August 10, 1997

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Sputnik 40 Years

On the 20th of February 1997, an agreement was signed between Russia and France to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the launch of the first artificial satellite of the Earth: Sputnik-1. Two groups of high school students will cooperate to build a functional scale model (1:3) of the original Sputnik satellite. Students from NALTCHIK in Russia will build the body of the satellite, and students from Reydellet School in LA REUNION will build the radio transmitter that will "beep-beep" from space after launch from the Mir space station on the 4th of October 1997. This is an exceptional educational event which deserves full attention and which should be used to raise the world's awareness that a truly new era in the evolution of Mankind had been opened 40 years ago.

Aero-Club de France and the Russian Federation of Astronautics will help raise funds for the transportation of the 4 kg model to Mir and for the launch during an EVA. A world-wide fund-raising drive "40 sponsors for the 40 years of Sputnik" with 40 shares tagged at US $6,000 each is under way. Further information is available in the WWW:

[from IAF Education Committee Bulletin Vol. 5 No. 6 Summer 1997]

[ANS thanks Rudolf L Appel, Dipl.-Ing. Chairman DGLR Munich Branch Member AMSAT-DL for this news.]

Sputnik 40 Years FAQ

1. The transmitter will be activated in October during an EVA from Mir. The scale model of the original Sputnik satellite should have a life time will be between 1 and 2 months.

2. The scale model of Sputnik will be launched by hand so it will not be very far from Mir. But Mir is frequently doing orbital adjustments. So it is unknown how long the orbital elements will be the same as for Mir. This will be a good exercise for students to try to compute the orbital elements following the doppler.

3. The transmit power is between 100 and 200 mW. The antenna polarization is circular, and will be right or left depending on how one's orientation is to the satellite. The scale model of Sputnik has no attitude stabilization. The modulation is FM and the BF [audio] signal is around 1.3 kHz and it will vary with the temperature. Another good exercise for students is to measure the audio frequency and see the what scale model of Sputnik's temperature is. The RF signal sounds like a beep-beep as it is ON/OFF with a duty cycle of 5. The full cycle is around 4s.

You can listen the beep-beep in FM position or SSB position. The sound is really nicer in SSB position, but if you want to measure the audio frequency you should be in FM. It will not be an easy exercise because it is a burst and the dynamic of frequency variation is low.

4. Equipment needed to receive the signal.
In the best case to be able to receive the scale model of Sputnik is on a handheld receiver with an antenna gain of 0 dB, but as they will not know the satellite attitude in space it will be better to have a yagi with 10 dB gain (around 9 elements).

5. Frequency for the scale model of Sputnik.
Not fully finalized but between 145.810 and 145.850 MHz.

[ANS thanks Gerard Auvray, F6FAO, Vice President AMSAT-F for this information.]

Houston AMSAT Net Update

The Houston AMSAT Net is reaching another milestone in its history. In the next few weeks, they will be able to bring their net live on the world wide web via a live stream with Real Audio. Scott at North American Internet had been digitizing the Houston AMSAT net from the satellite and he will no longer be able to do it. Last night was the first time.

Scott will have a live stream available for the Houston AMSAT Net at the beginning of September. What this means to you. You can now hear our net live as it is happening anywhere in the world via Real Audio. You can participate in the Net by calling in and checking in or by asking a question which will be answered live. Or you can check in via email or use the IRC where a group of Hams chat during the net.

Now, even if you do not have a Ku-Band satellite dish/receiver, you can carry our net over your local repeaters with the Real Audio feed. The other important feature of this is that during the week if something hot related to AMSAT hits the news, we can update our Real Audio by adding to the end of the net. What Bruce Paige, KK5DO, plans on doing for this is making a note on his web page that minutes 51:01.3 to 53:03.4 (an example) were added on August 9. Such things as the oxygen generator aboard Mir shutting down would be of interest and could be added to the tail end of the net.

The Houston AMSAT Net can also carry their net over the 50 minutes allocated on the satellite feed. This means if there is an especially heavy news week, they can continue the net locally and continue the feed over the internet.

[ANS thanks Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Area Coordinator for this exciting news.]


