March 15, 1998

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MIREX APRS Test Results

As announced by ANS, the Mir International Amateur Radio Experiment team (MIREX) held an Automatic Packet/Positioning Reporting System (APRS) test on March 10, 1998. APRS stations were encouraged to use the digital repeater (R0MIR) aboard the Russian space station.

On the day of the test, Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, first reported that because R0MIR was unexpectedly off the air during the two designated APRS/Mir test orbits, the MIREX team authorized an extended test during the next two orbits over North America. Both of these passes, however, took place when most operators would be asleep.

Even with unconventional hours, when the APRS packets finally began being digipeated via Mir, the special APRS/Mir Internet page began plotting stations instantly. Being able to see this event live worldwide via the Internet without a radio was one of the main attractions of the experiment, both for amateurs without APRS equipment, and for many schools lacking VHF receivers.

During the day of the APRS/Mir test, the live APRS web site scored a maximum of over 11,000 hits, with the peak load reported at 155 simultaneous users. Most of the APRS stations shown on the web site during the actual test were home stations (due to the hour of the rescheduled test), however, 5 mobiles and 1 Naval Academy boat were seen.

Steve, K4HG was in a perfect position to be one of the first to see stations appear on the APRS web site. "While many were sleeping, dozens of packets were digipeated by Mir. I was one of the first stations digipeated through Mir, not surprising given my location and where the space station was. It looked especially cool on the APRS page... it was blank, then suddenly all these stations started popping up!"

Mike, KI7AB, reported seeing California and Washington stations, one of which was mobile in Seattle area. Joe, KC6SZY, reported seeing many APRS stations on his computer screen, adding, "it looks like things worked."

MIREX reported this experiment had been in the planning stage for some time and the team hopes it will serve as a step for other experiments.

[ANS thanks Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, Steve Dimse, K4HG, Mike Connors, KI7AB, Joe Steinmetz, KC6SZY, and the MIREX team for this information]

1998 Young Ham of the Year Award Nominating Period

The Amateur Radio Newsline Editorial Office has informed ANS the nominating period for the 1998 "Young Ham of the Year Award" is now open. This award is presented annually to a United States licensed radio amateur operator who is 18 years of age or younger, and who has provided outstanding service to the nation, his or her community, or the betterment of the state-of-the-art in communications through the Amateur Radio service.

Any continental United States (FCC licensed) ham radio operator aged 18 or younger, who has used Amateur Radio to significantly contribute to the benefit of the service, to the state of the communications art, to their community, or the nation, is eligible to be nominated.

All nominations must be submitted before June 30, 1998 on an official application. Application forms are available using a self addressed, stamped envelope (SASE), from:

  1998 Young Ham of the Year Award
  c/o Newsline
  28197 Robin Avenue
  Saugus, California 91350

In addition, nominating applications are also available for electronic downloading using the following URL:

The award presentation is scheduled take place at the 1998 Huntsville Hamfest. In addition to other prizes, the 1998 "Young Ham of the Year" will also receive a full paid week at Space Camp Huntsville.

[ANS thanks Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, and Newsline for this information]

AMSAT-UK Mode A Survey Results

Richard Limebear, G3RWL, AMSAT-UK Communications Officer, recently surveyed satellite operators worldwide about the possibility of another mode A satellite. Richard posted the results of the 'do we want another Mode-A bird' survey on the AMSAT-NA Bulletin Board.

G3RWL noted that because of the very short time scale for responses, he limited distribution to electronic means only. Of the 200 responses received, Richard reported the vast majority would be in favor of a new mode A bird. Some additional comments received included FM rather than SSB or CW modes, a higher orbit, mode K and/or mode T transponders, possible HF beacons, and the need for analog transponders. Richard reports he will be doing a complete report in an upcoming issue of the AMSAT-UK Oscar News.

[ANS thanks Richard Limebear, G3RWL, for this information]

Chicago Area Satellite Lecture

Satellite and other interested amateur radio operators in the Chicago area are invited to a lecture on satellites, with the main focus on contributions of the Radio Amateur Satellite Program. The speaker will be Dr. Martin Davidoff, K2UBC. He will address the development of low cost space technology at the Argonne National Laboratories, on Monday, March 30, 1998. The lecture, beginning at 2pm, is free and open to the public.

The lecture will take place in the auditorium of the Physics Building at the National Laboratories, also known as Building 203. A map of the area is available at the following URL:

Bill Parmley, KR8L, AMSAT Area Coordinator for Idaho, has arranged for the presentation to be videotaped and shown at the Argonne-West facility, which is located near Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Dr. Martin Davidoff, K2UBC, is best known in the amateur satellite world as the author of the highly acclaimed Satellite Experimenter's Handbook and the new Satellite Handbook. Both volumes are published by the ARRL and are available from the League, or from AMSAT-NA Headquarters.

