AMSAT-NA AMSAT News Service

December 27, 1998

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Holiday Wishes from ANS

This week in the United States and around the world, many citizens, some of them amateur radio satellite operators, will celebrate the holiday season -- leading to the start of a brand new year. Thoughts of family and friends will be foremost during this wonderful time.

Our ANS editor would also like to reflect on the many satellite operators and organizations that have become close friends with ANS through the weekly ANS bulletin activities. Many, many stations worldwide continue to send satellite news and reports that in turn become the main body of information and data presented each week in ANS. Without the help of such dedicated individuals and national/international organizations, ANS would simply not exist.

May the joy and peace of this season extend to all! ANS looks forward to the new year with wonder, excitement and with great anticipation -- in all that the new year will bring.

From ANS, happy holidays to one and all!

Straight Key Night

As previously announced in ANS-333.03, AMSAT's Ray Soifer, W2RS, tells ANS that ham operators the world over are "most cordially invited" to join in the AMSAT 27th Annual Straight Key Night (SKN) sponsored by AMSAT-North America for Amateur Radio satellite enthusiasts worldwide.

According to W2RS, it's entirely unofficial; there are no rules, no scoring and best of all -- no need to send in a log. The only thing that satellite operators need to do is call CQ-SKN in the CW passband segment of any OSCAR satellite from 0000 to 2359 UTC on January 1, 1999, (or) answer a CQ-SKN call from another station. OSCAR Zero (EME) contacts also count.

Of course, all SKN operating must be done with a straight hand key.

In addition, participating sat-ops are encouraged to nominate someone they worked for recognition as having the 'best fist'. To send such a nomination, please address it via e-mail to:

w2rs@amsat.org (or) via packet radio to W2RS@WA2SNA or W2RS@GB7HSN

Nominations will also be accepted via the W2RS callbook address.

Those nominated will be featured in a future W2RS bulletin to be sent to all the Amateur Radio publications and posted via ANS to packet radio systems and the Internet -- in early February 1999.

[ANS thanks Ray Soifer, W2RS, 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 . RS-18 . 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 . SO-33 . PO-34

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
Semi-operational due to SSTV transmissions.

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

Andy, G0SFJ, reports SSTV signals from Mir, with three recent images. John, W5HUQ, also reports excellent pictures from Mir. Al, N2YAC, tells ANS of four S9+ SSTV Robot 36 frames. W8ZCE recently made the first random uplink to the Mir SSTV system.

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, has a set of instructions on how to work the Mir space station. Copies of the instructions are available from Scott by e-mail at wa6lie@juno.com, or by packet at wa6lie@wa6lie.#wcca.ca.usa.noam.

[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

Last reported to be semi-operational, beacon only.

RS-13

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 (from Jerry, K5OE).

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.

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 (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:

http://users.aol.com/dguimont

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)
Operational.

AO-10 continues to function well with the exception of the periodic deep QSB, which can be partially eliminated by switching antenna polarization. Strong signals have been heard even at apogee. Also note that AO-10's apogee is approaching its most northern point (ArgP = 270). This gives the satellite track on a rectangular (Mercator) map projection a distinctly symmetrical pattern. The apogee will begin a slow migration southward.

Jerry, K5OE, reports several contacts with WB4FWQ using only 10 watts and modest antennas. John, NS1Z, also reports success without the use of an amplifier, using about 40 watts on the uplink and working I5TDJ and W3JUZ.

Mart, DL6UAA, tells ANS that he is planning AO-10 operation from 3B8 in March and April '99. If successful, Mart says this will be the "first satellite operation from 3B8 land." Stay tuned to ANS for details. Additional information on the operation is available at http://www.qsl.net/dl6uaa/.

W4SM tells ANS that he has, using ranging software (and hardware) developed by James Miller, G3RUH, recently made ranging measurements on AO-10 for the last week and have fed these measurements into an algorithm which generates modified Keplerian elements from a "seed" set of elements. The Keplerian elements generated appear to be accurate within 16-25 km.

