October 25, 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

Symposium Success

The results are in and the overwhelming response is that the 16th AMSAT Annual Meeting and Space Symposium -- held last week in Vicksburg, Mississippi -- was an unqualified success.

Dr. Jim Akers, W5VZF, reported on the AMSAT Bulletin Board that he "greatly enjoyed the Symposium. Thanks AMSAT and Vicksburg for your efforts and hospitality." David, AA4KN, agreed, adding "just a word of thanks to the people involved in organizing this years Symposium, and to everyone that helped -- GREAT JOB!" London visitor G0ORX wanted to thank everyone for a great conference as well. John was also pleased with the friendly southern hospitality that he received during his stay in Mississippi. Much of the credit for the success of the event goes to Russ Tillman, K5NRK, Symposium Chair, and to his dedicated group of volunteers in and around the Vicksburg area. Russ, in an e-mail to ANS, passed along his appreciation to all the participants who traveled to the Symposium.

Over 160 Amateur Radio operators from around the world attended the Symposium, and were treated to a variety of technical papers presented on AMSAT's efforts to construct and operate Amateur Radio satellites. The International Space Station, experiences in operating Amateur Radio satellites from Antarctica, a progress report on the AMSAT Phase 3D International Satellite, Stanford University's first amateur satellite and Canada's first space telescope were just some of the technical items discussed.

During the Symposium, AMSAT Coordinator Bruce Paige, KK5DO, had an opportunity to interview Kenwood representative Clifford, KJ6HC; the president of MFJ Products, Martin, K5FLU; Symposium Chair K5NRK; and the Mayor of Vicksburg, the Honorable Robert Walker. The interviews were then retransmitted on the Houston AMSAT net in their entirety. Mayor Walker left the Symposium with a deep interest in Amateur Radio and satellite communications. KK5DO's interviews are available on the Houston AMSAT Net/KK5DO web site at the following URL:

Dave, WB6LLO, tells ANS that Leanore, KA6UCD, announced the winner of the 6th Annual Jewelry Contest held during the Symposium. The contest -- a mainstay of AMSAT gatherings -- was one of the most popular ever, with over 100 entrants. The contest objective was to determine the value of a chip capacitor on a small surface-mount circuit board incorporated into a bolo tie jewelry piece. No actual measuring equipment was allowed, and the closest 'guess' actually won the tie itself. The exact measured value of the chip was 846 pF, and ANS congratulates the winner -- Dick, W2GFF. Bill, W3XO, came in second place and Al, W6WYN, placed third.

A very important part of the Symposium was the AMSAT-NA Board of Directors meeting. As reported in ANS-291, Bill Tynan, W3XO, indicated he was stepping down as AMSAT-NA President. The BOD commended W3XO for his outstanding accomplishments and many long years as President. In recognition of his unique qualifications and knowledge of the organization, it was unanimously agreed that Bill should become Chairman of the Board of Directors. He graciously accepted the Board's appointment to this new position.

An election was then held with the following results:

In addition, the BOD appointed Russ Tillman, K5NRK, publisher of the AMSAT-NA Journal, as Vice President--Publications, and Dan James, NN0DJ, current ANS Editor as Vice President--Public Affairs. Both of these posts were recently created, or re-created posts. All other incumbent officers were re-appointed to their respective positions.

In other matters, the BOD reviewed the current status of the Phase 3D project and the schedule for completion and testing of the spacecraft to make it flight-ready. The BOD also approved an Educational Assistance contract with the University of Toronto, Canada, for AMSAT-NA volunteers to mentor students and staff designing and constructing the Microvariability of Stars (MOST) satellite -- slated to be launched in late 2001. In return, the University will make a substantial monetary contribution to AMSAT-NA. In addition, a decision was also made by AMSAT-NA to ask individuals or groups to submit proposals to design and build an Amateur Radio package that may fly on this satellite. Newly elected Executive Vice President VE3FRH has posted design considerations on the AMSAT-BB concerning the proposed amateur package.

The Board also recognized the many substantial contributions made by the membership during the past year. A complete list of these individuals, along with the full minutes of the Board meeting, will be published in a future issue of The AMSAT Journal.

