Kyles Science Fair Update – So Far

This is an update to the progress at this time point in time on my sons Science Fair Project on The Effects of Solar Flare on Radio Communications. As you will see below, there have been three events so far. More to come. 😀

http://kf4bzt.com/?p=153

—===—===—===—===—===—

—===—===—===—===—===—

School of Science and Technology Science Fair

10455146_10206176873849597_4947719260520536490_n

January 14, 2015, Kyle did compete at the school level for the science fair with the project The Effects of Solar Flare on Radio Communications. I am not sure how many people judged but I believe that it was teachers, administrators and some upper classmen. He had to go through this one by himself at least for the presentation piece. He felt very confident and comfortable this time around with what he was presenting and he did learn a lot about the effects of solar activity on not only ham radio communications but also power grids as well. He also learned how solar flare are created and far their impact can be.

15517_10206177044453862_4096342873077968400_n     10430901_10206177317340684_1456264075389119289_n     10922532_10206177356741669_6917070246631908019_n

On that same day, The School of Science and Technology did the awards presentations for each category. I am proud to say that Kyle came out with 1st Place in Physical Sciences at the school level. This was an awesome accomplishment and gets places him at the next level. The next one is called the Alamo Junior Academy of Science science fair.

—===—===—===—===—===—

—===—===—===—===—===—

Alamo Junior Academy of Science science fair at Robert E Lee High School

1506616_10206313007252847_3662374690707298222_n

This has been a wild ride for Kyle so far, during the weekend of January 31st, Kyle did compete in the Alamo Junior Academy of Science science fair at Robert E Lee High School here in San Antonio. This was for the top 1st place winners from the school level science fair which is a cool accomplishment. This was Kyle’s first time in competing away from the school level and was a great opportunity for him to see how this works. There was a lot of work with a new Oracle system that the kids and teacher had to use and get used to in order to progress further. This science fair was in front of three judges where he presented with his slides using a projector. This one, I was able to be in and see him perform. He did a great job and was confident in what he was presenting. There were some nervous issue from Kyle as he appeared to be presenting too fast, but the judges were happy and were able to get the information that they were looking for with time left. I think that I was more nervous and it was very difficult for me as his dad and mentor on this project to keep my mouth closed…LOL. Maybe it is a good thing that parents aren’t aloud in most competition areas.

From the School of Science and Technology side where Kyle attends, there were 7 total from both junior and senior divisions, I believe, that presented. Each placed in their fields of study.

The following day, February 1st, was the awards presentation for that science fair. This was the moment that we were all waiting for and was nerve racking. The kids were seated in the middle with their teachers while the parents and guests were placed in the outer sections. The awards presentations were ran efficiently while there were four categories with sub categories within each. Kyle was in the Earth and Space category once he began his journey outside the school level. Now the time that we were waiting for, Kyle came in with Highest in Category for Earth and Space. This moves him up into the regional science fair called the Junior Science Academy Regional Science Fair.

—===—

Highest in Category Awards
 
2602   –   Kyle Jacobs   –   School of Science & Technology   –   Earth & Space
 
 —===—===—===—===—===—
—===—===—===—===—===—

Junior Science Academy Regional Science Fair at St. Mary’s University

 11000508_10206473013972915_5791968846399339992_n

Kyle has done a great job so far and he is finding out that as he keeps going, the more difficult the science fairs are and the more competition gets greater. For the School of Science and Technology on Loop 410, we are down to two senior and three junior participants for the Alamo Regional Science and Engineering Fair. The competition took place on the weekend of the February 15th at St. Mary’s University here in San Antonio and it was a big deal for most schools that came. This is a larger venue for the participants as the competition used both the main arena and the upstairs workout areas of the main gym. It was impressive to see how this science fair was ran. During setup, on Saturday February 15th, the parents were able to accompany the participants to their staging areas that were assigned to them. I was cool to see some of the projects which were being presented and there are so many talented kids out there. There was only thing that was inspector found during setup and it was a little sticker that needed to be attached to the board which basically said, “The images, graphs, etc created were created by the participant”. Once we added that, Kyle was good to go. Kyle did see three of his team mates

1484677_10206408158591571_7301230756741143413_n    

Each person received a certificate for participating in the Alamo Regional Science and Engineering Fair which was left at their display.

