Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
1. Complete revision 5 of the Station Discovery Document.
2. Release revision 1 of the MEP Air Interface.
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Monday, November 24, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
2. Revisit Tom Rondeau's cognitive radio ideas and explore applicability to MEP.
3. Report specific progress on the feeds. Kent Britain described his plan to use Schiffman polarization with two orthogonally-oriented vivaldi feeds for a circularly polarized MEP feed. Has anyone ever seen or done something similar to this? I'll read up on this end and report what I can manage to learn about it.
4. Revisit Timothy Salo's ACP paper to see if there is applicability to MEP. Not sure if this paper can be distributed yet, unfortunately. It is going to be presented this weekend at AMSAT Space Symposium. Since MEP is related to ACP, both Timothy and Joanne Maenpaa's work might be of interest to the list.
Let me know what you're doing or what you're interested in doing, and we'll see how we can get from here to there!
Microwave Update 2008 was held in Bloomington MN, on October 17-18. Nearly 90 people attended the two days of presentations. There was plenty of time for socializing and conversing, which we managed to take full advantage of. James French, W8ISS, was extremely helpful in encouraging our attendance, supporting the table, and in introducing us around.
We ended up with a few answers and a better idea of the questions, with the most progress made in the areas of feeds, use cases, and in learning more about the state of other amateur microwave projects.
Our updated conceptual block diagram, a copy of the TAPR open hardware license, the MEP newsletter, and two posters were at the vendor table, along with some project information cards and at least some of the time, real live people! Thank you to Paul Williamson, KB5MU, for helping to represent and explain the project at the conference.
My impressions as a first-time conference attendee were quite positive, and I would like to target Microwave Update 2009, in Dallas (tentatively scheduled for 24-25 October) as a place where we can report progress and get quality feedback.
The reason I’m suggesting having a formal presentation at Microwave Update as a project goal is that I believe there are big advantages to having a regular deadline where progress is summarized and presented. It helps to spread the word about the project. It’s very enjoyable to share progress and lessons learned with others, especially if it happens to be a supportive and encouraging environment. Microwave Update certainly seemed to be that sort of environment. Most importantly, it provides a wider opportunity for review.
Timothy Salo suggested that we might want to present at the AMSAT Space Symposium, as well. My initial reaction was negative, but after thinking about it some more I think his points are valid. The project, with its intentionally satellite-similar characteristics, isn’t completely outside the field of interest for AMSAT.
The Space Symposium seems to attract a different crowd. While there is some overlap and a few familiar faces, it was not the same crowd, and the constellation of concerns and interests are different enough to where it seems like it would not be an experiment in redundancy to target both.
The Space Symposium and the Microwave Update are usually held during October. The TAPR DCC, which is another conference with presentations and a proceeding, is usually held in September. DCC has been suggested as a good forum for us as well.
That’s a lot of conferences during a short period of time, but the process of preparing papers or presentations for the various proceedings provides plenty of opportunity for a “writing season” on the project, where various authors could take advantage of the schedule to brainstorm up a variety of documents on whatever facets of the project best fit the particular gathering or proceeding. I haven’t been to a Space Symposium or a TAPR DCC. If they are anything like Microwave Update, I will do all I can to support anyone wanting to write a paper relating to or inspired by the project.
A year is a long time to go without a big gathering. Opposite in the year from all of these conferences is the Dayton Hamvention. Having given a high-level overview in the AMSAT forum, and having staffed the technical booth for AMSAT, I have some amount of experience at this event, and it was worthwhile.
How about having a table at Dayton and planning meetings during the convention? How many people on the list are planning to already be at Dayton? With a critical mass, we could make a lot of progress at an event we’re already attending.
What does the list think about having, essentially, an informal MEP “track” at Dayton? If we get a table, it will be a comfortable space to sit and talk about all aspects of the project.
Has anyone else ever been involved in reserving a table at Dayton? The process for Microwave Update was extremely easy and free. I expect it would be a bit more complicated of a process for Dayton, but given the variety and assortment of groups, clubs, and companies represented at Dayton, it can’t be impossibly expensive or difficult to do.
Does anyone know if there an equivalent sort of space available at TAPR DCC or the Space Symposium, where a club or group like us can be represented?
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
This is a weekly report for the Microwave Engineering Project covering July 28 – August 3
1) A transverter tracking document was released. Discussion, comparison, and contrast between transverters and SDRs began (and continues) with several team members collecting articles and gaining familiarity with the current state of the art in amateur radio microwave transverters.
2) Atmospheric and Ionospheric explorations were proposed as a potential feature of the system.