Finally, the BOD selected San Diego, California as the venue for the 17th AMSAT Annual Meeting and Space Symposium, to be held in October of 1999.

[ANS thanks Symposium Chair Russ Tillman, K5NRK, and his dedicated group for all their hard work -- and also congratulates the newly elected and re-elected officers of AMSAT-NA]

SEDSAT-1 Successfully Launched

ANS is pleased to report that SEDSAT-1, signifying Students for the Exploration and Development of Space Satellite number one, was successfully launched and placed in orbit on Saturday, October 24, 1998. The spacecraft flew as a secondary passenger along with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Deep Space One mission aboard a Delta II booster.

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

According to Chris Lewicki, KC7NYV, Program Manager at the University of Arizona Student Satellite Project, SEDSAT-1 "appears to be performing well." Chris tells ANS that the ground-station crew in Tucson had a number of problems receiving data on the very first pass, although their counterparts in Florida did have audio confirmation of telemetry during the pass. On the second orbit both crews we were able to verify the audio of the SEDSAT-1 heartbeat. The third pass proved fruitful as each team successfully decoded the telemetry from the craft.

Data received reveals that the satellite is operating at a nominal main voltage with reasonable temperature and successful boot-ups of several processes. A minor anomaly is showing slightly more power drain than expected.

Several satellite operators showed pleasure at the news of SEDSAT-1. Speaking on the AMSAT-BB, Andy, WD9IYT, e-mailed "glad you folks got a good ride. I hope the check-out all goes well." From Aurora, Colorado, Rick, KB0VBZ, reports receiving the 9600 baud signal. Mike, N1JEZ, also heard two passes of the satellite, using 437.910 MHz as his downlink frequency and correcting for doppler. Mike says he "can't wait for the Mode A and Mode L transponders to come online."  "Congratulations from AMSAT-UK" was sent by Richard, G3RWL.

New AMSAT-NA President Keith Baker, KB1SF, speaking on behalf of the entire organization, added sincere congratulations to the SEDSAT team on the successful launch of SEDSAT-1. "We anticipate SEDSAT will become a welcome addition to the fleet of Amateur Radio satellites now in orbit," KB1SF said, "and AMSAT is very proud to have been a part of this successful effort over the years."

The Arizona ground team is developing a 'SEDSAT Database' which will soon be accessible by Internet, allowing a real-time telemetry search. There is also an e-mail reflector list for SEDSAT. Amateurs may subscribe by sending a 'subscribe sedsat' message to:

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

[ANS congratulates the entire SEDSAT Team on this exciting accomplishment and thanks Dr. Mark Maier, KF4YGR, and Chris Lewicki, KC7NYV, for this information]

Phase 3D Testing Continues

The AMSAT Phase 3D spacecraft continues to undergo testing at the Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) test facility in Germantown, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC.

Maryland-DC AMSAT Coordinator Pat Kilroy, WD8LAQ, tells ANS that Phase 3D is now hidden in the thermal-vacuum chamber where testing is underway, now well into the first of several cycles. Volunteers have been monitoring the satellite and telemetry from the chamber.

P3D was first lifted by chain hoist and a triangular lifting fixture at OSC, raising the satellite on three of its six corners. A six-sided aluminum framework was then installed around the spacecraft, holding thirty quartz halogen heat lamps. Fifteen Teflon coaxial cables were cleaned with alcohol and installed inside the chamber to connect the spacecraft's RF modules to a bulkhead feed-through plate leading to the outside of the chamber. Additional cables were connected to supply DC power and telemetry and command connections between the satellite and the ground support equipment located at the control panel.

Most of the P3D transmitters were terminated with dummy loads, but the 145 MHz and 435 MHz transmitters are feeding antennas on the roof of the OSC facility.

Finally, the spacecraft was carefully leveled to insure proper operation of the heat pipes and was then secured in-place with steel aircraft safety cable to prevent the spacecraft from moving during testing.

The chamber door was closed and pump-down of the chamber began. Soon after, Phase 3D experienced for the very first time the vacuum environment in which it will spend its working lifetime.