11000594_10206418081399635_4633867295563951697_n

—===—===—

On Sunday February 22nd, the awards ceremony took place for the Alamo Regional Science and Engineering Fair. There were so many corporate and government awards given out are well as several scholarships awards. It amazed us with everything that was presented. The funny part about this was that once the placements were done, Kyle did not place which means one of two things, either he didn’t get anything at all or he placed higher than the standard first place. Well, both me and my wife were surprised and happy at the same time. Kyle eneded up with a Fifth Place Grand Prize which placed him in the ExxonMobil Texas State Science Fair coming up in May here in San Antonio. This is an incredible accomplishment and we are extremely proud of Kyle. The School of Science and Technology where Kyle goes is now down to two junior division participants. Michael, his team mate, took 1st Grand Prize in Behavioral and Social. Way to go guys!!!!

Fifth Grand Prize
 
Fair   –   Place   –   Project #   –   Category   –   Student Name   –   School
 
1   –  5th   –   2602   –   Earth And Space   –   Kyle Jacobs   –   School and Science and Technology
 
—===—===—===—===—===—

As a second surprise to this, Kyle also won a special certificate from the Broadcom MASTERS which shows that he is in the top 10%  which are 300 national Semifinalists to compete. This states that he has been nominated to compete in the Broadcom MASTERS competition later this year. Kyle will need to apply and do what he needs to in order to make it to this one. We are so proud of Kyle for being selected for this. It is a huge honor and accomplishment for him. The page below states that this will be in Washington DC, but will find out more as the school get the information.

Final Awards List
 
Sponsor   –   Award   –   Project #   –   Student First Name   –   Student Last Name   –   School   –   Category
 
Broadcom Masters   –   Certificate   –   2602   –   Kyle   –   Jacobs   –   School and Science and Technology   –   Earth And Space
 
 10945551_10206476733665905_554478761706290496_n     11009117_10206476733905911_4834367771465768177_n     10413427_10206230287742055_1266503788546638651_n
—===—===—===—===—===—

First Experience with JT65

First off, I want to start this post by thanking Dan, W0JMP for the help last night in using this awesome mode. He was my first JT65 contact and my first 30Meter contact. Awesome stuff indeed.

I finally added my Rigblaster M8 to my Kenwood TS-440S and thought that I would try listening to some data last night. I heard some things about JT65 and JT9 being used for weak signal communications such as moonbounce (EME), and meteor scatter. It appeared from my research that it is use in weak signal HF as well. It is impressive how weak the signal can be in order for the waterfall to see the station and the application to decode the data. The first image shows my first attempt at listening and decoding data coming in. I was using 10.130 as the receive frequency because at night, 20Meter up to 10Meter were dead. The application was decoding some stations which is step one. 🙂 From what I have been reading the lower the wattage out, the better for this mode. It has been said that 25 – 30 Watts may be considered high wattage. The higher the wattage the more QRM that you will cause for other stations. I need to turn mine down then.. 😀

IntialListen

—===—===—

The application which I used is called WSJT-X which has a lot of capability in making this form of communication much better. Dan mentioned that timing is very critical and he recommended that I use dimension4 to help with the timing. He mentioned that my timing was about 0.8 seconds off, which was ok, but not perfect. I now have it installed and ready to rock.

http://www.thinkman.com/dimension4/

Another application that Dan recommended is called JT-Alert which will alert to what calls are coming in over JT65 and should keep you from duplicating the call on the same band.

http://hamapps.com/

This video is not mine, it just shows how to run JT65 with JT-Alert and you can see where Dan is popular. His call shows up in this video as well. This is not mine.

