June 25, 2019: Rob Smith W6GRV: Getting Started with Amateur Satellites

Our speaker Rob W6GRV writes: “‘Getting Started with Amateur Satellites’ is a talk about my experience getting started with the amateur satellites. I was asked if JPL would be on the amateur satellites for the NASA On The Air (NOTA) event, and of course, I said ‘Yes.’ Now I had to figure out how to get on the air in a short amount of time and for a low cost. This talk is a beginner’s guide to the FM amateur satellites by someone who has just begun.”

Rob Smith, W6GRV, was first licensed on Friday the 13th of the second month of the bicentennial year (February 13, 1976) as WN6JGY. He holds an extra class license with over 40 years of amateur radio experience. During the summer of 1980 Rob was the radio operator for a volunteer medical group in the Dominican Republic, and similarly in 1981 for a group in the jungles of northern Ecuador. In the mid 1990s he was part of the Los Angeles DCS with the Lakewood Sheriff Station. Rob is a member the JPL Amateur Radio Club and the trustee for W6VIO. Currently he is active on CW, voice, and digital modes, and is on the ARRL DXCC Honor Roll. As part of leading JPL’s activities for NASA On The Air (NOTA) in 2018, he learned the basics of operating the amateur radio FM satellites and made a number of contacts for the JPL Amateur Radio Club.