July 6, 1997

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SAREX Quite Active on STS-94

The space shuttle astronauts have been quite active on SAREX since the launch of Columbia just a few short days ago. The launch of space shuttle Columbia occurred on time, in fact, 35 minutes prior to the initially planned July 1 launch time. Lift off (MET = 0) occurred at 18:02:00 UTC.

Seventeen schools, including one in the People's Republic of China, are scheduled to talk with the astronauts via Amateur Radio. During the earlier STS-83 mission, Columbia's premature return to Earth postponed all scheduled SAREX QSOs. Most of the schools on the earlier schedule remain on tap for this mission, which again carries the microgravity science lab. Three hams are among the STS-94 crew members.

Under the SAREX program, students at each of the selected schools ask questions of the astronauts during the contact. The primary goal of SAREX is to excite students' interest in science, math, technology and the U.S. space program. The Shuttle astronauts also perform voice and packet QSOs with hams on the ground.

STS-94 is a long duration shuttle flight where crew members are working in shifts around the clock. Shift team members are as follows:

Red Team

Commander CDR Jim Halsell KC5RNI
Pilot PLT Susan Still  
Mission Specialist MS3 Donald Thomas KC5FVF
Payload Specialist PS2 Greg Linteris  


Mission Specialist MS1 Janice Voss KC5BTK
Mission Specialist MS2 Michael Gernhardt  
Payload Specialist PS1 Roger Crouch  

The SAREX Working Group has designated the following frequencies during the STS-94 mission.

FM Voice Downlink Worldwide 145.55 MHz FM
FM Voice Uplink   144.91, 144.93, 144.95, 144.97, and 144.99 MHz
FM Voice Uplink Europe only 144.70, 144.75, and 144.80 MHz
FM Packet Downlink   145.55 MHz
FM Packet Uplink   144.49 MHz

Officially, the SAREX hardware was to fly in Configuration B, which is voice only, battery operation. However, power conservation measures have been successful to date and mission control advised the SAREX team and the astronauts to initiate use of the Packet Radio system. At the time this bulletin is being released, the packet system has not been confirmed to be active.

FM voice call signs: KC5RNI, KC5BTK and KC5FVF
FM packet call sign: W5RRR-1

The crew has great enthusiasm for the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) on STS-94. Case in point, MS3 Don Thomas, KC5FVF, set up the orbiting ham shack and completed nineteen random contacts BEFORE the "official" scheduled test pass.

"Columbia was calling CQ as they passed over the tip of Baja California. Don said I was the first contact with Columbia. Elevation here was only two degrees, but the signals were Q5 at 1629z" reported Dave Guimont, WB6LLO, via the SAREX e-mail list on Wednesday, July 2.

On Friday morning, July 4, the students of Crittenden Middle School of Mountain View, California quizzed CDR Jim Halsell, KC5RNI, via the AMSAT Telebridge Network through Gordon Williams, VK6IU, in Western Australia. Five questions were asked and answered. The students chanted in closing, "Happy Independence Day, Columbia!"

Just the day before, the Mountain View youths spoke with NASA Administrator Dan Goldin. Mr. Goldin was in town for the dedication ceremony of the new teacher's resource center at the NASA Ames Research Center. He expressed excitement regarding the student's upcoming SAREX contact with the shuttle astronauts and wished the students good luck.

Edgewater High School of Orlando, Florida made a direct contact on Orbit 32 using station KF4DKF set up at the school. The students interviewed MS1 Janice Voss, KC5BTK. AMSAT Representative Will Marchant, KC6ROL, reported from Houston, "Edgewater HS had a very nice contact with twelve questions asked and answered."

The Lexington Traditional Magnet School (callsign AE4PD) in Lexington, Kentucky spoke with MS2 Dr. Michael Gernhardt on Rev 35 through telebridge ground station N6IZW in San Diego. Dave Sublette, K4TO, for the school commented, "Most folks don't realize how much work you [NASA, AMSAT and ARRL] put into SAREX. Thank you!"

Late acquisition of the SAREX signal has been observed by terrestrial hams when the orbiter attitude was roughly "tail down, main engines forward" and the SAREX antenna in Window 1 (far leftmost from the pilot/commander seat perspective). If you don't hear Columbia shortly after your predicted rise time then patiently continue monitoring throughout the pass. Remember too that the crew is quite busy with the primary experiments.

QSL VIA: Send reports and QSLs to:

  225 Main Street
  Newington, CT 06111-1494

Include the following information in your QSL or report:

In addition, you must also include a SASE using a large, business-sized envelope if you wish to receive a card.