[ANS thanks Dr. Martin Davidoff, K2UBC, and Bill Parmley, KR8L. for this information]

Weekly Satellite Report

Mir . SAFEX . 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


(PMS 145.985 MHz FM, 1200 baud AFSK)

Operational. The new modem is a Kantronics KPC-9612 Plus, Revision 8.1. Please note the command set for this TNC is different than the previous Mir TNC. MIREX suggests a copy of the KPC-9612 manual may help in understanding the changes. Dave Larsen, N6CO, tells ANS the Personal Message System (PMS) on Mir supports a 'system operators' mode with the special call sign, K6MIR, reserved for PMS SysOps. Only the system operators are allowed to use this callsign. N6CO asks stations not to attempt to connect to this call.

Joe, W2KQ, reports a voice contact with Andy Thomas aboard Mir using the 145.985 MHz downlink frequency. W2KQ used an FT-736R at 20 watts and a vertical, reporting S-9 signals. Mike, VK8ZMA, also reports working Mir, with Andy using his VK5MIR callsign, noting solid Q5/S-9 voice copy, horizon to horizon.

MIREX has created an Internet Web page containing information regarding Mir and the various ham radio experiments taking place from the space station. Please check out the pages for pending and proposed projects. URLs are:

[ANS thanks Joe Dreifuss, W2KQ, Mike Alsop, VK8ZMA, and 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)
(QSO mode Uplink 435.725 MHz FM, Downlink 437.925 MHz FM, Subaudible tone 151.4 Hz)

Operational. The SAFEX II installation has been utilized recently in QSO mode.


(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.


(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


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

Operational. FO-20 in mode JA continuously.

Dan, NN0DJ, reports exceptionally strong signals recently from FO-20, with lots of activity on the satellite.

[ANS thanks Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK, and Dan James, NN0DJ, for this information]


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

Operational. Jim, AA7KC, confirms the details regarding the apparent loss of the 145.850 MHz uplink frequency. Jim also reports the 145.900 MHz uplink still provides easy access to this satellite. Downlink efficiencies generally exceed 90% indicating very good KO-23 operation.

[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.

[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)

Operational. Kazu, JJ1WTK, reports the JARL command station for FO-29 recently completed reloading the operational software. On March 9th FO-29 was switched back to mode JD-1200 mailbox operation. FO-29 will stay in JD-1200 until March 16th. A new operational schedule is excepted to be released at that time.

[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), with heavy stateside and DX activity. Now is the time to be active on this bird. John, N2HMM, reports working YV5DEH. Dan, NN0DJ reports working HP3XUG, DL6UAA, NH6VB, WP4LBK, F1ERG, OE5PAM and LY3BH among others. John, K6YK, reports four CW contacts on AO-10 recently using just 25-30 watts and a vertical antenna.

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, John Santillo, N2HMM, John Lee, K6YK, and Dan James, NN0DJ for this update]


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

Operational. The telemetry is nominal.  Reception reports of the 2 meter beacon or on 2401 MHz should be sent to

[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. The telemetry is nominal. The S band transmitter is off.

Time is Sun Mar 15 13:08:48 1998  uptime is 1274/07:38:05.
+5V Bus                  4.905 V    +8.5V Bus               8.978 V
+10V Bus              11.600 V    BCR Set Point  131.381 C
BCR Load Cur       0.320 A    +8.5V Bus Cur      0.031 A
+5V Bus Cur          0.263 A     BCR Input Cur     0.513 A
BCR Output Cur   0.372 A      Bat 1 Temp            3.629 D
Bat 2 Temp             4.839 D    RC PSK TX Out    0.472 W

Total Array C= 0.541 Bat Ch Cur= 0.052 Ifb=-0.028 I+10V= 0.349
TX:010B BCR:86 PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC:8C

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)

Currently non-operational. DO-17 appears to have experienced a problem. The 145.825 MHz downlink is off the air. Jim, WD0E, reports he will attempt to correct the situation as time permits.

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


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

Currently non-operational. WO-18 is in MBL mode after a software crash. Attempts are being made to find and correct the cause of the suspected seasonal crashes.

[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 Sun Mar 15 12:23:52 1998  uptime is 998/22:18:42.
Array V                 22.631 V    +5V Bus                4.968 V
+8.5V Bus               8.797 V    +10V Bus            11.400 V
BCR Set Point   129.062 C     BCR Load Cur     0.202 A
+8.5V Bus Cur       0.026 A    +5V Bus Cur
RC PSK TX Out    0.881 W

Total Array C= 0.320 Bat Ch Cur= 0.070 Ifb= 0.011 I+10V= 0.191
TX:019 BCR:80 PWRC:36E BT:3C WC

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,