AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

January 18, 1998

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More Houston AMSAT Net

On Tuesday January 6th, the Houston AMSAT Net celebrated its 200th airing. Featured in this observance were guest appearance by Bill Tynan, W3XO, AMSAT-NA President, Executive Vice President Keith Baker, KB1SF, Manned Space Vice President Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, Stan Wood, WA4NFY, Vice President for Engineering and Lou McFadin who supervises the activity at the Phase 3D Laboratory in Orlando.

Bill Tynan, W3XO, discussed means being looked into to support the Orlando facility after completion of Phase 3D. He said these may include doing work for a fee for others. He emphasized that Orlando cannot be kept going without some kind of financial support. He stressed that AMSAT-NA cannot maintain it on regular revenues. And he expressed doubt that the amateur community would be ready to support another major campaign for financial contributions right after supporting Phase 3D so generously. At the same time, he expressed his belief that to have Orlando available gives AMSAT more options as to what it might want to take on as a new amateur project in a few years.

Tynan said that one of the projects being considered involves a cooperative effort with the Canadian MOST proposal. This is an astronomy satellite being proposed to the Canadian government by the University of Toronto and others in Canada. He said the project's sponsors have "promised a significant financial donation" in exchange for AMSAT participates in the project, assuming it's eventually funded by the Canadian government.

AMSAT-NA Executive Vice President Keith Baker, KB1SF, echoed Tynan's concerns. Baker, who also was interviewed for the Houston AMSAT Net, said that one lesson learned from Phase 3D is that AMSAT can no longer "stand on the corner with our hands out" to fund future endeavors. Baker said AMSAT-NA wants to pursue additional revenue sources "without damaging or putting into jeopardy the volunteer spirit of AMSAT."

Phase 3D Integration Lab Manager Lou McFadin, W5DID, said most of the modules for the spacecraft have been installed. Technicians now are installing the rest of the electronic components.

Also on the Net, AMSAT Vice President of Manned Space Flight Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, discussed ham radio equipment aboard the International Space Station. Bauer said the first ham gear aboard the ISS later this year will include H-Ts for 2 meters and 70 cm, a packet radio system, and a "digi-talker" that's being developed by hams in Germany.

Bruce Paige, KK5DO, moderates the Houston AMSAT Net. A RealAudio transcription of the entire 200th Houston AMSAT Net, and other net sessions is available at http://www.amsatnet.com.--AMSAT News Service via Bruce Paige, KK5DO.

[ANS thanks Bruce Paige, KK5DO, and the ARRL for this news report.]

VK5MIR Reciprocal License

An Australian reciprocal license with a Special Event callsign has been provided for use by Dr. Andrew Thomas, KC5CHF while aboard the space station Mir. It is anticipated that Dr. Thomas will join the Mir space station on or about January 22, 1998.

Based on a suggestion from Peter VK2EMU, the South Australian Division of the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) negotiated with the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) for issue of the license under reciprocal agreement based on Andy's USA Technician Class license.

Ian Hunt, VK5QX, President of the WIA South Australia Division has stated the ACA officers with whom he dealt had been most cooperative in handling the requests placed before them.

The special callsign allocated, VK5MIR, is taken from the block of callsigns from which novice calls are usually assigned. However in this instance, it has been issued with Australian Intermediate class license privileges as being the equivalent to the USA technician class license.

Ian VK5QX was able to meet Andy and personally present him his license together with various forms of briefing materials regarding Australian Amateur Radio stations know to be well equipped for contact in connection with space operations. Recent copies of Amateur Radio, the official journal of the WIA were included in the provided materials.

[ANS thanks Ian Hunt, VK5QX, for this news update.]

LUSAT QSL 8th Anniversary

To celebrate LUSAT 8th anniversary during the week of Jan 19 to Jan 25, AMSAT Argentina will perform a one contact QSL confirmation QSO contest. AMSAT Argentina members using LU7AA (AMSAT Argentina) will operate on or around 3700 kHz, 7157 kHz and 28350 kHz.

Any participant confirming QSO with own QSL card and SASE, stating "LUSAT Eight Anniversary", sent to CC 187, (1401) Buenos Aires, Argentina, will receive a special and colorful QSL commemorating this special event as well as a booklet on how easy & fun is to operate Amateur Satellites.

[ANS thanks Victor Mormandi, LU4BAW, AMSAT Argentina for this information]

Microsats 8th Anniversary

AMSAT Argentina is proud to have been part on historical launch at Kouru on Jan 22, 1990 of first ever, and still operational after 8 years, Microsats. Special greetings to AMSAT-NA for his PACSAT (AO-16), to AMSAT Brazil, for his DOVE (DO-17), to Weber University for his WO-18, to AMSAT-UK for their UO-14 & UO-15, from their brother LO-19, LUSAT (LO-19), from AMSAT Argentina.

Let this 8th anniversary, be a get together hams and satellite fans of the world, and a well deserved recognition to worldwide cooperation and AMSATs that brought marvel of Microsats for everybody to enjoy.