It is with great sadness that AMSAT has to report that Elgar Trehame, VK5ED, passed away on August 6th after a number of weeks of ill health. Elgar was very active on AO-10 and AO-13 and was hoping to have the opportunity to use Phase-3D but sadly that was not to be. Elgar was a friend and mentor to many amateurs around the world. His cheerful patter and often pointed questions will be sorely missed.

Many may not know that Elgar was often called upon to support the Command Station activities on AO-13 and spent many hours collecting 400 baud PSK telemetry in that role and AMSAT had hoped that he would be able to do the same with Phase-3D particularly in those early days after the launch.

Any messages of sympathy sent his wife Janette can be sent by mail direct to his home address which is correct in the callbook.

[ANS thanks Graham Ratcliff, VK5AGR, for the information used in this story.]

One Less Little LEO

The Little LEO industry that has been seeking access to spectrum below 1 GHz, including amateur bands, is about to have one less player. On July 14, CTA Incorporated of Rockville, Maryland, and Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Virginia, announced an agreement for Orbital to purchase CTA's satellite manufacturing and communications service business units. The deal is expected to close in August.

Orbital is already in a joint venture with Teleglobe to provide Little LEO services through Orbital Communications Corp. (ORBCOMM). ORBCOMM's system is already licensed and is operational on a limited basis. Uplinks are 2400 bps FSK in the 148-149.9 MHz band and user downlinks are 4800 bps FSK in the 137-138 MHz band, with beaconing in the 400-401 MHz band. In its press release announcing the acquisition, Orbital said that a CTA service it had purchased, called GEMtrak, may be expanded to use the ORBCOMM network in the future. GEMtrak is a system for tracking truck trailers and rail cars and their cargoes.

ARRL Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ, noted that the combining of CTA's satellite business with ORBCOMM's will reduce by one the number of companies seeking Little LEO licenses. "CTA was one of the companies that sponsored the ill-conceived and controversial 'flexible allocation' proposal that we had to oppose earlier this year," he said. "ORBCOMM did not endorse the flexible allocation concept."

The Little LEO issue is on the agenda for the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-97) to be held this fall. ARRL Technical Relations Manager Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, is a member of the US delegation. The US is now finalizing its proposals for the conference. At this point, no US Little LEO proposal for WRC-97 would affect ham radio.

[ANS thanks the ARRL for this information.]

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.

Frequencies with activity have been 145.985 MHz and the 145.200/800 MHz split.

Stat   : PR
Posted : 08/08/97 12:04
To     : ALL
>From   : R0MIR
@ BBS  :
BID    :
Subject: MIR Status

MIR 24 with the crew of Rodnik successfully docked, and we are enjoying
the company of Anatoli Solovev and Pavel Vinogradov.  Anatoli and Pasha
are settling in and we have already moved my seat and spacesuit over to
their Soyuz have a big bag of baggage in the
seat where my suit lay, in their Soyuz.  We are conducting handover
activities now, and then will prepare for EVA in the node on the 20th,
and outside on Spektr, to do initial repairs, on the 3r be with Anatoli for
the node eva, and I will be with Anatoli, for the Spektr EVA.  Lots to
do Here, so forgive us if we cannot reply to you
and all your very welcome good wishes.  I try to monitor each day, and
pass on your mecrew members.  I think Pasha and
Anatoli will be active on the radio, once they are settled in.

[ANS thanks Claudio Ariotti, IK1SLD, for this report.]

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.


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


"Now that RS-12 is more conveniently timed for us working folks during August, it's good to hear that the signals remain strong. However, we east coast US folks certainly hope that our colleagues in the two island states (Hawaii and Rhode) and the western states (esp., Wyoming, Montana and Idaho) take full advantage of the low sunspots and strong signals and join the fun on this bird. Your presence is greatly missed."

[ANS thanks Dick Montgomery, N3DV, for this update.]


(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!)


At 1605Z on July 24, 1997, RS-16 had both 70cm beacons on. The 504 beacon was downlinking its normal telem data at a +10 signal level. The upper beacon was only S2. No ten meter beacon and no transponder.

[ANS thanks Bennie Hall, WY4D, for this report.]

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.

