Jonathan Taylor, K1RFD, Featured on QSO Today

Jonathan Taylor, K1RFDJonathan Taylor, K1RFD, Ridgefield, Connecticut, inventor of the highly popular program “EchoLink,” was featured as guest on the QSO Today podcast, episode #487. Taylor is also author of the NTS 2.0 Radiogram Portal web application. 

From QSO Today: “Jonathan Taylor, K1RFD, has reached his 50th year has a ham radio operator, is the creator of Echolink, one of the first amateur radio Voice over Internet Service linking amateur radio stations, the receiver of technical innovation awards, and author of ‘VoIP: Internet Linking for Radio Amateurs,’ now in its second edition. K1RFD checks all of the ham radio boxes for operating, homebrewing, software development, radio restoration, and is my QSO Today.”

Wesport Astronomical Society’s Members to Perform High Altitude Balloon Tests for NASA During Eclipse

Contact: Dan Wright
Phone: (203) 293-8759


Westport, Connecticut – March 13, 2024 – The Westport Astronomical Society (WAS) and its amateur radio station, K1WAS are excited to announce its participation in the observation of the total solar eclipse along the totality line in Texas on April 8, 2024, with a grant from NASA using high-altitude balloons launched by the University of Bridgeport and the University of New Haven.

The K1WAS team will assist the University of Bridgeport, and the University of New Haven with their effort in the Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project. The amateur radio club, and many other amateur radio operator members and balloon enthusiasts, will help launch several high-altitude balloons equipped with cameras, sensors, and radio transmitters to capture the eclipse from a unique vantage point high above the Earth’s surface.

“We are thrilled to be able to contribute to the scientific community’s understanding of this celestial event,” said Dan Wright N3DAW, Board Member of the Westport Astronomical Society. “These high altitude balloon missions will offer a perspective of the eclipse that is both breathtaking and informative, helping researchers study the Sun’s corona and the Earth’s atmosphere in new and exciting ways.”

“Since the University of Bridgeport (UB) began its balloon science and payload work in 2013, K1WAS/WAS members have served as mentors and instructors to both myself and dozens of our students,” said Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering, who leads the engineering teams for NASA/Montana State’s Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project (NEBP) for the central northeast. “Early on K1WAS/WAS members took the time to instruct in all aspects of high altitude balloon flight: from safe helium usage and transportation, stacking and tying payloads together, creating containers to protect the instruments, communications, launch, tracking and balloon and payload recovery. K1WAS/WAS members have been at each of our launches and served as mentors and team members for UB’s 2017 total solar eclipse team as well as our 2023 annular eclipse team and upcoming 2024 total solar eclipse team. We are particularly indebted to K1WAS/WAS members Larry Reed, AB1JC, Gary Moyher, WE1M, Mike Miciukiewicz, K1MJM, and David Schadlich, KB1LTW.”

The University of New Haven’s Texas team will include ozonesonde payloads during this eclipse to monitor the ozone levels in the atmosphere. Both traditional weather balloons and a newly improved altitude-controlled balloon will be used for this mission. These experiments will provide data analysis, and valuable information to scientists across the planet that will be analyzed after the event.

The launch of the high-altitude balloon will take place from a location near the path of totality in Junction Texas at Texas Tech, where the eclipse will be visible for the longest duration. The balloons will ascend and hover at an altitude of 80,000 feet while gathering data, providing a clear view of the earth as the eclipse’s shadow passes.

Amateur radio operators and astronomy enthusiasts are invited to join the Westport Astronomical Society’s observation efforts by following the balloon’s location which will be captured in real-time using an amateur radio system called APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System), and participating in related events and discussions. Details on how to access the data and participate in the event will be shared on the Westport Astronomical Society’s website and social media channels.

The total solar eclipse, a rare astronomical event where the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, will be visible across parts of North America but the sun is only 90% obscured in Westport and much of New England. The Westport Astronomical Society, known for its dedication to promoting astronomy and space exploration, is leveraging its resources and expertise to enhance the viewing experience for enthusiasts and researchers alike. Locally, WAS will have telescopes set up to safely view the partial eclipse with our partner, the Westport Library on April 8th from 2 – 4 PM.  

In Connecticut, the next partial solar eclipses aren’t until 2028 and 2029 and will not obscure the sun anywhere near what we’ll see in April. For that, you’ll have to wait until the total solar eclipse on the morning of May 1, 2079.

More on WAS:

WAS opens up the Westport Observatory to the public every clear Wednesday from 8- 10 pm. For more information about the Westport Astronomical Society and its amateur radio station KIWAS, visit Follow the Society on Facebook, Mastodon, LinkedIn, and Instagram for updates on the total solar eclipse observation mission.

