May 3, 1998

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Tentative Launch for TechSat-1B

Assi Friedman, 4X1KX/KK7KX, reports from Arizona State University that the TechSat team has confirmed a tentative launch date for the TechSat-1B amateur radio satellite. The Russian Space Agency, which is providing the ride into space, has currently set the launch window for June 23 - 24, 1998.

TechSat-1B is a digital store-and-forward satellite using 9600 baud, frequency shift keying (FSK), much like UO-22, KO-23 or KO-25. TechSat-1B ill feature VHF/L-band uplinks, with downlinks in the 70cm band.

4X1KX tells ANS a telemetry decoding program for the satellite will be available shortly.

Stay tuned to ANS for more information regarding the upcoming launch of TechSat-1B.

[ANS thanks Assi Friedman, 4X1KX/KK7KX, for this information]

SEDSAT-1 Launch Set for October 1998

Dr. Mark W. Maier, University of Alabama, tells ANS the SEDSAT-1 amateur radio satellite is now scheduled for launch on a Delta II space vehicle sometime in October of this year. The exact launch date has not been confirmed.

SEDSAT will fly as a secondary passenger along with the JPL Deep Space One mission. The launch was to have taken place in July, but was postponed to October because of delays associated with the primary payload.

SEDSAT-1, which has been under construction at the Huntsville campus under the direction of Dennis Wingo, KD4ETA, is now complete and is in the final stages of testing. Chris Bond, KF4UGG, is the primary communications and software developer.

SEDSAT-1 will carry a Mode-L digital transponder as well as a Mode A analog transponder. The planned orbit is 500 by 1000 km at 28.5 degrees inclination.

Dr. Maier reports "the downlinks work beautifully in lab tests," and characterizes the satellite as "pretty mature." "All systems have been checked out in the lab," he said.

Stay tuned to ANS for further developments on this new amateur radio satellite.

[ANS thanks Dr. Mark W. Maier, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Alabama/Huntsville, for this update]

Fly Your QSL Card on P3D

Attention radio amateurs worldwide - this is your chance to really be a part of the Phase 3D satellite program by putting your QSL card into orbit! During May, AMSAT-NA will be collecting QSL cards, which will be scanned and converted into digital images. These images will then be saved onto a computer CD-ROM, which will be secured to the Phase 3D spacecraft and launched with P3D. Your QSL card will get a ride into orbit right along with the Phase 3D satellite! This is a limited time offer and subject to any restrictions imposed by any (future) launch announcement or launch timetable. AMSAT-NA is suggesting cards be sent in as soon as possible.

AMSAT-NA is suggesting a minimum donation of $25.00 (US). Proceeds from the 'Fly Your QSL on Phase 3D' campaign will be used in offsetting the overall P3D program costs.

If you want to fly your QSL card on Phase 3D, send your card and donation to:

  Fly Your QSL on Phase 3D
  c/o AMSAT-NA
  850 Sligo Avenue, Suite 600
  Silver Spring, MD 20910-4703

Checks or money orders should be made out to 'AMSAT'. Please do not send cash. QSL cards will also be accepted at the AMSAT booth at the upcoming Dayton Hamvention.

More information on the 'Fly Your QSL Card' program is available by calling the AMSAT-NA headquarters at +1 (301) 589-6062. Details will also soon be available on the AMSAT-NA web site, point your browser to the following URL:

[ANS thanks Doug Quagliana, KA2UPW, for this information]

Second Call for Papers

The AMSAT-NA Annual Meeting and Space Symposium will be held October 16-18, 1998, at the Park Inn International in Vicksburg, Mississippi. This is the second call to authors who wish to present papers at the Symposium. Papers will also be printed in the official Proceedings document. The subject matter of the papers should be topics of interest to the amateur radio satellite service.

Key dates for and submitting papers are as follows:

Abstracts can be sent to: or

  Malcolm Keown W5XX
  14 Lake Circle Drive
  Vicksburg, MS  39180

If you do send an abstract by e-mail, it is suggested a follow-up hard copy be sent via regular postal mail.

Proceedings of the Symposium will be printed by the ARRL and made available during and after the meeting. Also, for authors who do not or can not present a paper, but have a topic of interest, arrangements can possibly be made for a guest presentation.

