AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

September 13, 1998

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AMSAT Early Registration

Russ, K5NRK, reminds ANS that early registration for the upcoming 16th Annual AMSAT Meeting and Space Symposium ends September 15th. The early registration fee is just $25.00 (versus $30.00 after 9/15/98).

Registration forms can be obtained via the symposium web site at the following URL:

http://pages.prodigy.com/DXHF93A

Registration forms are also available in the July/August issue of the AMSAT Journal.

K5NRK says participants may fax registration forms to the AMSAT-NA office (+1 (301) 608-3410) or call the office directly with the information (+1 (301) 589-6062).

Those who register early will be eligible for a free night's stay at Harrah's Hotel and Casino in Vicksburg. The drawing for this prize will take place September 21st, with the winner announced by ANS.

K5NRK says "see yawl in Vicksburg!"

[ANS thanks Russ Tillman, K5NRK, for this information]

TMSAT-1 Commissioning Almost Complete

Chris Jackson, G7UPN / ZL2TPO, tells ANS that TMSAT-1 commissioning has largely been completed and the satellite is in very good shape. Jackson and his team are presently concentrating on testing and calibration of TMSAT-1's multispectral imaging system, reporting a number of very good image sets have been downloaded from the satellite.

G7UPN reports that shortly after launch, an anomaly was observed with the satellite's downlink transmitter, causing the ground operations team to take a cautious attitude to operations. Jackson says the downlink power periodically drops to approximately less than one watt. At the same time a corresponding increase in reverse voltage is noted. Ground control stations are not certain as to the cause of this condition and tests are continuing to try and find an answer to the problem. Jackson says that for this reason "we are presently operating the transmitter only over the command stations in Bangkok, Thailand and Surrey, England. This will probably continue for another few weeks."

G7UPN says if all goes well, ground control stations expect to operate the transmitter for extended periods, adding, "this will allow amateur operators in other locations to receive data from TMSAT, and at this time we also hope to open the BBS for general use by amateurs."

Open BBS operation will allow most licensed amateur radio operators, with the correct equipment, to upload and download data from the satellite. Jackson says due to the large size and high quality of the images on TMSAT, he hopes that the majority of activity on the satellite will concentrate on downloading the available high quality images, such as a recent multispectral image taken of the San Francisco Bay area.

Image sets from TMSAT-1 are being posted to the web, point your browser to the following URL:

http://www.ee.surrey.ac.uk/EE/CSER/UOSAT/amateur/tmsat/index.html

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

LMCC Backing Away From 70 Centimeters

According to the ARRL, an official of the American Automobile Association (AAA) says the Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) is backing away from its request that the FCC reallocate 420 to 430 MHz and 440 to 450 MHz from the federal government to the Private Mobile Radio Service.

A recent letter by the AAA's Gary Ruark said that strong support for ham radio from the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration has caused the LMCC to back off its demand to reallocate the 70-cm subbands it had requested last spring. Because of this, Ruark said, "it is doubtful that the FCC would ever agree to that portion of the LMCC petition addressing sharing frequencies with amateur radio operators."

Last June, AAA asked the LMCC to file supplemental comments with the FCC to withdraw the request to share the 70-cm band with Amateur Radio. AAA is an LMCC member.

A copy of Ruark's letter is available on the ARRLWeb page, at http://www.arrl.org.

[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 . TO-31 . GO-32

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

Some frequency changes concerning the PMS system have been reported to ANS recently. No official announcement of any frequency change has been received from MIREX. ANS regards any Mir frequency change as 'temporary' unless an official announcement is received from MIREX.

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
Uplink 21.210 to 21.250 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 29.410 to 29.450 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 145.910 to 145.950 MHz CW/SSB
Beacon 29.408 MHz
Robot Uplink 21.129 MHz, Downlink 29.454 MHz
Operational, mode KT.

Ray, W2RS, reports receiving the following about RS-12 via packet from G3IOR:

"I had communications with Andy, RK3KPK. He tells me that the Aero-Cosmic Laboratory is no more and that RS-12 command is now in the hands of Alex Papkov, in Kaluga City, Russia."

Jerry, K5OE, did some on-air tests of the two RS-12 downlinks and reports the 2-meter downlink is as good or better than 10 meters. K5OE reports the 2m downlink has better overall quality but is subject to some minor QSB and more doppler correction. Many stations have reported strong 2-meter downlink signals from the satellite in mode KT.

