A go-box is essentially a bunch of radio equipment placed in a box for easy transport and storage. Go-boxes may vary on its size and contents depending on the intended application. To take a look at the go box I use for satellite work, click here.
On this page you will find information on how to access amateur radio satellites such as Diwata 2 (PO-101), AO-91, AO-92, IO-86, and SO-50. By using amateur radio satellites as voice repeater, it is possible to contact fellow satellite operators in nearby countries (such as Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, China, and anywhere in the Philippines) using only a 5W handheld transceiver.
We’ve observed last night’s super moon using a 4-inch f/9 telescope. While it is true that the moon will be closer to Earth during a super moon, the difference in size and brightness compared to a non-super moon is so small and so subtle that it will be very difficult to detect such an almost negligible difference, even for amateur astronomers who regularly observe the moon, and use astronomical equipment such as a telescope.
For featured photos, click here.
For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
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We’ve visited the Philippine Air Force Aerospace Museum at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City. The museum features a comprehensive history of the various aircraft and aircraft-related artifacts of the Philippine Air Force, as well as an outdoor exhibit of actual decommissioned aircraft. We were surprised to see a full-size model of the Apollo 11 Command Module in the museum.
To view more photos of this visit, head directly to my other blog.
A stargazing event could easily become the highlight of your exclusive event (such a birthday party, a wedding, a company event, or any other personal event).
The stargazing package may include the following depending on the sky conditions:
1. Moon Astrophotography using the Telescope (1 hour)
2. Basic Stargazing and Finding Constellations (1 hour)
3. Planet Viewing using the Telescope—-Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and Venus (1 hour)
The details of each part is explained below:
1. Moon Astrophotography
Using the telescope, we will view the moon and take up-close pictures of it (any mobile phone camera can very well do this). Through a telescope, you can clearly see the craters of the moon. Everyone will surely be amazed. You can ask your guests to upload photos of the moon in social media to boost interest. The views and photos your guests will be getting will rival those taken by professional photographers. Moon viewing and photography alone can make your event a unique and truly wonderful experience.
Capturing an image of the moon using your smart phone
2. Basic Stargazing and Finding Constellations
Your guests will gather around and I will teach them the constellations. We will use a flashlight with red cellophane cover to read maps of the heaven. I will prepare star maps for the specific date you are requesting. These maps will be used by your guests to navigate the night sky. I will then use a powerful laser to point at the stars and constellations as the participants identify them using their maps (this is called star-hopping). I will show them the planets that can be seen with the naked eye. And lastly, I will teach them how to find north without using a compass, but by using the star, Polaris.
3. Planet Viewing using a Powerful Telescope
Several planets are usually visible each night. If visible (it depends on the time of the night and the month of the year), we will use a telescope to look at Jupiter and 4 of its brightest moons, Saturn with its rings, Venus, and Mars.
As with all stargazing events, if it rains, then we will not see the moon, the stars, and the planets (clouds prevent us from seeing them). This is a very real possibility, thus, must be anticipated. If this happens, I have prepared 2 lectures for your guests, which we can conduct on any covered space (will need a projector and a microphone). The lecture part is just a backup and will not be conducted if the sky is clear.
Let me know if you have any questions. This could be one of the most memorable stargazing events you and your guest could get to experience (and if you receive good feedback, I’d be happy to work with you on a future stargazing events).
To request an exclusive stargazing event, email: email@example.com or call 09954997030.
Each licensed amateur radio operator is awarded with a unique call sign for identification. The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) requires radio operators to display their call sign in the vicinity of their stations. This call sign plate from the Philippine Amateur Radio Association (PARA) should look nicely when placed beside my amateur radio equipment :)
I have also received a call sign sticker set (for a car’s windshield and radio units) which I will feature in future posts.
Following the successful signal reception and decoding of the International Space Station’s (ISS) Slow Scan Television (SSTV) images, I am now eager to build a dedicated hi-gain directional antenna for satellite hunting! The first step is getting the signal to and from the radio using proper connectors.
With these new set of connectors, I can now connect the FT60 to a DIY antenna which I will be building soon!
Note: The configuration can be further simplified using a SO-239 (socket) to SMA (male) converter, but not applicable for my setup as I needed the BNC interface for my other antennas :)
Here are the Slow Scan Television (SSTV) images I’ve received from the International Space Station (ISS) from February 15-17, 2019, using a Yaesu FT60 hand-held tranceiver and a smartphone with Robot 36 app as decoder. The audio output of the radio is tapped directly to the microphone input of the smartphone for improved signal decoding.
Transmission received from the International Space Station
As a satellite such as the International Space Station (ISS) orbits the Earth, the orientation of its transmitting antenna changes with respect to the Earth. It could have an orientation anywhere from horizontal to vertical. To get a good signal, the Earth-based receiving antenna must match the orientation of the ISS’s transmitting antenna, especially when using only a hand-held tranceiver with stock antenna. An antenna with a pair of elements placed at right angles with each other (such as a cross Yagi or a cross dipole) is best suited for satellite work, because elements at right angles can receive signals from both horizontally and vertically-oriented antennas. In this video, I have demonstrated this effect and shown how changes in antenna orientation affects the strength of the signal received.
To learn more about receiving SSTV images from the ISS, click here. To learn more about my progress in amateur radio, click here.