Dan, N8FGV, tells ANS that Orbital Sciences Corporation has committed significant resources to support the thermal-vacuum test, including 24 hour support by two OSC technicians to keep the vacuum chamber in good working order.

As testing continues, a verified launch opportunity still remains uncertain. Dr. Karl Meinzer, DJ4ZC, AMSAT-DL President and Phase 3-D Project Leader recently issued the following statement:

"As the primary agency responsible for securing a launch opportunity for the Phase 3-D spacecraft, AMSAT-DL representatives are continuing their serious negotiations with a number of launch agencies for a safe and affordable launch for Phase 3-D. As those very sensitive negotiations are still ongoing, to comment publicly on their progress or to identify the specific launch agencies involved at this time would seriously jeopardize those efforts. Just as soon as a firm launch opportunity for Phase 3-D is secured, the details of that opportunity will be immediately reported by the AMSAT News Service and other news outlets."

Requests for information on P3D during its stay in Maryland should be directed to WD8LAQ 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 entire AMSAT P3D Team, for this information]

Ariane Flight 503 Successfully Launched

With the launcher roll-out from the final assembly building to the launch pad and the hydrazine filling of the first tank in the attitude control system successfully completed, Ariane flight 503 lifted off under bright sunshine from the Guiana Space Center, Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on Wednesday, October 21st.

This launch completed a successful test flight for the European Space Agency's heavy lifting vehicle, leaving no doubt as to its ability to deliver payloads to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).

Flight 503, conducted under ESA responsibility, was the last of the Ariane-5 qualification flights and the first production-series unit ordered by Arianespace from the European industry.

In Kourou, Fredrik Engstrom, ESA's launch Director and the Ariane 503 Flight Director confirmed "the third Ariane-5 flight has been a complete success." AMSAT-NA President Keith Baker, KB1SF, followed the flight of Ariane 503 and was pleased at the success; "I offer my sincere congratulations to ESA, CNES and Arianespace for the successful launch of Ariane 503. We also wish them well on the upcoming entry of their new launcher system into regular commercial service."

Details of the successful launch of Ariane 503 can be found at the following URL:

[ANS thanks ESA for the launch information and congratulates those involved in the successful launch of Ariane-503]

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

[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 to be semi-operational.


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-12/13 satellite has seen many recent changes in operation during the past weeks. 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.

Mike, N1JEZ, reports working US5WU, UA3PAB, CU8AO and 9A2KK all via AO-10 recently. Mike reports fairly strong signals with slow FMing.

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.

Mike, N1JEZ, reports working KF4FDJ in EL86 via AO-27. Mike says "it was nice to grab that new grid."

[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

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 Sat Oct 24 12:45:33 1998 uptime is 1497/07:10:31
+X (RX) Temp    -1.212 D  RX Temp         -3.027 D	
Bat 1 Temp         4.234 D  Bat 2 Temp       4.839 D	
Baseplt Temp     4.839 D  RC PSK BP Temp   1.209 D	
RC PSK HPA Tmp   1.209 D  +Y Array Temp    2.419 D	
PSK TX HPA Tmp   -0.002 D  +Z Array Temp    3.024 D	
Total Array C= 0.490 Bat Ch Cur= 0.036 Ifb= 0.005 I+10V= 0.331
TX:010B BCR:85 PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC: 6

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.

The telemetry is as follows:

Time is Sat Oct 24 13:02:27 1998 uptime is 084/23:24:51
+X (RX) Temp     -2.113 D   RX Temp         -0.991 D	
RC PSK BP Temp  -0.991   D  RC PSK HPA Tmp  -0.430 D	
+Y Array Temp    3.496 D    PSK TX HPA Tmp  -2.113 D	
+Z Array Temp   -3.796 D	
RC PSK TX Out    0.674 W	
Total Array C= 0.349 Bat Ch Cur= 0.137 Ifb= 0.002 I+10V= 0.150
TX:017 BCR:8A 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 'on' have been unsuccessful to date. At this time the RS-16 transponder is non-operational. The 435 MHz beacon (only) is 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]

Return to top

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