March 7, 1999

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SunSat Receives OSCAR Number

Responding to a question from Keith Baker, KB1SF, President of AMSAT-NA, representatives of the SunSat team have now requested that an OSCAR number be assigned to help designate their new spacecraft. KB1SF also passed along congratulations from all AMSAT-NA members to the SunSat team on their outstanding success.

The assignment of consecutive OSCAR numbers to new amateur radio spacecraft is a tradition that dates from the launch of the very first Amateur Radio Satellite -- OSCAR-1. In order for an OSCAR number to be assigned, the satellite must successfully achieve orbit and one or more transmitters must be successfully activated in the amateur radio bands. Then, the builders/owners of the satellite must formally request that a consecutive OSCAR number be assigned to their satellite once the first two requirements are accomplished.

Speaking for the SunSat team, Professor Garth Milne, ZR1AFH, SunSat's Project Leader, said "the Amateur Radio services on SunSat are our thank you to the ham radio community for the legacy it has left for us all. We would thus be honored if SunSat could be recognized as an OSCAR satellite, and suggest the designation SunSat-OSCAR 35, abbreviated to SO-35 be used."

In his formal request, Professor Milne went on to note that SunSat is South Africa's (and Africa's) first amateur radio and scientific satellite. The name SunSat closely associates the program with the University of Stellenbosch, at which it was developed.

KB1SF has informed ANS that, in the light of this information, it is now appropriate to refer to the new amateur satellite as SunSat OSCAR-35 or simply SO-35.

[ANS thanks Keith Baker, KB1SF, AMSAT-NA President, and Professor Garth Milne ZR1AFH, for this information]

AMSAT-NA Call for Papers

This is the first call to authors who wish to present papers at the 17th AMSAT-NA Annual Meeting and Space Symposium to be held October 8-11, 1999 at the Hanalei Hotel in San Diego, California. Symposium presentations will also be printed in the official Proceedings document.

The subject matter should be topics of interest to the Amateur Radio satellite service. Key dates for submitting papers are as follows:

May 1, 1999 - one-page abstracts due
June 1, 1999 - authors will be advised if accepted
August 1, 1999 - camera ready copy of accepted papers due

Abstracts should be sent to Symposium chair Duane Naugle, KO6BT, via email at: (or)

Duane Naugle, KO6BT
4111 Nemaha Drive
San Diego, CA 92117-4522

Proceedings of the Symposium will be printed by the ARRL and made available at -- and immediately after -- the meeting. If authors do not wish to present a paper but have a topic of interest, please submit the topic and arrangements may be made for a stand-in presenter.

Receipt of submissions will be confirmed.

[ANS thanks Symposium chair Duane Naugle, KO6BT, 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 . SO-35


SAFEX II 70cm Repeater
Uplink 435.750 MHz FM with subaudible tone 141.3 Hz
Downlink 437.950 MHz FM
Seldom operational.  No operation in 1999 has been observed.
SAFEX II 70cm QSO Mode
Uplink 435.725 MHz FM with subaudible tone 151.4 Hz
Downlink 437.925 MHz FM
Seldom operational.  No operation in 1999 has been observed.
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.

Mir SSTV reports have been received by VK2XCI, KB0VBZ, W2CID, G0SFJ and N2YAC.

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).

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)

The 29.380 MHz 'meeting frequency' used by most RS-15 operators is showing good results.

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 has entered another sleep period due to poor solar angle.

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

The on/off states of AO-27 were re-set on Monday March 1, 1999 by Chuck, KM4NZ. The TEPR states on AO-27 are now as follows:

TEPR 4 is 24
TEPR 5 is 60

This means that the transmitter will turn on 12 minutes after it enters the sun and shut off 18 minutes later.

KM4NZ tells ANS that AO-27 "has exceeded it design life cycle and the control team is going to give it a physical to see how healthy it really is." AO-27 is seeing heavy usage, especially on weekends.

[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
Semi-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
Semi-operational, rotated with analog mode and digi-talker. See schedule below.

The new operation schedule for FO-29 announced by JARL command is as follows:

through Mar 8 JA
Mar 8 to Mar 18 JD1200
Mar 19 to Mar 23 Digitalker
Mar 23 to Mar 30 JA

The JARL will update this schedule on March 30th.

[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 has not been operational for any normal communication.