This information can be found at

AO-27 TEPR (Timed Eclipse Power Regulation) States are as follows as of July 6, 1997

TEPR State Time TX Status
1 N/A Off
2 N/A Off
3 --- Off
4 21 Off
5 17 On at Medium Power
6 --- Off

The TEPR States are defined as follows:

Tepr 1 Started when the satellite Enters the Eclipse
Tepr 2 Started at (tepr 1 time) after the satellite enters the eclipse
Tepr 3 Started at (tepr 1 time) + (tepr 2 time) ...
Tepr 4 Started when the satellite enters the Sun
Tepr 5 Started at (tepr 4 time) after the satellite enters the Sun
Tepr 6 Started at (tepr 4) + (tepr 5) ...

You should note that TEPR states 1, 2 and 3 happen during the Night Time passes and TEPR states 4, 5 and 6 happen during the Day time passes. These occur during EVERY pass, not just over the U.S.A.

The times assigned to the TEPR states are chosen for the health of the satellite over operation convenience. Therefore, during parts of the year the satellite will turn on late or turn off early as seen by ground stations.

Users are reminded that as an FM-mode repeater, AO-27 is subject to FM "capture effect" and can only transmit one signal at a time. Users are asked to cooperate, keep calls short, give breaks so as many stations as possible can work a pass, and above all, listen before and while transmitting. The satellite has a very sensitive receiver, and stations running approximately 25 watts power to moderate-gain omnidirectional antenna can get a good uplink signal into the satellite. A sensitive UHF FM receiver with a preamplifier and an omnidirectional antenna can receive AO-27's downlink with some fading; moderate-gain directional arrays should provide a solid receive signal. Remember to correct for the +/- 9 kHz of Doppler shift on the 436 MHz downlink signal during a pass. No Doppler correction is needed for the 145.850 MHz uplink signal.

Users are asked not to transmit on 145.85 MHz if they do not hear the satellite's downlink so as to avoid possible interference to other satellite uplinks and downlinks on adjacent frequencies.

[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)


The latest FO-29 Schedule:

FO-29 Schedule 1997
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)

Operational. Very active over North America, with strong downlink signals.


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

Operating normally.

A single AMSAT-UK bulletin by Richard G3RWL has been uploaded. This featured Sputnik-1 40th anniversary, Mir frequencies, and RS-10 news. Bulletins always include current Keplerian elements for OSCAR-11, and often Keps for satellites featured in the bulletin.

Richard always welcomes short news items for inclusion in the OSCAR-11 bulletin. His e-mail address is

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

There are also additional status blocks after each bulletin is transmitted, and between ASCII TLM and WOD.

The mode-S beacon is ON, transmitting an unmodulated carrier, but telemetry indicates that it has partially failed, and delivering half power. Any reports of reception on 2401 MHz. would be most welcome. Please e-mail

The 435.025 MHz beacon is normally OFF. However it can sometimes be heard when the satellite is being commanded by ground control, i.e. within range of Guildford, UK. When the 435 beacon is transmitting, the 145 beacon is normally off. The data transmitted is mainly binary.

OSCAR-11 users are welcome to visit Clive Wallis' web site. It contains some software for capturing data, and decoding ASCII telemetry and WOD. There is an archive of raw data (mainly WOD) for analysis, which is continually being expanded, as new data is captured. The URL is

[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.)

Operating normally.

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)

The DOVE S-band signal is 1200 PSK with no carrier suppression. The modulation is about 20 dB below the carrier. You should hear what sounds like a carrier with lots of Doppler. If you receive equipment is working well you will hear the 'buzz' from the flags and an occasional change in the sound of that modulation as a telemetry beacon is sent. If it's working really well and you run the received audio through a PSK demod then a tracking notch filter (DSP) you will clearly hear the flags and modulation. In the northern hemisphere there will be deep fades about every 30 seconds due to the rotation of the satellite. In the southern hemisphere there will probably be some fades but not nearly as deep because the antenna points down when below the equator.

[ANS thanks Jim White, WD0E, for this report.]


(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.)

Operating normally.

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.)

UO-22 is operating normally. The Earth Imaging System (EIS) is being scheduled to take images 2 or 3 times per week.

[ANS thanks Chris Jackson, G7UPN / ZL2TPO, Groundstation and Operations Manager, for this report.]


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

The satellite is in good shape.

Daniele Piercarlo, IK2XRO, will try to reload the BBS soon.

[ANS thanks Daniele Piercarlo, IK2XRO, ITMSAT Command Station for this report.]

[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,