April 12, 1998

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Space Fair in Texas

Children in the Fort Worth, Texas area will be learning about outer space in general and amateur satellites in particular very soon. Several special events associated with the Riverside Applied Learning Center Space Fair '98 are planned for this coming week. Riverside Applied Learning Center is an elementary school for 'special kids' in the Fort Worth area. The school has placed emphasis on learning about outer space this year.

An Amateur Radio Familiarization Day is planned for April 16th. On that day, Keith Pugh, W5IU, AMSAT-NA Vice President of Operations, will be operating on AO-27 and RS-12 from the school itself. Mir will be monitored that day also and a 'Mir Visual Sighting Party' is planned for the evening.

The entire school will be having a Space Fair on April 24th, and the amateur satellite station will again be set up at in the school gym. This station will be capable of operating through all of the low earth orbit digital and analog amateur satellites, along with possible operation on AO-10, the current high orbit bird.

Keith is asking all active amateur satellite operators to please look for W5IU on any of the analog satellites on April 24th, and for digital stations to send greetings to the Riverside students via W5IU through the active digital satellites as well. The messages will be displayed on a large projection monitor and station locations plotted on a world map. Messages from all over the world would be appreciated. W5IU notes that AO-16 and LO-19 are of special interest. These satellites will be heard as well as seen and should be the most interesting to the students.

[ANS thanks Keith Pugh, W5IU, AMSAT-NA Vice President of Operations for this information]

AMSAT-UK Call for Papers

The 13th AMSAT-UK Colloquium will be held at Surrey University, Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom, starting Friday, July 31, 1998, and ending on Sunday, August 2nd.

This year's event will include technical and operational matters as well as an International Amateur Radio Union forum.

AMSAT-UK invites authors to submit papers, about amateur radio space and associated activities for this event, and for the 'proceedings' document, which will be published at the same time. AMSAT-UK normally prefers authors to present the papers themselves rather than having someone else read them in the authors' absence, however, unpresented papers are also welcome.

AMSAT-UK also invites anyone with requests for official 'Program Topics' to submit them as soon as possible to G3RWL. Topics included to date are:

Offers of papers should be submitted as soon as possible; the final date for full documents is mid-June in order that the proceedings document be available to participants.

Submissions should be sent to the following address:

  R. W. Limebear G3RWL
  60 Willow Road
  Enfield EN1 3NQ
  United Kingdom

Electronic submissions will be accepted by G3RWL using the following routes:

Internet e-mail
Packet Radio

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK and Richard Limebear, G3RWL, for this information]

AMSAT-NA Hamvention Dinner

Amateur satellite operators who plan to attend the 1998 Dayton Hamvention in Dayton, Ohio, are invited to attend the AMSAT-NA dinner, an annual event held during Hamvention week.

Gerd, WB8IFM, tells ANS that this years AMSAT-NA dinner will be held on Friday, May 15th, starting at 7:00 PM. Location of the dinner will be the Amber Rose Cafe. The place and menu is the same as last year.

Cost including tax and tip is $20.00 (US) each.

Interested amateurs are asked to please pre-register with Ed Collins at his e-mail address:

[ANS thanks Gerd Schrick, WB8IFM, for this information]

Java Satellite Software

John Melton, N6LYT/G0ORX, tells ANS that he has released a preliminary copy of his 'Java Satellite Ground Station' software. The software implements a fully automated digital store-and-forward satellite ground station. The program includes the following:

John reports the software has been used successfully on Windows 95, Linux, and Solaris operating platforms. "There is still more work to be done, but I have been successfully using the software over the last few months with minimal problems," says N6LYT. John also says the software documentation is not complete yet, but he feels there should be enough information included for most operators to get going. Further documentation is under development. N6LYT is also interested in receiving e-mail from anyone who decides to download and try his program or is interested in helping with development. John's e-mail address is

The 'Java Satellite Ground Station' shareware program is available for downloading using the following URL:

[ANS thanks John Melton, N6LYT/G0ORX, for this information]

WB4APR to be Honored at Dayton

ANS has learned the 1998 Dayton Hamvention Technical Excellence Award has been given to Robert E. Bruninga, WB4APR. Bob Bruninga, known as the father of APRS, garnered his award for his work in the creation and development of the automatic packet reporting system used by many amateurs around the county.

