March 21, 1999

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SunSat Update

A successful Mode-J FM voice contact has been made via the new SunSat SO-35 satellite. Project Leader Garth Milne, ZR1AFH, and AMSAT-SA President Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS5AKV, recently completed the first-ever voice contact through the bird.

The stations used a VHF uplink and a UHF downlink for the contact. Voice quality was reported to be excellent and signals strong for the QSO, even as the satellite approached the horizon.

"It was rewarding for the first test voice contact to be made by the radio amateurs who have been involved from the outset of the project 10 years ago," said van de Groenendaal, who also serves as the IARU Satellite Advisor. "SunSat will play an important part in bringing amateur radio into the classroom as part of the Amateur Radio in South African Schools (ARISAS) program." The program will use ham radio in the classroom to expand the teaching of science and technology.

The SunSat package includes digital store-and-forward capability and a voice 'parrot' repeater that will be used primarily for educational demonstrations. The unit has two VHF and two UHF transmit-receive systems. In addition to amateur radio and school science payloads, SunSat carries two NASA experiments and an experimental push-broom imager capable of taking pictures of Earth. The high-resolution imager will operate in real time on S-band frequencies. Images also can be stored in computer RAM aboard the satellite and then downloaded at lower speeds for retrieval by hams and schools.

"South Africa has an innovative electronics industry that wishes to benefit from new opportunities. It also needs competent technically trained people to establish and operate systems. The SunSat program is a means of both increasing space segment knowledge in the country, establishing a satellite training capability and exposing the industries' capabilities," Professor Garth Milne told ANS.

The SunSat program has allowed over 50 students to earn Master of Engineering Degrees.

[ANS thanks the ARRL and congratulates the entire SunSat team on the success of the program]

AMSAT-NA Celebration a Success

Several amateurs have reported to ANS that the AMSAT-NA 30th Anniversary party recently held at the NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center was a rousing success!

AMSAT-NA President Keith Baker, KB1SF, released the following message concerning the gathering:

"Please accept my sincere thanks for all the hard work put in over the last few weeks to make the AMSAT 30th Anniversary party a success! It was plainly evident to all of us in attendance that the event was nothing short of first-rate in every respect. Clear evidence of that fact were the large number of very positive comments I heard from many of our guests in attendance.

None of this would have happened without a lot of behind-the-scenes work by a dedicated number of people. Those efforts really showed and paid off handsomely in flawlessly executed activities.

It was a proud day for me personally as the current torchbearer for our fine organization. All AMSAT members can be justifiably proud of our collective heritage and I look forward to the next 30 years of our work together."

73, Keith Baker, KB1SF - President AMSAT-NA

Eric, W3DQ, who spearheaded much of the efforts of the celebration also passed on his thanks to all the presentation speakers, including KA3HDO, KB1SF, WB4APR, N4TPY and N3RZN.

[ANS congratulates W3DQ and his dedicated group for organizing this outstanding event]

OSCAR 11 Celebrates Birthday

Clive Wallis, G3CWV, reports to ANS that the UOSAT OSCAR-11 satellite celebrated its 15th birthday on March 1, 1999.

OSCAR 11 was designed, built, tested and successfully launched by a Delta rocket in a six month time frame, and all within a minimal financial budget.

Clive reports that on the evening of March 1, 1984, G3RWL acted as net control of an 80-meter net, first reporting the successful deployment of OSCAR-11. Shortly after launch, strong signals were heard on the 145.825 MHz downlink as the bird passed over the United Kingdom.

Since 1984 OSCAR-11 has provided very good service, enabling many scientific experiments to be completed in addition to a news bulletin service for radio amateur satellite operators worldwide. As G3CWV reports, "a few failures have occurred over the years with the satellite, but then 15 years is a very long time and the environment of space is very hostile!"

ANS -- on behalf of AMSAT members around the globe -- passes on congratulations to the UOSAT OSCAR-11 team on this fine achievement.

[ANS thanks Clive Wallis, G3CWV, 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.

AMSAT-France announced that Air Force General Jean-Pierre Haignere has been given a personal callsign to use aboard Mir: FX0STB. The QSL manager for FX0STB is:

Radio Club F5KAM
QSL manager Mir
22 rue Bansac
63000 Clermont Ferrand

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

Ken, N1WED, tells ANS that pending course correction maneuvers, Mir will pass a space milestone of seventy-five thousand orbits on or about 5-April-99. The Mir core module was launched February 19, 1986. The present total weight of the seven modules that currently make up Mir is almost 125 tons. N1WED adds that due to the probable upcoming deorbit, Mir will not make 100,000 orbits, which would occur on or about August 12, 2003.