[ANS thanks Pedro Converso, LU7ABF, AMSAT Argentina for this message.]

Satellite Chat Room Available

Satellite operators who have an Internet connection and have installed IP (Internet phone) software will be interested in the Bob Jett, W7KPW web site. Bob has provided several conference 'chat' rooms, including one labeled 'AMSAT'. Clicking on the AMSAT button will automatically start the IP connection, and your name will appear in the 'room'. You are now in a round table conference mode and can talk to anyone else who may also be connected. This works completely throughout the world wide web and is a great way to exchange ideas on OSCAR satellites, operating, antennas, software and other satellite topics when your favorite satellite may not be available.

To obtain Internet Phone 4.X or 5.0 programs, Bob has provided a link to download the correct software. In addition to the AMSAT chat room, W7KPW also lists Ham, Ham Radio and Ham Radio Repeater Link chat rooms on his site, along with links to the KB9PZA and KA4TAR chat rooms.

The W7KPW web site is available at the following URL:

http://www.vvm.com/~rjett/iphone.html

[ANS thanks Walter Keller, W6GGM, and Bob Jett, W7KPW, for this information]

1998 ESA Activities Released

According to a recent European Space Agency press release, ESA will be involved in a series of space activities both at the European and international level in 1998. One of the main events in the European space calendar is the third launch of Ariane 5 (A503), from Kourou, French Guiana. The launch is currently scheduled for late May. At this time the only announced payload is the Automatic Reentry Demonstrator (ARD). According to the release, any remaining payload is "to be determined".

ESA also states that the dates of certain events, especially those related to launches, very much depend on various parameters such as the readiness of spacecraft and of the launch vehicle, and thus will remain to be confirmed at a future date and time.

To automatically receive ESA Press Release and/or ESA Information Notes by e-mail, you can do so by subscribing to the ESA distribution service. Follow the instructions posted at ESA web site:

http://www.esrin.esa.it/press.html

[ANS thanks ESA for this information.]

AO-10 Update

Stacey Mills, W4SM, reports to the Amsat News Service that AO-10 is currently at least partially functional. However, observations over several weeks strongly suggest that AO-10 is no longer stable in its Z-axis (the normal axis of spin) and is slowly tumbling or "wobbling". This conclusion is based on several findings.

1. For some time, it has been noted that the spin rate of AO-10 had become quite slow, on the order of 1-1.5 rpm or less. At these slow speeds, gyroscopic stability is quite low and the nutation dampers are much less functional. At some point the satellite must become Z-axis unstable.

2. For the last two "sleep" cycles, AO-10's beacon never completely went dead, though it did show long deep fades. Given the range of probable ALON/ALAT's if AO-10 were Z-axis stable, at some time during these periods, the solar angle should have gone to 90 degs (illumination = 0) and the S/C should have gone completely dead for a week or more.

3. At the present time, AO-10 goes through several long, deep periods of QSB with a cycle measured in the range of 15-20 minutes. During this time, W4SM has observed a cycle of two deep fades without FM'ing, followed by one deep fade with strong FM'ing, sounding almost like an eclipse onset. The only explanation that Stacey has for the non-FM'ing fades is a change in antenna orientation, which requires non-Z-axis motion (i.e., wobble or tumble). As these fades been noted at multiple points in the orbit, both before and after perigee, masking of the antenna due to the rotation of an otherwise Z-axis stable three-lobed S/C would not seem to account for this effect at diverse points in the orbit. The FM'ing fade could be due to the functional loss of one or more solar panels such that during slow rotation the power output drops. However, given the above, Mills suspects that the FM'ing fades represent a component of the wobble/tumble during which the solar angle increases to a point where the power level drops significantly.

If the above is true, then the ability to predict AO-10's functional status over long periods of time (months) will be nonexistent. The satellite will simply continue to show periods of slow QSB, followed by periods of rather strong signals over a cycle of multiple minutes.

[ANS thanks Stacey Mills, W4SM, for this update.]

Weekly Satellite Report

Mir . SAFEX . 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

American astronaut David Wolf, KC5VPF, will be replaced by Andy Thomas, KD5CHF, During the January STS-89 Mission. The PMS 2-meter radio station was temporarily moved from the core module and installed in the Priroda Module. This move was performed to take advantage of the backup antenna. The crew also installed a new modem a few weeks ago. But due to the crew's heavy work load, all of the TNC parameters have not been properly configured. Mirex would like the stations monitoring the PMS to please be patient while they make adjustments. The PMS is NOT fully operational at this time.

During the recent space walk, the crew was planning on examining the primary PMS antenna located on the Mir-core module, if time permits. The crew suspects there may be a loose coax cable to the primary PMS antenna. If the antenna checks out fine, the crew will still leave the PMS station connected to the backup antenna until the March time frame. This is because the crew will be very busy with many other experiments and will not have much time for a low priority experiment such as the PMS.

The only limitation they have with the current backup antenna, is the Diplexor filter which is required for the SAFEX and PMS to share the same antenna. This would prevent any 70 cm experimentation from the Kenwood TM-733.

