AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

November 23, 1997

Latest Bulletins
Special Bulletin from November 19
Last Week's Bulletins
1997 Bulletins
These Bulletins in plain text format
Subscribe to bulletins by e-mail
Submit your News for ANS


Mir Frequency Experiments

As part of ongoing frequency experiments to improve Amateur Radio operations on board Mir, and to better understand how these frequencies will be effective on the International Space Station, Mir will begin a 2-phase frequency experiment beginning December 1, 1997 and ending on May 31, 1997.

For phase 1, a 70cm/2m crosslink experiment will operate for a 3 month period from December 1, 1997 up to March 1, 1998.

On December 1 the Mir operating frequencies will change to:

Uplink: 437.850 MHz Downlink: 145.800 MHz

Phase 2 of this experiment will use a 2 meter-only set of uplink and downlink frequencies. This phase of the experiment will begin on March 1, 1998 and will also be of 3 months duration.

This experiment was developed by the international partners in Manned Space discussions at the recent Toronto AMSAT-NA Space Symposium. It has been endorsed by the representatives present at the conference which included SAFEX, SAREX, AMSAT-UK, the IARU Region 2 President, the IARU Satellite Advisor, (ZS5AKV), ARI (Italy) and RAC (Canada). While not present at the Toronto meeting, the US Mirex team has also been consulted and have agreed with the spirit of this experiment.

All hope that this experiment will help further understand how best to accommodate future operations of Amateur Radio on Manned Space Vehicles.

[ANS thanks Tim Bosma, W6ISS, AMSAT's Manned Space Frequency Coordinator and Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT-NA's VP for Manned Space, for the information that went into this bulletin item.]

Sputnik Model Update

Reports continue to be received from around the world indicating that the working model Sputnik satellite launched Monday, November 3 from the Russian Mir Space Station is maintaining a readable downlink signal from its 100 milliwatt transmitter.

Many news organizations around the world have featured articles on the satellite. The Newport News Daily Press in Newport News, Virginia ran a front page story that stirred a lot of local interest in the Sputnik project and also in the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Many at Langley remember the excitement and increased funding for space flight research after the original Sputnik was launched.

Two hams, W8RVH and W8ZCF, have been making temperature observations on the satellite since its launch using an audio generator, frequency counter and oscilloscope, providing the following data:

UTC Date/Time Frequency
Hz
Temperature
Deg C
06 Nov. 1997 14:26 1269.3 27.0
07 Nov. 1997 13:27 1257.4 23.0
08 Nov. 1997 14:06 1255.9 22.0
09 Nov. 1997 13:08 1248.4 19.5
11 Nov. 1997 12:49 1248.3 19.5
12 Nov. 1997 11:49 1244.3 19.0
13 Nov. 1997 09:12 1257.0 21.8
13 Nov. 1997 14:03 1241.0 18.0
14 Nov. 1997 12:05 1244.5 19.0
14 Nov. 1997 16:17 1245.0 19.0
16 Nov. 1997 14:19 1246.0 19.0
17 Nov. 1997 13:20 1243.0 18.5

[Graph]

W8RVH and W8ZCF are continuing temperature analysis on Sputnik 40 with a more detailed analysis now being made on the temperature recordings, prompted by a notation of a downward drift of temperature during the latest passes. This downward change is currently unexplained.

The satellite was built as a joint project by schools in Russia and Reunion Island, with technical assistance from AMSAT-France. Operating solely on internal batteries, the downlink signal of the 1/3 scale model is only expected to continue for the next few weeks.

[ANS thanks F6FAO, WB5POJ, W8RVH and W8ZCF for information that went into this bulletin.]

DOVE QSL Announcement

Jim QSL cards for the DOVE (DO-17) satellite are once again available. These special cards depict a dove carrying an olive branch in its mouth and will be provided to anyone who sends a report indicating they've heard the satellite. DO-17 transmits on 145.825 and 2401.220 MHz, and is presently sending 1200 baud AX.25 (standard packet) ASCII telemetry on 2 meters.

On S band, DOVE transmits PSK flags continuously, and then repeats the same data transmitted on 2 meters.

To receive a QSL for hearing DOVE, send a reception report and SASE to:

  Dianne White N0IZO
  45777 Rampart Road
  Parker, Colorado 80138-4316
  USA

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

Cuba to be Active on Satellite

A group of hams from Sweden, Denmark and Cuba will be active on 50, 144 and 432 MHz, as well as the satellites, from Punta Corella, Cuba, starting November 25, 1997. Operation will end December first. Operators will be Soren, OZ1FTU, Johan, SM3UZS and Oscar, CO2OJ.

