display of shooting stars.

“We expect to see about 25 meteors per hour when the shower peaks on Sunday morning, Oct 21st,” says Bill Cooke, the head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office.  “With no Moon to spoil the show, observing conditions should be ideal.”

“Be prepared for speed,” he adds.  “Meteoroids from Halley’s Comet strike Earth’s atmosphere traveling 148,000 mph.  Only the November Leonids are faster. Click image to view Video Clip.


Shuttle Endeavour lands at Los Angeles (LAX)

2012-10-12 093050

It’s not every day that a space shuttle lands at LAX. Although this was a first for the major Los Angeles airport hub, it was a last for the space shuttle Endeavour, as it completed its tour of California skies and landed, albeit atop a 747, for the last time. During its last flight the iconic shuttle and its chase planes were photographed near several of California’s own icons including the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Hollywood Sign, and the skyline of Los Angeles.

The piggybacking shuttle was snapped on approach last week to LAX as it crossed above and beyond a major Los Angeles street.

Now retired, Endeavour was NASA’s fifth and final space shuttle to be built. Construction began on Sept. 28, 1987 and it rolled out of the assembly plant in Palmdale, Calif. in April 1991. Here are some Stats for junkies like me 😉

$1,800,000,000: The cost of space shuttle Endeavour in 1987 dollars when it was built to replace the space shuttle Challenger after the tragic 1986 launch failure that killed seven astronauts. While $1.8 billion may seem like a lot for a NASA shuttle, at the time it was roughly half the cost of earlier shuttles since NASA was able to use some spares to construct Endeavour.Shuttle Hollywood
116,372,930: The total miles Endeavour has traveled before launching on its last voyage.
750,000: The number of spectators who turned out in Florida to watch Endeavour’s first launch attempt on April 29, 2011.
500,000: The number of spectators expected to turn out to Florida’s Space Coast to watch Endeavour’s final launch (the second attempt at liftoff) on May 16, 2011.

Endeavour will be removed from the SCA using an elaborate set of cranes and wind restraints. It will be placed on a special transportation system and moved into a United Airlines hangar, where it will remain for several weeks while final preparations for its transport and display at the California Science Center are completed.


MX0LDG (and hexbeams !) QRV from today…

A small group of 3 like minded DXer’s have come together to form the Lundy DX Group and have obtained the Club call sign of MX0LDG.

The first activation of the group will be from Lundy Island EU-120 from the 11th – 16th October 2012.

They will be running 2 stations, 3 where possible, on all bands from 40m through 6m, on SSB with the possibility of some data modes from 06:00 hrs to 00:00 hrs each day. The islands electricity is turned off between 00:00 hrs and 06:00 hrs every night. This will be sleep time for the ops.

The equipment to be used will be a Elecraft K3 with a KPA500 amp, a Kenwood TS590s with a Expert 1K amp (400W) and a IC706 as a backup radio/3rd station.

Antennas will be 2 x G3TXQ Hexbeams supplied and built by Ant, MW0JZE, the main sponsor of the activation and a 1/4 wave vertical for 40m.

Team Members: John, M5JON, Peter, M0ILT, Ant, MW0JZE. QSL via M0URX


More Qsl cards to Buro this week….

K1024 SNV35146

Hot on the heels of the last Qsl Card drop to the RSGB bureau, (and after just over 2 full days Qsl’in) almost 1000 more cards have this week been processed for both RSGB and Direct to World Bureau’s.

They are made up of the following;

4W3A 5, GB0ANT 165, CM5FZ 5, DV1UD 3, G4RCG 22, GB0HI 37, GB0PSK 10, GB0WFF 16, GB0WSD 4, GB1HI 162, GB2HI 42, GB2WHL 15, GB5HI 5, GB6WRS 2, GD7VJR 7, GO2HQ 12, GR2HQ 47, GR4RCG 4, M0IAA 46, M0BZH 37, M0KYI 57, M2G 11, M2X 3, MQ0OXO 11, MW0JZE 8, MW0RLJ 11, GB2NSF 1, PW2D 56, PX2C 3, PY2MTV 15, RA3CQ 12, GB1TAN 15, V26VR 1, V55A 56, VK4NM 12, VK4HAM 5, VK8AA 1, VP8DMN 32, ZD8UW 37 & EA RSGB Members 11.

If you are unsure whether your OQRS requests have been processed then simply log back in to the OQRS with your Callsign and Email address (click here) select ”request your bureau Qsl Card here” and you will see on the next screen the status of your requests, whether ”Pending” or ”Processed”. Any problems send me an email.


Pileup Runner

pileup runner
VE3NEA has done it again. The creator of DX Atlas, CW Skimmer, Morse Runner, and other programs has come up with Pileup Runner. Pileup Runner is an upgrade to Morse Runner. Pileup Runner allows you to tune to different frequencies in the virtual pileup to which you are listening. You no longer have to work simplex! There are also additional features that make this simulation so real that it’s almost scary, HI.
Examples of some program features:
1. Ask for a repeat and the calling station repeats his call sign.
2. Send the wrong call and the calling station either doesn’t answer or corrects you. It’s unbelievably real!
3. You can simulate where in the world your virtual operation is taking place. I set myself up as BS7YY from Scarborough Reef and went on a virtual DXpedition. I felt the salt spray at my feet! The JA’s were loud, NA was not.
4. Real call signs are in the program database. You will work the people you might expect to work. I worked N3DG from BS7. He was weak, but one of the louder NA stations! You might even work yourself!!
5. Pileup behavior is as expected. Stay too long on one listening frequency and soon everyone is calling you there. Keep moving.
6. Everyone you work responds differently. You might just get “599”, or “TU”, or “599 BK”, or a long winded “BS7YY de W3YY TU FOR THE QSO UR 599 IN VA”.
Get the free download at