Members of the Westport Astronomical Society’s Amateur Radio Station K1WAS launching a high-altitude balloon from Bridgeport's Discovery Museum
Members of the Westport Astronomical Society’s Amateur Radio Station K1WAS launching a high-altitude balloon from Bridgeport’s Discovery Museum


Total Solar Eclipse, courtesy WAS Member Carl Lancaster, KB1NTN
Total Solar Eclipse, courtesy WAS Member Carl Lancaster, KB1NTN

HamSCI: Solar Eclipse QSO Party and Gladstone Signal Spotting Challenge

We are writing to you on a matter of scientific urgency.

HamSCI stands for Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation. We have been actively engaged in scientific data collection for both the October 14, 2023, annular solar eclipse and the upcoming April 8, 2024, total eclipse. 

Two major activities that HamSCI will be involved around the solar events will be The Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP) and the Gladstone Signal Spotting Challenge (GSSC) which are part of the HamSCI Festivals of Eclipse Ionospheric Science.  Other experiments that will also to be conducted include the Time Delay of Arrival (TDOA) experiment, the Very Low Frequency (VLF) Reception Exercise and the Medium Wave Recordings Event. Members of HamSCI, along with the amateur radio community, will be creating data for researchers by transmitting, receiving, and recording signals across the high frequency (HF) spectrum.  

We would like to encourage you to cooperate on a joint astronomy/radio outreach event for the upcoming eclipse. The event promises to be one of the science highlights of the decade. Many astronomy clubs are planning to host outreach events in their town or near the centerline of totality. However, seeing the eclipse visually might be clouded out by unpredictable April weather. 

But terrestrial weather is not space weather. At radio frequencies. amateur radio operators can still bounce their signals off the ionosphere high above the clouds to communicate with other hams hundreds or thousands of miles away. It is the Sun’s light which ionizes the upper air and produces the ionosphere, so during a solar eclipse the ionization lessens, and the ionosphere gets weaker, and its bottom level gets higher. This change can be observed with amateur radio equipment. At high frequencies a distant bounced signal fades, but at very low frequencies it strengthens as an absorbing layer weakens. With specialized equipment (go to you can even observe the changing Doppler shift as the bounce altitude recedes skyward then returns toward the ground as the Moon passes off the face of the Sun using the Grape 1 personal space weather system equipment). 

For ideas on eclipse activities visit the NASA/Arizona State University ( and also the HamSCI ( websites where you will be encouraged to join the solar eclipse QSO party (SEQP). 

Please let us know if you need any help. We hope you have a great eclipse experience and can send us a photo or a short report after the event. 

Best Regards,

Ed Efchak WX2R ( and/or  Mary Lou West KC2NMC (

Amateur Radio Operators Needed for Help with Solar Eclipse Project

From ARRL News:

The Case Amateur Radio Club, W8EDU, the club station at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, is asking for amateur radio operators to help with a research project centered around the April 8, 2024, solar eclipse.

W8EDU club member Adam Goodman, W7OKE, said the project centers around studying the effects of the eclipse on propagation to better understand the recombination time of the ionosphere.  

“To do this, we are recruiting North American amateur stations interested in recording the Canadian time standard station CHU (Canada’s WWV) for two weeks surrounding the eclipse,” added Goodman. “Anyone with a KiwiSDR or a rig that can interface with analysis/recording software such as Fldigi is encouraged to reach out to us to participate.”  

W8EDU club member and project software manager Maris Usis, KE8TXG, said that while the software is simple to use, there is some detailed work involved. “We can help make it easier and there are good online instructions as well,” said Usis.  

All of the participation details are on the club’s website at  

W8EDU club faculty advisor David Kazdan, AD8Y, said the research project has received positive attention from the ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio Program community, the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) community, and Case Western Reserve University’s engineering deans. “It is already a truly international effort, and we are collaborating with more than 20 stations across the continent, from collegiate and high school stations, to a representative from the Radio Amateurs of Canada, to a station in Mexico,” said Kazdan.  

The 2024 solar eclipse will over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. ARRL is a partner with HamSCI to help promote this opportunity for radio amateurs to participate in an active science experiment, through the Solar Eclipse QSO Party.


The First Amateur Radio Station on the Moon, JS1YMG, is Now Transmitting

From ARRL News:

02/02/2024—The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully landed their Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) on January 19, 2024. Just before touchdown, SLIM released two small lunar surface probes, LEV-1 and LEV-2.LEV-2 collects data while moving on the lunar surface, and LEV-1 receives the data.

The JAXA Ham Radio Club (JHRC), JQ1ZVI, secured amateur radio license JS1YMG for LEV-1, which has been transmitting Morse code on 437.41 MHz since January 19. The probe uses a 1 W UHF antenna with circular polarization and is transmitting “matters related to amateur business.”

Radio amateurs have been busy analyzing JS1YMG’s signal, with Daniel Estévez’s, EA4GPZ, blog introducing the method and extraction results for demodulating Morse code from the signal, as well as extracting the code string.

It’s unclear how long signals will be heard. JAXA has said that SLIM was not designed to survive a lunar night, which lasts about 14 days, and is due to return in a few days.