WB4APR, an amateur for 36 years, was first interested in the hobby at a very young age when he and a group of neighborhood kids constructed a telegraph system. A retired Navy Communications Electronics Specialist, Bob is now the contractor in charge of the satellite ground station at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

WB4APR says that APRS had an interesting beginning. "We first presented the idea at the Digital Communication Conference in 1992. And one of the first things we did with it was track the running of the Army/Navy game football. They run it for 18 hours, from the Naval Academy in Annapolis to the stadium in Philadelphia, about 150 miles. And so we put a GPS unit in a football helmet, put it on a guys head and we demonstrated with just that one watt transmitter that we could track the runner and the football all the way to Philadelphia. We have now done that every year since. That is a lot of fun. We've also tracked all of the Naval Academy Boats up and down the Atlantic. We track those with APRS via a high frequency setup.

There is also one truck driver, W7LUS, and you will see him on an APRS map every hour of the day and night. He is driving around with an APRS installation in his truck all over the country. He puts his schedule in his beacon text and people can see where he is headed and they will go out and catch up with him at the next truck stop," said WB4APR.

Bruninga will receive his award at a banquet in Dayton the evening of May 16th.

Interested amateurs can learn more about APRS and view an APRS map on the Internet using the following URL:

[ANS congratulates Robert E. Bruninga, WB4APR, and thanks Newsline for this information]

Mir-School Contacts Continue

Students at Seaford, Delaware, Middle School got a chance to speak to astronaut Andy Thomas, KD5CHF, aboard the Mir space station on Thursday, April 2, 1998. Using the VK5AGR Telebridge station, students at the Delaware school got to ask Andy seven questions during the Mir pass.

The contact continued a largely successful string of Mir-school QSO's. Earlier in the week, however, students at Farmington High School in Connecticut were disappointed when South African ground station ZS6BTD was unable to make contact with Thomas for that Telebridge contact. As it turned out, the school contact had fallen victim to the Mir crew's very busy schedule. An effort will be made to reschedule the QSO.

Other Mir-school contacts are scheduled soon with schools in New Mexico, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

On April 1st, Thomas filmed the activities as his cosmonaut crewmates Talgat Musabayev, RO3FT, and Nikolai Budarin, RV3FB, left the Russian space station for a six-hour space walk. The two attached handles to the ship's exterior to help in repairing a solar panel that is in danger of breaking away and possibly damaging Mir. The panel was damaged when it was struck by a Progress supply ship last summer.

Thomas will be aboard Mir until June. He has been active on 2 meters when Mir is over the US and over his native Australia. Thomas also holds a special event call sign, VK5MIR.

[ANS thanks the ARRL for this information]

Weekly Satellite Report

Mir . RS-12 . RS-15 . RS-16 . AO-10 . AO-27 . FO-20 . FO-29 . KO-23 . KO-25 . UO-11 . AO-16 . DO-17 . WO-18 . LO-19 . UO-22 . IO-26


SAFEX II 70cm Repeater
Uplink 435.750 MHz FM with subaudible tone 141.3 Hz
Downlink 437.950 MHz FM
Not operational at this time.
SAFEX II 70cm QSO Mode
Uplink 435.725 MHz FM with subaudible tone 151.4 Hz
Downlink 437.925 MHz FM
Operational.  The SAFEX II installation has been utilized in QSO mode.
Packet Radio PMS
Uplink/Downlink 145.985 MHz FM, 1200 baud AFSK
Operational. The modem is a Kantronics KPC-9612 Plus, Revision 8.1. MIREX suggests a copy of the KPC-9612 manual may help in understanding the current modem.

US astronaut Andy Thomas and his Mir crewmates commemorated an important space anniversary recently. Tuesday, March 24, 1998, marked two years of continuous US presence aboard Mir.

Chris, VK6BIK reports three excellent contacts with Andy recently, including one mobile QSO from his car. VK6BIK says Andy was "chatty and good fun to talk with."

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 the MIREX team for this information]


Uplink 145.910 to 145.950 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 29.410 to 29.450 MHz CW/SSB

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

RS-12 has been seeing heavy activity and good DX possibilities. Rusty, NM1K, reports working FM5JY, FG5GI, and G4CUO via RS-12 recently.


Uplink 145.858 to 145.898 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 29.354 to 29.394 MHz CW/SSB

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

K6YK has been calling CQ using a downlink frequency of 29.370 MHz during most evenings looking for QSO's. He and GD0TEP tried some schedules recently and were able to briefly hear each other, but no QSO yet. There is only a very short window between K6YK and GD0TEP. John also reports recently working VE3ER, KB1SF, W7LRD and W1ZS via RS-15.

[ANS thanks John Lee, K6YK, for this report]


Beacons (only) are operational. The 29 MHz beacon has not been operational for some time.

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 435.030 to 435.180 MHz CW/LSB
Downlink 145.975 to 145.825 MHz CW/USB

Operational. OZ1MY reports AO-10 appears to be 'FM-ing' again. Stacey Mills, W4SM, concurs, adding "the solar angle appears to be increasing again. My running guestimation is that its up to about +40 degs. It will increase rapidly between now and the end of May, so conditions will progressively worsen during this time."

