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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

CollegeARC Reaches 1 Month Mark

Well the College Amateur Radio Club Association is one month old! We have learned a lot about starting a community, it's been one heck of a ride to say the least. Slowly but surely the website is taking form and people are signing up. We now have roughly 47 users and a core group of people who are on almost daily. CollegeARC receives about 100 unique IP address visitors and roughly 400 page views daily. Not bad for the first month.

Recently the featured article list was updated to a MUCH better looking let alone the improvement in usability. One problem that has absolutely been a pain to try and fix is SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Using the core Joomla 1.5 SEO with the Search Engine Friendly (SEF) links causes the user to not be able to login or logout (if already logged in when activated). I have the .htaccess file modified and played around with commenting the RewrightBase / line. Any suggestions would be VERY VERY VERY appreciated.

Bryce Salmi KB1LQC

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Beginning Satellite Operations shows the beginner how they can get involved with amateur radio satellites in the article Amateur Satellite Operations. Check it out to learn how easy it is to work low earth orbit satellite with as little as an hand-held radio or similar equipment and only a technician class license. I have made contacts from Massachusetts to Georgia on only my Yeasu VX-8R and an Arrow antenna with 5 watts of power, give it a try!

Sunday, August 30, 2009 is experiencing a lot of interest and it continues to get busier! We quite literally DOUBLED our bandwidth in 12 hours (Cool!). A few new updates to announce
  • Posting articles is currently disabled due to a small bug that is being fixed
  • Comments work fine now
  • Registration works great
  • follow us on Twitter at
Please share the website and let as many people as possible know about it! The success of the website is up to those who are involved with it. We hope you you share some of the enthusiasm for spreading Amateur Radio (ham) and inspiring younger people to enjoy the hobby!

Saturday, August 29, 2009 to Debute Sunday August 30th! will be debuting Sunday August 30, 2009 at midnight EST. This is 0400 UTC and can be thought of at Saturday night/Sunday Morning. We hope all who are interested can visit and help make this site a success by influencing college radio clubs to become active and grow!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Quality Space Antennas Take A While To Build

So as a result of building the Turnstile Moxon Rectangle antenna for satellite operations I have learned that constructing a well-built antenna takes a LONG time. I am currently having issues tuning the phasing stub of the 70cm Moxon rectangle. I found I needed to cut the driven elements down about 1 inch due to the center PVC spacing and the end bent portions of the elements were longer than they were supposed to be. A few more hours playing around with the antenna getting the right adjustments should be enough to finish the main part of tuning. Phasing and matching stub lengths truly are crucial to this satellite antenna. The article describing the construction in detail of this antenna will be hosted on

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Turnstile Moxon Rectangle

Here are some pictures of my turnstile moxon rectangle satellite antenna that I am building.

Thats just the 2m antenna, I will be writing up a larger more in depth article on in the near future.

Monday, August 3, 2009

TubeSat from Interorbital Systems

It looks as though Interorbital Systems is attempting to make their way into the personal space market. They have released a "TubeSat Personal Satellite Kit" on their website. As an alternative to the popular CubeSat, which many experimental amateur radio satellites have been constructed in, the main difference is that the price of launch seems to be included in the costs of the kit.

Apparently the satellites will be placed into a self decaying orbit around 310km above the Earths surface and stay in orbit for several weeks. They will then burn up in the earths atmosphere. The first launch is planned for the fourth quarter of 2010. The company gives possibly ideas for use as simple "HAM radio" satellites among a host of possible uses.

Interorbital Systems plans to launch 32 TubeSats per month on their Neptune 30 rocket. They will be released according to a reprogrammed timing sequence which prevents the satellites from clustering too close together.

This seems pretty neat but if you spend a few minutes on the website, there are plans to launch a manned orbital flight in 2010 on their Neptune 4000 rocket. Problem is, the Neptune 4000 rocket hasn't been built yet nor has the Neptune 30! They are still under development. More information can be found at the Interorbital Systems modular rocket page. Judge for yourself but I don't think I would trust that close of a deadline. Also, the ticket into space is offered at a discounted price of $250,000 dollers as compared to $5 million for the normal ticket. There is a full refund two years after the flight as a promotion. Personally, this sounds too good to be true. Why two years? Enough for the company to fall through?

While the $8,000 personal satellite sounds awesome it might be a better sell if they actually put the rocket into space first to prove they can do it. For now it seems like a start up space program in the Mojave Desert. It will be interesting to see what this company does in the next few years. If they TubeSat PS kits work then I think that it will be a huge success, especially with Universities!