The Hamradio page of Bernard Pidoux, F6BVP


License classes
CEPT class 1, including morse code

Packet Radio addressAntennes F6BVP
Paris, France


The RBSP-EMFISIS investigation will focus on the important role played by magnetic fields and plasma waves in the processes of radiation belt particle acceleration and loss.
EMFISIS offers the opportunity to understand the origin of important magnetospheric plasma waves as well as the evolution of the magnetic field that defines the basic coordinate system controlling the structure of the radiation belts and the storm-time ring current.

Successful reception of KP4AO via the moon during World 2010 EME (Earth-Moon-Earth) day, April 18,  2010

This page is dedicated to my very nice old friends that recently passed away, Luciano Bertucci, I1JE / TR8BL who gave me the Maspro satellites antenna used in this succesful test, and to Jean Gruau F8ZS who invited me to join the team that built ARSENE satellite.

The KP4AO Arecibo RadioClub (FK68oi) is situated near ARECIBO, in Porto Rico island (sea the satellite view using QTH Locator by F6FVY  entering FK68oi coordinates in the lower box, then click on "Locate". When the map is drawn, click on the upper right part on the menu "mixte" then click near the lower right corner of the blue rectangle. Zoom the image using the mouse wheel or moving the ladder toward plus sign on the image  upper left  part).
The radiotelescope antenna has a diameter of 1000 feet (300 metre) giving about 57 dBi gain at 432 MHz !
Among the radio station operators was the physics nobel price J. Taylor, W1JT the author of WSJT a software for EME.

When I got aware of Arecibo experiment I proposed to my friends from ARP75 (Association des Radioamateurs de Paris (ARP75)  to setup a portable station in order to try receiving KP4AO echo signal from the Moon.
We used radio hardware from my own station : MASPRO antenna 2 X 21 elements crossed yagi with switchable circular polarisation (gain +13 dBi) placed on a tripod.
An SSB Electronics preamplifier 432 MHz (Noise factort 0.9 dB) and an ICOM 910H multimode dual band VHF-UHF (75 W) transceiver were also used.
Theoretical computation using F1EHN software, showed a link budget margin just above the noise level.

We spent two successive nights on a terrasse above the parc de Belleville in the East side of Paris.
Laurent F6GOX, Mathieu F6CRF, Jean-Pierre and Laurent F6FVY had brought electric power chords and a iambic paddle for CW calls.
The first day of April 17 we did not hear anything. There was some reasons. First KP4AO transmitted with 25 W only due to a Power Amplifier problem.
Second, we did not accurately point the antenna at the Moon, due to the respective position of the Sun and the new Moon. They were very close and  the light from the sun
prevented us to see the Moon before the night darkness was sufficient just before twilight. Time was cold and we stopped before complete darkness as we did not here anything.
The next day, Saturday April 18, KP4AO used a 350 W power amplifier. That time it was a success.
Reception was however very QRM by harmonics from Syletrack, a radiolocation system  that covered 300 KHz with signal level between S6 and  S8 ( if you cannot display the video, try this format).
I also regretted that I did not have a narrow CW filter that could have helped us.


When the night came we were able to point the antenna more precisely  toward the new Moon.
The scene was beautiful. We heard the first SSB signal from Porto Rico that reflected on the Moon with great emotion.

SSB signals from KP4AO were not always understandable due to QRM and QSB. CW was easier to copy despite the terrific Syletrack beacons QRM !

The third night, we comfortably stayed at home listening to EME trafic via Internet. The video stream from KP4AO was tranmitted online  while the Dwingeloo  radiotelescope antenna (in the Netherlands) operated by CAMRAS was connected to a web SDR  and broadcasted on line the 431.985 to 432,075 portion of UHF band.
By moving the cursor with the mouse on the "waterfall" spectral image of the radio spectrum, one could select the signal he wanted to listen to, select the RX mode and the filter bandwidth at will !
Part of the EME event was recorded and is displayed on the WebSDR CAMRAS server.
The pile-up was impressive, and also the KP4AO signal level close to 59+10 dB.
KP4AO indeed arrived on the 25 metre parabolic antenna like a local station in SSB and in CW one could heard the keyer clics.
On  JT65b  mode the background noise totally vanished when KP4AO was transmitting.