[ANS thanks the MIREX team for this information]

SAFEX, Mir 70cm Repeater

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

During last week's momentary Mir attitude control computer shut-down, the Mir crew temporarily shutdown the Amateur Radio station for a few days. The PMS system was turned back on, but it is not known when the crew plans on turning on the SAFEX Repeater.

MIREX has created an Internet Web page containing information regarding Mir and the various Amateur Radio experiments taking place from the space station. The pages are still "under construction", but some good information can be gathered from what has been put together. URLs include the following:

http://www.ik1sld.org/mirex.htm OR http://www.ik1sld.org/mirex

http://www.geocities.com/~ik1sld/mirex.htm OR http://www.geocities.com/~ik1sld/mirex

[ANS thanks the MIREX team for this information]

RS-12

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

The 15m ROBOT uplink is on as well.

Operational, now in mode KA.

RS-15

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

Operational.

RS-16

At this time, only the beacons are on.

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

Not Operational. RS-17 has been officially declared dead.

New Sputnik-40 QSL Address

QSL Information for SWL (Short Wave Listener)

  Sergey Samburov (RV3DR)
  P.O. Box 73
  Korolev-10 City
  141070, Russia

There is another address given for QSLing on the Sputnik home page (http://www.oceanes.fr/~fr5fc/angspoutnik.html, the English language version), which states under "Listeners" and I quote: "PSE send your reports (envelope + IRC) at FR5KJ radio club. FR5KJ radio club will send you back a diploma.

  FR5KJ radio club
  College Jules Reydellet
  103 rue de la Republique
  97 489 Saint Denis Cedex
  Reunion Island.

[ANS thanks the MIREX team for this information]

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 Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK, for this report]

KO-23

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

KO-23 operating normally.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC, 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 this report]

AO-27

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

Operational.

[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..

FO-29 Schedule 1997/1998
Jan 9 Fri 07:14 UTC JD 1200
Jan 16 Fri 07:52 UTC JD 9600
Jan 23 Fri 08:30 UTC JA  
Jan 30 Fri 07:24 UTC JD 1200

[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. See accompanying bulletin's information.

OSCAR-11

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

Operating normally.

OSCAR-11 REPORT 14 January 1998

During the period 16 December, 1997 to January 14, 1998 the satellite has continued to provide good signals on its 145.826 MHz beacon, although occasional interference has been caused by DOVE, which transmits near this frequency.

Interest in the mode-S beacon continues, as stations prepare for P3D. Four reports have been received. Stacey W4SM reported S3-4 signals compared to an S2 noise level. Dove was S8. He uses a two foot diameter G3RUH dish with 2.5t helix, and SSB converter. Manfred XE1ZBO in Mexico City has received strong signals, using a Conifer partial dish, and SSB converter. Mark KE7NS reports good signals, above an S7 noise level. He uses a 21 element beam, Aircom pre-amp, and Drake converter. Many thanks for those reports.

The telemetry is nominal. Internal temperatures have continued to fall, and at the present time are 6.4C and 4.2C for battery and telemetry electronics respectively. This fall in temperature is due to increasing solar eclipse times, which are expected to reach a maximum in early February.

Two WOD surveys have been transmitted during the period. Both are of channels 10, 20, 30, 40 (+Y, -X, +X array currents, array voltage), and are dated 14 December, and 06 January respectively. They show the effect of solar eclipses, on array currents, and voltage.

The new format AMSAT-UK bulletin, No. 114, is now being transmitted. This contains details of amateur satellite frequencies and modes of operation. It is intended to be a 'fixed' message, which won't become out of date too quickly. It may however be changed from time to time, possibly at monthly or greater intervals. Regular listeners will note that the new bulletin makes a different sound compared to previous bulletins, rather like a new form of binary data. This is because the bulletin contains regularly placed blocks of spaces, instead of random text characters.

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. AO-16 S band transmitter is off.

Information about telemetry values and WOD files 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)

The DOVE S band beacon is on. The frequency is 2401.220 MHz. The 2 meter transmitter is also on, 145.825 MHz. Telemetry is being sent about every 30 seconds.

A scanned image of the Dove's QSL at 425DXNews Web Site:

http://www-dx.deis.unibo.it/htdx/

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

WEBERSAT (WO-18)

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

Bob Argyle, KB7KCL reports that WEBERSAT-OSCAR-18 is gathering and sending Whole Orbit Data.

[ANS thanks Bob Argyle, KB7KCL, and SpaceNews for this update.]

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.

General information and telemetry samples 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.

On January 6th, Chris Jackson, G7UPN/ZL2TPO, Ground station and Operations Manager of UO-22, said the BBS had been shut for maintenance and should be opened again after few hours.

[ANS thanks Chris Jackson, G7UPN / ZL2TPO, Groundstation and Operations Manager of UO-22, 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.)

No report at this time.

[Please send your Satellite or News reports to the ANS Editors at ans-editor@amsat.org.]

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This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT News Service Editor BJ Arts, WT0N.

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