W4SM has more information about the satellite on his AO-10 web page, using the following URL:

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


Uplink 145.850 MHz FM
Downlink: 436.792 MHz FM

Operational. Widely used especially during weekend passes.

Eddie, N5JGK, will be active via AO-27 from the rare grid square of EM41 on Saturday, April 25th.

[ANS thanks Eddie Pettis, N5JGK, and Michael Wyrick, N4USI, AO-27 Control-op for this update]


Uplink 145.900 to 146.000 MHz CW/LSB
Downlink 435.800 to 435.900 MHz CW/USB

Operational. FO-20 in mode JA continuously.

[ANS thanks Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK for this report]


Voice/CW Mode JA
Uplink 145.900 to 146.000 MHz CW/LSB
Downlink 435.800 to 435.900 MHz CW/USB
Digital Mode JD
Uplink 145.850, 145.870, 145.910 MHz FM
Downlink 435.910 MHz FM 9600 baud BPSK
Not operational, currently in analog mode.

On the 0800 UTC pass of 27 March, the FO-29 command station detected two bit errors in the OBC (On Board Computer) during switching to mode JD1200. Resetting the OBC by reloading the software will take some time. The FO-29 team has commanded the satellite into mode JA until further notice.

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


Uplink 145.850, 145.900 MHz FM
Downlink 435.175 MHz FM, 9600 Baud FSK

Operational. KO-23 operating programs have been successfully reloaded and the satellite is now fully operational. Jim, AA7KC reports the satellite is receiving heavy use once again.

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


Uplink 145.980 MHz FM
Downlink 436.500 MHz FM, 9600 Baud FSK

Operational. Jim, AA7KC, reports KO-25 operating normally with downlink efficiencies exceeding 95%.

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


Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 baud PSK
Beacon 2401.500 MHz


OSCAR-11 users are welcome to visit the G3CWV Web site. Audio files have been recently added, including a Mode-S recording from KC6SZY. The web site also contains software for capturing data and decoding ASCII telemetry and WOD information. The URL is:

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

The mode-S beacon is on, transmitting an unmodulated carrier, but telemetry indicates that it has partially failed, delivering half output power. Reception reports should be sent to

The 435.025 MHz beacon is normally off. However it can sometimes be heard when the satellite is being commanded by ground control. The data transmitted is mainly binary.

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


Uplink 145.900, 145.920, 145.940, 145.860 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 Sat Apr 11 23:04:17 1998 uptime is 1301/17:33:00.
+X (RX) Temp         -13.919 D  RX Temp                 0.603 D	
Bat 1 Temp                 3.024 D  Bat 2 Temp             1.814 D	
Baseplt Temp             3.024 D  RC PSK BP Temp  -1.817 D  	
RC PSK HPA Tmp  -2.422 D  +Y Array Temp       -18.760 D  	
PSK TX HPA Tmp   -2.422 D  +Z Array Temp       -19.365 D	
RC PSK TX Out        0.566 W	
Total Array C= 0.160 Bat Ch Cur=-0.048 Ifb= 0.008 I+10V= 0.266
TX:010B BCR:67 PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC:44

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 145.840, 145.860, 145.880, 145.900 MHz 1200 bps Manchester FSK
Downlink 437.125 MHz SSB, 1200 bps RC-BPSK

Operating normally. The telemetry is nominal.

Time is Sat Apr 11 10:54:26 1998 uptime is 1025/20:49:16.
+Z Array V           22.711 V  +X (RX) Temp         0.131 D	
RX Temp                -0.430 D  Bat 1 Temp            0.692 D	
Bat 2 Temp             0.692 D  Baseplt Temp         1.252 D	
RC PSK TX Out    1.022 W  RC PSK BP Temp   4.618 D	
Total Array C= 0.110 Bat Ch Cur=-0.159 Ifb= 0.040 I+10V= 0.219
TX:01A BCR:7A PWRC:36E BT:3C WC: 0

General information and telemetry samples can be found at:

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


Uplink 145.900 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, 145.900, 145.925, 145.950 MHz FM
Downlink 435.822 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK

Operational. Alberto, I2KBD, reports the satellite appears to be in a healthy state, with all the subsystems working nominally. The spacecraft is now sending the full set of 64 telemetry channels and collecting Whole Orbit Data survey information.

Telemetry is downloaded on 435.822 MHz at 1200 baud PSK.

[ANS thanks Alberto Zagni, I2KBD, ITAMSAT Mission Director for this information]

[Please send your Satellite or News reports to the ANS Editors at, or to 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,