AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

February 9, 1998

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AMSAT News Service Editor is Silent Key

It was learned today that B.J. Arts WT0N, known as BJ to all of his friends passed away last evening at a hospital in his home town of Hibbing, Minnesota. BJ, who was 37 years old and had suffered for a number of years from acute diabetes, reportedly succumbed to flu soon after being taken to the hospital Sunday evening.

BJ had been acting as ANS Bulletin Editor for several years and had been doing an exemplary job in that important volunteer position, commented Bill Tynan W3XO AMSAT-NA President, on hearing the shocking news.

BJ had been very active on the satellites and the vhf bands. He will be missed by all of his friends around the world.

[ANS is indebted to Gregg Mihelich AA0DX for this very sad news.]

Hotel Selected for Symposium

The 1998 AMSAT Annual Meeting and Space Symposium will be held at the Park Inn International in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The meeting will take place October 16-19, 1998 and will be hosted by the Vicksburg Amateur Radio Club.

Room rates for the conference will be $52 single and $62 double with a complimentary breakfast buffet and evening cocktails. Room reservations may be obtained by contacting the Park Inn at 800-359-9363(toll free domestic) or 601-638-5811 (commercial and international). Deadlines for making room reservations is September 14, 1998. The Park Inn will also provide conference participants with shuttle transportation service between Jackson International Airport and Vicksburg. Details on this service will be provided with conference registration information scheduled for distribution in July.

Future conference news includes a call-for-papers announcement in March and conference registration information in July 1998.

Additional information about the 16th Space Symposium and Annual AMSAT Meeting including airline access to Vicksburg is available at http://pages.prodigy.com/DXHF93A which is also accessible via the AMSAT WWW page.

[ANS thanks Eddie Pettis, N5JGK for the news.]

FCC Asked to Enforce Band Plans

The ARRL is considering an attempt to change voluntary compliance of amateur band plans into Federal law. The league believes many hams face a growing problem of FM incursion into what is traditionally non-FM spectrum, including frequencies normally used for satellite communications.

The ARRL may ask the FCC to put teeth into the voluntary band plan concept by asking the Commission to issue a declaratory ruling where any operation that conflicts with established, voluntary band plans and causes interference or adversely affects others operating in accordance with applicable band plans, is considered poor amateur practice. As such it would be also be considered a rules violation.

Such a ruling could go way beyond protecting satellite, weak signal and other VHF/UHF users from being harassed. It could also be applied to problems on the high frequency bands where specialized modes which also need protection tend to collide with mainstream SSB and CW transmissions.

AMSAT-NA President Bill Tynan W3XO said that, while he supports the intent of ARRL's initiative, he will suggest to the AMSAT-NA Board of Directors that the organization go on record to preserve the current practice of using FM in conjunction with Earth to space and space to Earth communication within the satellite sub-bands. But, he said that he would also recommend that the Board support a ban on FM terrestrial-only communication, and possibly all terrestrial-only communication in these segments.

[ANS thanks the ARRL, Newsline and Bill Tynan W3XO for this information.]

Satellite DX

Charles Parmelee, W9ODI, reports Bob Mathews, K8TQK will be active from Haiti on several satellites through early February. Operation will be centered on AO-10, but FO-20, FO-29 and RS-12 will also be used in addition to HF operation.

More information can be found on the K8TQK web site:

http://www.qsl.net/k8tqk/

Carlos Ferreira, LA9PJA, is currently planning amateur activity from Svalbard (JQ78TF), late this month. Using the callsign JW9PJA, satellite, 6 meter and high frequency operation is scheduled, along with RTTY and SSTV modes. Operational dates have been confirmed as February 25th through 28th.

RS-12 will be the featured satellite, but others are possible. More information is available at the following URL:

http://home.sol.no/~la9pja/

[ANS thanks Chuck Parmelee, W9ODI, Bob Mathews, K8TQK, and Carlos Ferreira, LA9PJA, for this information.]

