Amateur Radio Station WA7OEF

Chuck Kranz

Clearlake, California USA


Packet Radio

This amateur radio station's computers run Fedora, CentOS, Linux Mint etc. operating systems. Packet radio software, AX.25 is connected to a Kantronics KPC3+ Termial Node Controller in KISS mode on the VHF and UHF bands. An interactive shell script is used for packet message sending and repeating via the unproto mode. The packet radio Automated Position Reporting System software is the graphical Xastir program.

Yaesu FT-847

HF Digital Operations

Linux sound card software is used for most digital modes. Usually PSK31 with the Fldigi program or the JT65 JT9 program. Slow Scan TV is with the QSSTV program. The computer to radio interface is Hamlib and serial port keying. The HF radio is either a Kenwood TS-440S or a Yaesu FT-847 transceiver. Both CAT controlled. The HF antenna is a Hygain Hustler 6BTV Vertical with tuned ground radials operating on the 80, 40, 30, 20, 15, and 10 Meter bands.

Kenwood TS-440S

Amateur Radio Satellites

SatTrack and Predict, among other satellite tracking programs, are used for orbit predictions and tracking. Contacts have been made through the close ones like the International Space Station and the Radio Sputniks 10/11, 12/13. AX.25 packet radio is used in unproto mode in order to have message strings retransmitted back to earth by the International Space Station and previously by the Mir station.

Voice contact was accomplished with the French cosmonaut (Jean-Pierre Haignere) using the call sign R0MIR aboard Mir at 2:12 PDT in the morning of July 4th 1999. Also received slow scan television pictures from Mir when the station was in orbit. The picture on the right is a slow scan image sent down from Mir on subsequent passes by Jean-Pierre. It's believed to be a shot of the amateur radio equipment aboard Mir. Jean-Pierre mentioned getting a shot of the Mir ham station and would send the pics via SSTV as his signal dropped off. LOS


Accesses to the Radio Sputniks 10/11, 12/13 were on SSB voice and CW by both 2m and 15m uplinks to the 2m and 10m downlinks when those satellites were operational. The rigs used were a Kenwood TR-751A and the Kenwood TS-440S transceivers. Other satellites I have received signals from or worked include: AO-40 AO-13 AO-10 AO-27 STS-93 FO-20 FO-29 (JAS-2) LO-19 AO-16 AO-7 AO-73 (FUNcube-1) SO-50 (SAUDISAT 1C).

The main radio for satellite communication is the Yaesu FT-847 transceiver that is CAT controlled with the HamLib computer control software. Antenna pointing is with the Predict satellite tracking software and the Gsat graphical world display client. The tracking gain antennas are Cushcraft 18 element circular polarized beam for 435 to 438 Mhz KLM 18C and a 14 element circular polarized beam for 145.8 to 146 Mhz KLM 14C. Antenna azimuth/elevation is with a Yaesu G-5500 antenna rotator and the GS-232A computer controller. Predict's Gsat graphical world display client is enabled with a homebrew C code plugin for antenna to satellite tracking.

AMSAT amateur radio satellite information can be found at: AMSAT

Satellite tracking coordinates can be obtained from Dr. T.S. Kelso's web site:

Software Defined Radio

The SDR dongies are the RTL2832U / R820T2 and HF up converter is the Ham It Up from NESDR. Linux rtl-sdr open source programs like Gqrx and Linrad etc. are utilized. HDSDR is used with the windows system.