September 20, 1998

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Leonid Labutin, UA3CR/AB4LZ, SK

AMSAT News Service is saddened to report the death of Leonid 'Leo' Labutin, UA3CR. A major player in the Russian Amateur Radio satellite scene, Labutin died September 10, 1998 at his summer residence near Moscow, reportedly suffering a heart attack. He was 70.

Labutin was directly involved in various RS satellite projects and was a major influence in bringing Amateur Radio into the Russian Mir space station. In addition to his involvement in the RS satellite program, Leo was instrumental in getting AMSAT in contact with the Russian Industrial sources that supplied the fuel tanks now poised for launch inside P3D.

AMSAT-DL's Peter Guelzow, DB2OS, says he worked with Leo on the first Russian/German AO-21/RS-14 project. Guelzow says UA3CR remained active in the amateur satellite field until his death. "I personally lost a good friend and will miss him," Guelzow said.

AMSAT-NA Board member, Tom Clark, W3IWI, warmly remembers UA3CR. "I recall Leo's enthusiasm for taking Amateur Radio to obscure places all around the world. I worked him on an RS satellite from a location in the Arctic Ocean, giving me a very rare Low-Earth-Orbit satellite Worked All Continent award. Leo personally delivered the QSL card to me when we later met in Ottawa to plan cooperative activities for one of the trans-Polar ski treks."

W3IWI visited Leo and his family in Moscow in 1991. "Leo made a special trip home from Siberia to see me. He and his son gave me the tour of the local club facility. After a tour of the club and some off-the-beaten-path places in the Arbat, we returned for a very Russian celebration between friends. Leo's wisdom and enthusiasm left me with many fond memories spanning years of friendship. I will cherish them forever."

Well known satellite author, Martin Davidoff, K2UBC, recalls that in the late 70's Leo wrote a series of articles -- in the Soviet magazine RADIO -- concerning experiments with a linear transponder on the roof of a Moscow apartment building. "Reading between the lines it was clear that a group in Russia was working on an amateur satellite project. Over the next decade I sent him copies of many of my articles and was pleased to watch the birth of the RS program," said Davidoff. In early November, 1988, K2UBC received a call saying that Leo had obtained permission to attend the AMSAT Annual Space Symposium and could Martin pick him up when his Aeroflot flight landed. "Needless to say," said Martin, "I responded yes! -- and even though it was the first time I actually met Leo -- it was like seeing an old friend. We're going to miss you Leo."

Georgia Section Manager, Sandy Donahue, W4RU, also recalls that Labutin was a guest at the 1988 AMSAT Conference, among the first Soviet hams to visit America. After the convention, Labutin was given a complete set of ARRL license manuals. The next day, he passed his Extra, very likely the first Soviet citizen to acquire a US Extra ticket, earning the callsign AB4LZ.

Leonid 'Leo' Labutin, UA3CR / AB4LZ will be missed by the entire amateur satellite community.

Services were September 12th in Moscow.

[ANS thanks the ARRL, Peter Guelzow, DB2OS, Dr.Thomas Clark, W3IWI, and Martin Davidoff, K2UBC, for this information]

AMSAT-NA BOD Election Results

Martha Saragovitz, AMSAT-NA secretary, tells ANS the results are now official regarding the 1998 AMSAT-NA Board of Directors election. AMSAT-NA members recently received ballots by mail, along with a detailed information sheet about all of the nominees. Members were asked to pick their top candidates from a field of four nominees. Ballots were then returned by regular mail with a total of 1,238 members casting ballots in this year's election.

The results are as follows:

Tom Clark, W3IWI, Keith Baker, KB1SF and Andy MacAllister, W5ACM were elected to serve on the AMSAT-NA Board of Directors for a two-year term. Barry Baines, WD4ASW, will serve as the alternate until the next election.

AMSAT News Service congratulates W3IWI, KB1SF, W5ACM, and WD4ASW, and thanks all AMSAT-NA members who took the time to vote in the election.

[ANS thanks Martha Saragovitz, AMSAT-NA secretary, for this information]

JARC to Welcome Symposium Participants

The Jackson Amateur Radio Club (JARC) will man a booth at the Jackson, Mississippi International Airport to welcome participants to the 16th AMSAT-NA Annual Meeting and Space Symposium.

JARC member John Davis, N5ZJV, will be heading up the booth and says, "participants arriving at Jackson International only have to look for the AMSAT banner in the main lobby of the airport."

The welcome booth will be manned Thursday, October 15th, and Friday morning, October 16, 1998.

The JARC team will provide participants with any needed assistance, such as written directions to the Symposium hotel in Vicksburg or advising of shuttle bus arrival and departure status.

