Amateur Radio

KK6NOW

I hold a general class license, but operate mostly on 2M and 70cm from San Diego and Palm Desert, California using a Yaesu FT-897, Kenwood TM-281A mobile, Yaesu FT-60R handheld, and an AnyTone D878UV handheld. You can often find me off-roading and launching rockets in the SoCal deserts. My primary interest is using Raspberry Pis and SDRs to receive location and telemetry data from satellites, rockets, weather balloons, trains, planes, and automobiles. I operate satNOGS, FoxTelem, radiosonde, and APRS IGate stations at both locations. 

Recent Blog Posts

ARRL’s Intro to Radio / Learn to Solder Kit

The best way to learn to solder is to use a learn-to-solder project, typically a simple circuit board with 5 to 10 components, well spaced out. Many are blinking light badges. You can find them on Amazon. I’m partial to those offered by SparkFun. The ARRL has a learn-to-solder kit that is actually useful: a […]

What to Contribute to a New Digital Radio Protocol?

M17 Project Seeking Contributors M17 is a new open source VHF digital radio protocol in development as an alternative to those currently available, with freedom in mind. Freedom in the code, protocol, voice codecs, and hardware. The goal is to provide a better option for digital radios in the future. The M17 Working Group is […]

SDR Makerspace Conference Videos Are Now Available

SDR Makerspace is an initiative of the European Space Agency and the Libre Space Foundation to support the use of Software Defined Radios for space communications, opening up space communications development to a wide variety of people, organizations and companies. Videos from their recent three day conference are now available on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntNa7j8v1JQ&list=PLCzrYL9QmZiSMltB0vP-u2s3Lx7TSlohn Also […]

Reminder: Free AMSAT Symposium On-line This Saturday 10/29

The AMSAT Symposium is on Zoom and YouTube this Saturday, October 30th from 9:00am CDT – 5:00pm CDT (UTC-5). Registration for members is required and is available on AMSAT’s Member Portal, launch.amsat.org. Registration is free and registered attendees will receive a digital copy of the AMSAT Symposium Proceedings, entered into the Symposium prize drawings, and […]

Grants available from the ARDC foundation

Amateur Radio Digital Communications is a private foundation with significant ability and desire to support Amateur Radio and digital communication science and technology. They are expected to award more than $6-million in 2021 grants to schools and 501(c)(3) organizations such as radio clubs. Grants have been made for things like educational programs, repeater equipment upgrades, […]

Received Norby QSL Card

Today I received a QSL card acknowledging my reception and uploading of data from the Russian cubesat Norby. QSL refers to the Q Code used by amateur radio operators worldwide meaning “acknowledging receipt”. Cubesat operators sometimes issue QSL cards to early receivers of their signals as an incentive to search and monitor those signals.

Signal Identification Guide: SIGIDWIKI.com and Artemis 3

If you ever wanted to identify a strange waveform seen on your SDR program, SIGIDWIKI.com is the place to go. It contains 100’s of example audio files and waterfall images, most recorded by popular SDRs. Artemis 3 is a front end application, sorting signals into categories you can browse. You can read more about it […]

LoRa/LoRaWAN video tutorials on YouTube

Robert Lie Mobilefish.com has created a series of 53 video tutorials on YouTube explaining LoRa & LoRaWAN. Most are short (<6 minutes) and well indexed, so you can quickly find topics of interest. Many illustrations and demonstrations of LoRa signals on SDR displays. Highly recommended. Complete playlist at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmL13yqb6OxdeOi97EvI8QeO8o-PqeQ0g He also published documentation and slides […]

An Exciting Virtual Balloon Launch by ScienceHeads.org

While checking the status of my Palm Desert balloon tracking station on aprs.fi, I noticed the balloon KM6HCB-11 was traveling overhead. With the help of Google, I discovered it was launched by Science Heads, a Southern California STEM organization for middle and high school students. And I could participate remotely from La Jolla. Because of […]

Technical Presentation on EIRSAT-1 Cubesat Available on YouTube

The EIRSAT-1 CubeSat, built by students at University College Dublinis due for launch on the Vega rocket in early 2021. David Murphy,EI9HWB and Fergal Marshall of the EIRSAT-1 team gave a comprehensivetechnical run-through of the satellite’s payload, subsystems andonboard communications.  You can watch the entire video presentationat:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrwyb2rDYBs From an amateur radio and hobbyist point-of-view, […]

500 Weather Balloons Tracked to Date

Since July 2020, I’ve used Project Horus’s Radiosonde_auto_rx software running on a dedicated Raspberry Pi with a RTL-SDR to track weather balloons launched daily from the NOAA station in San Diego, CA, US and the US Army’s Yuma Proving Ground (Yuma, AZ, US). Tracks are posted in real-time to APRS.FI and HabHub. Radiosondes typically transmit […]

Received 2M signal over 840 miles

On 10/29 18:30 PDT, my SatNOGS satellite ground station located in Palm Desert, CA, received an announcement from a ham repeater operating at 145.490 on the edge of the satellite band. The repeater is located on Prospect Hill, near Salem, OR, 1350 KM (840 miles) away. Interestingly, my yagi antenna was pointing straight up at […]

Decoding LoRa Cubesats

Scott Chapman, K4KDR, @scott23192 & Bob Mattaliano, N6RFM, @n6rfm have recently posted on Twitter details of their success in receiving and decoding LoRa 70cm signals from the NORBY (aka NORBI) cubesat. Fossa Systems has posted code for their Arduino ground station on Github: https://github.com/FOSSASystems/FOSSASAT-1B/blob/master/software/manual_test/GroundStation/GroundStation.ino G4lile0 posted code for a ground station using the Heltec ESP32 […]

2020 Virtual AMSAT Space Symposium – Saturday Oct 17

The 2020 Virtual AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday, October 17th from 9:00am CDT – 5:00pm CDT (UTC -5). Symposium presentations will be a combination of pre-recorded video segments along with a question and answer sessions held via a Zoom meeting. The Symposium will be made available for free […]

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