SLIM was launched on September 6, 2023, and landed on January 19, 2024, with the mission of analyzing the composition of rocks to aid research about the origin of the moon. SLIM’s landing made Japan the fifth country to achieve a soft touchdown on the moon. The landing was achieved with exceptional precision — within 180 feet of its targeted touchdown location.

HamSCI Invites Amateur Participation in Solar Eclipse, April 8, 2024

HamSCI Festivals of Eclipse Ionospheric Science logo


Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) is inviting ham radio operators to make radio contacts during the total solar eclipse, probing the Earth’s upper atmosphere known as the ionosphere. The HamSCI Festivals of Eclipse Ionospheric Science will occur on April 8, 2024 during a North American solar eclipse.

To learn how you can participate, visit: For more information about Citizen Science projects, visit:

TAPR To Hold Online “Mini-Digital Communications Conference,” December 9, 2023

TAPR logoFrom The ARRL Letter, November 22, 2023:

Tucson Amateur Packet Radio, Inc. (TAPR) will hold an online Mini-Digital Communications Conference on December 9, 2023, from 1700 to 2230 UTC (1200 to 1730 EST, 0900 to 1430 PST). Log in details for the conference will be available at prior to December 9. TAPR is an international amateur radio organization that was founded in Tucson, Arizona, in 1981 by a group of amateurs interested in developing a terminal node controller (TNC) for amateur use. Presentations during the conference will include:

  • TAPR Software Defined Radio (SDR) Development Progress and Challenges by David Larsen, KVØS
  • Developments in KA9Q Radio by Phil Karn, KA9Q
  • An Open Source Wideband HF Receiver Design by David Witten, KDØEAG
  • An Inexpensive Global Positioning System Disciplined Oscillator (GPSDO) for HF Receivers by John Ackermann, N8UR
  • Current Open Source Digital Voice Techniques by Walter Holmes, K5WH
  • A Low Cost FreeDV-based ESP32 Radio Interface by Mooneer Salem, K6AQ
  • ESP32 Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) and Long Range (LoRa) Hardware by Jason Rausch, K4APR

BBC Story: “Eclipses do odd things to radio waves. An army of amateur broadcasters wants to find out why”

During the American solar eclipses of October 2023 and April 2024, hundreds of radio amateurs will take to the airwaves. Their goal is to help scientists investigate what happens to radio signals when the Moon blocks the Sun.
BBC picture of HamSCI eclipse event“It’s the huge tower in his back yard that gives Todd Baker’s hobby away. Bristling with antennae, the 30m (100ft) structure is taller than many of the mature trees nearby. Baker, an industrial conveyor belt salesman from Indiana, goes not just by his name, but also his call-sign, the short sequence of letters and numbers that he uses to identify himself over the air: W1TOD. He is a member of the amateur radio, or ham radio, community.”  [Full story]

Solar Eclipse QSO Party, Gladstone Signal Spotting Challenge to Coincide with Solar Eclipse, October 12, 2023

HamSCI Festivals of Eclipse Ionospheric Science logo


Gary Mikitin, AF8A <> writes on the HamSCI mailing list on October 7, 2023

Greetings, solar eclipse enthusiasts – Perhaps no reminders are needed, but just to be safe, here goes:  

The Solar Eclipse QSO Party and the Gladstone Signal Spotting Challenge will be held in ~1 week.  Both commence at 1200UTC on 14 October and continue for 12 hours, until 2200UTC.
Both rule pages (SEQP and GSSC) have been updated with log submission and entry details.  
  • An email address for bonus point file submissions has been added to both
  • The GSSC entry form, at the end of the rules page, is ready for post-contest use. 
  • The SEQP log submission robot will accept both Cabrillo and ADIF file types – which should be popular with FT4/8 operators
  • A Checklog entry category has been added to the SEQP.  Details below.
Annular Eclipse Saturday coincides with 4 popular state QSO parties (AZ, NV, SD and PA).  Some hams will choose to exclusively operate the state contests, and that’s fine.  If they are on the air, especially on CW or digital modes, their activity will add to the data collected by the automated receiving networks, a plus for HamSCI.  They may upload their AZ or NV or SD or PA logs as check logs using the SEQP robot and receive an SEQP participation certificate from HamSCI.
The SEQP log upload robot coding is almost complete – a link will be added to the SEQP rules just before the contest begins.
Questions?  Feel free to email them to the hamsci <at> hamsci <dot> org address.
73 de Gary, AF8A
HamSCI Amateur Radio Community Coordinator

Russian ARISS Team to Transmit SSTV, October 3-5, 2023

From October 3-5, 2023, the Russian team will do a test of   some replacement components for the transmission of SSTV from the ISS–note, this is not a fully operational system yet. Some  SSTV images will be downlinked from the ISS on 145.800 MHz.
A full set of images is not expected as with previous sessions. This is  not an ARISS SSTV event, but posting your images to  and giving SWL  reports will help to evaluate the test and are very welcome!
No ARISS SSTV awards will be given. A window may open at 1400 UTC  but start time for images is unclear.