February 22, 1998

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New Satellite Handbook

AMSAT is pleased to announce the arrival of the new Satellite Handbook, authored by Dr. Martin Davidoff, K2UBC. This brand new edition contains valuable information on satellite operating, types of antennas including 'how to' articles on building your own, software, satellite Internet sites, profiles of all the current active satellites and much more. This new edition is over 375 pages in length and is filled with information, including how to prepare for the new Phase 3D satellite.

The new Satellite Handbook is available from AMSAT headquarters, contact AMSAT-NA secretary Martha Saragovitz for more information.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA secretary Martha Saragovitz for this information]

Four Schools Scheduled for Mir Contacts

The SAREX Working Group has announced that four schools have been tentatively scheduled for school-to-Mir contacts in the very near future. If all goes as planned, students at the selected schools soon will be able to talk with US astronaut Andy Thomas, KD5CHF/VK5MIR. Thomas arrived aboard the Russian space station in late January.

The school contacts will be a new experience both for the pupils on Earth and for Thomas aboard Mir. So far, Thomas has just barely used the spacecraft's amateur radio equipment, mainly because of the crew's very busy schedule.

Schools on the "prime" contact list include Shell Beach Elementary School, in Pismo Beach, California; Prairie Hills Elementary School, in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Buist Academy, in Charleston, South Carolina; and Carey Junior High School, in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Arranging the contact schedule has taken several months and was complicated by equipment problems aboard Mir and (more recently) the change in crews.

Sources at NASA say the contacts could happen within the next two weeks, and possibly as early as next week.

The schools involved have been given tentative QSO dates, but these could change. "There is always a possibility of a delay with these schedules," warns ARRL Educational Programs Coordinator Glenn Swanson, KB1GW. "Such is the nature of any experiment."

A typical Mir pass lasts approximately ten minutes, during which students will interview the spacecraft's crew by asking prepared questions. Also aboard Mir are two Russian cosmonauts who are also hams: Talgat Musabayev, RO3FT, and Nikolai Budarin, RV3FB (ex-RV3DB/R4MIR).

Thomas, 41, will remain aboard Mir until early summer. It's not yet been decided if another US astronaut will succeed him on the Russian space station.

[ANS thanks the ARRL, the SAREX Working Group and AMSAT Vice President for Manned Space Programs, Frank Bauer, KA3HDO for this information]


AMSAT Vice President for Electronic Communications, Paul Williamson, KB5MU tells ANS that he has just completed and published a set of FAQ's, or frequently asked questions, for the satellite tracking program called InstantTrack. This program is widely used by many satellite operators around the world. You can find the FAQ site on the world wide web using the URL:

Paul also reports that this information is also available as a downloadable document using the AMSAT FTP site. The file is about 40 Kbytes long.

[ANS thanks AMSAT Vice President for Electronic Communications, Paul Williamson, KB5MU for this information]

Svalbard DXpedition

Carlos Ferreira, LA9PJA, is currently planning amateur activity from Svalbard (JQ78), late this month. Using the callsign JW9PJA, satellite, 6 meter and high frequency operation is scheduled. Single side band, RTTY and SSTV modes will be utilized during the operation.

Operational dates have been confirmed as February 25th through 28th.

During satellite operation, RS-12 will be the featured, but Carlos reports others are possible, including AO-10. More information is available at the following URL:

[ANS thanks Carlos Ferreira, LA9PJA, for this information]

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


(PMS 145.985 MHz FM, 1200 baud AFSK)

MIREX sysops have been having daily discussion with the crew about the amateur radio equipment aboard Mir. MIREX would like the stations monitoring the PMS to please be patient while adjustments are made. MIREX has created an Internet web page containing information regarding Mir and the various ham radio experiments taking place from the space station. URLs are:

[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)

Not operational. The SAFEX II repeater is temporarily turned off.


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

Operational, mode KA. The 15m ROBOT is operational.

RS-12 has been seeing recent heavy activity and good DX possibilities. Jon, N0JK reports seeing '7Q7SB CQ RS-12' listed on several DX packet clusters in his area.

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


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

Operational. CW appears to be the most successful mode on RS-15.


At this time, only the beacons are operational.

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


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


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

Operational. FO-20 in mode JA continuously. Mike, N1JEZ recently worked Dermot, EI4ESB on FO-20. Mike reports good signals during his early morning 1300 UTC European pass, hearing PE, ON, OZ, IK, D, and G prefix stations coming through on the bird.