The CAMRAS web site is broadcasting via webSDR  part of EME activity. You must listen at it ! Here is the recoring of the QSO between KP4AO and F6HLC.
We congratulate Christian ! F6HLC who sent me pictures of his  antennas and a vidéo  showing KP4AO SSB signal.

We can regret that Arecibo Radio Club station operators were not better prepared for DX trafic.
They could have handled a much larger number of QSOs, probably two or three times the number of contacted stations.
KP4AO operator was giving 599 reports most of the time !
Finaly they was little place for "smaller" EME stations that could have been received S3-S4. Not to speak about QRP stations.

However we will try to do better next time if we are lucky enough to get the chance of operating with la Cité des Sciences de la Villette 10 metres parabolic antenna  that has been attributed to the Association des Radioamateurs de Paris (ARP75) by contract with the Etablissement Public du Parc et de la Grande Halle de LaVillette. Morevover, ARP has recently installed two shacks under the antenna to setup an experimental and demonstration amateur radio station. By the way, well known former french astronaut Claudie Haigneré is Univers Science President that involve La Villette and Le Palais de la Découverte, both aimed to promote the culture of sciences and technology.

A short radioamateur biography of F6BVP

I think that I was born to become a radioamateur. When I was a child I was fascinated by the family's broadcast radio, wondering how it could be that speachs or musics could come out of this box?

I discovered hamradio by chance when listening to short waves at the age of 14. My second chance was that radioamateur transmissions were easy to copy on a broadcast receiver for they were still using AM on 40m and 20m at this time. SSB was just in the begining. My third chance was that an OM gave a list of different OMs address in Belgium. I wrote to ON4KJ and my fourth chance was that this nice man sent back a long letter explaining a lot of things about hamradio and giving me the address of the REF in Paris. The same year I went to England for three weeks summer hollidays and was happy to discover that next house was the QTH of a very nice OM, G3OML in Morden, Surrey.

At school, I was more interested in physics than in other programs, and one of my best friends was also interested in electronics. Other school boys started to call me "Short Wave" for we spent a lot of time discussing about radio. We both became Medical Doctors !

I first assembled a few radio kits (HW-32), thanks to HeathKit, and trained myself building a TV receiver and an oscilloscope. I received my first licence with callsign F1BJI in 1972. Then I worked CW, completed my license and received the callsign F6BVP.

In 1979, F8ZS asked me to join a group of hams from CNES for a radioamateur satellite project. We founded the RACE, Radio Amateur Club de l'Espace, and started the ARSENE adventure.

In 1979, I assembled a Heathkit H9 console (a two weeks project!) and a 8080 Intel based H8 microcomputer with 4 Kilobytes and lately 8 Kilobytes static RAM that is still working. My pillow book during these summer hollidays was The 8080 cookbook to learn assembly language.

I started satellite QSOs running a VHF station with a 13 elements F9FT antenna, and an inverted V for 28 MHz.

I was able to copy UoSat-1 and UoSat-2 telemetry using the magnetic recorder Kansas City interface of the H8.

With the same H8 programmed in assembly language, and a software published in QST, I could copy and display CW on the screen and send on CW what I typed on the keyboard. I can remember a remark from a US ham telling me that my CW signal on 14080 KHz sounded like music!

In 1981, I assembled an H88 with 32Kb RAM and a single 180 Ko floppy drive that allowed me to perform RTTY QSOs at 45.5 bauds using 5 moments Murray-Baudot code! I copied nicely the firsts ARRL's RTTY experiments with 7 bits ASCII at 110 bauds on 20 m band.

I listened and made my first satellite contacts with AMSAT OSCAR 6, 7 and 8, the last one was a very nice LEO satellite with more than 20 minutes pass on mode A.

Then came the era of the Heath-Zenith Z100. A CP/M - DOS 8086-8088 based microcomputer with two 180 Ko floppies, 128 Kb RAM and a 6 MHz clock. At the same time, my antenna system improved with an elevation rotator.

On november 1983, I heard my own CW signal return through AO-10 mode B transponder (435 Up and 145 Downlink).

I discovered packet radio through AMRAD publications and was one of the first french station to experiment AX.25 packet with F6ABJ in 1984 who assembled two PK1 kits packet controlers, and in 1984 I built a home made packet relay using again the H8 with a 8073 HDLC controler wrapped on a H8 development board. In 1986, we were using the CPK software to transfer files via packet radio. With F6ABJ and a few OMs we founded the ATEPRA, a Packet Radio Association.

