October 11, 1998

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International Amateur Satellite Symposium

Very soon, in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Amateur Radio operators from around the world will be converging during the weekend of October 16 through the 18th, attending the 16th AMSAT Annual Meeting and Space Symposium. A variety of technical papers will be presented on AMSAT's efforts to construct and operate Amateur Radio satellites including:

Over 250 persons from 17 countries attended last year's AMSAT meeting held in Toronto, Canada.

AMSAT is a worldwide group of amateur radio operators who share an active interest in building, launching and then communicating through these non-commercial amateur radio satellites. Bill Tynan, W3XO, AMSAT-NA President, says "that by any measure, AMSAT's track record has been impressive. Since its initial founding, over 25 years ago, AMSAT has used predominantly volunteer labor and donated resources to design, construct and, with the added assistance of government and commercial space agencies, successfully launch, over thirty amateur radio communications satellites into Earth orbit."

In addition to its unmanned satellite efforts, AMSAT has also been active in human space and educational activities. Working together with the American Radio Relay League and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, AMSAT volunteers have helped develop new space qualified hardware and have donated their technical communications 'know-how' to a number of flights involving amateur radio operation aboard the space shuttle.

In recent years, Amateur Radio operations aboard the shuttle, (called SAREX -- short for Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment), have been used to bring school children in a number of countries into direct radio contact with shuttle astronauts in Earth orbit.

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

Passing the Torch

In November 1991, the AMSAT-NA Board of Directors asked Bill Tynan, W3XO, to assume the office of Presidency of the organization. Bill accepted the nomination and has been serving in that capacity ever since. Recently, Bill Tynan, W3XO, announced his intention to retire as President and step aside from his AMSAT-NA presidential duties.

W3XO told ANS that he intends to formally make his retirement announcement at the upcoming AMSAT Annual Meeting, to be held in Vicksburg, Mississippi during the 16th AMSAT Annual Meeting and Space Symposium. Bill also indicated that he would recommend to the AMSAT-NA Board that Keith Baker, KB1SF, is named as his successor.

It is the Board's responsibility to name the President, Executive Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President of Engineering and Vice President of Operations. Other officers are then selected by the President at his or her discretion.

W3XO noted that Keith Baker, KB1SF, has been serving as Executive Vice President for a number of years and is well acquainted with the challenges facing the organization. "Keith has been my right hand, in both Phase 3D and other AMSAT matters and is well qualified to serve as President", Tynan said.

W3XO also expressed gratitude for all of those who have helped him over the past seven years. "Without the work of many fine people, I would not have been able to carry out my duties as President of this fine organization", he said.

"When I became President, I hoped that I would see Phase 3D safely in orbit before I left office. I have maintained that hope and worked toward that goal since that time. But, as we all know, AMSAT suffered a setback with regard to a launch opportunity for the P3D spacecraft. The satellite is essentially complete and is to begin thermal vacuum testing in a few weeks. It will be ready for a launch whenever that can come to pass. Thus, even though Phase 3D is not yet in orbit, I feel that now is a good time for me to step aside as the President of AMSAT-NA," said Tynan.

W3XO added "that although there have been times when it has had its frustrations, I have very much enjoyed serving as President of The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation. It has, in fact, been one of the high points of my life -- one that I know I will look back on with pride in the years to come."

Bill also noted that his decision to step aside does not signify an end to his involvement with AMSAT. "My term on the Board of Directors runs for another year and I will continue to serve AMSAT as an active Board member. I will also continue to help the organization in whatever way I can, and of course, maintain my active interest in amateur space activities in general", Tynan concluded.

[ANS thanks and congratulates AMSAT-NA President Bill Tynan, W3XO, for his hard work and dedication to the high ideals of the AMSAT organizations worldwide]

ANS in Brief

ANS news in brief this week includes the following:

Weekly Satellite Report

Mir . RS-12 . RS-13 . 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

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

Last reported in mode T.


Uplink 21.260 to 21.300 MHz CW/SSB
Uplink 145.960 to 146.000 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 29.460 to 29.500 MHz CW/SSB
Downlink 145.960 to 146.000 MHz CW/SSB
Beacon 29.504 MHz
Robot Uplink 21.140 MHz, Downlink 29.458 MHz

Last reported in mode K.

The RS-12 satellite has seen many recent changes in operation over the past week. Modes K, T, KT and simultaneous RS-13 operation have all been reported by a number of stations .

No official word from the satellite controllers has been received. ANS recommends monitoring each satellite carefully to determine the transponder in operation and which mode it is operating in.

RS-12/13 command is now in the hands of Alex Papkov, in Kaluga City, Russia.


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, 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.

John, K2JF, reports (on a recent pass of FO-29) he called CQ during the entire pass with good downlink signals, yet he cruised the whole band with no other signals to be heard.

[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]


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

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. The satellite is indicating that voltage levels
of the internal batteries are down to limit values.

Time is Fri Oct 09 21:26:14 1998 uptime is 1482/15:51:30
+10V Bus        10.075 V  RC PSK TX Out    0.616 W	
+X (RX) Temp    -9.683 D  RX Temp          5.444 D	
RC PSK BP Temp  -3.027 D  RC PSK HPA Tmp  -1.817 D	
+Y Array Temp  -24.811 D  PSK TX HPA Tmp  -1.817 D	
+Z Array Temp  -15.129 D  Baseplt Temp     3.024 D	
Total Array C= 0.000 Bat Ch Cur=-0.453 Ifb= 0.190 I+10V= 0.284
TX:0109 BCR:1E PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC:64

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."

The telemetry is as follows:

Time is Fri Oct 09 21:41:27 1998 uptime is 070/08:03:51
Total Array C= 0.008 Bat Ch Cur=-0.283 Ifb= 0.119 I+10V= 0.171
TX:017 BCR:1E PWRC:62D BT:3C WC: 0

General information and telemetry samples can be found at:

[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. 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. 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 home page about the TechSat bird, and promise they will add more information in the next few weeks. To view the 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,