Four members of the ECSE department presented and convened a session at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, a major scientific conference that draws over 25,000 attendees (this year’s meeting is being held entirely online).
Kristina Collins, PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering, was the primary convener for the session entitled Amateur Radio in Geophysics with HamSCI and the primary author on a poster about her citizen science research around the June 2020 solar eclipse over Asia. She was a co-author on two other posters.
David Kazdan, adjunct professor, was co-convener on the Amateur Radio in Geophysics session, and was co-author with the others on multiple works.
John Gibbons, director of the Sears Undergraduate Design Labs, was co-author on a poster on the Measurement and Analysis of Low and High Frequency Radio Propagation for Study of Ionospheric Physics.
Aidan Montare, B.S. candidate in electrical engineering, was the primary author on the poster Science, Culture, and Celebration in the Shadow of 2024 Totality, which highlighted the potential for broad interdisciplinary collaboration around the 2024 eclipse over North America. He was also co-author on other works.
Fall meeting attendees should look for the following sessions and poster presentations:
SA028 – Amateur Radio in Geophysics with HamSCI I Posters
SA028-0005 – HamSCI: Measurement and Analysis of Low and High Frequency Radio Propagation for Study of Ionospheric Physics
SY014-0003 – Science, Culture, and Celebration in the Shadow of 2024 Totality
SY014-0005 – The June 2020 Eclipse Festival of Frequency Measurement
Club members Skylar Dannhoff KD9JPX and Aidan Montare KB3UMD presented an introduction to amateur radio to SEDS-Nepal today.
SEDS-Nepal is the Nepal chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. If you’re interested in communicating with satellites and spacecraft, an amateur license might be to your advantage!
This semester W8EDU members joined the newly-formed University of Scranton Amateur Radio Club W3USR in a series of remote amateur radio exercises. With participants joining in from their homes, USR and EDU members built AM radio kits to test their home electronics laboratories. Other activities included the exchange of radiograms and a remote listening contest via the KiwiSDR network (complete with pizza delivered to the winner, courtesy of HamSCI leader and W3USR advisor Nathaniel Frissell).
Field Day is this weekend (from 1800 UTC Saturday to 2059 UTC Sunday)!
Many licensed amateurs may be without access to radio equipment currently, but if you do have equipment, we’d encourage you to make a couple contacts and submit a field day entry. We’d love to have as many people from W8EDU participate as possible.
If you like, you can put that you are a part of W8EDU in your entry, and all our scores will be tallied together and displayed in addition to everyone’s individual scores.
For those who are new to field day, I’ll be having an Introduction to Field Day session on Saturday from 12:15 to 1:15 pm EDT (Field Day itself starts 2 pm EDT). No experience is required! (You may need an amateur radio license unless you have access to an amateur who’s willing to assist you.) We’ll go over what the event is, as well as talk about how to record and submit your entry. We should also have time for general discussion. Friends and alumni of the club are also welcome to join or just say hello.
I sent the meeting invitation via email. If you’re not on our mailing list, you can contact us (my email is listed there) and we’ll send the invitation your way.
Remember to be safe, and I hope everyone has the best field day possible!
Since early May, we have repurposed our Kenwood D710 as a APRS digipeater to enhance coverage around Case Western Reserve University Campus and Greater Cleveland Area.
APRS, Automatic Packet Reporting System is an amateur radio-based system for real time digital communications of information of immediate value in the local area. Data can include object Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates, weather station telemetry, text messages, announcements, queries, and other telemetry. APRS data can be displayed on a map, which can show stations, objects, tracks of moving objects, weather stations, search and rescue data, and direction finding data.
With our setup, local APRS packets will be automatically rebroadcast via W8EDU to the nearest APRS station with network capability and you can track your call via APRS.fi
Today, May 20th, 2020, is World Metrology Day, a celebration of the science of measurement! NIST Director Walter Copan BS/MS/PhD ’75-’82 celebrated World Metrology Day on the NIST Blog:
Today is World Metrology Day. Have you put up the decorations and baked a cake yet to celebrate?! You should!
Director Copan went on to highlight the role of metrology in medicine, including the importance of measurement in fighting the current pandemic.
We here at W8EDU are big fans of metrology, and I’d love to see friends and members of W8EDU join in the celebration. Bonus points if you can show how any aspect of your decorations or cake is NIST-traceable.
If you’re looking for a short metrology-related activity, consider the downloading one of the free smartphone apps mentioned in this article in Physics magazine. These apps allow you to record, analyze, and export data from the sensors in your device. A typical smartphone or tablet may be able to measure everything from barometric pressure to magnetic fields, so there’s a lot of good measurement science to be had. Determining if a measurement is NIST-traceable may be fairly difficult (it may be hard to find information on manufacturers’ calibration methods), but it’s still interesting to see what you can come up with.
For something more involved, if you have some electronics equipment at home, there’s Conrad Hoffman’s Mini Metrology Lab from Electronics Now in 1996. The article may be older, but make no mistake, voltage standards are very important for many up-and-coming topics in electronics.
Best wishes, and I look forward to seeing your NIST-traceable cakes!
The spring Frequency Measuring Test was 0200Z-0225Z on Apr 24! (For those of us in the United States, that means the evening of the 23rd.) The radio club did well with at least five entries, two of which are in the winners’ circle as seen below.
From the ARRL web site:
The results of the spring 2020 ARRL Frequency Measuring Test (FMT), conducted on April 24, have been posted. Coming in at the top of the list for stations entering readings of both the 40-meter and 80-meter frequencies was Steve Cerwin, WA5FRF. His average error rate was 0.004902 parts per million (ppm).The Top 10 looked like this, with average error rates in ppm. Bill De Carle, VE2IQ, has posted a ranked list of participants who submitted readings for both frequencies.
N8OBJ, John Gibbons
KB3UMD, Aidan Montare
Today’s FMTs are conducted completely online, with no manual log-checking or intervention. Connie Marshall, K5CM, provides Bruce Horn, WA7BNM, with the precise actual frequencies, participating individuals submit their measurements, and machines handle the rest. Ninety-eight radio amateurs took part on the April 2020 FMT. The next FMT will take place in November.
Taking part in the FMT does not require special laboratory equipment. Modern HF transceivers can measure frequency quite accurately, and SDR-based receivers and available software can enable precise frequency measurements. Today’s FMT leaders are able to accurately measure beyond the number of decimal places (out to 5) that a typical transceiver will display, however. One station participating in the 2019 spring FMT used an Elecraft KX3 and Spectrum Lab audio software. Another employed his Elecraft K3 transceiver and tuning forks to get within 1 Hz of the mark on both bands.
Some information on how to measure the frequency of a carrier is available on Marshall’s website as well as in past articles in QST. Visit the FMT-Nuts discussion group on groups.io.
The Frequency Measuring Test is competition of an acquired taste. The task is to measure, within two minutes, the frequency of an amateur radio signal being sent from K5CM, Connie Marshall’s home version of the NIST in Muskogee, OK. This is why we like amateur radio so much, everybody has his, her, or their own version of it. Some chat on walkie-talkies. Some lovingly maintain caesium clocks. Connie does the clocks.
We will announce the next one, probably in November, and we encourage everyone with HF receiving equipment at their location to attempt a measurement! Reach out to us if you would like guidance on preparing for the event. No caesium clocks are necessary–even a modest station can score respectively with practice!