February 7, 1999

Latest Bulletins
Last Week's Bulletins
1999 Bulletins
These Bulletins in plain text format
Subscribe to bulletins by e-mail
Submit your News for ANS

King Hussein, JY1, a Silent Key

His Majesty Hussein bin Talal, King of Jordan, known to amateurs the world over as JY1, has died. CNN is reporting the Middle Eastern leader lost a long battle to cancer at the age of 63.

King Hussein died in his homeland after returning from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. He had spent six months in the United States undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at the clinic, including a bone marrow transplant. The transplant failed, and the King returned home to die.

The AMSAT bulletin board was full of comments from amateurs who warmly remembered King Hussein, including a wonderful story from past AMSAT-NA president Tom Clark, W3IWI.

Tom remembered in 1980 when "we had lost the Phase-3A spacecraft and it was a black day for us. We were fighting to keep the amateur satellite program alive." Then President Clark received a phone call late one night from Blackie Blackburn, JY9BB, who served as the communications and technology advisor to the King. According to W3IWI, "Blackie told me that the King was concerned about amateur radio's loss and asked a lot of questions about our recovery plans and needs. Blackie ended the call with a comment that he would be in touch soon."

The next week newspapers carried a small news note that King Hussein was in the United States and Tom reported a few days later the phone rang again. Blackie was calling from Los Angeles. W3IWI was asked to hold -- and moments later -- a wondrous voice came on the line saying "Tom, it is a pleasure to talk to you at last. This is JY1. I wanted to tell you how proud we are about AMSAT's efforts and how sad we are about the loss of Phase-3A. I would like to offer some help, so I'm sending you a contribution."

Tom told ANS he and JY1 exchanged a few minutes more of chit-chat, and then Blackie came back on the line and said "Tom, the King's contribution to AMSAT is a check for $10,000. I have it in my hand. Where should I send it?"

According to W3IWI, not only did JY1's generous contribution provide needed financial support, "it was very important in helping the AMSAT folks to rebuild their morale."

AMSAT OSCAR 10 was the result of JY1's generous outreach.

Tom's story ended with a personal note to King Hussein: "Sir, speaking for AMSAT, it's been a pleasure to know you as a friend and strong supporter. You will be missed here on earth and we wish you well in your trip to the cosmos." -- VY 73 JY1 de W3IWI. SK

[ANS thanks CNN and Dr. Thomas Clark, W3IWI, for this information. AMSAT-NA sends our sympathy and condolences to the family of King Hussein and to the people of Jordan]

17th Space Symposium and AMSAT-NA Annual Meeting

AMSAT News Service is pleased to announce that recent and future developments in amateur radio satellites will be presented in San Diego, California -- October 8th through 11th -- during the 17th AMSAT-NA Space Symposium and annual meeting.

Duane Naugle, KO6BT, is spearheading the event. Duane tells ANS the location for the Symposium is the beautiful Hanalei Hotel in the heart of San Diego's Mission Valley, a short distance from several of San Diego's many attractions.

At this point the tentative agenda includes the Space Symposium on Friday and Saturday, a satellite session for beginners Friday evening and the annual banquet on Saturday evening. An IARU Satellite meeting will be held Sunday morning, followed by the AMSAT-NA board meeting Sunday afternoon and Monday.

The call for Symposium papers will be made later this month and registration forms will be available in July.

For more information on San Diego's facilities and attractions, contact the San Diego Convention and Visitor's Bureau toll-free at (888) 969-9310.

Hotel reservations for the Hanalei Hotel in San Diego can be made by calling (800) 882-0858. Be sure to mention AMSAT to receive the discounted group rate.

Symposium chair, Duane Naugle, KO6BT, and can be reached at

Stay tuned to ANS for further details on the 17th AMSAT-NA Space Symposium and annual meeting.

[ANS thanks Duane Naugle, KO6BT, for this information]

ARISS Meetings Successful

Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, ARISS-US Delegation member, tells ANS that a series of extremely successful International Space Station (ISS) Amateur Radio accommodation meetings were held at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston recently.

Sponsored by NASA and by Energia (the Russian space company that is building portions of the ISS), the primary objective of the meeting was to finalize the design development of 'initial station' amateur radio hardware for ISS -- and to develop a more effective understanding of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program within NASA and Energia. In addition to representatives from NASA and Energia, hardware development teams from the United States, Russia, Germany and Italy were invited to participate in the meetings.

The initial station design, solidified during the July 1998 ARISS meeting in Surrey, England, consists of the following:

NASA will be providing a Space Shuttle launch to transport initial station hardware to the ISS and has financially supported the flight qualification of the hardware. Some of the testing required by NASA and Energia to flight qualify this hardware includes the development of a safety analysis package, hardware performance testing, ISS interface testing, along with electromagnetic interference and toxic chemical off-gassing testing.