RS-15

Uplink 145.858 to 145.898 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 29.354 to 29.394 MHz CW/SSB
Beacon 29.352 MHz (intermittent)
Semi-operational, Mode A.

Jerry, K5OE, reports often hearing K6YK on RS-15. K5OE also says the beacon has been off lately and he was able to work KB8VAO on voice, giving him a 5x7 report with the bird at about 40 degrees elevation.

AO-10

Uplink 435.030 to 435.180 MHz CW/LSB
Downlink 145.975 to 145.825 MHz CW/USB
Beacon 145.810 MHz (unmodulated carrier)
Semi-operational, currently in "sleep" mode.

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:

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]

JAS-1b 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 and the Hawaiian amateurs for the FO-20 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 error investigation continues and the satellite will remain in voice mode. FO-29 has entered a period of 'full illumination' by the Sun. This illumination period will extend through the end of December.

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

KITSAT KO-23

Uplink 145.850, 145.900 MHz FM
Downlink 435.175 MHz FM, 9600 Baud FSK
Semi-operational.

Jim, AA7KC, reports KO-23 is semi-operational with downlink efficiencies below 20% over the last week. No additional information on the cause of the reduced downlink efficiency is available at this time

[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.

The satellite is operating well, with downlink efficiencies greater than 90%.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC 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]

OSCAR-11

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

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/

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 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 Sep 12 11:31:25 1998 uptime is 1455/05:57:12
BCR Input Cur      0.495 A    BCR Output Cur   0.394 A	
Bat 1 Temp           1.814 D    Bat 2 Temp          1.814 D  	
Baseplt Temp       4.839 D   +Y Array Temp      3.024 D  	
PSK TX HPA Tmp 1.209 D  +Z Array Temp      2.419 D	
RC PSK TX Out    0.472 W  	
Total Array C= 0.473 Bat Ch Cur= 0.073 Ifb= 0.022 I+10V= 0.298
TX:010B BCR:84 PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC:1D

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.]

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
Currently semi-operational.

Miguel Menendez, EA1BCU, reports LUSAT/Oscar-19 ground control station LU8DYF has succeeded in regaining control of the satellite. Downlink signals show good modulation with an ASCII message containing the following text:

July 31 - 1998. No BBS service. On Board Computer reload in progress.
Digipeater active. Thank you - Norberto - LU8DYF.

EA1BCU reminds operators the digipeater mode is "a very interesting option to make contacts with other stations, or to be connected with your own station to evaluate the on-line the state of your installation."

Dirk, ON1DLL, recently experimented with a voice packet program by connecting to himself and sending a compressed wav-file. He reports the experiment worked quite well.

Telemetry is as follows:

Time is Sat Sep 12 12:00:07 1998 uptime is 042/22:22:31
Baseplt Temp          1.252 D   RC PSK TX Out       0.659 W	
RC PSK BP Temp  -2.113 D   RC PSK HPA Tmp   -0.991 D	
+Y Array Temp        2.935 D   PSK TX HPA Tmp    -0.430 D  	
+Z Array Temp       -0.991 D	
Total Array C= 0.275 Bat Ch Cur= 0.090 Ifb= 0.019 I+10V= 0.145
TX:017 BCR:8A PWRC:62D BT:3C WC: 0

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

ITAMSAT IO-26

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 received on 435.822 MHz at 1200 baud PSK. No additional information is available at this time.

TMSAT-1 TO-31

Downlink 436.923 MHz

The TMSAT-1 micro-satellite was successfully launched from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 10, 1998. Chris Jackson, G7UPN, says TMSAT-1 commissioning has largely been completed and the satellite is in very good shape. Jackson and his team are presently concentrating on testing and calibration of TMSAT-1's multispectral imaging system, reporting a number of very good image sets have been downloaded from the satellite. The satellite is expected to be available for general amateur use shortly.

[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 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:

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

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

The following satellites are non-operational at this time:

RS-16

Attempts to command the Mode A transponder have been unsuccessful. The 435 MHz beacon (only) is operational. The RS-16 transponder is non-operational. No additional information is available at this time.

DO-17 (DOVE)

Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 Baud AFSK
Beacon 2401.220 MHz
Non-operational.

The 145.825 MHz and 2401.220 MHz downlinks are off the air. No additional information is available at this time.

WEBERSAT (WO-18)

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

WO-18 is reported to be in MBL mode after a software crash. 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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