Watch for the SAREX Working Group bulletins and the SAREX mailing list at AMSAT.ORG during the mission for late breaking news regarding SAREX operations.

[ANS thanks Pat Kilroy, WD8LAQ, AMSAT Development and Operations Team; and Frank H. Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT V.P. for Manned Space Programs, for these reports.]


The shuttle also had two successful opportunities to talk to fellow astronaut Mike Foale, KB5UAC, on the Russian Space Station Mir. Shuttle Commander Jim Halsell, KC5RNI, talked to Mike on Mir during both contacts. The first ship-to-ship SAREX/MIREX contact occurred on Saturday July 5 at 12:02 UTC (MET 003/18:49.) This contact was conducted over the Indian Ocean and lasted 30-45 seconds. The second Mir/Columbia conjunction occurred over the Pacific Ocean at 13:36 UTC (MET 003/19:34). Will Marchant of AMSAT reported that this contact also lasted about 30 to 45 seconds. He stated that the shuttle crew could hear Mir for a lot longer due to Mir's better antenna and higher power radio. Pilot Susan Still reported observing Mir through binoculars while the ham radio contact was underway. Mr. Marchant, who was in the Customer Support Room of Mission Control during the two contacts, said "The shuttle crew was pretty excited about their contact on the Air-To-Ground communications loop". The crew shared this excitement with fellow astronaut Bill McArthur, KC5ACR, who was CAPCOM during the contacts.

[ANS thanks Pat Kilroy, WD8LAQ, AMSAT Development and Operations Team; and Frank H. Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT V.P. for Manned Space Programs, for this report.]

AMSAT-UK Colloquium 1997

ANS has received this list of presentations and addresses to be given during the 1997 AMSAT-UK Colloquium.

Addresses by:


P3D Ranging
- James Miller, G3RUH
A new generation of UoSat Amateur Spacecraft
- Chris Jackson, G7UPN (UoS)
A New Network Layer Protocol for a LEO Satellite Global Data Network
- Bao-zhong Cheng (UoS)
Optimising the LEO Satellite Communications Link Through Hybrid ARQ Techniques
- Valerie Chu (UoS)
On-Board Image Processing & Compression for Small Remote Sensing Satellites
- Peixin Hou (UoS)
38.4 Kbps Receiver Requirements
- John Paffett (UoS)
Low Cost High Resolution Radar Altimetry Mapping by Micro/Mini Satellite
- Yuanxing Zheng (UoS)
The Station Program
- Paul Willmott, VP9MU
Microwave Measurements
- (RSGB Microwave Committee)
The Kettering Group: From Hobby to Profession/Obsession
- Geoff Perry, MBE
In Orbit Measurement of Long Term Interference Within the "Little LEO" and Amateur VHF Bands
- John Paffett (UoS)
Radio Astronomy, Practice & Problems
- Dr. John Ponsonby, University of Manchester (Jodrell Bank)
Latest State of P3D Integration & Launch Campaign
- Frank Sperber, DL6DBN, (AMSAT-DL)
Machinist Help Wanted !
- Fred Kennedy, ZL1BYP
Phase-3D Construction
(video); commentary by Ray Soifer W2RS
After Phase-3D, What?
- Ray Soifer, W2RS
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
- R J C Broadbent (AMSAT-UK)
The Satgate Experience
- Andrew Sellers, G8TZJ
Single Event Effects in Commercial Memory Devices Operating in the Space Radiation Environment: A Decade of Research at Surrey
- Craig Underwood, G1WTW, (UoS )
Spacecraft Autonomy via Probabilistic RAM (pRAM) Artificial Neural Networks
- Mike Oldfield (UoS) [Paper read by Craig Underwood, G1WTW,. (UoS)].
Computer Security, a Briefing
- Richard Limebear, G3RWL, (AMSAT-UK)

Experts panel

AMSAT-UK Annual General Meeting

On Friday evening and Saturday there will be microwave test equipment (and people who know how to use it) available for people to test their projects.

[ANS thanks Richard W L Limebear, G3RWL, for this information.]

Amateur Radio Satellite Imaging

At the AMSAT-NA Symposium to be held in Toronto, Canada in October 1997 Graham Ratcliff, VK5AGR, is planning a presentation entitled 'Amateur Radio Satellite Imaging - The Past, Present and Future'.

In this presentation Graham plans to give a brief overview of Amateur Satellite imaging hardware that has already flown in the past, is currently operational and those currently under construction and awaiting launch plus a step-by-step description of what hardware and software is required to decode and display these Amateur Satellite images, especially aimed at those who have never attempted it before. In particular, VK5AGR, plans to demonstrate how to use WiSP, by Chris Jackson, G7UPN, to collect the raw images from the 9600 baud satellites and CCD Display by Colin Hurst, VK5HI, to display the images and some post-processing software such as PaintShop Pro.

