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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Listening for Sputniks, Watching a Satellite

I felt like a junior high school kid yesterday, rushing into the shack, firing up the old rigs, anxious to tune in some special stations. It was Sputnik Anniversary Day! 15 meters was still in pretty good shape at 2315 UTC. On the trusty Drake 2-B I could hear W1AW's code practice session a bit above the Sputnik frequency of 21.060 MHz. All of a sudden WA5TCZ was booming in, calling CQ Sputnik! OM Darron later e-mailed and let me know that he wasn't running a replica rig -- like me, he was looking for them.

This morning, inspired by all this space activity, I pulled out my newly cleaned and collimated telescope and took a tour of the skies of Northern Virginia. Jupiter is very bright in the East (I could see the Galilean moons in my finder scope!) Mars is in the West, but is too far away for any detail to be seen in my 'scope -- it is just a little red disk. I had to go out into the street to position the 'scope for the great nebula in Orion. At 1023UTC the International Space Station flew over -- I watched it disappear into the sunrise. A good morning indeed.

I have a suggestion: Can the Sputnik event be extended through the weekend to give more people the chance to tune in these magnificent rigs?

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  1. I vote for some weekend Sputnik activity too! I didn't hear a squeak yesterday :-(


  2. Your wish was preordained, Bill. The Sputnik Party runs from Oct. 4 through Oct. 26, same as the operational lifespan of the spacecraft's transmitter(s).

    73 and ROOSCCh!.......Steve Smith WB6TNL "Snort Rosin"

  3. Guys,

    I've been QRV for a good many hours each day since Oct 4 on 21061.8kHz. I'll be back at it today until I must leave for work at ~1400z. I've worked stns from western AZ to Poland thus far. Unfortunately, I work weekends :o(

    Sixteen beeps de AA1TJ ;o)



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