August 9, 1998

Latest Bulletins
Last Week's Bulletins
1998 Bulletins
These Bulletins in plain text format
Subscribe to bulletins by e-mail
Submit your News for ANS

TMSAT-1 and TechSat-1B Status

Amateurs radio's two newest satellites, TMSAT-1 and TechSat-1B, are doing very well after reaching one full month in space following a successful (joint) launch from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome last July.

Both satellites are still undergoing initial loading of flight software.

Chris Jackson, G7UPN / ZL2TPO, tells ANS that TMSAT commissioning is proceeding rather slowly due to a number of reasons. Jackson says ground control stations have been operating the downlink transmitter only over certain parts of the globe, mainly Bangkok and Surrey. The satellite is also performing a number of new tasks that have not previously been used before, and this is taking some time to get fully operational in orbit.

On Friday, August 7th the TMSAT gravity gradient boom was deployed following a command from HS0AM, the Bangkok control station. Telemetry data from the deployment showed that the 6.2-meter boom deployed perfectly with less than 1.5 degrees of oscillation from vertical.

Currently, the attitude will continue to be improved and testing of the spacecraft payloads will commence.

Shlomo Menuhin, 4X1AS reports TechSat-1B is also responding well to ground control commands. 4X1AS tells ANS the satellite recently took its first picture from space, centered over the French Riviera near San Tropez. The image is available for viewing on the worldwide web using the following URL:

Both satellites are expected to be available for general amateur use shortly.

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

TMSAT and TechSat Receive OSCAR Numbers

Responding to a question from Keith Baker, KB1SF, Executive Vice President of AMSAT-NA, both the TMSAT and TECHSAT teams have answered they wished OSCAR numbers to help designate their new spacecraft. KB1SF also passed along congratulations from all AMSAT-NA members to both teams on their outstanding success.

The assignment of consecutive OSCAR numbers to new Amateur Radio spacecraft is a tradition that dates from the launch of the very first Amateur Radio Satellite -- OSCAR 1. In order for an OSCAR number to be assigned, the satellite must successfully achieve orbit and one or more transmitters must be successfully activated in the Amateur Radio bands. Then, the builders/owners of the satellite must formally request that a consecutive OSCAR number be assigned to their satellite once the first two requirements are accomplished.

Speaking for the TMSAT team, Chris Jackson G7UPN / ZL2TPO, said that "I have spoken with our Thai colleagues and they are happy for TMSAT to be named TMSAT-OSCAR-31."

Likewise, Shlomo Menuhin, 4X1AS, speaking on behalf of the TECHSAT team said "we at the TECHSAT project agree to all the terms and would be glad if the TECHSAT-1A will have the OSCAR number GO-32. The letter G stands for GURWIN."

KB1SF has informed ANS that, in the light of this information, it is now appropriate to refer to the two new amateur satellites as 'TMSAT-OSCAR-31' (or simply TO-31') and 'GURWIN-OSCAR-32' (or simply 'GO-32') respectively.

[ANS thanks Keith Baker, KB1SF, AMSAT-NA Executive Vice President, for the information that went into this bulletin]

16th AMSAT-NA Annual Meeting and Space Symposium

ANS is pleased to report the registration form and agenda for the upcoming AMSAT-NA Annual Meeting and Space Symposium is now available on the worldwide web. Point your browser to the following URL:

This site is also linked with the AMSAT-NA page.

The symposium will be held October 16-18, 1998 at the Battlefield Inn in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Presentations will be given on a diverse range of amateur radio satellite topics including:

Other (numerous) activities are planned during the symposium including sessions devoted to Phase 3D and an introduction to amateur radio satellites. This beginner's session on amateur radio satellites will be held on Friday evening and will be open to participation by the general public.

Many diverse activities are planned for the Saturday evening banquet including the traditional prize drawing.

The featured guest speaker for the banquet will be ARRL Vice President, Joel Harrison, W5ZN.

An AMSAT Area Coordinator breakfast is scheduled for Sunday morning. Later that morning, all participants can take a field trip to the US Army Engineers Waterways Experiment Station.

The following options are available for traveling between the Jackson International Airport (JAN) and the Battlefield Inn in Vicksburg:

1) The Battlefield Inn has established the following scheduled shuttle runs:

Jackson International Airport to Battlefield Inn:

Battlefield Inn to Jackson International Airport:

The fare is $9.00 per person each way and is payable during check-in to the Battlefield Inn.