Punta Corella (grid square FL11sg) is a rare, never-before-activated grid on VHF. In addition to terrestrial VHF/UHF frequencies, Oscar promises operation on RS-12, FO-20, FO-29 and possibly AO-10. This will be an excellent opportunity for those who need to confirm Cuba via satellite operation.

This VHF/UHF station is part of an international effort for the CQ WW CW Contest. The HF group will use the callsign T48RCT on all HF bands from 160 to 10 meters, including WARC bands. Once the contest starts they will switch to the callsign T49C. Oscar reports T49 is a "never before used" prefix and T49C will be the first Cuban station with only one letter as a suffix.

More information on this entire operation is available at the FRC Web Page:

http://www.infocom.etecsa.cu/new/frc/frcuba.htm

or at the Sweden Group Site:

http://ham.te.hik.sel/clubs/sk0ux/T48RCT.htm

[ANS thanks Oscar, CO2OJ, and Jon, N0JK, for this information.]

Shuttle Audio Retransmissions

Although the current shuttle mission will not include operation on any of the ham bands, the Goddard Amateur Radio Club (WA3NAN) in Greenbelt, Maryland reminds amateurs and SWLs world wide that the club retransmits shuttle audio on 3.860, 7.185, 14.295 and occasionally 21.395 and 28.650 MHz. Locally in the Greenbelt area, shuttle re-transmissions are handled on 147.45 MHz FM.

The club will be on the air when all of the following conditions are met:

  1. the Shuttle crew is awake
  2. a volunteer control operator is available
  3. no power outages, snowstorms, thunderstorms or major equipment failures at the club shack.

The club has had a severe shortage of control operators lately, so if the station is not on the air, it is probably due to the non-availability of a control operator. Any licensed ham living reasonably close to the area can be a volunteer control operator. Please contact the club if you are interested in serving in this role.

The GARC Shuttle Retransmission FAQ can be found at:

http://garc.gsfc.nasa.gov/www/retransmission/shuttle_faq.html

The club can be reached by telephone at +1 (301) 286-6673, or by mail at

  PO Box 86
  Greenbelt, Maryland 20768-0086

[ANS thanks Dan Schultz, N8FGV, for this information.]

ANS Editorial Team News

BJ Arts, W0TN, Chief Editor for these weekly bulletins, is now reported to be resting comfortably at home after major surgery. BJ sends his thanks all for their thoughts and prayers during his recent hospitalization.

In a related development, Dan James, NN0DJ, has now also volunteered to join the Editorial team for ANS, and will be assisting BJ with writing the bulletins each week. Dan brings a wealth of on-air broadcast experience and polished news writing abilities to the ANS team.

"Both of these gentlemen deserve our continued thanks for their efforts to keep us all informed of the latest AMSAT news week after week," said Keith Baker, KB1SF, AMSAT-NA's Executive Vice President. "We're most pleased to have Dan join the team and we're VERY glad that BJ is now resting at home and eager to get back into the Editor's chair. We all wish him a speedy recovery!" Keith said.

[ANS thanks Keith Baker, KB1SF, for the information that went into this bulletin item.]

Weekly Satellite Report

Mir . SAFEX . RS-10 . RS-12 . RS-15 . RS-16 . RS-17 . 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

Mir

Simplex 145.985 MHz, FM

The Mir crew believes the antenna coax for the Mir PMS station may have been damaged during the space walk on Thursday, November 6. It has been suggested to the crew not to use the PMS station until the cable is repaired. The crew may attempt to fix the coax cable during a scheduled December space walk. The PMS station is expected to be off the air for the next several weeks.

SAFEX, Mir 70cm Repeater

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

The repeater is working and stations are encouraged to use the SAFEX II repeater. The crew members have the option of using the microphone on the repeater to talk to amateurs using the repeater.

RS-10

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

Not operational at this time.

RS-12

(Uplink 145.91-145.95 MHz CW/SSB, Downlink 29.41-29.45 MHz)

Operational, now in mode A. Lots of activity over North America with good downlink signal reports being received.

RS-15

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

Operational.

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

RS-16

Transponder information:

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

RS-17

(Beacon 145.820 MHz FM)

Operational.

FO-20

(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.]

KO-23

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

Stacey Mills, W4SM, has estimated from Keps that KO-23 will not experience an eclipse again until December 12th. Starting with the orbits of that day, eclipses rapidly increase in duration from 2 to 11 minutes. Eclipse length will then continue to increase, peaking at 35 minutes per orbit in the December 28th thru January 4th time period. Eclipse length will then begin slowly decreasing again. KO-23's download efficiency has dropped dramatically due to the increasing heat and its effects on the signal deviation.