3) Project announcements will run in the Packet Status Register from TAPR, the next issue of DUBUS, the September newsletter for the San Bernardino Microwave Society, and were posted to eHam, the forums at qrz.com, and the Amateur Radio Forums. The next meeting of the San Bernardino Microwave Society is 7 August 2008, where MEP updates will be presented.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
The focus for this week is on transverters, with the goal
being a summary document after the San Bernardino Microwave
Society meeting on August 7th.
Other areas of research for this week are feeds, sources,
and use cases.
Welcome to the Microwave Engineering Project development
email list! Thanks for joining. Please forward this email
to anyone you think would be interested in the development
of the project.
Send updates and work proposals to email@example.com
Sign up for this list at
Our project webpage is located at
There is a podcast that you can subscribe to. This will
deliver project documents, audio, and video to you so that
you do not have to go check the website for them. They will
appear in the feed reader of your choice.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
1. Two possible feed designs were discussed. Paul Wade W1GHZ is working on a dual-feed horn. Kent Britain WA5VJB’s Vivaldi design is a starting point for a higher-power version. 2. Joanne Maenpaa has released for review “AMSAT Communications Interoperability White Paper Version 1”. This paper is up on the site and in the feed. She is developing this paper for the Satellite Symposium in October.
3. Productive and interesting discussion on field and portable mounting strategies and advice on tripods took place.
4. Here are the documentation and site statistics for June. There are 53 members on the namaste-dev mailing list. There are 25 subscribers to the document feed, where in addition to the automated downloads, there were 697 views of 34 items and 24 manual downloads of 8 enclosures (documents). The Namaste website required 760 megabytes of bandwidth in June. We are well within all bandwidth and disk space allocations and will be for the foreseeable future.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Send updates and work proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign up for this list at
Our project webpage is located at
There is a document RSS feed that you can subscribe to. This will deliver project documents to you so that you do not have to go check the website for them. They will appear in the document feed reader of your choice.
Plans for this week: June 16 – June 20
1. More foundational and analysis work on the proposed modulation schemes will be released this week.
2. Top-level requirements will be listed and presented for review. The purpose of this is to produce a set of project-level requirements that we can bring to the July meeting.
Carried over from last week:
3. SuperPortable User Interface Design Document work continues.
4. Antenna work continues and feed research continues.
5. Requirements analysis (technical) and Position Paper (policy) work on the optional APCO-25 terrestrial interface module continues. I have one volunteer for this effort, and am looking for more.
6. Plans for the July meeting include at least one open meeting. I encourage anyone in or near the San Diego area, who is available on 18-20 July 2008, who has an interest in being involved in the project, to contact me for an invitation. The invitation allows planning for room size and logistics.
7. Policy development concerning openness, open source, transparency, etc. continues this week. Some of the feedback about the project concerned the definition and explanation of what we mean when we say open source. Based on the discussion last week, a draft policy will be offered for review. This will include the web page, mailing list, and documents management plans and policies.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Report for this week: June 9 – June 13
0. I have no idea why carriage returns and line feeds from some of my email mysteriously disappear. I'm trying to figure out why, but in the meantime I'm blaming Frank Brickle and I apologize for the difficult-to-read results.
1. Physical layer feedback gathered and posted.
2. SuperPortable User Interface Design Document work was virgulated, while Frank Brickle phrontistated events of metaphysically fainéantious importance and value to the team.
3. Antenna work began (five San Diego area dishes gathered here) and feed research continued. Who's game for participating in this area? We need more people to investigate, build, and test.
4. Requirements analysis (technical) and Position Paper (policy) work on the optional APCO-25 terrestrial interface module continued. I have one volunteer for this effort, and am looking for more.
5. Plans for the July meeting moved forward slightly. I gave Barry Baines a list of hotels that might work for us. If you would like to attend the July meeting(s) then please let me know so I can invite you. They will be held on the weekend of 18-20 July.
6. Policy development concerning openness, open source, transparency, etc. continued.
Sit Vis Vobiscum
Monday, June 9, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Emergency communications interoperability through an APCO-25 terrestrial interface has been proposed.
This would increase emergency communications usability and increase opportunities for funding.
Here is a short introductory article on APCO-25.
Here is an industry article about APCO-25.
Here is the project home page.
There is an information page of interest at the same site as the home page.
People "in the know" refer to the standard as P25.1, meaning APCO project 25 phase 1, which is the current phase. Phase 2 and up are in development.
What I'd like to do is explore the idea of using a cognitive radio module to handle the interoperability. This would rely upon Tom Rondeau's work, as explained in his dissertation.
What I need are people that are interested in taking on the responsibility of supporting this terrestrial module for Namaste. This means learning the standards well enough to assist in writing and reviewing requirements, establishing the feasibility of using cognitive radio technology to bridge between our IP layer and external APCO-25 waveforms, and then supporting the design effort. After that comes build, test, and verification.
In the short term, soaking up knowledge about phase 1 is what I'm after, in order to write quality requirements.
