April 19, 1998

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Space Fair Part 1 Successful

Keith Pugh, W5IU, AMSAT-NA Vice President of Operations, tells ANS the preliminary operations of Space Fair '98 at the Riverside Applied Learning Center last week met with great success. W5IU reports the "introductory talks with ninety young students was very rewarding, and following the talks, communication demonstrations were performed on two AO-27 passes and one Mir pass, with lots of interest from the kids." Riverside Applied Learning Center is an elementary school for 'special kids' in the Fort Worth, Texas area. The school has placed emphasis on learning about outer space this year.

That evening, approximately 200 students and parents from the school attended a 'Mir Visual Sighting Party' and were treated to a "perfect 60 degree elevation Mir pass," said W5IU. Keith reports the kids were told to
come in their pajamas so that they would be ready for bed when it was over. "With the degree of enthusiasm the pass generated, I would venture that they didn't go to sleep until much later," said Keith.

The second part the fair is scheduled for Friday, April 24th, at the school. W5IU will be on the air live from the school operating through the active analog satellites between 13:30 and 20:30 UTC. Keith also invites digital operators to send messages to W5IU via AO-16, LO-19, UO-22, KO-23, and KO-25. Messages from foreign stations will be especially interesting for the students as they plan to display the message traffic live and plot the location of each sender as the messages arrive.

Stay tuned to ANS for an update report on Space Fair '98.

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

MIREX School Day Test

According to MIREX President Dr. Dave Larsen, N6CO, the MIREX team has authorized a special MIREX School Day test on April 27, 1998 between 10:00 and 23:00 UTC. The purpose of the test is to improve the understanding of students about the Mir station and demonstrate the factors involved in space communications using amateur radio. Of the many schools invited to participate, even schools for the deaf and disabled will be able to experience the event through their computer displays.

N6CO reports there is no limit to the number of stations that can participate, since any amateur radio station at any school may monitor the downlink of the test. All stations will be able to capture and log communications from both Mir itself and schools authorized to transmit. Due to the limited capacity on the uplink, however, the number of stations authorized to transmit will be limited to under 100 per footprint area.

A special version of packet software called MIRMON has been donated by Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, for unlimited use during this experiment. MIRMON will capture all position reports, bulletins and messages and give schools a consistent display of the event. The software may be downloaded along with further test details and a replay of the last such experiment on the Naval Academy/MIREX web page using the following URL:

Schools with at least a 146 MHz, 25 watt FM radio, omni antenna and conventional TNC should be successful. MIREX is asking individual amateurs in North America desiring to participate to monitor the test in receive only, or to visit a school and set up a demonstration station to qualify for test transmit authorization. Due to the small number of foreign schools that have indicated they will participate in the test, N6CO has indicated that home stations outside of the USA are also welcome to participate in the demonstration.

Schools without current ham radio equipment can monitor the event via the Internet. The MIREX team is trying to find dedicated ground stations, (at least one per continent), that can link their receiver to the MIREX growing network. Currently, stations in the USA, Mexico and Spain under construction.

For additional information on MIRMON or school data, contact Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, at

[ANS thanks the MIREX Team, MIREX President Dr. Dave Larsen, N6CO, and Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, for this information]

NASA Ham Wins Coveted Award

NASA has awarded Matthew Bordelon, KC5BTL, with its coveted Space Flight Awareness Award for his leadership and technical contributions to the US space program. The award, known as the Silver Snoopy, was presented to KC5BTL recently at the Johnson Space Center.

Bordelon, who's the principal investigator for the Space Amateur Radio Experiment, or SAREX, received the award from astronaut Don Thomas, KC5FVF. The award letter cited Bordelon's "distinguished project leadership and outstanding technical contributions to the highly critical space shuttle orbiter upgrade effort." It also mentioned his efforts in training and mission support for the SAREX program.

Bordelon said the award pin was flown on STS-63. The Space Flight Awareness Award is given to less than 1% of NASA's civil servant and contract workers. Recipients are nominated by NASA management.

AMSAT-NA VP Keith Baker, KB1SF, sends congratulations to KC5BTL from the worldwide AMSAT community, noting that Matt is highly deserving of the award, and adding, "way to go Matt!"

[ANS thanks the ARRL and AMSAT-NA VP Keith Baker, KB1SF, for this information]

International Marconi Day

International Marconi Day will be celebrated by the amateur radio community starting on April 24, 1998, with several special event radio operations scheduled for both North America and Europe. John, G7HIA, tells ANS that he and Robert, G8ATE, will be active on all the analog low earth orbit (LEO) satellites using the special call sign GB1IMD for a full 24-hour period during the celebration.

John invites all satellite operators to "please give us a call," adding, "Robert and I hope to beat last years total of 13 countries worked by satellite during the event."

[ANS thanks John Heath, G7HIA, for this information]

1.2 GHz Threat

The ARRL has learned that the second civilian frequency for the global positioning system (GPS) could wind up within Amateur Radio's secondary allocation at 1.2 GHz. A decision on whether the new, second frequency will be 1205 or 1250 MHz is expected to be made sometime in August. An allocation at 1250 MHz could mean the end of amateur radio in the band 1240 to 1260 MHz. The Amateur Radio 23cm band runs from 1240 to 1300 MHz.