Note: This element set may have to be entered by hand or cut and pasted line by line into a tracking program, rather than automatically extracted. They are not in the complete AMSAT format, orbit# (Epoch rev), Element set#, and Checksum are not included.

Satellite: 		AO-10
Catalog number: 	14129
Epoch time:    		98351.41768
Inclination:   		27.0440 deg
RA of node:         	53.3190 deg
Eccentricity:  		0.60045
Arg of perigee:    	274.4330 deg
Mean anomaly:      	220.1480 deg
Mean motion:     	2.05837918 rev/day
Decay rate:         	0.00    rev/day^2
Epoch rev: 		11664

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.

The TEPR settings of AO-27 were recently reset by Chuck, KM4NZ. The new settings now reflect the Earth's position during the northern fall/winter season, and should provide more satellite 'on' time for AO-27 during each pass.

[ANS thanks Michael Wyrick, N4USI, for AO-27 information]

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 for the FO-20 status 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 the FO-29 Command Team has released the following announcement concerning FO-29 status:

The present JA mode of operation will continue to investigate the frequency of bit errors in the on-board-computer. Reports from Amateurs on the value of channel 2A are appreciated. The position of 2A is the fifth item after 'HI HI' in CW telemetry. The normal value is '00'. Reports should be sent to lab@jarl.or.jp.

FO-29 is still in 'full sun illumination'; this should end in December.

The on-board-computer (OBC) did accept commands from ground control before full illumination began. The FO-29 Command Team says digital (JD) mode operation may be available soon. Digi-talker operation is also being planned.

[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
Operational.

Jim, AA7KC, reports that after some recent downlink problems, both KO-23 and KO-25 have returned to operational status with good downlink efficiencies.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC, for KO-23 status information]

KO-25

Uplink 145.980 MHz FM
Downlink 436.500 MHz FM, 9600 Baud FSK
Operational.

Jim, AA7KC, reports that after some recent downlink problems, both KO-23 and KO-25 have returned to operational status with good downlink efficiencies.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC, for KO-25 status information]

UO-22

Uplink 145.900 or 145.975 MHz FM
Downlink 435.120 MHz FM 9600 Baud FSK
Semi-operational.

Chris, G7UPN, tells ANS the OBC186 flight software on UO-22 crashed recently after operating for well over 500 days. G7UPN switched the satellite into telemetry downlink to ensure that all systems looked nominal before starting the necessary reload. The software reload may be completed by the time this ANS bulletin set is transmitted.

More information on the satellite is available at the following URL:

http://www.ee.surrey.ac.uk/EE/CSER/UOSAT/

[Chris Jackson, G7UPN/ZL2TPO, is the Operations Manager of UO-22]

OSCAR-11

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

Telemetry has been nominal.

The mode-S beacon is ON, transmitting an unmodulated carrier, but telemetry indicates that it has partially failed, and delivering half power. This beacon is a useful test source for those testing mode-S converters, prior to the launch of P3-D. The 435.025 MHz beacon is normally off

More information about OSCAR 11 can be found at the following URL:

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.

Telemetry is nominal.

Time is Sat Dec 19 21:43:19 1998 uptime is 1553/16:07:10
+10V Bus	10.600 V  RC PSK TX Out    	0.566 W	
+X (RX) Temp	-0.607 D  RX Temp         	12.705 D  	
Bat 1 Temp	7.260 D  Bat 2 Temp       	  7.260 D	
Baseplt Temp	6.654 D  RC PSK BP Temp   	  1.209 D	
RC PSK HPA Tmp   1.814 D  +Y Array Temp  -16.944 D	
PSK TX HPA  Tmp   1.814 D  +Z Array Temp    -6.658 D	
Total Array C= 0.000 Bat Ch Cur=-0.415 Ifb= 0.168 I+10V= 0.267
TX:010B BCR:1E PWRC:59E BT: A WC:25 EDAC:63

General information and telemetry WOD files can be found at http://www.ctv.es/USERS/ea1bcu

New telemetry WOD graphics corresponding to Dec-09 can be found at http://www.ctv.es/USERS/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.