—===—===—

I put a feeler out on the ham radio Facebook page on Feb 11th, about this mode and got some awesome help for my first time attempt on this mode. As you can see, Dan, W0JMP chimed in with some information on how to use the application to establish communications. Here are some items that were mentioned.

– Hit the TX6 button which is the CQ KF4BZT EL09 text. This will be sent over the air

– Once someone established communications, the lines will turn read showing that they are talking to your station

– When a contact is established, start with Tx1 button and work your way down. The other station will respond with the same information

W0JMP KF4BZT EL09

W0JMP KF4BZT -18

W0JMP KF4BZT R-18

W0JMP KF4BZT RRR

W0JMP KF4BZT 73

– When you get to the final transmission, you will have the option to log the contact with information in a pop-up window.

 

FirstJT65Contact

—===—===—

First Night Contacts – Feb 12th- I am happy with the results and the states that I am picking up on 30Meter now. 😀

FirstNightJT65

—===—===—

LOTW Entries from the first night. Not too bad at all.

LOTWEntries

—===—===—

I found that there are different bands to choose from just like most other modes.

10Meter – 28.076.0 USB

12Meter – 24.917.0 USB
alternate 24.920.0 USB

15Meter – 21.076.0 USB

17Meter – 18.102.0 USB
alternate 18.098.0 USB

20Meter – 14.076.0 USB
alternate 14.075.0 USB

30Meter – 10.139.0 USB
alternate 10.138.0 USB
alternate 10.137.0 USB

40Meter – 7.039.0 USB
alternate 7.036.0 USB
(USA) 7.076.0 USB

80Meter – 3.576.0 USB

—===—===—

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT ALL JT65A FREQUENCIES found from the URL http://hflink.com/jt65/

  • JT65A operators use USB VFO FREQUENCY for spots.
  • JT65A signal is about 1.3+kHz higher than the VFO frequency
  • The JT65A Passband is about 355Hz. Bandwidth is about 200Hz.
  • JT65A may be used in the 500Hz bandwidth segments of bandplans.
  • Normal operation of JT65A is a sync audio frequency of 1270.5Hz.
  • Sync tone is the reference mouse-click frequency for JT65.
  • JT65A signal bandwidth extends about 200Hz above 1270.5Hz sync.
  • The lowest tone of the JT65 signal is normally 1270Hz.
  • The system allows approximately +/-600Hz auto-tuning on receive.

—===—===—

The following notes are from the URL http://hflink.com/jt65/

Special Notes on Good Operating Procedure:

1. Operators should be careful of frequency selection, accurate clock, and calibration. Always listen and observe the waterfall spectrum of signals on the frequency before transmitting, and during activity.

2. JT65A is a weak signal digital QSO mode. Always use very low power on HF to avoid QRM to other JT65 signals and other modes. 20Watts ERP is maximum for normal activity and DXing in the 40metre to 10metre bands.

3. Normal activity of JT65A is in the “weak signal” part of the ham bands, near the PSK, MFSK, and Olivia 500 frequencies. JT65A should not be used in parts of the ham bands where faster digital modes are in use.

4. The long tone carrier duration of JT65 transmissions has potential to cause severe interference to other modes.

5. Do not use JT65 in 10144kHz-10150kHz because JT65A is NOT COMPATIBLE with MFSK, FSK, HELL, OLIVIA, CONTESTIA, ALE400, or RTTY and can cause severe interference to fast time-sharing modes such as PACKET, PACTOR, ALE, PSKmail, and APRS.