[ANS thanks Stacey Mills, W4SM, for this report]

KO-25

(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.]

AO-27

(Uplink 145.85 MHz FM, Downlink: 436.792 MHz FM)

Operational with lots of activity including QRP stations heard over North America.

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

FO-29

Voice/CW

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

Digital

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

Operational.

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

AO-10

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

Operational.

Stacey Mills, W4SM, would appreciate any perigee observations of AO-10's beacon or transponder during the next several weeks until conditions begin to improve. If his orientation figures are correct, AO-10 should be down to a solar angle of -84 degs with only 11% illumination.

[ANS thanks Stacey Mills, W4SM, for this report]

OSCAR-11

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

Operating normally.

During the period of October 14th through November 16th this satellite has continued to provide good signals on its 145.826 MHz beacon.

Telemetry nominal. The battery voltage has been steady at around 14.0 volts for most of the time, although occasional values of 13.8 and 14.2 volts have been observed.

The internal temperatures continued to increase, reaching maximum values around October 21st of 18C and 15C for battery and telemetry electronics respectively. The temperatures have now started to fall, and at the present time are 13.6C and 10.6C. This change in temperature is due to variations in solar eclipse times, which have now started to increase. Two WOD surveys have been transmitted during the period. Channels 17, 18, 27, 28 (+X, +Y, -X, -Y facet temperatures), dated 16 September, and channels 10, 20, 30, 40 (-Y, +Y, -X, +X array currents) dated 29 October. These show the effect of solar eclipses on array currents and external temperatures.

Followers of OSCAR-11 will have noticed that the news bulletin has not been changed recently. Richard, G3RWL, has received very little feedback from his regular bulletin service, and at a recent AMSAT-UK committee meeting it was decided to discontinue the weekly postings and replace them by a static bulletin. This may be changed at monthly intervals and will contain items such as Keplerian elements and satellite frequencies. ANS thanks Richard for providing this service for so many years...well over a hundred bulletins!

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. This beacon is a useful test source for those testing mode-S converters, prior to the launch of P3-D. It is considerably weaker than DOVE, which should be used for initial testing. Any reports of reception on 2401 MHz would be most welcome. Please e-mail reception reports to g3cwv@amsat.org.

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, Surrey, 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 the G3CWV 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 http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/clivew/.

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

AMSAT-OSCAR-16 (PACSAT)

(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 http://www.arrakis.es/~ea1bcu/wod.htm

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

DO-17 (DOVE)

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

DOVE transmits on 145.825 MHz and 2401.220 MHz. It is presently sending 1200 baud AX.25 (standard packet) ASCII telemetry about every minute on two meters. On S band it transmits PSK flags continuously and also the same data as is sent on 2 meters.

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

WEBERSAT (WO-18)

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

No report available at this time.

LUSAT-OSCAR-19

(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: http://www.arrakis.es/~ea1bcu/lo19.htm.

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

UO-22

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

UO-22 is operating normally.

Chris Jackson, G7UPN / ZL2TPO, has reloaded the Store and Forward communications task on the UO-22 On-Board Computer. This task includes incremental checksums which should make uploading slightly faster. In the old task, once an upload was complete, the spacecraft had to perform the checksum on the complete file. Depending on the file length, this could take quite a long time. With the new task, the checksum is computed on the fly - while the data is actually being uploaded. Thus there is no need to recompute it at the end of the transfer and this checksum delay is then removed.

However, all files that were started before Chris Jackson, G7UPN/ZL2TPO, loaded the task around 1000 UTC on the 19th will receive a corrupt body checksum error when the upload is completed. If the file is uploaded again, it should be accepted. If trying to upload a large file that was started before the above time, then start again.

If anyone gets persistent body checksum errors while uploading files to UO-22 would they please let Chris Jackson know as soon as possible

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

IO-26 (ITAMSAT)

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

The actual beacon is:

26th September 1997 Happy birthday ITAMSAT!
Today IO-26 is 4 years old and all sub-systems are OK
Best wishes from the IT-AMSAT team

[ANS thanks Daniele, IK2XRO, and Piercarlo, IW2EGC, ITMSAT Command Station for this report.]

[Please send your Satellite or News reports to ANS Editor B.J. Arts, WT0N, via e-mail, at bjarts@the-bridge.net or to wt0n@amsat.org]

Return to top


This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT News Service Assistant Bulletin Editor Dan James, NN0DJ, nn0dj@amsat.org.

The AMSAT News Service Editor is B. J. Arts, WT0N, wt0n@amsat.org.

AMSAT Top