AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

July 19, 1998

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New Satellites Doing Fine

After one week in space, ANS is pleased to report the two newest Amateur Radio digital satellites -- TMSAT-1 and TechSat-1B -- are responding very well to flight commands from ground control stations. The two micro-satellites were successfully launched from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 10th.

Chris Jackson, G7UPN/ZL2TPO tells ANS the initial part of the flight software is now running on TMSAT, and the on board computer system has been switched to the downlink. "Users familiar with the current digital satellites will now be able to observe TMSAT data using standard ground station software," said Jackson.

G7UPN further reports "the satellite callsign is TMSAT1, transmitting on 436.923 MHz. Presently it may be 3 kHz high in frequency due to the internal spacecraft temperature being quite cold. In addition, the transmitter is currently only being switched on over Bangkok while we perform some of the commissioning tests." Current output power is approximately 1.7 to 2 watts.

Jackson also stated the official control station for TMSAT would be HS0AM, reporting that he is doing the commanding for the initial commissioning phase of the mission, after which it will be handled by HS0AM.

G7UPN is still requesting that stations please refrain from attempting to uplink to the spacecraft at this time.

TechSat-1B is also responding well to flight commands. Shlomo Menuhin, 4X1AS informs ANS the TECHSAT downlink frequency was recently changed to 435.225 MHz with the satellite transmitting in telemetry mode. The satellite does not have a continuous beacon, but does transmit a 9600-baud burst every 30 seconds (for about 3 seconds in length). Menuhin estimates that it will be several weeks before the initial in-orbit testing is completed. In the meantime TechSat will continue its present burst-mode transmission format.

The Jerusalem Post featured a nice article about the satellite and the launch team, entitled 'Beaming Technion Starts Work On New Satellite'. The story, by David Rudge, may still be available at the following URL:

http://www.jpost.com/News/Article-7.html

The TechSat team has also constructed a new home page about the TechSat bird, and promise they will add more information in the next few weeks. To view the new site, point your web browser to:

http://techsat.internet-zahav.net/

Stations around the world continue to report receiving signals from the two new satellites. At Arizona State University, Assi Friedman, 4X1KX/KK7KX reports TMSAT had a very nice signal and the TechSat frequency change "improved the signal." Rick, KB0VBZ also reports good signals from TechSat in DM79 near Aurora, Colorado. John, LA2QAA monitored a pass of TMSAT-1, reporting a "very strong downlink signal." CT1EAT adds, "for a person who recently joined the digital satellite world, the fact of seeing two new birds come alive is really a unique experience!"

[ANS thanks Chris Jackson, G7UPN / ZL2TPO and Shlomo Menuhin, 4X1AS for this information]

AMSAT-NA Mailing Lists Automated

Paul Williamson, KB5MU, AMSAT-NA Vice President/Electronic Publishing, tells ANS the AMSAT-NA mailing lists have been automated. "This change has numerous advantages and only a few disadvantages," said KB5MU.

The new procedure starts with subscribe or unsubscribe requests, which should now be sent to the following (new) e-mail address:

majordomo@amsat.org

Paul notes you must use the exact syntax the main computer is requesting with this procedure. Subscribe and unsubscribe operations will be very quick. Subscribe operations will also be more secure and new subscribers will now get a welcome message.

A digest service is now available for the discussion mailing lists: AMSAT-BB, AMSAT-DC, AMSAT-NE, and SAREX. This means that instead of getting a bunch of individual messages every day, a subscriber would get only one message each day, containing a list of all the messages from that day. In addition, archives will now be available for the discussion lists. If on vacation, a subscriber could easily catch up by reading the list archives when they returned.

Other advantages include many of the bogus subscribe and unsubscribe messages will be automatically caught before they go out to the entire mailing list, extraordinarily long messages will be caught and reviewed manually, a note on how to unsubscribe will be attached to the bottom of each message and the subject of each message sent to a non-digest list will be prefixed with the name of the list in square brackets. This will make it easier to find messages that came from a particular list. An important change will be posting to the discussion mailing lists -- this will be restricted to subscribers of the list only.

KB5MU also reports that mailing list privacy is still strictly enforced. "There should still be no way for anybody to get a list of who subscribes to any of the mailing lists, in order to circumvent mailing list restrictions," said Williamson.

Future plans include a web-based interface to subscribe and unsubscribe, along with indexing, searching and possibly hypertext retrieval for the mailing list archives.

Paul is very interested in how these new changes have been received. Please send your comments directly to:

kb5mu@amsat.org

[ANS thanks Paul Williamson, KB5MU, AMSAT-NA Vice President/Electronic Publishing for his hard work and dedication to the AMSAT-NA mailing lists]

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

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 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.