In February 1997, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Defense (DOD) announced an agreement assuring civilian GPS users of a second frequency considered essential for critical civilian GPS uses. According to a DOD news release, the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security, chaired by Vice President Al Gore, "called for the establishment of a second civil frequency as part of a broader program to maintain US leadership in aviation and satellite technology."

More information on the 1.2 GHz threat is available at the following URL:

[ANS thanks the ARRL for this information]

ANS in Brief

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.

Chris, KB2BBU, reports his first contact and short message to R0MIR-1, adding he had "absolutely great fun" during his contact.

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. Hardy, DC8TS, reports stations worked or heard include JX7DFA, SU1SK, SU1HM, C31ZK, A92GD, A92FZ, 5X1T, TT8JFC and YK1AO.


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.

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


Beacons (only) are operational. The 29 MHz beacon has not been operational for some time. Recent attempts to command the Mode A transponder on have been unsuccessful.

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. Stacey Mills, W4SM, reports "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:

DX stations continue to be heard and worked via AO-10. Hardy, DC8TS, reports 8J1RL has been heard in Europe as well as in Japan.

[ANS thanks Stacey Mills, W4SM for his AO-10 status information and web site]


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.

CX6DD reports he is frequently listening for FO-20 passes from Uruguay, weekdays from 00:00 to 03:00 UTC, weekends between 13:00 and 21:00 UTC.

[ANS thanks Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK for his FO-20 status reports]


Voice/CW Mode JA
Uplink 145.900 to 146.000 MHz CW/LSB
Downlink 435.800 to 435.900 MHz CW/USB
Not operational, the satellite is currently in digital mode.
Digital Mode JD
Uplink 145.850, 145.870, 145.910 MHz FM
Downlink 435.910 MHz FM 9600 baud BPSK
Operational, currently in mode JD1200..

The FO-29 command team announced the resetting and reloading of the onboard computer was recently completed and the satellite was switched into JD1200 mailbox operation. This mode will continue through April 24th.

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


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

Operational. Jim, AA7KC, reports the satellite is operating normally.

[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 the satellite is operating normally.

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


Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 baud PSK
Beacon 2401.500 MHz


In response to many requests for information about methods of decoding OSCAR-11 signals, Clive, G3CWV, has added a package of information to his web site. The site also contains some software for capturing data and decoding ASCII telemetry and WOD. There is an archive of raw data for analysis, which is continually being expanded, as new data is captured. There are also some audio files, including a Mode-S recording. The audio files are examples of each type of data transmitted by OSCAR-11. The files should help listeners identify the various types of data, and give an indication of the signal quality required for successful decoding. The URL is:

During the period of March 21st to April 15th excellent signals have once again been received from the 145.826 MHz beacon.

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.

The mode-S beacon is on, transmitting an unmodulated carrier, but telemetry indicates that it has partially failed, delivering half output power. Three reports of Mode-S reception have been received, from Mike, WL7BQM; Ed, K9EK; and Jim, KK3K.

Reception reports should be sent to

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 145.900, 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 Fri Apr 17 23:30:07 1998
uptime is 1307/17:58:50.
Note the voltage levels in the battery 2.
Bat 1 V          1.271 V  Bat 2 V          1.192 V	
Bat 3 V          1.270 V  Bat 4 V          1.300 V	
Bat 5 V          1.310 V  Bat 6 V          1.314 V	
Bat 7 V          1.281 V  Bat 8 V          1.339 V	
Array V         24.894 V	
BCR Input Cur    0.190 A  BCR Output Cur   0.236 A	
Bat 1 Temp        1.814 D  Bat 2 Temp       2.419 D	
Baseplt Temp     1.209 D  RC PSK BP Temp  -3.027 D	
RC PSK HPA Tmp  -3.027 D  +Y Array Temp  -16.339 D	
PSK TX HPA  Tmp  -3.632 D  +Z Array Temp  -19.365 D	
Total Array C= 0.175 Bat Ch Cur=-0.023 Ifb= 0.015 I+10V= 0.244
TX:010B BCR:66 PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC:5D

General information and telemetry 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.

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. Additional information is not available at this time.

[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.

Voltage levels at the end of an eclipsed orbit
Time is Sat Apr 18 22:04:59 1998
uptime is 1033/07:59:49
Bat 1 V 1.297 V Bat 2 V 1.286 V    
Bat 3 V 1.299 V Bat 4 V 1.293 V     
Bat 5 V 1.298 V Bat 6 V 1.293 V    
Bat 7 V 1.297 V Bat 8 V 1.274 V    
BCR Set Point 29.271 C    
Total Array C= 0.008 Bat Ch Cur=-0.283 Ifb= 0.204 I+10V= 0.086
Change of the BCR Set-Point for the recharge of the batteries at the beginning of the illuminated orbit
Time is Sat Apr 18 22:06:29 1998
uptime is 1033/08:01:19
Array V 22.291 V    
BCR Set Point 122.692 C    
Total Array C= 0.404 Bat Ch Cur= 0.191 Ifb= 0.003 I+10V= 0.130

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


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,