AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

May 10, 1998

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LMCC Demands 70cm Ham Band for Commercial Use

The Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) has petitioned the FCC asking that the commission immediately reallocate most of the 70 centimeter amateur radio band over to private mobile operations, with private land mobile use designated as the primary user.

Technically, the document is nothing more than a formal rule making request to the FCC that has been designated as RM-9267. The LMCC is asking the FCC to immediately reallocate 420 to 430 MHz and 440 to 450 MHz over to the Private Mobile Radio Service on a primary basis. The Land Mobile Communications Council is also asking for new allocations at 1390 to 1400 MHz, 1427 to 1432 and 1670 to 1675 MHz. The LMCC has also asked the FCC for an 85 MHz wide band from 960 to 1215 MHz.

The ARRL is organizing opposition to this new threat to our frequencies, noting the 70cm band is the second most popular of the hobby's VHF/UHF allocations. Substantial FM repeater and other operation in the 440 to 450 MHz segment and a variety of transmission modes in the 420 to 430 MHz segment are all very popular, according to the ARRL.

The LMCC request, based on "additional spectrum needs of the PMRS community," acknowledges amateur radio's use of 420 to 430 and 440 to 450 MHz, and suggests that ham radio applications can remain secondary to PMRS in those segments, but offers no explanation of how sharing could be accomplished. The LMCC says it believes the 430 to 440 MHz subband "is more important to the amateurs for use in emerging technologies such as links with spacecraft and amateur television applications."

The petition also suggests that equipment availability and technology resulting from an expanded PMRS presence on 70cm would benefit hams "pursuing such applications as compressed video television in the 430-440 MHz band." The LMCC concedes, however, that its "most urgent need" for PMRS is voice and low-speed data applications, not advanced technologies which might come later on.

Comments are due on the LMCC's Petition for Rulemaking, RM-9267, by June 1, 1998. Those responding must be certain to reference RM-9267 at the top of your letter. Comments should be sent to the Secretary, FCC, Washington DC, 20554.

The FCC has taken no official position on the matter.

[ANS thanks the ARRL and Newsline for this information]

Queen's Award for Surrey Space Center

AMSAT-UK tells ANS the Queen's Award for Technological Achievement has been won by Surrey Satellite Technology, in recognition of their national standing as an organization of excellence in the research, development and application of small satellites. The Center previously won The Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 1996.

The Surrey Space Center, with 130 staff members and postgraduate research students, houses state-of-the-art satellite research and construction facilities. The facility's Mission Operations area contains a fully automated satellite tracking and data collection system, currently responsible for nine micro-satellites in low Earth orbit.

[ANS congratulates Surrey Space Technology and thanks Richard Limebear, G3RWL, Communications Officer/AMSAT-UK, for this information]

AMSAT at the Dayton Hamvention

It's that time of year again -- time for the Dayton Hamvention -- and AMSAT-NA will again be represented in full force at the three day event, May 15-17, 1998, at the Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio.

AMSAT-NA will be in the same booth location as previous years, spaces 445-448. However, the layout of the Hamvention has changed slightly, so the AMSAT booth location may be a few feet from where it has been in previous years.

Once again, all AMSAT booth activity will be under the expert leadership of Barry Baines, WD4ASW, AMSAT-NA's VP for Field Operations, along with his team of very dedicated volunteers.

A number of new and updated items will be available at the '98 AMSAT booth including new versions of Gould Smith's RS Satellite Operators Guide and Keith Baker's How to Use the Amateur Radio Satellites. In addition, Steve Bible, N7HPR, has added WiSP installation and setup instructions to the Digital Satellite Guide, which will also be offered at the booth. The Amateur Satellite Resource Guide has been updated (thanks to Mike, N1JEZ), and will be available at the Beginner's Forum (08:15 Friday). The latest in AMSAT fashions, featuring T-shirts and caps sporting the AMSAT logo, will also be available at the booth throughout the weekend.

As a new offering this year, AMSAT will be marketing the popular dual band 144/435 Arrow Antenna for the first time at the booth. This is the antenna that many amateurs are using to work through AO-27 using only their dual band handhelds. Both the basic antenna and the 10-watt internal duplexer will be available, but supplies of each will be limited. AMSAT will be handling the Arrow antenna at the Hamvention only, it will not be available from AMSAT-NA following the 1998 Hamvention.