—===—===—

Good Information

http://www.packetradio.com/pdfzips/jt65-hf-setup.pdf

http://hflink.com/jt65/

http://hamspots.net

—===—===—

73 For Now

Tim

KF4BZT

TX7G QSL Ordered

I have ordered my QSL from the TX7G DXpedition team and it should be heading out in a couple of weeks. This one will go on my wall. Once I calculate my logs,  MARQUESAS will be a new Island on the Air (IOTA) and grid square as well. Once I receive the card, I will post a picture here. 🙂

Grid Square – BL91we

IOTA – OC027

—===—===—

LOTW Confirmation:

Station
Call Sign KF4BZT
DXCC UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
CQ Zone 4
ITU Zone 7
Grid EL09tm
State Texas (TX)
County BEXAR
Worked Station
Worked TX7G
DXCC MARQUESAS ISLAND (509)
CQ Zone 31
ITU Zone 63
IOTA OC-027
Grid BI91we
Date/Time 2014-10-21 23:56:00
Mode SSB (PHONE)
Band 12M
Frequency 24.95600
QSL 2014-11-12 03:13:38

Record ID 622730102 Received: 2014-11-12 03:13:38

—===—===—

eQSL Card – Waiting for the real one!!

_cfimg-5550307952859328101

K1N – 2015 Navassa DXpedition The KP1-5 Project

Hi All,

“The following information below about the KP1-5 Project is from the URL http://navassadx.com/ which has some great information. NOT MY OWN INFORMATION”

The KP1-5 Project Mission Statement

The purpose of the KP1-5 Project is to work toward a solution to the closure of Desecheo and Navassa Islands to Amateur Radio operators by achieving lawful, periodic access to these islands pursuant to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorization.

While operating from these islands is a worthwhile goal, the KP1-5 Project is dedicated to a long term partnership that jointly benefits the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Amateur Radio operators worldwide.

Navassa Island had become a National Wildlife Refuge in 1999 which makes it more difficult and expensive for teams to visit and work from.

The team of operators are Bob K4UEE, Glenn WØGJ, Mike NA5U, George AA7JV, Ralph KØIR, John K6MM, Craig K9CT, Tomi KT4TTT, Lou N2TU, George N4GRN, Mike N6MZ, Jeff NM1Y, John W2GD, Gregg W6IZT and Jerry WB9Z.

kp1-regionmap-usgs

Navassa Coordinates: 18°23’50.35N, 75°0′46.75″W

Grid Square:  FK28lj

IOTA:  NA-098

—===—===—

Now for my post…. 😀

I want to say that working DXpedition stations can be fun, challenging and aggravating at the same time. It is fun to be able to work rare locations, around the world, like this one. These guys are working from the Navassa Island which is a United States island located in the Caribbean. It sounds like the outside weather conditions have been hot, windy and dirty where they are. These guys have some great patience while working stations from all over the world. I just wish that others stations had the same amount of patience, to include myself from time to time. It is challenging for a station such as my 100 watt Kenwood and fan dipole to break through the huge pileups that take up the voice and digital parts of the bands during events likes this. So I learned that you need to be able to do a lot of switching between the transmit and receive splits that are in use. On 20M, they would transmit from 14.155 and receiving between something like 14.240 – 14.250. On 10M, I heard them transmitting on 28.304 and receiving around 28.320 28.340ish. Always listen to the calls that they are responding to and switch back to their receive to get an idea of where they are listening. There will be RST reports passed by each station. I think they have such a large split because of the amount of traffic and QRM, so that they can heard the legit stations.

“Try not to station on the pileup frequency with the spread that this team is using. You will have better luck in making contact.” I have heard ops make contact with other stations who were not with in the pileup.

By having a larger split like they are using for the voice QSO’s, this makes the challenge a little harder but not impossible. Just makes sure that when working within their transmit segment, that you listen for the louder stations. I found times where they responded to the louder stations, then potentially move around within the split. I can understand the frustration that people have with this as the split is so large, but it is still doable.Trick here is listen, listen, listen…..

The massive QRM issue makes these events aggravating and are the majority of the problem that are being noticed. All I can say is that if I can make the contact, so can you and I was so excited to make it happen as this will give me a new Island on the Air (IOTA) and Grid Square as well.  Now to try other bands and maybe modes to see if I can get them elsewhere. 🙂

K1N Official Navassa DX Page – http://navassadx.com/

K1N QRZ Page – http://www.qrz.com/db/K1N

—===—===—

My Confirmation from the K1N team.

K1NDxpedition

73 and Good DX,

Tim

KF4BZT