Ham Radio Satellite information Att Mike Poole

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    This is N0SWV, Jesse Alcorta, from McMurdo. Currently in the Denver office though.

    I wanted to coordinate with at least someone who is returning to McMurdo for the 2009/10 season that has claimed to be bring gear to the station. I have an ICOM 290H that I will be bringing to McMurdo and quite possibly leaving it there. Mike Poole wanted to do more satellite work and I have some things that I wanted to try while I’m there. I have a brand new power supply coming to McMurdo for us. I picked up a Diamond GZV4000 switching power supply to run the ICOM and anything else that we might have a mind to run. I’m working on locating a decent antenna, not to big, and some cheap power for us. We might just have to make do with a loop or halo for the antenna and maybe a preamp instead of the preferred yagi of my choice.

    Could you pass this along to Mike Poole? I understand that you may be in contact with him.

    Jesse J. Alcorta N0SWV

    Raytheon Polar Services
    7400 South Tucson Way
    Centennial, CO 80112
    Phone 800 688 8606 ext 32024
    Direct 720-568-2024
    Fax 303 792 9006
    Brevis esse latoro obscurus fio

    Howdy Jesse,

    Bill in Montana. I love satellites !!!! Look at my station at:


    Great radio the 290 and the power supply will be just fine.

    Antennas is a good question. Yes the Halo will work but lot of the birds are split 2m and 70cm. You might need two halo’s 2m and 70cm. Two good verticals would also work well and they are easier to transport as they can be packed in a small package. I have an ARR pre amp for 70 cm I can bring along. No need for 2m pre-amp.

    I will send this to Mike.

    All I have left is PQ and that is not a problem.

    Cheers Bill Erhardt Helena Montana 😀 😀


    Good to go. I’m going to bring down my rigblaster as well. We should have a pretty interesting summer at this rate. I’ll give Jesse an email.
    I’m getting active here in Crescent City. The local Ham club meets once a month, but they are ok with me getting them together once a week to make things more interesting. going to try a fox hunt here before long. Bill that might be something we could have fun with in MCM. We should tell all the hams to bring along a 2m handheld this year.


    Thanks Mike,

    I will pick up an Arrow Antenna with pre-am on 70cm as is breaks down to a very small package and use it with my Kenwood hand held for the FM Birds.

    I have the adapter for the Kenwood MC-60 Mike for the TS-480. I know your bringing the rigblaster for digital modes.

    I am still looking at the IRLP and will try to contact Don Wagner to see if it is still a go with NSF. I do need his e-mail at NSF as I left it on my account at McMurdo. Forgot to get several addresses on my computer. I got a new used IBM T-43 with Windows XP to take down with me next season as the IT folks said I could not use Windowns 2000. I will be doing some school contacts in Montana via EchoLink or IRLP if we get it up. Six schools are very interested in doing a Amateur Radio question/answer session. The teachers like the idea as the sudents will learn about Antarctia and about communications……

    If the bands open up next season, I will take the broken HF antenna and build a 17 meter rotatable dipole. I looked at the dimensions of the elements and it will be real easy to assemble a 17 meter dipole.

    All is well in Montana. We had our annual Incident Management Team annual meeting in Missoula Mon – Web this week and got updated on all the new wildland fire requirments for this year. They are setting up a NIMS COML ( National Incident Management System Communications Unit Leader) class this fall as they want all COML’s to be all risk certified on the teams. This way we are up to date for Hurricanes, Floods, or other natural disasters for the National Folks. HHHmmm , training never ends..

    Cheers Mike

    Bill K7MT



    It’s Tom Wagoner, and good luck. It would be nice to have science groups do live chats with schools as well.

    See you on the ice.

    We’ll talk about what else to bring as things get closer.

    Been There


    Tom Wagner isnot longer at NSF/OPP. He went to work for NASA. I sent you another suggested contact at NSF.



    Bill let me know if you need the email address.
    On another note. I googled McMurdo station in the news and look what I found.



    I’ve been following this topic and would just like to say “Hello” to some fellow hams. I’ve applied for several summer positions, one of which is being considered. Like Joe I’m retired, unlike Joe I don’t have anywhere near the radio experience that Joe or the rest of you have. If I’m lucky enough to get selected for a summer job, I’d really enjoy becoming part of your group and participating in any way I can. I’m currently a member of a very active local club, but having had my license for less than a year, I still have a lot to learn.



    Roger, the most important thing is to make sure you have a general class license. Do the test now. They’ve done away with the Morse code requirment, so all you have to do is study and pass the electronics exams. There isn’t a great deal to do with VHF at McM because without cell phones,half the station has work radios with them. Radios are issued to people going hiking ect as well. If you get hired, send down a handheld, we may try some things, but the real ham radio down there is HF. We have a new radio and antenna, although I hear there is a 100mph storm going on today. The antennas don’t do well in big winds. Once there if everything survives the winter, you should be able to talk to most of the world, but especially stations to the north.


    Hi Mike,

    After the paper interviewed me, they were not sure it was going to be published. I found out a few days later that they did and got a copy. I was a nice suprise that they actually put it in the paper !!! Quite a few folks contacted me about the article and I met some folks around western Montana that had been to McMurdo circa 1978 – 1999. Really some nice folks. Tom in Townsend, Montana is the father of the Manager of the Transverse Team that we seen coming back to McMurdo in February. Tom help put up a satellite link on Black Island in the late 90’s. Others were welders, power plant, heavy mechanics, and admistrative folks. It was nice to chat with them and hear their stories about the earlier days at McMurdo.

    One note regarding the news paper article, is that several schools want me to do a presentation on my experience in Antarctica and do a Q & A with grade and middle school students. I have two scheduled before this school season ends and will look at setting up three or four school contacts from McMurdo via Ham Radio next season.

    Snowing in Montana as I am typing and went skiing for a bit today. A bit windy but still loved the skiing. This looks like the finally of the ski season as temps will go from 32 to 70 in the next 5 days.

    Thanks for putiing the link for the Newspaper article on this blog Mike….

    Cheers from Montana Bill (Smokey) Erhardt


    It’s going to be a fun year next year.
    I’ve been reading some of the blogs. MCM had their first condition one storm this week with winds over 100mph. I wonder how the new antenna held up?

    A friend gave me an old HF radio today. an old Icom ft-101. Looks like and old tube radio. I might be on the air here soon.

    Bill, what is your IRLP link?


    Mike, Igot my General license in 2008. Not much experience yet though. The radio that I’m using is a IC-706MKII-G mobile installed in a Unimog 1300 that I’m fabricating into an expedition camper. Any suggestions on a handheld unit that you know would work good down there?


    No real need for a handheld. A few years back we were doing hidden transmitter hunts. If we get enough people we could try again. For that almost any 2m will do.

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