October 18, 1998

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Phase 3D Testing

The AMSAT Phase 3D spacecraft is set to undergo testing at the Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) test facility in Germantown, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC. The satellite arrived safely in Maryland on October 13th, transported from the Phase 3D Integration Lab in a well padded truck.

According to Lou McFadin, W5DID, AMSAT P3D Laboratory Manager, the spacecraft will soon be placed in Osco's thermal-vacuum (T/V) chamber. Pre-launch vacuum testing will analyze the satellite's ability to withstand the harsh environment of space. In addition to most of the air being removed, the temperature of the chamber is cycled up and down to simulate the severe heating and cooling P3D is expected to encounter. Vibration testing is also scheduled, although that test will not be conducted until late this year or early 1999. According to AMSAT-NA Executive Vice President Keith Baker, KB1SF, "the exact timing of vibration testing will depend primarily on any problems encountered with the initial thermal-vacuum testing, and the availability of the test facilities. Our invitation at OSC is on a space-available basis," he explained.

Maryland-DC AMSAT Coordinator Pat Kilroy, WD8LAQ, tells ANS that P3D will be "hidden" in the chamber for up to ten days during the thermal-vacuum testing phase. Current plans are to broadcast P3D telemetry in real-time during the test phase, from the chamber itself. Local amateur stations in the Maryland area equipped to copy AMSAT OSCAR 13 PSK 400-bps telemetry should be able decode any P3D transmissions with little effort. WD8LAQ also said DC area AMSAT members are also looking into providing a possible Internet link as well, so that amateurs world-wide can see and decode the satellite broadcasts.

Pat says the test phase is continuous. "One complete thermal cycle is predicted to run about 36 hours," he said, and "P3D will go through five cycles."

Pat told ANS that there may be opportunities for AMSAT members to view Phase 3D at the Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) test facility. Visitors also might get a tour of the OSC building "that is rich in history," WD8LAQ said.

Any requests for information on P3D during its stay in Maryland, or viewing the OSC facility, should be directed to Pat at the following e-mail address:

For more information on P3D, see the Phase 3D Spacecraft Integration Laboratory web site at:

Information on the Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) test facility in Germantown, Maryland is available at the following URL:

[ANS thanks the AMSAT P3D Team, the ARRL, and Maryland-DC AMSAT Coordinator Pat Kilroy, WD8LAQ, for this information]

SEDSAT-1 Ready for Launch

Dr. Mark Maier, KF4YGR, Associate Professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, tells ANS the SEDSAT-1 satellite package is complete and scheduled for launch sometime later this month. SEDSAT-1, signifying Students for the Exploration and Development of Space Satellite number one, was developed at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

KF4YGR says the launch could occur as early as October 22nd, although the launch range also has been reserved for October 25th and 26th, with an extension to October 27th if needed. Originally set for a July launch, the satellite will fly as a secondary passenger along with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Deep Space One mission aboard a Delta II booster.

SEDSAT-1 will include Amateur Radio configurations for digital packet store-and-forward, analog parrot repeater and Mode A transponders.

The launch timeline is calling for a 0700 EDT launch, followed by second stage separation and satellite deployment some 5000 seconds later over Hawaii. SEDSAT should begin transmitting data on 432 MHz almost immediately after deployment.

"After many years of work, the whole team -- present and past -- is ready to see SEDSAT fly and work," KF4YGR said. "SEDSAT will be a fascinating resource for amateur radio operations, both in communications and science collection and dissemination."

For more information on SEDSAT-1, visit the satellite web site at the following URL:

[ANS thanks Dr. Mark Maier, KF4YGR, and the ARRL for this information]

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.

Scott, WA6LIE, recently posted a complete set of instructions on how to work the Mir space station on the SAREX reflector. Copies of the instructions are available from Scott by e-mail at, or by packet at

Bob, WB4APR, asks operators to please NOT establish station-to-station connections via Mir -- as it is very inefficient. Bob suggests sending UI packet frames instead, saying that it is much better for everyone AND many stations can then complete a normal QSO during a Mir pass.

[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.

Cristi, YO3FFF, reports working throughout Europe via RS-13 mode K. Bill, K6AKO, reports he has not heard the RS-12 beacon for some Time. Peter, KD7MW, tells ANS he has recently copied the RS-12 robot.

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 (from FM29lr) that he received good signals from F0-29 during orbit 10637.

[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.

Time is Fri Oct 16 23:01:25 1998  uptime is 1489/17:26:23
+X (RX) Temp    -7.263 D    RX Temp          6.654 D	
Bat 1 V          1.267 V  Bat 2 V          1.290 V	
Bat 3 V          1.287 V  Bat 4 V          1.287 V	
Bat 5 V          1.306 V  Bat 6 V          1.314 V	
Bat 7 V          1.290 V  Bat 8 V          1.299 V	
RC PSK TX Out    0.534 W	
Total Array C= 0.000 Bat Ch Cur=-0.399 Ifb= 0.193 I+10V= 0.227

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 16 21:36:07 1998 uptime is 077/07:58:31.
Bat 1 V          1.345 V  Bat 2 V          1.350 V	
Bat 3 V          1.357 V  Bat 4 V          1.350 V	
Bat 5 V          1.353 V  Bat 6 V          1.379 V	
Bat 7 V          1.346 V  Bat 8 V          1.342 V	
RC PSK TX Out    0.644 W	
Total Array C= 0.008 Bat Ch Cur=-0.267 Ifb= 0.122 I+10V= 0.155
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,