No BBS service. On Board Computer reload in progress. The digipeater is active.

Time is Sat Dec 19 21:46:47 1998 uptime is 141/08:09:11
+10V Bus        10.871 V  +X (RX) Temp    -4.917 D	
RX Temp          5.740 D  RC PSK TX Out    0.659 W	
+Y Array Temp  -13.331 D	
Total Array C= 0.008 Bat Ch Cur=-0.283 Ifb= 0.122 I+10V= 0.168
TX:017 BCR:1E PWRC:62D BT:3C WC: 0

General information and telemetry samples can be found at http://www.ctv.es/USERS/ea1bcu/lo19.htm

[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.

ANS has not received any recent updates concerning the status of IO-26. No additional information is available at this time.

TMSAT-1 TO-31

Downlink 436.923 MHz

TMSAT-1 is now open for general access by Amateur Radio operators worldwide. Normal access will allow operators to use the store and forward communications on the spacecraft and also download the high-resolution multispectral images.

Mineo, JE9PEL, reports strong signals from TO-31 on December 19th. Dirk, ON1DLL, reports "images from the satellite are great." John, G0ORX, reports the satellite has been in a 'shut' mode at times as Software uploading to the satellite was being accomplished.

Chris, G7UPN, tells ANS that during software loading (and other command activities) ground control stations may close the satellite BBS to general users. This ensures that command activity is not obstructed or slowed by user traffic. This also allows ground control stations to complete these activities much quicker.

[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 in the future.

ANS has not received any recent updates concerning the current status of GO-32. No additional information is available at this time.

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:

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

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

SEDSAT SO-33

Downlink 437.910 MHz FM 9600 Baud FSK
The satellite is not currently available for uplink transmissions.

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.

Mineo, JE9PEL, reports SedSat data reception on December 19th and 21st.

For more information on SedSat-1, including Version 1.2 of the SedSat ground station software -- visit the satellite web site at the following URL:

http://www.seds.org/sedsat

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

PANSAT PO-34

Downlink frequency not established.
The satellite is not currently available for uplink transmissions.

PANSAT, developed by the Naval Postgraduate School, was launched from the shuttle Discovery. PANSAT spread-spectrum digital transponders will be available to amateur radio operators in the near future along with software to utilize this technology. The PO-34 command station is located in Monterey, California.

Dan Sakoda, KD6DRA, PANSAT Project Manager recommends 'The ARRL Spread Spectrum Sourcebook' as a good place to start in understanding the spread-spectrum scheme.

The PANSAT Team does not expect the satellite to be available to the Amateur Radio community for another few months.

For more information, visit the official PANSAT web site at:

http://www.sp.nps.navy.mil/pansat/

[ANS thanks Dan Sakoda, KD6DRA, for this information]

The following satellites are non-operational at this time:

RS-16

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.

RS-18 (Sputnik 41)

Russian cosmonauts successfully launched RS-18/Sputnik 41 on November 10, 1998, during a spacewalk from the Mir space station. The satellite stopped transmitting early on December 11, 1998, meeting the 30 day projected lifetime.

Gerard, F6FAO, tells ANS that the last active reports of RS-18 are as follows:

F6FAO 10 Dec 19:35UTC RS-18 working
VE1AOE 10 Dec 22:35UTC RS-18 working
VE1AOE 11 Dec 00:07 UTC no signal
K5PK 11 Dec 00:10 UTC decreased signal, orbit 467
WB5RUE 11 Dec 01:32 UTC some noise, no audio
AP2TJ 11 Dec 15:00 UTC RS-18 silent
F6FAO 11 Dec 16:45 UTC RS 18 silent but strange noise

A computer .wav file of the actual received signal can also be found at:

http://www.ik1sld.org/sputnik41.htm

Gerard, F6FAO, suggests the following address for RS-18 QSL requests:

AMSAT-France
RS-18 QSL Manager
14 bis rue des Gourlis
92 500 Rueil-Malmaison
France

The list of received QSL's by the French QSL manager is available at the following link (note: the list changes daily as cards are received):

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/ascerland/sp41QSL.htm

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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