July 5, 1998

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Field Day '98 A Success

The recent ARRL Field Day provided many amateurs with their first satellite contacts. Both experienced satellite operators and newcomers alike populated all of the North American satellite passes during the League event held last weekend.

Kevin, AC5DK reported RS-12 was very busy with activity. Greg, N0ZHE endured hot and windy conditions at his Field Day site in Kansas while working stations on several satellites, including AO-10.

"AO-10 was great," reported Andy, W5ACM. "The satellite worked amazingly well. FO-20 and FO-29 provided many contacts and AO-27 was very entertaining." John, N2HMM agreed, adding, "Field Day was great this year, I was especially surprised in RS-15, its downlink was much stronger than usual."

Bidding "aloha" during FD '98 was Ted, NH6YK, operating as AH6PB on the north shore of Oahu, about 100 meters from the ocean. Bruce, N3LSY reports he managed to make a number of contacts on AO-10 despite misgivings about the condition and distance of the satellite. He reports being "very surprised" about how well the satellite worked during the event.

ANS reminds stations to send any AMSAT Field Day results, photos, and a short write-up to Andy, W5ACM, using his e-mail address:

Andy will assemble the results in an article for the Sep/Oct issue of The AMSAT-NA Journal.

[AMSAT-NA thanks all stations that were active on the satellites during Field Day]

AMSAT-UK Colloquium Schedule

The AMSAT-UK 13th Annual Colloquium at the University of Surrey will soon be underway. Richard Limebear, G3RWL tells ANS the program has now been formalized for the July 31st to August 2nd event.

Scheduled highlights for the first day include the official opening remarks by Martin Sweeting, G3YJO, Professor of Satellite Engineering and Chairman of AMSAT-UK. AMSAT-NA's President, Bill Tynan, W3XO will discuss 'What's Next in Amateur Radio Satellites', followed by 'Future SAREX Plans' with Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT-NA Vice President/Manned Space Program. 'Satellites in Education, The Riverside Applied Learning Center Young Astronauts Fair' will be presented by Keith Pugh, W5IU, AMSAT-NA VP/Operations.

G3RWL will get things underway on Saturday, August 1st with morning remarks, followed with the opening address by Ian Kyle, GI8AYZ, RSGB President. The morning lecture is by US astronaut Don Thomas, KC5FVF.

Phase 3D subjects will begin Session 2. Ron Broadbent, G3AAJ, Peter Guelzow, DB2OS, Werner Hass, DJ5KQ, Freddy de Guchteneire, ON6UG and Matjaz Vidmar, S53MV will discuss the current status of the satellite and the P3D project. This will be an important session in lieu of the recent announcement of the P3D launch delay.

On Sunday, August 2nd, Ray Soifer W2RS, AMSAT-NA VP/International Affairs will chair the 'IARU International Forum'. This will be followed by the 'International Space Station Forum' presented by KA3HDO. Arizona State University will be represented by Assi Friedman, KK7KX, who will present an overview of the ASUSat-1 amateur radio satellite.

This bulletin lists only a few of the many presentations and sessions that will be held. For a complete listing of the AMSAT-UK 13th Annual Colloquium schedule, point your web browser to:

[ANS thanks Richard Limebear, G3RWL for this information]

Mir Retirement

Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT-NA Vice President for Manned Space Programs told ANS that the Russian Space Agency has formally announced they plan to retire the Mir space station next June, six months earlier than expected. The decision is in recognition of the government's financial woes, according to Russian space officials.

The decision to bring forward Mir's demise from December 1999 was made at a meeting between Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, Space Agency Director Yuri Koptev and Yury Semyonov, head of the Energiya Rocket Corporation, which owns Mir.

Boris Ostroumov, the Russian Space Agency's deputy director said safety was also a factor in the early end to Mir. "The station's guarantee was for three years and it has flown more than 12 years with many repairs and breakdowns -- and something worse than a breakdown could happen -- so we must think of safety above all,'' he said.

Russian officials said a French and Slovak would be among the last cosmonauts currently scheduled to visit Mir on short missions.

[ANS thanks Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT VP for Manned Space Programs and the Reuters News Service for this information]

Digital Communications Conference

It's time again to mark your calendar for the upcoming 17th Annual ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference, to be held September 25 to 27, 1998 at the Holiday Inn Rolling Meadows, Chicago, Illinois. The location is just minutes from O'Hare Airport. This is the third year in which the ARRL Digital Communications Conference and TAPR Annual General Meeting are being joined into one event.

The Conference is an international forum for radio amateurs in digital communications, networking and related technologies, to meet, publish their work and present new ideas and techniques for discussion.

Scheduled seminars will explore the digital world including the RUDAK digital communications system scheduled to fly on Phase 3D. Lyle Johnson, WA7GXD will discuss RUDAK features, systems design, integration, and planned experiments. The goal of the presentation is to zero in on the communications capabilities of RUDAK, the performance to be expected from the PSK system and the limitations and capacities of the DSP modems. Lyle will also explain user requirements for receiving and transmitting to RUDAK and how amateurs can prepare to make ground operations a reality once the satellite is in operation. Information on how to submit a proposal for experimental time on RUDAK will also be presented.

