Monday, August 19, 2019

Balloon launch on Thursday 8/22/19

Upcoming Balloon Launch!

Thursday (8/22) The Kopernik Observatory and Science Center in Vestal NY is launching a high altitude balloon as part of their STEM Summer science camp! They have agreed to let me fly my SSTV payload, which has been updated with an SA868 transmitter chip and new code that should fix the saturation problem we had in the first flight!

Launch time is estimated for 9am. And again, if you could listen to 145.600 Mhz and decode photos and upload to that would be awesome! Hoping for some sweet high altitude photos this time!


Thursday, July 25, 2019

International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend - August 17-18, 2019

FROM THE AUGUST 2019 RARA RAG newsletter:

2019 International Lighthouse
Lightship Weekend
by David Timmons, W2DST

Have you ever operated outdoors at a historic site? Have you ever seen the Port
of Rochester from the top of a 197 year old lighthouse? You can do both and
more by joining us for the 2019 International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend
(ILLW) at the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse on Lake Ave. in Rochester's historic Charlotte neighborhood. This year the event is on August 17 & 18 and we will be operating (at least) 2 stations using special event call sign K2R from 11 am to 5 pm both days. Come help us operate and talk to lighthouse visitors about amateur radio. Yes, we do hang our antennas from the lighthouse tower!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Possible new threat to Amateur Radio spectrum

Over the last few weeks there have been quite a few news items and on-line discussions brewing over a possible threat to Amateur Radio 2M spectrum allocation. More specifically, a new proposal that will be advanced to the ITU World Radio Communication Conference 2023. It originates with French spectrum regulators and is reported to be at the behest of the Paris-based multinational defense contractor Thales. The concern is the proposed relegation of amateur radio to secondary status of the widely used two-meter band (144 MHz) to permit its usage by aircraft.

All Amateur Radio enthusiasts should have concern over these proposals as the connected world pushes to gain more spectrum for 100's of new types of mobile communications devices.

...and to quote from
"Why should this bother you? If you are a radio amateur it should be a grave concern that a band which has provided the “glue” for so many vital services over many decades might come under threat, and if you are not a radio amateur it should concern you that a commercial defense contractor in one country can so easily set in motion the degradation of a globally open resource governed by international treaties penned in your grandparents’ time. Amateur radio is a different regulatory being from the licence-free spectrum that we now depend upon for so many things, but the principle of it being a free resource to all its users remains the same. If you have an interest in retaining the spectrum you use wherever on the dial it may lie, we suggest you support your national amateur radio organisation in opposing this measure".

Read more here:

Monday, July 1, 2019

It's been a great run!

 Back on May 13th 2012, CNY Hams had the opportunity to become part of a 6 meter repeater experiment. That was the day the KD2SL 53.67 mhz repeater came on the air with a unique antenna! The former Television Channel 3 Turnstile antenna (a casualty of the analog TV shutoff in 2009) had come back to life supporting amateur radio in Upstate NY. It was an interesting time on 6 meters as many of us played "can you hear me now" from various locations around CNY.

 Things changed this past week, (June 27th, 2019), the 53.67 repeater was switched from the “Batwing” Turnstile TV antenna to a lower communications antenna mounted at approximately 700’. The change was necessitated by the FCC mandated television frequency repack (read more about the repack here:  ) which is driving major changes to TV transmitters and antennas all over the country.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Balloon Launch: SSTV & APRS from "near-space"

A hobby group in Binghamton, New York, Triple Cities Makerspace is planning to launch a balloon with amateur radio payloads on Saturday June 29th, 2019.

The group is launching a high altitude balloon to near space (100,000 feet) and transmitting photos of the atmosphere during the flight.

The Triple Cities Makerspace launch will take place on June 29th around 10:30 AM, tentatively depending on weather. The balloon will be tracked by amateur radio and also live photos during the flight will be transmitted back to the ground via amateur radio.

The group hopes that many radio operators will participate by listening in and uploading photos they receive to the project’s website:

The flight is expected to last around 2.5 hours and the coverage area of reception within 500 miles.
Gary Dewey, an amateur radio operator (callsign KD2PYB) and member of the Triple Cities Makerspace, is leading the project. “I’ve always dreamt of going to space, but this could be the next best thing – building something that goes to (near) space. I hope this project inspires others to experiment and reach for their dreams.”

They are using the MicroTrak-2001 from Byonics for APRS and will be transmitting on 144.390 MHz with the call sign KD2PYB-11. For SSTV, they are using a raspberry pi zero with the pi camera, a pHAT dac for a sound card interface and inexpensive Baofeng brand radio for the transmitter. They will be transmitting on 145.600 MHz.

Read more at:

Monday, June 17, 2019

Fulton Field Day 2019 at Fort Ontario

Members of the Fulton Amateur Radio Club, with the support of Oswego County Emergency Communicators R.A.C.E.S. ( Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) & Oswego County Office of Emergency Management will be participating in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise, June 22 – 23, at Fort Ontario, Oswego New York.

Since 1933, ham radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the science and skill of Amateur Radio. This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend. For more than 100 years, Amateur Radio — also called ham radio — has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster or emergency, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet.

Lots of Upstate NY Field Day events/sites here:

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Parks on the air!

KD2KUB; Andriy, will be camping at Sampson State Park from Friday May 31st until June 2nd. He will be activating the park, K-2133, in support of Parks on the Air. Please support POTA and his Activation. 

Monitor RAGS Facebook page and POTA spotter page for period of activation.  Will be on 20m and 40m Phone and CW.  



Friday, May 24, 2019

Field Day 2019

Field Day is coming soon........June 22nd and 23rd, 2019 

If you want to meet some friendly hams or experience some different operating modes, why don't you stop by one of the many Field Day events taking place in our area. You will see various antenna and radio setups along with operators trying to share their knowledge and score some points making contacts through out the weekend.

 Its a lot of fun - so we hope to see you out there on field day!

What is Field Day?

Field Day is part educational event, part operating event, part public relations event – and ALL about FUN!  link:

ARRL Field Day locator:

Check out one of the following LOCAL Upstate NY groups below:
(*please also send us your groups listing)

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Cortland Hamfest - June 8th, 2019

The Cortland Hamfest, sponsored by the Skyline Amateur Radio Club of Cortland, will be held Saturday June 8 from 7 AM 'till noon!

Free outdoor flea market, 25 indoor flea market spaces available at $5.00 per 10' space, first come first served.

VE testing will begin at 9 AM sharp.

Breakfast provided by the 4-H Teen Council.

Talk-in on 147.180 + PL 71.9.

For details e-mail

The Skyline Amateur Radio Club of Cortland welcomes Gene & crew from KJI Electronics to the Cortland Hamfest on Saturday June 8 from 7 AM 'till noon! KJI is a full service distributor of Kenwood, Yaesu and many other great lines.

We also welcome Glenn and Sue Alvino from Al-Tech Electronics, specializing in end-lots, close-outs and just great bargains.

Travel directions {signs will be posted}: I-81 to exit 12; turn left on to Route 281 South. Turn left again on to Fisher Ave, (8/10 mile) then right on to Fairgrounds Drive.
From Ithaca: Route 13 North to Route 281 North. Turn right onto Fisher Ave, then right on to Fairgrounds Drive.
For your GPS: 4849 Fairgrounds Dr. Cortland, NY 13045

~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - 
Andrew C. Slaugh KB2LUV
Secretary, Skyline Amateur Radio Club of Cortland, NY

145.490 Repeater PL 71.9 Cortland, NY