FO-29 Schedule

Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK, reports he has received no additional news or announcements on the FO-29 operating schedule. FO-29 is currently in analog mode. The satellite normally rotates between analog and digital modes, but has recently been left in analog mode after a software glitch in the operating system was detected. Kazu also reports the JARL Homepage has not been updated with scheduling information for the satellite. In JA mode, FO-29 is very active over North America mainly because of its well timed nightly passes.

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

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 and SAFEX, Mir 70cm Repeater

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

The PMS and the SAFEX II repeater are both currently turned off (temporarily). The Mir crew has just been to busy with other higher priority projects to spend much time adjusting parameters on the PMS. The Mir crew has information required to reconfigure the new TNC. We are just waiting for the crew to find an open slot in their schedule to load in the correct parameters. Even though the Amateur Radio Stations have been turned off, the crew may still turn on the systems for some random contacts. MAREX informed MIREX that the Mir crews are expected to be very busy until after crew 24 returns to Earth.

MIREX would like the stations monitoring the PMS to please be patient while they make adjustments. 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.

KP4SQ has been on RS12 twice weekly for a month now with good signal his name is Pedro and his QSL manager is KD8IW.

[ANS thanks Rusty Hack, NM1K, for this news.]

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

The CUT OFF date for submitting SWL cards for Sputnik is February 28.

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 thanks 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)

In Mode JA.

[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.

AO-10's signals are improving and are quite strong even at apogee, except for periods of deep QSB, which can be largely corrected by changing antenna polarization. These findings suggest strongly that AO-10 has switched itself to its hi-gain antennas. There is probably a component of Z-axis wobble accounting for the QSB. As illumination has improved, the FM'ing heard earlier appears to have disappeared. The switch to hi-gains would also explain the often poor signals near perigee when the squint angle is particularly bad.

AO-10 is currently experiencing long (90 minute) solar eclipses with onset after apogee. The MA of onset will continue to increase and the length of the eclipse will continue to decrease until the period ends on February 23rd.

AO-10's apogee has moved into the northern hemisphere (ArgP > 180). Apogee will continue to rise higher to the north for the rest of 1998, peaking at ArgP = 270 in December.

W4SM has updated his web page to include discussions of the above and updated, smoothed Keplerian elements.

http://www.cstone.net/~w4sm/AO-10.html

[ANS thanks Stacey Mills, W4SM, for this update on AO-10.]

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.

uptime is 1238/06:54:04. Time is Sat Feb 07 12:23:58 1998
+X (RX) Temp 4.839 D RX Temp -1.212 D
Bat 1 Temp 6.049 D Bat 2 Temp 5.444 D
Baseplt Temp 5.444 D RC PSK BP Temp 1.209 D 
RC PSK HPA Tmp 3.024 D +Y Array Temp 1.209 D
PSK TX HPA Tmp 1.209 D +Z Array Temp 12.100 D
RC PSK TX Out 0.633 W

Total Array C= 0.336 Bat Ch Cur=-0.063 Ifb= 0.063 I+10V= 0.326
TX:010C BCR:83 PWRC:59F BT: A WC:25 EDAC: C

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)

WEBERSAT-OSCAR-18 celebrated eight years in space on January 22, 1998 at 0135 UTC! The satellite is gathering and sending weekly Whole Orbit Data. The PHOTO task has been uploaded and new photos are being taken and broadcast weekly. Since WO-18's return to service is suspected to be seasonal in nature, you might want to give the bird a try before too much time passes.

[ANS thanks the WO-18 Command Team for this news.]

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.

uptime is 962/21:40:23. Time is Sat Feb 07 11:45:33 1998
+X (RX) Temp -1.552 D RX Temp -0.430 D
Bat 1 Temp 2.935 D Bat 2 Temp 3.496 D
Baseplt Temp 2.935 D RC PSK BP Temp -0.991 D 
RC PSK HPA Tmp 0.131 D +Y Array Temp 4.057 D 
PSK TX HPA Tmp -0.991 D +Z Array Temp -3.796 D
RC PSK TX Out 0.847 W

Total Array C= 0.212 Bat Ch Cur= 0.006 Ifb= 0.062 I+10V= 0.152
TX:100 BCR:34 PWRC:134AA BT:55 WC: 0

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.

[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 President Bill Tynan, W3XO, w3xo@amsat.org.

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