Anyone interested in digital communications is invited to submit a paper for publication in the Conference Proceedings. Presentation at the conference is not required for publication. The primary purpose of the conference is to communicate ideas and techniques regarding digital communications. Papers written in an informal style are welcome, as well as those written to academic standards. Papers are due by August 15, 1998, and should be submitted to:

   Attn: Maty Weinberg
   225 Main Street
   Newington, Connecticut 06111

or via e-mail to

The 1998 ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference will be co-hosted by the Chicago Amateur Packet Radio Association and by the Packet Radio User Group of Japan. Full information on the conference, registration, paper submission guidelines and hotel information can be obtained by pointing your browser to:

[ANS thanks TAPR and the ARRL for this information]

FCC Proposes 5.9 GHz Allocation

The FCC recently proposed allocating 5.850 to 5.925 GHz for use by intelligent transportation systems (ITS). Possible ITS applications include automated roadside safety inspection, incident management operations, traffic control, and en-route driver information systems.

The Amateur Service has a secondary allocation at 5.650 to 5.925 GHz with government radar systems and non-government fixed satellite service uplinks. Under the proposal, dedicated short-range communications highway safety systems would share the band as co-primary users.

ITS America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting ITS, has been working with the ARRL and others to develop a sharing plan. The League has said it is prepared to work with ITS entities to resolve spectrum-sharing issues. The FCC said interference problems that might crop up could be resolved by changing the frequency of the amateur operation, by power reduction, or by using directional antennas.

The FCC is seeking comments on the need for nationwide operational standards and channelization, and on the potential for operations to share with other services. Comments on ET Docket 98-95 is due 75 days after publication in the Federal Register. The complete NPRM is available on the FCC Web site at the following URL:

[ANS thanks the ARRL for this information]

ANS in Brief

ANS news in brief this week includes the following:

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
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

The current crew onboard Mir are Talgat Musabayev and Nikolai Budarin. They speak and read Russian only. Any messages addressed as personal to R0MIR will not be understood unless it is in Russian. MIREX is again allowing R0MIR-1 for store and forward message traffic.

The PBBS is running a Kantronics KPC-9612 + V.8.1 TNC. The commands are similar to most PBBS and BBS systems.

[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.


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

RS-15 has apparently lost its TLM beacon.


The 435 MHz beacon (only) is operational. Attempts to command the Mode A transponder on have been unsuccessful.


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

This 15-year-old satellite continues to perform very well. Mike, N1JEZ reports a recent contact with Sergei, RZ4HWF.

Stacey Mills, W4SM, has more information about the satellite at 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

AO-27 TEPR States are currently:
4 = 36 = 18 Minutes
5 = 72 = 36 Minutes

This means AO-27's transmitter turns on 18 minutes after entering the Sun and stays on for 18 minutes. AO-27's transmitter is turned off at all other times during the orbit. N4USI reminds stations that this happens on every orbit, approximately 14.2 times a day. The current TEPR settings will cause the satellite to be on during the daytime at northern latitudes.

[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

FO-20 in mode JA continuously.

[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, JJ1WTK, tells ANS that OBC bit errors were again detected and the on-board computer reset. Investigation of bit error frequency continues.

The FO-29 command station is now asking for reports from radio amateurs who can confirm the value of channel 2A, the 5th item transmitted in CW after 'HI HI'. The normal value of channel 2A is '00'. Reports will be appreciated (in e-mail) addressed to:

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


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

The telemetry is nominal.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC for this report]


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

The telemetry is nominal.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC for this report]


Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 baud PSK
Beacon 2401.500 MHz

Beacon reception reports should be sent to:

In response to many requests for information about methods of decoding OSCAR-11 signals, a package of hardware information has been added to the satellite web site. The site also contains some software for capturing data, decoding ASCII telemetry and WOD information. The URL is

[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 AO-16 command team has authorized an APRS experiment on AO-16 to explore the use of the 1200-baud PACSAT for APRS position/status reporting. The test periods will run each Tuesday from 0000 to 2359 UTC.

The telemetry is nominal.

Time is Fri Jul 03 22:28:01 1998 uptime is 1384/16:55:14
+X (RX) Temp   -12.104 D / RX Temp         -0.607 D	
Bat 1 Temp          1.209 D  /Bat 2 Temp       1.209 D  	
Baseplt Temp    -0.002 D / RC PSK BP Temp  -6.053 D	
RC PSK HPA Tmp  -5.448 D / +Y Array Temp  -26.021 D	
PSK TX HPA Tmp  -6.658 D / +Z Array Temp  -19.365 D	
RC PSK TX Out    0.298 W	
Total Array C= 0.306 Bat Ch Cur= 0.063 Ifb= 0.008 I+10V= 0.259
TX:0109 BCR:77 PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC: D

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 reported to be working on the problem. No additional information is available at this time.


Downlink 437.104 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK AX.25
Currently non-operational.

WO-18 is in MBL mode after a software crash. No additional information is available at this time.


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 Fri Jul 03 23:01:43 1998 uptime is 1109/08:56:33
+X (RX) Temp   -12.209 D  //RX Temp         -2.113 D	
Bat 1 Temp         -0.991 D  //Bat 2 Temp      -0.991 D  	
Baseplt Temp       -0.991 D  //RC PSK BP Temp  -6.039 D  	
RC PSK HPA Tmp   -7.161 D  //+Y Array Temp  -20.623 D  	
PSK TX HPA Tmp    -6.600 D  //+Z Array Temp  -17.818 D	
RC PSK TX Out    0.495 W	
Total Array C= 0.011 Bat Ch Cur=-0.242 Ifb= 0.164 I+10V= 0.088
TX:016 BCR:1E 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

More information on the satellite is available at the following URL:

[ANS thanks Chris Jackson, G7UPN/ZL2TPO, 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 reported as being downloaded on 435.822 MHz at 1200 baud PSK. No additional information is available at this time.

[Please send any amateur satellite news or 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,