The JARC welcome booth will monitor the KA5SBK/146.940 MHz repeater in Jackson. It will be linked to the K5IMT/146.805 MHz repeater in Vicksburg. The KA5SBK repeater can be easily used both in Jackson and Vicksburg, Mississippi. Both repeaters use a standard 600 kHz negative offset. The KA5SBK repeater does require a 100 Hz sub-audible tone.

During the symposium, Lloyd Causey, K5IMT, located in Vicksburg, will also be monitoring the talk-in repeater on 147.270 MHz (positive offset with 100 Hz tone). Lloyd is looking forward to welcoming and providing assistance to participants who are driving into Vicksburg.

AMSAT and the Vicksburg Amateur Radio Club thank the JARC and K5IMT for volunteering to provide such helpful assistance to Symposium participants.

[ANS thanks the 16th AMSAT Annual Meeting and Space Symposium working group for all its hard work and especially Russ Tillman, K5NRK, 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


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

Scott, WA6LIE, reports some stations may have noticed that R0MIR-1 has not been on the air recently. This is because of the internal space walk that was done in the Mir Specter module, which houses the ham radio equipment. Operation will be returning to normal shortly.

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
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, reported recently in mode K, using a 15-meter uplink and 10-meter downlink.

RS-12 command is now in the hands of Alex Papkov, in Kaluga City, Russia.

Several stations, including Peter, KD7MW, Ray, W2RS, and Rusty, NM1K, are reporting that RS-12 is now apparently operating in Mode K, using a 15-meter uplink and 10-meter downlink (only). ANS does not know the reason for the apparent mode change.


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 (2m uplink, 10m downlink)

Dave, WB6LLO, reports he has prepared a "quick and dirty" set of operating instructions for RS-15 at the following URL:


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."

Several stations including N1JEZ and WL7BQM have confirmed that AO-10's beacon is very weak, even when the satellite is quite close. The beacon can currently be detected as a very weak cyclical signal using digital signal processing. Mike, WL7BQM, and Mike KB8YHV/KH2, recently copied the beacon in this manner using FFTDSP software and a sound card. W4SM has posted the WL7BQM data on the AO-10 web site.

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]

JAS-1b FO-20

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 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.]


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

Jim, AA7KC, reports KO-23 is semi-operational with downlink efficiencies below 50%. Reports indicate the transmitter deviation characteristics are abnormal. This occurs when the satellite is not eclipsed, resulting in over heating. Normal operation should return in late September.

W4SM concurs, adding that the satellite is fully in sunlight and will not experience periods of darkness on each orbit until September 26th. Sangat, 9M2SS, also reports that uploading to the satellite "was a little slow."

[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]


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]


Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 baud PSK
Beacon 2401.500 MHz

Clive, G3CWV, reports it has been another uneventful month for OSCAR-11. During the period of 15-August to 15-September good signals have been received from the 145.826 MHz beacon. Telemetry is nominal. Battery voltage continues to improve, averaging 13.8 volts, with values ranging from 13.6 to 13.9 volts observed. Internal temperatures are slowly increasing and are now 6.6C and 4.8C for battery and telemetry electronics respectively, showing an increase of about 3C during the month. This is due to the decrease in solar eclipse times, which is improving the power budget without creating excessive internal temperatures. A single WOD survey of channels 1, 2, 3 and 61 (magnetometers) dated 01-July-1998, starting at 16:24:09 UTC has continued to be transmitted.

A report of the OSCAR-11 Mode-S beacon has been received from Ted, WA2HKS, who heard the beacon many times during the last two months.

Users of OSCAR-11 may be interested in two new WOD software packages have recently added to the Oscar 11 web site. The first package enables various WOD channels to be compared with the solar eclipse status of the satellite. The second package compares measured and calculated magnetic fields encountered by Oscar 11. Both packages are of an advanced nature, users will need experience using the other WOD packages on the web site and a spread sheet program.

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 Sun Sep 20 10:56:46 1998 uptime is 1463/05:22:33
+X (RX) Temp         -4.842 D    RX Temp                -6.053 D	
Array V                  21.499 V     Bat 1 Temp             1.814 D	
Bat 2 Temp             1.209 D     Baseplt Temp          3.024 D	
RC PSK TX Out       0.442 W   RC PSK BP Temp   0.603 D	
RC PSK HPA Tmp   1.814 D    +Y Array Temp        4.839 D	
PSK TX HPA Tmp   -0.002 D    +Z Array Temp       -0.607 D	
Total Array C= 0.418 Bat Ch Cur=-0.003 Ifb= 0.020 I+10V= 0.331
TX:010B BCR:82 PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC:E4

General information and telemetry WOD files can be found at

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


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."

[ANS thanks Miguel A. Menendez, EA1BCU, 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 received 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. 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:

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

The following satellites are non-operational at this time:


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

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

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, 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,