Ratcliff has been active collecting the 9600 baud satellite images and has many examples from UO-22, KO-23, KO-25 and PO-28. He also has kept copies of any images from WEBERSAT-OSCAR-18.

[ANS thanks Graham Ratcliff, VK5AGR, for this information.]

Fifth Annual Jewelry Contest

Announcing The Fifth Annual Jewelry Contest to take place at the AMSAT convention in Toronto in October of 1997. This years prize is a device that your lady will use to assist her in fastening a bracelet on her wrist. Leanore, KA6UCD, will have it at the convention; she will be happy to demonstrate it at any time.

The accompanying brademo.gif shows the "third hand bracelet fastener" being used. Thrdhand.gif is a picture of the device. An alligator clip is the "third hand".

Your problem, should you decide to take the assignment, is to estimate the frequency of the open stub, from which the handle is made.

t is an open, half wave stub constructed from 50 ohm .141 teflon insulated hardline that has a velocity factor calculated at 70.8%. The inside diameter of the coil is .5 inches; the 3 3/4 turns is 5 3/4" overall. The formed coil has absolutely no effect on the frequency, and the frequency is in an amateur satellite band. The SMA connector on the end will enable you to check the frequency when you win. NO measuring equipment other than a ruler is permitted.

The frequency has been determined accurately to two decimal places, but for contest purposes the "correct" answer has been carried out to six places to provide a tie-breaker. Please submit your answer in MHz. Leanore will have a supply of entry slips.

ALL are eligible to enter. Take your significant other to Toronto, and get two chances to enter the contest. THIS IS A FUN THING. In the event you will not be attending the convention be sure to get your answers to Leanore or Dave by the 10th of October.

The winner will be announced at the banquet, but you need not be present to win.

Look for a depiction at at or on the digital birds. [Or here.]

[ANS thanks Dave Guimont, WB6LLO, for this report.]

Weekly Satellite Report

Mir . SAFEX . RS-10 . RS-12 . RS-15 . RS-16 . FO-20 . KO-23 . KO-25 . AO-27 . FO-29 . AO-10 . UO-11 . AO-16 . DO-17 . WO-18 . LO-19 . UO-22 . IO-26


Mike Foale, KB5UAC, has been active on amateur radio. The radio has served as a valuable link between Mike and his family and friends during this crisis . Also activity from the Mir packet station has been reported. Frequencies with activity have been 145.985 MHz and the 145.200/800 MHz split.

SAFEX, Mir 70cm Repeater

(Uplink 435.750 MHz FM, Downlink 437.950 MHz FM, Subaudible tone 141.3 Hz)

Not operational at this time.


(Uplink 145.865-145.905 MHz CW/SSB, Downlink 29.36-29.4 MHz CW/SSB)

RS-10 still silent.

RS3A needs some SWL reports of RS-10. What time you heard RS-10, and also the date. Send info via packet to Andy, RS3A.


(Uplink 21.21-21.25 MHz CW/SSB, Downlink 29.41-29.45 MHz or 145.91-145.95 Mhz CW/SSB)



(Uplink 145.858-145.898 MHz CW/SSB, Downlink 29.354-29.394 MHz CW/SSB)

WT0N reports that downlink signals are still weak from RS-15, but the bird is still workable.

(Hint: If SSB doesn't work for you, try CW. CW is very easy to hear on the downlink!)


RS-16's 435.504 MHz beacon is active. Also, the 29.408 MHz beacon is reported as being heard. No transponder activity yet.

RS-16 CW Telemetry
P PSU voltage V x0.1  
O Solar panel voltage V x0.1  
N Solar panel current mA    
M TX 29 MHz Output Power mW x10 Valid in FM mode only
L TX 29 MHz current mA   Valid in FM mode only
K TX 29 MHz voltage V   7V nominal
J TX 435 MHz Output Power mW x10 Valid in FM mode only
I TX 435 MHz current mA   Valid in FM mode only
H TX 435 MHz voltage V x0.1  
G U of the transponder V x0.1  
F U of stabilizer V x0.1  
E Temperature of the charger C deg    
D Temperature TX 29 MHz C deg    
C Temperature TX 435 MHz C deg    
B Temperature RX 145 MHz C deg    
A Temperature of the stabilizer C deg    

Transponder information on RS-16:

Uplink = 145.915 - 145.948 MHz
Downlink = 29.415 - 29.448 MHz
Beacons = 29.408 , 29.451 MHz
Pwr 29 MHz Down = 1.2 W / 4 W

Beacon 1 = 435.504 MHz
Beacon 2 = 435.548 MHz
Pwr 435 MHz Beacons = 1.6 W


(Uplink 145.9-146.0 MHz CW/LSB, Downlink 435.8-435.9 MHz CW/USB)

Operational. FO-20 in mode JA continuously.

