Podcasting since 2005! Listen to Latest SolderSmoke

Saturday, June 18, 2011

AA1TJ: Hiking through Austria, Thinking about Sputnik

The Hero of the Hobbit Hole and Poet Laureate of QRP, Michael AA1TJ and his wife Vicki are hiking through Austria these days. Michael is on the air with a rig powered by one D-Cell battery. Now, I'd like to tell you guys that through some MIRACLE of electronics he sent us this video via that D-Cell rig, but it's not April 1. And even if it were April 1, I'd be reluctant to use that as my gag because, given Michael's high level of operating and technical skill, there is always the risk that he'd find a way to do actually do it!

Anyway, as he makes his way between ancient Roman signal towers and picturesque Austrian villages, Michael has been thinking (as you do) about the schematic diagram of the radio transmitter on the Sputnik satellite.

Gentlemen, we need this diagram. And it is not (GASP!) available on the supposedly all-knowing internet.

Here is Michael's message:

Hi Bill,
I've been thinking about "Sputnik Day" while hiking this past week or ten days. Bill, I think we've really got to do this. Many thanks for your help so far...the Kansas Connection is very tantalizing! I know you have a lot on your plate but if there is anyway you could move things along with the Kansas possibility it would be fantastic.

If we approach the museum in a professional manner...pointing out the historical necessity for properly documenting what they have, I can't see how they could refuse us. Next, we would need to assemble a team of technically competent (and appropriately diplomatic) amateurs to go in to photograph the transmitter and trace the schematic.

All the best to you and the family. Again, I think Sputnik Day could really fly...it has every aspect you could ask for...big history, home brew, QRP, contesting...

Any help or ideas from you would be most appreciated.
Tschuess, Mike, AA1TJ
Sent from my iPad

Is there somebody out there in Kansas who could take charge of this project? I agree with Michael: Essentially three steps:
1) Write to the
Kansas Cosmodrome museum seeking permission to examine the innards of the satellite.
2) Once permission is granted, one or two guys could go and take detailed photos of the transmitter and gather as much data as possible about the rig.
3) From these pictures, we could trace out the diagram.

Not only will we have what we need for Michael's Sputnik Day construction project, but we'll be making a real contribution to radio history.

We don't want multiple approaches to the museum, so maybe it would be best for anyone who is willing to do this to contact me first.

This should be fun!


  1. Instead of Sputnik 'Day' and considering that 15 Meters propagation is still hit and miss these days, I would suggest a longer operating event. How about making it 22 days.....the number of days Sputnik's signal stayed on the air.

    73.......Steve Smith WB6TNL
    "Snort Rosin"

  2. Thank you Bill...that's exactly what I had in mind. And thank you Steve for the excellent suggestion. Yes, 15m propagation is probably too hit n' miss to schedule a one day event. I like your idea of running the event for as long as Sputnik continued to transmit. Just the sort of input I was hoping for.

    I've got WiFi in the room tonight (yippie!) so I'll try to make a post to QRP-L before I fall into bed (it was a really long day).

    Again, great stuff guys!

    Mike, AA1TJ

  3. Hey Bill,

    Maybe we should look at OSCAR I. It was launch on 12 Dec 1961, so 50 year this December! Can we get the schematic for that???



Designer: Douglas Bowman | Dimodifikasi oleh Abdul Munir Original Posting Rounders 3 Column