First Impressions of the Arrow II Antenna

I heard about the Arrow II Satellite antenna quite some time ago and even seen a lots of videos about it on YouTube. Unfortunately, whenever I look for an opportunity to get one, I couldn’t find it anywhere in Europe. Until recently, when I learned by a coincidence that Antenna Warehouse is also shipping them to Europe! Didn’t have to think long before I decided that I can’t live without one and so I ordered one on July 21st, 2009.

The price I had to pay was a bit of an issue. Although the antenna costs $139, which I find very acceptable, the shipping and import costs from US to Denmark are usually a very traumatic experience. This time I only had to pay $39 for the shipping, which is fine, but then came the EU import duty and Danish VAT, which was an additional $70.

So was it worth the price? Well, let me see:

  • It took two and a half weeks for the antenna to arrive but this included one week delivery to Antenna Warehouse — they did not have it on stock just when I ordered. I find this delivery time acceptable given the circumstances.
  • Once I had the antenna in my hand, it took me less than 5 minutes to assemble it without looking at the instructions.
  • Shortly after the antenna was assembled for the first time I had a good VO-52 pass where I heard many EU stations up to S8 on my FT-817.
  • Before the pass was over FO-29 came within range in a very low pass (maximum elevation below 5 deg). Nonetheless I heard K3SZH working EU stations. Wow!
  • Later that day I had a good AO-27 pass with strong signals. I heard many voice contacts in the beginning of the pass until some packet came on and killed them all (don’t know if it was telemetry (see the video below).
  • The overall construction of the antenna looks very good. I would certainly place it in the high quality end of the scale. I was also happy about the packaging; The boom, the 2m elements and the 70cm elements were in three separate plastic bags.
  • Each element has a red end cap on each end that makes the antenna look good 🙂

So, yes, all in all I am very impressed with the Arrow antenna so far. Next step is to set up my FT-817 to transmit and try to have some contacts. More on that later!


Watch in full resolution.

GB0MPA commemorating the ship RMS Carpathia

I caught the special event station GB0MPA on the air yesterday. GB0MPA commemorates the ship RMS Carpathia (callsign: MPA) which saved 705 people from the Titanic in April 1912. GB0MPA is active for 28 days starting on Apr 4. On this video GB0MPA has contact with two stations from Romania – one of them west of the Carpathian mountains 🙂

As you can see and hear, my IC-765 is still going strong!

Eeeham Status

Note: This page is now obsolete since I have installed Ubuntu 9.04 desktop edition on the Eeepc. This opens the door to use all ham radio applications available for Ubuntu!

Eeeham dedicated to ham radio applications on the Asus eeepc. The idea is to have a set of Linux ham radio applications built on a host computer and packaged and configured so that they can be run off an SD or USB disk on the eeepc. User data related to the applications shall be stored on the same disk. I think this is a good approach since it will keep the eeepc system disk clean of my experiments.

Continue reading “Eeeham Status”

About Grig

Grig is a simple Ham Radio control (CAT) program based on the Ham Radio Control Libraries (Hamlib). It is intended to be highly generic presenting the user to the same graphical user interface regardless of which radio is being controlled.

Grig supports the most commonly used CAT commands that are implemented by Hamlib, and integrates well with other ham radio programs like Xlog and gMFSK. Thanks to Hamlib, grig works with most CAT-capable amateur radios. You can check out the Supported Radios page at the Hamlib website.

Grig is free software licensed under the GNU General Public License. This gives you the freedom to use and modify gpredict to suit your needs. Moreover, gpredict is available for most platforms including Unix/Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.

 

Grig main window
Grig main window.

 

Please note that I have had very little spare time to work on Grig over the last few years. Therefore I am looking for people to take over and maintain it.

eeeham: Hamradio Applications on the eeepc

I have now created a web space on my site dedicated to ham radio applications on the eeepc. You can access it by clicking on eeeham in the subject field of this post. At this point only a WIP, but I will update is as I make progress.

Continue reading “eeeham: Hamradio Applications on the eeepc”