Information regarding Vicksburg area attractions and details on arrangements for the 16th AMSAT-NA Annual Meeting and Space Symposium can be found at the following URL:

[ANS thanks Eddie Pettis, N5JGK, for this information]

Mir School Day Test Results

Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, provided ANS with a summary of the April Mir School Day test. The purpose of the test was to allow schools and students an opportunity at successful packet exchanges with the Mir space station and to demonstrate the use of UI Digital Bulletins for communicating MIREX information to all monitoring stations. Other objectives were to demonstrate the use of Internet-linked ground stations to merge data into a common feed and to demonstrate the use of ground station generated GPS positions digipeated by the spacecraft in real time.

The Mir TNC was not operational for the day of the announced test, but was operational for three early morning passes the following day. A total of 27 schools or other participating stations were successful during the day after test. All stations reported their position and status and there were several messages exchanged. Most stations reported receiving the Mir Bulletins and the Mir position packets. These results were (and are) posted on the MIREX web page, where you can also see the captured downlink files. This web page scored 1,300 hits during the event, and a total of over 2,800 hits since the experiment was announced in early April.

The test is now over.

Bob would like to thank the many schools and amateur radio operators that took part in the test. WB4APR also passes on a special thank you to the MIREX team and especially Dr. Dave Larsen, N6CO, for making this test possible.

[ANS thanks Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, for this report]

ANS News 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

NN0DJ observed Andy Thomas using the repeater for personal traffic on Sunday, May 3rd. Signals were excellent during the two US passes. NN0DJ did not interrupt the QSO's in progress.
SAFEX II 70cm QSO Mode
Uplink 435.725 MHz FM with subaudible tone 151.4 Hz
Downlink 437.925 MHz FM
Packet Radio PMS
Uplink/Downlink 145.985 MHz FM, 1200 baud AFSK
Operational. The modem is a Kantronics KPC-9612 Plus, Revision 8.1.

Stations are asked to not try digipeating through Mir while other users are connected to the R0MIR-1 mailbox. Stations may also have noticed that they can't send messages to other hams via the Mir PBBS. This is because the mailbox is a personal mailbox and is intended for the use of the crew.

Please do not make 'blind' calls on voice (FM) for Andy Thomas using the 145.985 MHz frequency. Doing so kills the ability for the Mir TNC to decode users on packet. If Andy or any of the other crewmember are active on FM, they will call CQ and be happy to chat with anyone who answers.

[ANS thanks Scott Avery, WA6LIE, and the MIREX team for Mir status information]


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

Operational, mode KA.

Al, WC9C, reports the 15 meter Robot is apparently not responding.


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

CW appears to be the most successful mode on RS-15. AB2CJ has been QRV on RS-15 CW recently.


Martin, DH4NWG, reports RS-15 seems to be better lately. Within the last few weeks Martin has completed several European SSB contacts with reports between 5X6 and 5X8, all with QSB.

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

Stacey Mills, W4SM, reports solar illumination on AO-10 appears to be way down and the satellite is nearly "comatose." W4SM can hear the beacon (with FMing) and can hear his downlink as well, but the signals are very, very weak. Things will probably continue to get worse during May and probably will not be any better by Field Day. However, the satellite should improve again later in the summer and peak in August.

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

[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.

[ANS thanks 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.

Mike, N1JEZ, reports working GB1IMD, one of the Marconi Special Event Stations via FO-20. Robert, G8ATE was operating at the time.

[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
Digital Mode JD
Uplink 145.850, 145.870, 145.910 MHz FM
Downlink 435.910 MHz FM 9600 baud BPSK
Not operational, the satellite is in JA (voice) mode.

Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK, tells ANS that FO-29 was switched into mode JA because of 2 bit errors detected in the digital operation of the on-board-computer. Resetting and reloading software into the OBC will resume. FO-29 will stay in mode JA until further notice. An updated status announcement is expected soon.

[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. The URL is:

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.

Beacon reception reports should be sent to

[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.

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 and 2401.220 MHz downlinks are off the air. Command stations are working on the problem.

[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.

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. The satellite 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,