During the meeting, Sergei Samburov, RV3DR, the President of AMSAT Russia in Moscow (and the Chief of the Cosmonaut Amateur Radio Department at Energia), confirmed that 4 dual-use antenna feed-throughs have been installed on the Russian Service Module. Sergei also confirmed his strong desire to work with the listed ARISS international partners to develop a single, coordinated amateur radio aboard the ISS.

Key NASA officials stated that they, too, need a single, international focal point to coordinate amateur radio development and operations on ISS if amateur radio on the space station is to have a future. During the meeting, NASA officials were extremely pleased with the high level of flight hardware expertise and on-orbit operations knowledge that the ARISS international partners are providing to NASA and Energia.

Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT-NA's Vice President for Human Spaceflight Programs, commented, "I was extremely impressed with the tremendous teamwork, camaraderie and cooperation that the ARISS international partners exhibited during these pivotal meetings with NASA and Energia. Together we share a common vision to develop and operate a multifaceted amateur radio station on ISS that will be a great recreational outlet for the on-orbit crews, an exciting DXpedition station for hams on the ground and an outstanding educational outreach tool for school students."

[ANS congratulates the ARISS partners and thanks Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT-NA's Vice President for Human Spaceflight Programs for this information]


Ray Soifer, W2RS, tells ANS that AMSAT-NA's 27th annual Straight Key Night on OSCAR, held last January 1st -- was quite a success, "with lots of fun had by all."

'Best Fist' winners (amateurs who received one or more nominations) included G3RWL, KB1SF, K7RR, K9CIS, NM1K, N0IBT, OK2AQK and W3JIM.

W2RS adds his thanks to all satellite operators who took part in SKN. According to Ray, plans are now underway for the next SKN event (the 28th annual), which will celebrate the arrival of the year 2000.

[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 . 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


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
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.

Rick, KB0VBZ, reports Mir SSTV signals over Aurora, Colorado. Other reports were received from N3JLQ, W5HUQ, N2XZS and WB6FZH/KH6. Allen, N2YAC, reports an interesting Mir sequence showing much of North Dakota, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

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, 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, beacon only.


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 KA (10m downlink, 15m and 2m uplinks).

Kevin, AC5DK, tells ANS activity on RS-13 has been moderate. Kevin recently worked his 48th state on RS-12/13 (N1NFG/Rhode Island).

Danny, KE4RAP, tells ANS he recently installed a horizontal loop for mode A operation and is very pleased with the results. Danny used 22 gauge wire cut using the 1005/frequency formula, feeding it with RG-59U. Total cost: about $3.00 US. The results: the first ever reception of RS-13 with signals at S-5 to S-7. Robert, G8ATE, a regular on the Russian birds, reports very good reception -- even down to near the horizon -- with a 1-wavelength loop of thin wire fixed in his roof space. Reception was as good if not slightly better than a wire dipole in the same location. Noise pickup was also less with the loop.

The RS-12/13 satellite has seen many recent changes in operation during the past weeks. Modes K, T, KT and now mode KA 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)

Bob, W7LRD, reports good signals from KF4FDJ and K5VAS. Bob says 29.380 MHz is being used as the meeting frequency by most RS-15 operators. Nick, W0CA, reports hearing KK2L in CW QSO with W3AA. Mike, KF4FDJ, reports QSO's with VA3EJN, KC9GI, K5OE and VE3NPC.

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)

W4SM reports AO-10 appears to be entering another sleep period due to poor solar angle, telling ANS the beacon is quite weak and FMing. If the past is any indication (and it may not be if AO-10 is attitudinally unstable), this sleep period will last about 4-6 weeks before gradually improving over another 4-6 weeks. W4SM also notes downlink signals are currently too weak for ranging data.

NORAD appears to have re-acquired AO-10, although W4SM is a bit skeptical of NORAD reported Keps (particularly mean motion figures). Since NORAD's approach does not require an active transponder, they will hopefully refine their calculations over the next few weeks.

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

[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

FO-20 in mode JA continuously.

[ANS thanks Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK for the FO-20 status reports]


Voice/CW Mode JA
Uplink 145.900 to 146.000 MHz CW/LSB
Downlink 435.800 to 435.900 MHz CW/USB
Operational, rotated with digital mode and digi-talker. See schedule below.
Digital Mode JD
Uplink 145.850, 145.870, 145.910 MHz FM
Downlink 435.910 MHz FM 9600 baud BPSK
Operational, rotated with analog mode and digi-talker. See schedule below.