[ANS thanks Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK and Mike Seguin, N1JEZ for this for this information]


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

Operational. Jim, AA7KC, reports KO-23 operating normally.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC, for this report]


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

Operational. Jim, AA7KC, reports KO-25 operating normally.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC, for this report]


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

Operational. Widely used especially during weekend passes. Mike, N1JEZ reports on a recent Atlantic pass he worked Pat, G3IOR in England and Pedro, KP4SQ from Puerto Rico.

[ANS thanks Michael Wyrick, N4USI, AO-27 Control-op, and Mike Seguin, N1JEZ 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)

Operational. Currently in mode JA. Kazu, JJ1WTK, reports an error has occurred in the digital operating platform and FO-29 has been returned to JA status for now. No operational schedule or status update has been listed on the JARL Web site for the satellite.

[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. Despite brief moments of deep QSB, AO-10's downlink signals have been excellent even at apogee. Activity on AO-10 has been increasing with many DX stations heard. NN0DJ recently worked CT1DYX in Portugal with good signals.

AO-10's apogee has continued to move into the northern hemisphere. Apogee will continue to rise higher to the north for the rest of 1998, peaking in December.

W4SM has updated his AO-10 web page, use the following URL:

[ANS thanks Stacey Mills, W4SM, and Dan James, NN0DJ for this update]


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

Operational. During the period of January 14th to February 16, 1998, Clive, G3CWV reports good signals have been received from the 145.826 MHz beacon. Three reports of the S-band beacon reception have been received. Masa, JA0BES, reports signals of one S point above the noise, using a 34 element beam and Maki-Denk1 converter. Joe, KC6SZY, using a 76cm dish with a 2.5 turn helical feed into an SSB converter, reports S-3 signals. Joe sent G3CWV an audio file of his received S-band signals, which have been added to the G3CWV web site. Ken, G8VR, also reports hearing S-band OSCAR-11 and DOVE signals. Any reports of reception on 2401 MHz should be sent to

The telemetry is nominal.

After a slight fall the internal temperatures have stabilized at around at 5.4C and 3.0C for battery and telemetry electronics respectively. The change in temperature is due to variations in solar eclipse times. In recent years the satellite has been subjected to long periods of continuous sunlight which has produced fairly high internal temperatures. Eclipses are expected throughout 1998, which should result in lower temperatures, with fairly small variations.

A single WOD survey has been transmitted during the period dated 06 January. Channels 10, 20, 30, 40 (+Y, -X, +X array currents, array voltage) all showed the effect of solar eclipses on array currents and voltage.

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.)

Operational. The S band transmitter is off.

The telemetry is nominal.

Time is Fri Feb 20 23:57:22 1998 uptime is 1251/18:27:16.
Bat 1 V   1.256 V         Bat 2 V          1.192 V
Bat 3 V   1.266 V         Bat 4 V          1.323 V  
Bat 5 V   1.263 V         Bat 6 V          1.270 V  
Bat 7 V   1.294 V         Bat 8 V          1.276 V
+10V Bus   10.275 V   RC PSK TX Out    0.818 W
Total Array C= 0.000 Bat Ch Cur=-0.458 Ifb= 0.175 I+10V= 0.306

Information about telemetry values and WOD files can be found at

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

DO-17 (DOVE)

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

Operational. The DOVE S band beacon is on. The 2 meter transmitter is on (145.825 MHz). Telemetry is being sent about every 30 seconds. A scanned image of Dove's QSL is available at the 425DXNews Web Site:

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


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

Not operational. WO-18 is in MBL mode after a recent software crash. Attempts are being made to find and correct the cause of the suspected seasonal crashes. MBL stands for Microsat Boot Loader. In this mode, the satellite waits for commands to be sent by the command station (upload data block, download data block, send TLM block, etc.) and occasionally sends out a primitive block of telemetry.

This is a recent block of decoded MBL 02150921.mbl 10:23:38 15-Feb-98

BCRi349.13mA bplt 3.134C TxPw 0.194W 5 V 5.848V 8.5V 9.904V 10V 13.729V
BCRi349.13mA bplt 3.134C TxPw 0.183W 5 V 5.742V 8.5V 9.851V 10V 13.653V

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


(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.

The telemetry is nominal.

Time is Sat Feb 07 1998 11:45:33 uptime is 962/21:40:23
+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:

[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.)

Operational. Chris, G7UPN reports UO-22 is operating normally.

[ANS thanks Chris Jackson, G7UPN / ZL2TPO, Groundstation and Operations Manager of UO-22, for this report.]


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

No report is available at this time.

[Please send your Satellite or News reports to the ANS Editors at, or to new ANS Editor Dan James, NN0DJ, at]

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This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT News Service Editor Dan James, NN0DJ,