On November 1987, I changed my antenna system with two 2X9 elements F9FT for 145 MHz and a KLM 22c for UHF plus preamps and low loss cables. This resulted in my first OSCAR-12 SSB mode B contacts with DL0XK, I8CVS, DC9UP, HB9RHV, DC6PX, I0LYL. AMSAT OSCAR 13 was launched on june 15, 1988 at 13:19. I could copy the AO-13 CW telemetry during orbit 7 on June 18. It was saying that after apogee rocket burned the new perigee was 1500 Km and apogee 36000 Km.

On July 25th 1988, I made my first AO-13 mode B QSO during orbit 87 on CW with N4MW and VU1BR on SSB..

On October 1989, I heard MIR on 143,625 MHz and again in July 1991 but it was Anatoly U5MIR-1 using AX25.

Also in July 1991 was performed my first QSO through OSCAR-21 with G8ATE in SSB.

At this time NASA used to send for free, every 10 days or so, a letter with a list of 2Lines keplerian elements that I copied manually and used to send on the packet network and published in a small satellite newsletter.

Since 1990, I am running a packet radio BBS dedicated to Space and Satellites subjects. The BBS program is written by Jean Paul, F6FBB.

On December 1991, I was the first french continental amateur who completed PACSAT contacts with UOSAT-3 and UOSAT-5 at 9600 bauds using PB and PG programs by Harold Price NK6K and Jeff Ward G0/K8KA, a G3RUH modem with a TNC-2 (TAPR 1.1.7b EPROM) and UHF/VHF ICOM IC-490/IC-290 transceivers modified for 9600 bauds.

The computer I used was a 80386 SX 16 MHz clone with 4 Mb. Azimut and Elevation computed by ITRACK TSR were displayed on the computer screen corner. Antenna pointing and frequency tuning were performed manually while watching simultaneously the "EYE diagram" on the oscilloscope and typing messages on the keyboard. It was a lot of fun. I operated the french SATGATE for a year, and wrote HEADOUT.EXE a SATGATE dedicated program still in use.

The other steps are more contemporary history with the advent of Internet, Linux, micro and nano satellites, high speed optic fiber Internet, WiFi HAMNET, smarphones, social media...

Main interests
Digital transmissions.
Satellites transmissions.
Computers and software programming.
Space, Astronomy.
Active Member of
REF-UNION, Réseau des Emetteurs Français, member 12238 since 1961;
AMSAT-NA, member 1097 since 1975; life member 1486;
RACE, Radio Amateur Club de l'Espace, 1979; Vice President for International Public Relations.
ATEPRA, Association Technique pour l'Expérimentation du Packet -Radio Amateur, 1984;
AMSAT-UK (United Kingdom) member 4813 since 1990;
CAC, Club Aérospatial de la Celle Saint Cloud;
AMSAT-France , founded in 1996 (President);
TAPR, Tucson Amateur Packet Radio.

1. Publications on Satellite Topics

2. Publications on Packet-Radio Topics

3. Other subjects

4. Hamradio Project Participations

5. Software BBS Utility Programs

Keplerian Elements Request Server for F6FBB BBS (30K)
Server program for F6FBB BBS systems. Answers a message forwarded to REQKEP @ BBS_CALL < Sender_Callsign with help, a list of available satellites, a document file for a specified satellite or the current Keplerian elements for one or more specified satellites. Written by Bernard Pidoux, F6BVP.
Automatic Update of Satellite Database for F6FBB BBS, Version 1.83 (30K)
Reads messages from AMSAT's KEPS copied via packet radio and updates the satellite database for the F6FBB BBS. Written by Bernard Pidoux, F6BVP.
Satellite Documentation Files and Beacon Frequency Update for F6FBB BBS (26K)
Updates automatically the satellite documentation and beacon frequency files used with the F6FBB BBS. The document file can then be downloaded by BBS users through REQKEP server. Written by Bernard Pidoux, F6BVP.
Automatic Update of InstantTrack IT.ORB from F6FBB BBS (19K)
Update the InstantTrack satellite database file, IT.ORB, from the F6FBB BBS satellite database file SATEL.DAT. Written by Bernard Pidoux, F6BVP.

6. Other Software for Hamradio

HEADOUT.EXE version 2.1

 Toward my professional Homepage Dr Bernard Pidoux