Amateur Radio Station WA7OEF

Chuck Kranz

Clearlake, California USA


Packet Radio

Usually, the station's computers run Fedora Linux but Windows 10 is used as well. 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 Automated Position Reporting System software APRS is the Xastir program compiled on Linux.

Yaesu FT-847

HF Digital Operations

Favorite digital modes: PSK31 with the Fldigi program or FT8 JT65 JT9 with the WSJT program. Fldigi, DigiPan, MixW, and MMSSTV can be run on Windows 10. Slow Scan TV with Linux is the QSSTV program compiled from source. The HF radio is either a Kenwood TS-440S or a Yaesu FT-847 transceiver CAT controlled via Hamlib. 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 Gpredict are the favorite satellite tracking programs used for orbit predictions and tracking. The AX.25 packet radio protocol is used in unproto mode in order to have message strings repeated 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. I 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 before its demise. Jean-Pierre mentioned getting a shot of the Mir ham station and would send the pics via SSTV as his signal dropped off.


Accesses to the old Radio Sputniks 10/11 and 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. 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. Antenna pointing is done with the Gpredict satellite tracking software. The satellite antennas are a 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.

AMSAT amateur radio satellite information and tracking coordinates 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.