The JARL has released the following FO-29 schedule:

Feb 8 to Feb 15 JD1200
Feb 15 to Feb 18 JA
Feb 19 to Feb 22 Digitalker

The JARL will announce the next FO-29 schedule on February 10, 1999.

Several station have reported the mode changes from analog to digital (and back to analog) including KF4FDJ, G7HIA and KA7YAO.

[ANS thanks Kazu Sakamoto, JJ1WTK, for this report.]


Uplink 145.850, 145.900 MHz FM
Downlink 435.175 MHz FM, 9600 Baud FSK
Not operational. The downlink transmitter is off.

ANS has learned (from the KO-23 ground command team) that the satellite downlink transmitter first tripped off on August 18, 1998. Since that time, KO-23 has been tripped frequently. The transmitter was again off the air on January 17th and (again) turned back on. However, the command team noted the absence of KO-23's downlink on the very next pass. Telemetry shows one of KO-23's battery cells to be very unstable. The command team is analyzing the relationship between the battery life cycle and the downlink transmitter problem. The team has announced operation of KO-23 will be stopped until the team understands the problem completely and has found a workable solution.

[ANS thanks Jim Weisenberger, AA7KC, and KyungHee Kim, HL0ENJ, for KO-23 status information]


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

KO-25 is absorbing the additional traffic (due to the loss of KO-23) and is performing very well.

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


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:

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


Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 baud PSK
Beacon 2401.500 MHz

Clive, G3CWV, tells ANS that apart from some ground control activity during the first week in January, it's been another uneventful month for OSCAR-11.

The internal temperatures have fallen slightly, by about one degree C. They are now 7.6C and 5.8C for battery and telemetry electronics respectively. The current duration of solar eclipse times has continued to provide OSCAR-11 with near optimum conditions, maintaining an adequate power budget while not allowing the internal temperatures to rise to excessive levels.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 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:

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.

Telemetry is nominal.

Time is Fri Feb 05 21:39:43 1999 uptime is 1601/16:02:46
+10V Bus        10.400 V  	+X (RX) Temp    -4.842 D
RX Temp          8.470 D  	+Z Array Temp  -12.709 D
Bat 1 Temp       6.049 D  	Bat 2 Temp       6.654 D
Baseplt Temp     6.049 D  	RC PSK TX Out    0.779 W
RC PSK BP Temp  -0.002 D  	RC PSK HPA Tmp   0.603 D
+Y Array Temp  -21.785 D  	PSK TX HPA Tmp  -0.607 D
Total Array C= 0.000 Bat Ch Cur=-0.488 Ifb= 0.190 I+10V= 0.323

General information and telemetry WOD files can be found at

A complete collection of WOD graphics corresponding to the year of 1998 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.

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

Telemetry is as follows:

Time is Fri Feb 05 21:27:29 1999 uptime is 189/07:52:51
+10V Bus        10.719 V  RC 	PSK TX Out    0.659 W
RC PSK BP Temp   1.252 D  	RC PSK HPA Tmp   0.131 D
+Y Array Temp  -16.696 D  	PSK TX HPA Tmp   1.252 D
+Z Array Temp  -11.648 D
Total Array C= 0.008 Bat Ch Cur=-0.296 Ifb= 0.136 I+10V= 0.166
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.

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


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.

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.

G7UPN reports that recently TMSAT was observed as "no longer transmitting telemetry on the downlink." Chris says the reason for this was quickly apparent -- a software problem. G7UPN says "repair" is now complete and the BBS is now open again for general use.

ProcMail V2.00G has been released by G7UPN. This software permits the processing of image files from TO-31. ProcMail V2.00G is available for downloading on KO-23 and KO-25. It also has been posted to the AMSAT-NA FTP site at the following URL:

[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.

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. To view the site, point your web browser to:

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


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.

SedSat is continuing to perform as it has since launch, transmitting telemetry until the batteries are depleted and then going into safe mode (for about ten hours) and then repeating the process. "The orbital geometry is such that we have had as much as 120 hours of continuous operation from the bird before the batteries die," said Dennis, KD4ETA. Recovery efforts continue.

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:

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


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:

[ANS thanks Dan Sakoda, KD6DRA, 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

DOVE stopped transmitting in March 1998. The 145.825 MHz and 2401.220 MHz downlinks are off the air and the satellite has not responded to ground station control. Command stations will again attempt contact in the near future.

QSL cards for receiving DOVE (when the satellite is operating) may be obtained from:

Dianne White, N0IZO
45777 Rampart Road
Parker, Colorado 80138-4316

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,