ANS has learned (from the KO-23 ground command team) that satellite downlink 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.

Jim, AA7KC, reports that the 01:20 UTC 6-March pass of KO-23 showed good RF signal output for the entire pass. No data was received however.

[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 well under heavy usage.

[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

Bill, VK3JT, reports UO-22 is operating normally when over VK-ZL land. Bill says "there seems to have been a bit more user traffic than normal, due perhaps to the loss of KO-23 at the moment." Signals are very strong and the satellite responds to as little as a 5 watt uplink signal when on the horizon. VK3JT tells ANS he has "always found UO-22 to be the best of the current batch of 9600 baud digital birds."

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, reports that good signals have been received from the 145.826 MHz beacon.

The ASCII bulletin is currently a static message, detailing modes and frequencies of the current amateur radio satellites with additional status blocks after each bulletin and between ASCII TLM and WOD.

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.

Telemetry is as follows:

Time is Sat Mar 06 11:03:01 1999 uptime is 1630/05:25:10
+X (RX) Temp    -3.632 D  	RX Temp         -3.027 D
Bat 1 Temp          4.234 D  	Bat 2 Temp       6.049 D
Baseplt Temp      6.049 D  	+Z Array Temp   -0.002 D
RC PSK BP Temp   2.419 D  	RC PSK HPA Tmp   2.419 D
+Y Array Temp    3.629 D  	PSK TX HPA Tmp   1.209 D
Total Array C= 0.415 Bat Ch Cur=-0.040 Ifb= 0.037 I+10V= 0.360
TX:010C BCR:80 PWRC:59F BT: A WC:25 EDAC:F6

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. The OBC (on board computer) reload is reported to be in progress, however, both EA1BCU (and ANS) have not received any updated information for several months. The digipeater is active.

Telemetry is as follows:

Time is Sat Mar 06 10:45:09 1999 uptime is 217/21:10:31
RC PSK TX Out    0.659 W
Total Array C= 0.346 Bat Ch Cur= 0.135 Ifb= 0.007 I+10V= 0.157
TX:017 BCR:89 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 145.925 MHz 9600 baud FSK
Downlink 436.925 MHz 9600 baud FSK

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

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

The TechSat-1B micro-satellite was successfully launched from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 10, 1998.

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.

Recovery efforts have been unsuccessful. The chances of SedSat-1 reaching full operational status is doubtful.

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.

Dennis, KD4ETA , reports SedSat is continuing to perform as it has since launch, transmitting telemetry until the batteries are depleted and then going into safe mode -- then repeating the process. Dennis reports the satellite downlink has been active for over four months of the stated minimum design life of six months. "It is just too bad we have problems with the receivers or we would have such a beautiful bird," said KD4ETA.

Dennis further noted "in my opinion we can claim now at least partial victory for our satellite. Most of the engineering goals have been met, but it is just a total shame that the imaging system has not been able to fulfill its mission due to the probable loss of both receivers."

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, and Dennis Ray Wingo, KD4ETA, 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]

SunSat SO-35

Downlink frequency not established.

The satellite is not currently available for uplink transmissions. At this time the command team is planning general amateur radio service by the end of March.

SunSat was launched February 23, 1999 aboard a Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. SunSat stands for Stellenbosch University Satellite and takes it name from the South African university whose students constructed the payload.

The SunSat package includes 1200 and 9600 baud digital store-and-forward capability and a voice 'parrot' repeater system that will be used primarily for educational demonstrations. The satellite has two VHF and two UHF transmit-receive systems.

Hans, ZS5AKV, reports Sun Sat has completed one week in space with good results. The command team has successfully tested the UHF command link and has started the de-tumbling process. The power system is also reported to be working well.

The following elements are from the AMSAT KEPS bulletin:

1 25636U 99008C   99063.23016987 -.00000067  00000-0 -96639-5 0 00333
2 25636 096.4750 016.0751 0152243 225.4720 133.3969 14.40864297001262

SunSat reception reports have been received from Rick, KB0VBZ.

For more information on SunSat, visit the following URL:

[ANS thanks Garth Milne ZR1AFH, 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.


Uplink 145.875, 145.900, 145.925, 145.950 MHz FM
Downlink 435.822 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK

Unknown status. ANS has not received any recent updates concerning the status of IO-26. 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,