WA6LIE reminds all stations that in order to send Personal Mail to other stations you must address it to a valid callsign. Any personal mail addressed to a non-amateur callsign can not be read by anyone and is a waste of TNC memory. WA6LIE asks all stations to please read your TNC manual on how to address messages.

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

MIREX has announced an on going APRS School Days Test. MIREX is allowing schools to use APRS for position and status reports via R0MIR. Non-school stations are asked to refrain from using APRS type transmissions or beacons via R0MIR.

[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.

Dick, N3DV reports working G4CUO on a low elevation pass (7 degrees above the horizon) with an R-7 and a Kenwood TS-950. Dick says G4CUO and G4ZHG are listening intently for stateside hams on both RS-12 and RS-15. Jon, N0JK reports working KG4OX in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba via RS-12 recently.

RS-15

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

The RS-15 TLM beacon has apparently started working again, although intermittently. OZ1MY reports on a recent pass the beacon was on for approximately 10 seconds and then off for the same period, with no modulation noted. John, G7HIA also reports hearing the beacon, adding "the beacon has been off for a few weeks but it seems to be back with short bursts of steady tone, not the regular CW." Ron, N4WYR also reports observing similar beacon conditions.

Mike, N1JEZ reports RS-15 performed well recently. N1JEZ was able to complete 13 QSO's over 4 passes, all voice. Mike says "if you haven't tried RS-15 in a while, give it a shot. You may be pleasantly surprised."

RS-16

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

AO-10

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

DX continues to be heard and worked as good downlink signals are still being received from the satellite. NN0DJ worked CU8AAC while preparing the ANS bulletins. CT1EAT reports Naoki, JE7RJZ will be active from Guam as WH2M, July 24 - 28.

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

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]

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, 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:

lab@jarl.or.jp

[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.

The telemetry is nominal.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC for this report]

KO-25

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

The telemetry is nominal.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC for this report]

OSCAR-11

Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 baud PSK
Beacon 2401.500 MHz
Operational.

A potential problem occurred at the end of June, after a long period of uneventful operation. The status blocks showed that the spin period was steadily increasing. Ground control reset the counters on July 1st, and started a new WOD survey of the magnetometer channels. After three days, the spin period had returned to its nominal value.

During the period June 15th to July 14th reasonable signals have been received from the 145.826 MHz beacon. Telemetry has been nominal. The battery voltage has been low, averaging 13.5 volts, with 13.4 volts observed on several occasions. The internal temperatures have remained constant and are now 1.8C and 0.4C for battery and telemetry electronics respectively.

Reports of Mode-S beacon reception have been received from K9EK, VE7SME and WL7BQM. Beacon reception reports should be sent to: g3cwv@amsat.org.

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 http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/clivew/

[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 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 Sat Jul 18 12:12:40 1998 uptime is 1399/06:39:53
+X (RX) Temp	6.654 D   	RX Temp	-4.842 D	
Array V 	20.413 V   	+5V Bus	4.937 V	
+8.5V Bus    	  9.089 V   	+10V Bus   	11.250 V	
BCR Set Point	31.381 C   	BCR Load Cur    0.328 A	
BCR Input Cur	  0.388 A   	BCR Output Cur 0.330 A	
Bat 1 Temp	  0.603 D   	Bat 2 Temp         0.603 D	
Baseplt Temp   	  0.603 D   	RC PSK TX Out  0.472 W	
RC PSK BP Temp  3.024 D   RC PSK HPA Tmp  3.024 D	
+Y Array Temp      -5.448 D   PSK TX HPA Tmp   1.209 D	
+Z Array Temp      18.151 D	
Total Array C= 0.304 Bat Ch Cur= 0.002 Ifb= 0.085 I+10V= 0.243
TX:010B BCR:87 PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC:33

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

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. No additional information is available at this time.

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 Sat Jul 18 12:41:20 1998 uptime is 1123/22:36:10
+X (RX) Temp  	   -0.430 D  RX Temp	-0.430 D	
BCR Set Point 	123.754 C   BCR Load Cur    0.189 A	
BCR Output Cur    0.110 A   Bat 1 Temp        -0.991 D	
Bat 2 Temp           -0.430 D   Baseplt Temp    -0.991 D	
RC PSK TX Out    0.782 W   RC PSK BP Temp  2.374 D	
RC PSK HPA Tmp 4.057 D   +Y Array Temp      -4.917 D	
PSK TX HPA Tmp  0.692 D   +Z Array Temp       2.374 D	
Total Array C= 0.131 Bat Ch Cur=-0.079 Ifb= 0.047 I+10V= 0.142
TX:017 BCR:38 PWRC:444355 BT:5C WC: A

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.

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

http://www.ee.surrey.ac.uk/EE/CSER/UOSAT/

[ANS thanks Chris Jackson, G7UPN/ZL2TPO, 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
Semi-operational.

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 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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