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Re: Status on AO-51 9K6 BBS



> Is there any status update on when the AO-51 BBS will be made
> available to the "general public"


We are not exactly sure. During the last round of testing and upgrades on 
AO-51,  the command team discovered a problem with the 
BBS receiver interfering with the command system with either UHF transmitter 
above a certain power level. This problem had gone unsolved since launch 
until the relationship to the receiver was found. The good news is the problem 
goes away when that receiver is shut off. The bad news is that particular receiver 
is the only user receiver the operating system allows to access the BBS. A 
rewrite of the core operating software is required to work around this issue, and
there is exactly one person who can do this. For the mean time AO-51 will 
primarily be an analog mode satellite, until the fix is coded and tested 
thoroughly on the ground.

Sometime really soon now there will be a test of the new automatic 
scheduling software. The command stations will set up a series of about 10 
mode changes over a few weeks, with the schedule announced in advance. When 
this happens we'll appreciate reports via the amsat-bb and ao51-modes lists. 
We may also run some power output tests, setting the downlink transmitters 
to different levels and asking for quantitative reception reports including 
a detailed description of the receiving station.

As I saw it mentioned in another email, I'd like to mention my support and 
appreciation for the http://oscar.dcarr.org/ website. It is near real time 
information, and updates whenever a new report is added. I absolutely LOVE 
this tool, and would like to thank the creator, and encourage it's continued 
use. If you noticed last week there were a few reports of AO-51 "not 
heard". In fact the satellite was transmitting, but the auto battery protection had 
tripped, reducing the downlink to 100 mw that morning in lieu of the 
normal ~500 mw. Later that day the auto protection tripped again, shutting TXb 
off. I noticed the reports and immediately called one of the command stations, 
who was already aware of the problem. I just bring this up because it is a 
great tool for users that we also use, and it seems to have several regular
international contributors.

I hope I've answered your question, and thank you for your interest and 
support of AO-51.

73, Drew KO4MA

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