Juan, CE3LWU, reports both a packet and voice contact with Mir, working the Mir PMS system along with a voice QSO with FX0STB. Martin, DG4ZX, reports hearing French astronaut Jean-Pierre in voice contact with several European stations. Mike, KD9KC, reports an unproto packet QSO through Mir with N9TWH.

[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).

Mike, KD9KC, reports RS-13 returned good downlink signals recently. Mike uses 50 watts to a J-pole on the uplink and a pre-amp equipped dipole on the downlink.

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 SSB '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. Masa, JN1GKZ, has measured the satellite's spin rate using FFTDSP software (and AO-10's beacon). The results can be found at:

ANS has received several reports that AO-10 may be coming out of its most recent sleep phase. ANS invites satellite operators to check out the bird this week and report their findings with this news service. Check ANS next week for full details.

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.

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.

Tony, AB2CJ, has been transmitting SSTV on FO-20 with good results. AB2CJ can be found using ROBOT 36 mode near 435.890 MHz (in USB).

[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.

JARL command had planned FO-29 digitalker operation through 23-March, however two bits errors have been detected in the OBC (on board computer). Digitalker operation has been re-scheduled. The next scheduled JA mode is 23-March to 5-April. The JARL will update the master schedule shortly.

[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 for several weeks.

ANS has learned (from HL0ENJ) that satellite downlink telemetry shows one of KO-23's battery cells to be very unstable.

[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 with good downlink efficiency.

[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

Carol, W9HGI, reports to ANS that the West Coast Packet Satellite Gateway (WSPG) has experienced no problems using UO-22 this past week. The satellite appears to be in good health, and continues to provide excellent data communications services for the Worldwide Packet Network (WPN).

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

[ANS thanks Carol Byers, W9HGI, for the UO-22 satellite report. 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 during the period of 17-February to 16-March 1999 good signals have been received from the 145.826 MHz beacon. The battery voltage has remained fairly constant, averaging 13.8 volts. Internal temperatures have remained fairly constant at 5.4C and 3.8C for battery and telemetry electronics respectively.

A single WOD survey dated 06-January-99 of solar array currents and array voltage has been transmitted. The WOD contains a characteristic musical tone which occurs when the constant data is captured during solar eclipses and then transmitted.

The mode-S beacon has been heard by Viktor, OE1VKW, who reports Signals of S-2/S-3 at a range of 700 km.

The operating schedule is unchanged.

ASCII status (210 seconds)
ASCII bulletin (60 seconds)
BINARY SEU (30 seconds)
ASCII TLM (90 seconds)
ASCII WOD (120 seconds)
ASCII bulletin (60 seconds)
BINARY ENG (30 seconds)

The ASCII bulletin is currently a static message, detailing modes and frequencies of all the amateur radio satellites.

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 20 10:58:15 1999 uptime is 1644/05:20:24
+X (RX) Temp     7.260 D
RX Temp           -2.422 D  	Bat 1 Temp       	      4.839 D
Bat 2 Temp         3.629 D  	Baseplt Temp          4.839 D
RC PSK TX Out  0.633 W  	RC PSK BP Temp   3.024 D
RC PSK HPA Tmp   3.629 D  	+Z Array Temp      18.756 D
+Y Array Temp   -1.817 D  	PSK TX HPA Tmp   2.419 D
Total Array C= 0.342 Bat Ch Cur=-0.034 Ifb= 0.074 I+10V= 0.292

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 -- both EA1BCU and NN0DJ/ANS have not received any updated information for several months. The digipeater is active.

Telemetry is as follows:

Time is Sun Mar 21 11:41:29 1999 uptime is 232/22:06:51
RC PSK TX Out    0.674 W
Total Array C= 0.346 Bat Ch Cur= 0.132 Ifb= 0.021 I+10V= 0.143
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 145.925 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]


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 in the near future.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

No additional information is available at this time.


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

Recovery efforts have been unsuccessful.

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 was last reported to be performing as it has since launch, transmitting telemetry until the batteries are depleted -- going into safe mode -- and then repeating the process.

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:

No additional information is available at this time.

[ANS thanks Dr. Mark Maier, KF4YGR, and Dennis Ray Wingo, KD4ETA, for this information]

[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,