[ANS thanks Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK, for this report.]


(Uplink 145.85, 145.9 MHz FM, Downlink 435.175 MHz FM, 9600 Baud FSK.)

KO-23 operating normally.


(Uplink 145.980 MHz FM, Downlink 436.5 MHz FM, 9600 Baud FSK.)

KO-25 operating normally.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC, for his reports on KO-25 and KO-23.]


(Uplink 145.85 MHz FM, Downlink: 436.792 MHz FM (As of April 1, 1997) )

Operating normally.

AO-27 (1-Jun-1997 10:58 UTC Orbit 19182)
The satellite is working normally over North America and Europe.

Current AO-27 schedule information can be found at

[ANS thanks Michael Wyrick, N4USI, AO-27 Control-op, for this update.]



(Uplink 145.9-146.0 MHz CW/LSB, Downlink 435.8-435.9 MHz CW/USB)


(Uplink 145.85, 145.87, 145.910 MHz FM, Downlink 435.910 MHz FM 9600 baud BPSK)

Please remember to adjust the higher frequency for doppler when the bird is in analog, JA, mode. This means adjust the 70 cm frequency, the downlink, for doppler shift. You do not have to adjust the 2 meter frequency, the uplink, for doppler.

The latest FO-29 Schedule:

FO-29 Schedule 1997
July 4 Fri 09:13 UTC JD Digi-talker
July 8 Tue 09:05 UTC JA  
July 11 Fri 09:51 UTC JD 1200
July 18 Fri 00:20 UTC JD 9600
July 25 Fri 09:23 UTC JA  
Aug 1 Fri 08:17 UTC JD 1200
Aug 8 Fri 00:30 UTC JD 9600
Aug 15 Fri 01:08 UTC JA  
Aug 22 Fri 08:26 UTC JD 1200
Aug 29 Fri 00:40 UTC JD 9600
Sep 5 Fri 01:18 UTC JA  
Sep 12 Fri 00:13 UTC JD 1200
Sep 19 Fri 00:51 UTC JD 9600
Sep 26 Fri 08:09 UTC JA  

[ANS thanks Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK, for this report.]


(Uplink 435.030-435.18 MHz CW/LSB, Downlink 145.975-145.825 MHz CW/USB)



(Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 baud PSK. Beacon 2401.500 MHz.)

Operating normally.

The beacon on 2401.500 heard over Spain on 23rd of June and also on 24th, but with weak signals.

[ANS thanks Saludos de Antonio, EA1IW/EA4, for this report.]

The operating schedule is unchanged.

Transmission Duration
ASCII status 210 seconds
ASCII bulletin 60 seconds
Binary SEU 30 seconds
ASCII TLM 90 seconds
ASCII WOD 120 seconds
ASCII bulletin 60 seconds
Binary Eng 30 seconds

[ANS thanks Clive Wallis, G3CWV, for this information.]


(Uplink 145.9, 145.92, 145.94, 145.86 MHz FM, 1200 bps Manchester FSK; Downlink 437.0513 MHz SSB, 1200 bps RC-BPSK 1200 Baud PSK. Beacon 2401.1428 MHz.)


Graphic information about WOD/Telemetry values can be found at

[ANS thanks Miguel A. Menendez, EA1BCU, for this report.]


(Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 Baud AFSK. Beacon 2401.220 MHz)

No report available.


(Downlink 437.104 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK AX.25)

No report available.


(Uplink 145.84, 145.86, 145.88, 145.9 MHz 1200 bps Manchester FSK; Downlink 437.125 MHz SSB, 1200 bps RC-BPSK.)


Telemetry data received from LO-19:

uptime is 738/09:21:49.  Time is Fri Jun 27 23:26:59 1997

Graphic and general information about Telemetry values can be found at:

[ANS thanks Miguel A. Menendez, EA1BCU, for this report.]


(Uplink 145.9 or 145.975 MHz FM; Downlink 435.120 MHz FM 9600 Baud FSK.)

No report available.


(Uplink 145.875, 145.9, 145.925, 145.95 MHz FM, Downlink 435.822 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK.)

No report available.

[Please send your Satellite or News reports to ANS Editor B.J. Arts, WT0N, via e-mail, at or to]

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This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by B.J. Arts, WT0N,