Other new items at this year's booth include copies of K2UBC's The Radio Amateur's Satellite Handbook (released in February, 1998) and copies of Rick Fleeter's Micro Space Craft book which discusses all facets of micro-satellite design and operation.

The AMSAT booth itself will feature a number of interesting displays, including a computer demo 'replay' of the APRS/MIR experiment by Bob Bruninga, WB4APR. In addition, Terry Douds, WB8CKI, will be showing a continuous loop video highlighting recent activities at the Phase 3D Integration Lab in Florida.

Those wishing to participate in AMSAT-NA's recently announced Fly Your QSL in Space campaign will have an opportunity to do so by dropping off their QSL's (and donations to Phase 3-D) at this year's AMSAT Hamvention booth. Be sure to bring a copy of your QSL along with you to Dayton for this purpose. More information about this campaign can be obtained on the AMSAT-NA web page at http://www.amsat.org.

Due to internal Hamvention scheduling pressures, AMSAT's forum times and venues have been significantly changed this year. The first AMSAT forum will run from 08:15 to 10:15 on Friday morning in Forum Room 3. This presentation will include a beginner's forum, SAREX/ISS update and a Phase 3-D team panel discussion. Another AMSAT forum will be held on Sunday morning from 08:15 to 09:30 in Forum Room 1. This forum will also include a brief update of the Phase 3-D integration activities, along with a presentation on how to get ready to use the microwave bands via Phase 3-D.

Don't forget the AMSAT dinner scheduled for Friday evening, May 15th, at the Amber Rose Restaurant in old North Dayton. This is the same venue as last year's dinner, and cost (including tax and tip), will also be the same as last year. Seating is limited, so please register (quickly!) with Ed Collins, N8NUY, at edcollins@worldnet.att.net. Ed also asks that those who have pre-registered to please reconfirm your intent to attend the dinner by speaking with him at the AMSAT booth before 3 PM on Friday.

This year's Saturday evening Hamvention Banquet will feature internationally known country singer Ronnie Milsap, WB4KCG, as both the banquet speaker and the evening's main entertainment. This event will be held at Wright State University's Nutter Center in Fairborn. At the banquet, AMSAT-NA member Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, will be recognized as the recipient of the Dayton Amateur Radio Association's Technical Merit Award.

All in all, 1998 is shaping up to be another banner year for AMSAT at Dayton, and the annual three day event promises to be as exciting as ever. Your AMSAT leaders are looking forward to seeing many of you there!

More information about the 1998 Dayton Hamvention can be found at www.hamvention.org.

[ANS thanks Barry Baines, WD4ASW, and Keith Baker, KB1SF, for this information]

W9ODI Silent Key

ANS is saddened to report that Charles (Chuck) Parmelee, W9ODI, became a silent key on May 4, 1998. Chuck had serious surgery last December but had made good progress until about a week ago. Upon hearing the news, AMSAT Vice President Keith Baker, KB1SF, told ANS "this is indeed a sad day."

W9ODI was a long time supporter of AMSAT and was very active on both the digital and analog satellites, especially FO-20 and FO-29. Mike, N1JEZ, and Dan, NN0DJ, were especially sorrowful to hear about Chuck, as both Mike and Dan held regular, 'late night' QSO's with Chuck.

The funeral was help May 7th in Mundelein, Illinois. W9ODI is survived by his wife Evelyn and son Dan. They would be happy to receive cards or notes about Chuck at the W9ODI call book address or via e-mail at
dparmelee@midwest.idsonline.com

Charles (Chuck) Parmelee, W9ODI, will be sadly missed by his many amateur radio friends.

[ANS thanks Ron long, W8GUS and Keith Baker, KB1SF, for this information]

Mir School Contacts Continue

With only a short time before US astronaut Andy Thomas returns to Earth from the Russian Mir space station, efforts are under way to schedule as many Mir-school contacts as possible.

In a related story, NASA recently reported the space shuttle Discovery will be five days late for its Mir docking. U.S. space agency officials decided to delay the launch of Discovery according to Kennedy Space Center spokesman Joel Wells. "We have a very tight schedule and it was decided to allow some extra time," he said.