Who is interested in this area of the project and wants to get started?
By KB5MU, W5NYV, AB2KT
22 May 2008
The Namaste SuperPortable is a portable amateur radio satellite communications device designed for text communications, low-bandwidth data, and position location information. Applications include portable amateur radio use as well as emergency communications. This document concerns the development of requirements for the Namaste SuperPortable User Interface.
1. Text communications
2. Low bandwidth data connection through Ethernet port
4. Antenna Pointing Assistance
1. 0-9+ keypad
2. Small display
3. NMEA-compatible GPS
4. Ethernet for external data device
5. Bluetooth for external keyboard
See appendix A for the Interface n-Square Diagram
Text Communications Requirements
The operator must be able to display, edit, send, sort, print, and search received and stored text.
The operator must be able to address text messages from either direct entry or an address book.
The operator must be able to edit, sort, and search the address book.
The operator must be able to send a message to multiple addresses.
There must be an indication of pending messages.
The delivery of messages must be reliable.
There must be an indication of message delivery failure.
There must be a read-only audit trail of all incoming and outgoing messages with timestamp.
The operator must be able to monitor text messages.
The operator shall be able to use Templates in order to accomplish text communications.
Low Bandwidth Data Requirements
The operator must be able to send and receive low bandwidth data through the Ethernet port.
The delivery of data must be reliable.
There must be an indication of data delivery failure.
The operator shall be able to use Templates in order to accomplish low-bandwidth data communications.
Position location information from the GPS system must be available when enabled.
The optional GPS feature requires connection of an NMEA-compatible GPS receiver.
The functions of APRS must be supported.
Settings for APRS will include at a minimum ham call, path, beacon enable, beacon interval, and status message.
The operator shall be able to use Templates in order to use GPS and APRS functions.
Antenna Pointing Assistance
The antenna pointing function must provide azimuth and elevation data for all satellites usable by the ground station.
The antenna pointing function must provide signal strength indication.
The operator shall be able to use Templates to obtain satellite pointing information.
The display must be large enough to allow the operator to read and edit text.
The 0-9+ keypad must be large enough to allow the operator to type in text using a standard mobile keypad layout.
Antenna must provide enough gain to close the link.
Uplink digital mode bandwidth must be accomplished within 20kHz.
Downlink digital mode bandwidth must be accomplished within 100kHz.
Power connections must provide sufficient voltage and current.
Power scheme must be selected for portable and mobile applications.
Ethernet port must provide an Ethernet connection.
Bluetooth connection must support an optional external keyboard.
Templates are text files specifically designed to enhance ease of use for the ground station. They are similar to forms. Templates can be preloaded or they can be created and edited by the operator in the field using the keypad or the optional external keyboard. There are several types of templates.
1. GPS/APRS Templates
2. Address Book Templates
3. Message Templates
4. Antenna Pointing Templates
These templates provide a way to configure and operate the station. In general, a template is a text file with fields that are tagged in a way that makes it easy to select and edit them. For example, the operator selects a template, and can “tab” between the parts of the text that are flagged as fields.
The rest of the text file can be edited, but is intended to be preloaded.
It shall be possible to send a specially tagged text message that then can become a new template. For example, a damage assessment form sent to the station for the operator to fill out and return, instead of relying upon a back-and-forth question-and-answer session. Another example would be an address book for the particular place or event, sent out to all stations located at a particular place or participating in a particular event, in order to provide complete contact information for all participants. Templates can also be used for the body of outgoing messages, so that commonly used phrases or sections of a message or report do not have to be typed in. Antenna Pointing Templates, along with position location information, would include the information needed to locate satellites.
Gateways to commonly used services need to be identified and possibly supported.
Specifications concerning durability need to be made.
Support for an external display needs to be discussed.
Version 1.0 released 22 May 2008
Appendix A - Interface n-Square Diagram
See original document for this table. It will not format correctly in text.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Here is the Tuesday Challenge for Namaste. Reply to the list to claim the task and post work.
Draft document will be drawn up starting next Tuesday, when a new challenge will be posted.
We may be interested in looking at including some sort of function, such as a module to be mounted on or with the half-meter dish, which will alarm the operator to the presence a person walking through the main axis of the beam produced during transmission. Since levels in the main beam exceed the limits of Maximum Permissible Exposure mandated by the FCC, we're interested in helping the operator easily comply with the regulations involved.
Here's the current Bulletin 65 worksheet for Namaste:
The Tuesday challenge for this week is to propose solutions for this situation.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Monday, May 5, 2008
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Friday, May 2, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Andre Hansen K6AH presented results from a Winlink test on Palomar Mountain, where a changed protocol dramatically reduced message latency.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
The updated baseline spreadsheet (straight from Jan King without any Namaste numbers in it) is on the link budget page here.