2) The Gofer Girls (601-634-2574) provide airport transportation between Jackson and Vicksburg on an as-needed basis. The fare is $18.00 each way.

3) A variety of rental car agencies (Avis, Hertz, Budget, etc.) provide rental service from the Jackson International Airport. The rental cost will vary.

The Jackson Amateur Radio Club will host an AMSAT Welcome Table at the Jackson International Airport on Thursday and Friday to help assist with transportation needs.

The deadline for early-bird registration is September 15, 1998. For additional information about the annual meeting and symposium contact Eddie Pettis, N5JGK at:

The entire gang in Vicksburg says "see ya'all this October! "

[ANS thanks Eddie Pettis, N5JGK and the entire Symposium Working Group for their hard work and dedication]

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 . TMSAT . TechSat-1B


SAFEX II 70cm Repeater
Uplink 435.750 MHz FM with subaudible tone 141.3 Hz
Downlink 437.950 MHz FM

Mike, N1JEZ reports the MIR/SAFEX repeater has been active recently.

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.

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]


Uplink 145.910 to 145.950 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 29.410 to 29.450 MHz CW/SSB
Operational, mode KA.

RS-12 continues to be the most popular of the current RS 'easy sat' series.


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

The RS-15 TLM beacon has apparently started working again, although intermittently.


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

Stacey Mills, W4SM reports another sleep phase appears to be beginning. "I suspect that the rotational speed is so slow as to be incapable of holding a stable attitude heading. Hence, we may be entering a time of chaotic useful periods and sleep periods which cannot be predicted.

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 and the Hawaiian amateurs for the FO-20 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 error investigation continues. The JARL command recently issued two statements:

1) FO-29 will be stay still in mode JA because the frequency investigation of the OBC bit errors. The command team would like reports from radio amateurs who can receive the value of TLM channel 5. The information is the fifth item after HI HI on CW. The normal value of channel 5 is '00'.

Reports should be sent to

2) FO-29 will be in 'full illumination' (always illuminated from the Sun) starting in mid-August. The operation mode may be changed in part due to anticipated temperature rise of the satellite.

A new statement will be released from the JARL on August 17th.

[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

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

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 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 Aug 01 12:00:48 1998 uptime is 1413/06:28:01
BCR Set Point  130.254 C  BCR Load Cur     0.328 A	
BCR Input Cur     0.403 A   BCR Output Cur   0.345 A	
Bat 2 Temp          1.209 D   Baseplt Temp      0.603 D	
RC PSK TX Out       0.457  W  RC PSK BP Temp   3.629 D	
RC PSK HPA Tmp   3.629   D  +Y  Array Temp       0.603 D	
PSK TX HPA Tmp   1.814    D  +Z Array Temp      10.285 D	
Total Array C= 0.358 Bat Ch Cur= 0.017 Ifb= 0.045 I+10V= 0.283
TX:010B BCR:86 PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC:49

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. 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
Currently non-operational.

Miguel Menendez, EA1BCU reports LUSAT/Oscar 19 apparently has stopped transmitting. Ground control station LU8DYF is attempting to regain control. No additional information is available at this time.

[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.


Downlink 436.923 MHz

The TMSAT-1 micro-satellite was successfully launched from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 10, 1998. The satellite is still undergoing initial loading of flight software. The satellite is expected to be available for general amateur use shortly.

Stations that can capture telemetry from the satellite are asked to send a report to:

A brief overview of the TMSAT satellite and commissioning plan is available at the following URL:

[ANS thanks Chris Jackson, G7UPN/ZL2TPO, for this report]

TechSat-1B GO-32

Downlink 435.325 435.225 MHz
HDLC telemetry framed so a TNC in KISS mode will decode it

The TechSat-1B micro-satellite was successfully launched from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 10, 1998 and has now completed its first full week in space. The satellite is still undergoing initial loading of flight software. The satellite is expected to be available for general amateur use shortly.

The satellite does not have a continuous beacon, but does transmit a 9600-baud burst every 30 seconds (for about 3 seconds in length), currently on 435.225 MHz.

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:

[ANS thanks Shlomo Menuhin, 4X1AS for this information]

[Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to the ANS Editors at, or to ANS Editor Dan James, NN0DJ, at]

Return to top

This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT News Service Editor Dan James, NN0DJ,