On tap for this month (so far) are Mir amateur radio contacts with schools in New Hampshire, South Africa, Texas, Tennessee, and possibly, Connecticut. The South African contact will occur during the Africa Telecom 98 conference, demonstrating how amateur radio on Mir -- and eventually aboard the International Space Station -- will benefit education. Attempts also are being made to firm up contact schedules with school groups in Australia. Thomas holds the special call sign, VK5MIR.

Thomas has been especially active in recent months catching up on the backlog of school contacts, which were halted after serious technical problems cropped up aboard Mir in 1997. He has also managed a few casual contacts.

Nearly all of the activity has been on 70 cm.

[ANS thanks NASA, SpaceNews, the ARRL and SAREX for this information]

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

Mir

SAFEX II 70cm Repeater
Uplink 435.750 MHz FM with subaudible tone 141.3 Hz
Downlink 437.950 MHz FM
Semi-operational
 
SAFEX II 70cm QSO Mode
Uplink 435.725 MHz FM with subaudible tone 151.4 Hz
Downlink 437.925 MHz FM
Semi-operational.
 
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.

Paul, K5VAS, reports a voice (FM) contact with Andy Thomas from his mobile recently on 145.985 MHz. Brent Stuart, ZL4TX, made his first digital Mir contact using a 5 watt VHF handheld and a Baycom TNC.

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

RS-12

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

Operational, mode KA.

RS-15

Uplink 145.858 to 145.898 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 29.354 to 29.394 MHz CW/SSB
Semi-operational.

A listing on the 'DX Summit' web site showed RS-15 DX activity recently from F6IXC, OE3JIS and 9A3ST.

RS-16

The 435 MHz beacon is 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

AO-10

Uplink 435.030 to 435.180 MHz CW/LSB
Downlink 145.975 to 145.825 MHz CW/USB
Semi-operational.

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.

Scott, VE6ITV, reports working N9NJY and W3JUZ recently on SSB with 5X5 signals and some fading.

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

http://www.cstone.net/~w4sm/AO-10.html

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

AO-27

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]

FO-20

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 his FO-20 status reports]

FO-29

Voice/CW Mode JA
Uplink 145.900 to 146.000 MHz CW/LSB
Downlink 435.800 to 435.900 MHz CW/USB
Operational.
 
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.]

KO-23

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]

KO-25

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]

OSCAR-11

Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 baud PSK
Beacon 2401.500 MHz

Operational.

The 145.826 MHz beacon is active.

The 435.025 MHz beacon is normally off.

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: g3cwv@amsat.org.

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

AMSAT-OSCAR-16 (PACSAT)

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 Sun May 03 22:16:23 1998 uptime is 1323/16:45:06.
Baseplt Temp 0.603 D     RC PSK BP Temp -4.842 D     
RC PSK HPA Tmp -5.448 D +Y Array Temp -26.021 D     
PSK TX HPA Tmp -5.448 D +Z Array Temp -18.760 D    
RC PSK TX Out 0.286 W (*)    
    
Total Array C= 0.368 Bat Ch Cur= 0.081 Ifb=-0.054 I+10V= 0.321
TX:0109 BCR:79 PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC:3E

General information and telemetry WOD files can be found at http://www.arrakis.es/~ea1bcu/wod.htm

[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]

WEBERSAT (WO-18)

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.]

LUSAT-OSCAR-19

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 Sun May 03 11:44:07 1998 uptime is 1047/21:38:57
+X (RX) Temp 0.692 D     RX Temp -0.430 D    
RC PSK BP Temp 2.935 D RC PSK HPA Tmp 4.057 D    
+Y Array Temp -2.674 D PSK TX HPA Tmp 2.374 D    
+Z Array Temp 3.496 D RC PSK TX Out 0.881 W    
Total Array C= 0.134 Bat Ch Cur=-0.015 Ifb= 0.050 I+10V= 0.164
TX:019 BCR:7E PWRC:36E BT:3C WC: 0

General information and telemetry samples can be found at:

http://www.arrakis.es/~ea1bcu/lo19.htm.

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

UO-22

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.]

IO-26 (ITAMSAT)

Uplink 145.875, 145.900, 145.925, 145.950 MHz FM
Downlink 435.822 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK

Operational.

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 ans-editor@amsat.org, or to ANS Editor Dan James, NN0DJ, at nn0dj@amsat.org.]

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This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT News Service Editor Dan James, NN0DJ, nn0dj@amsat.org.

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