June 3, 2001

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Phase 3D/AO-40 Update

AO-40 experimental transponder operation has temporarily ended due to changes in the spacecraft latitude needed for arcjet cold firing. The squint pointing angle is more than 30 degrees and not currently useful for transponder operation. AMSAT-DL reports command stations have suspended transponder operation for now as the S-2 transponder remains off until further notice. The RUDAK beacon and S-band middle beacon are continuously on.

The ARRL is also reporting this information in the ARRL Letter:

Ground controllers for AO-40 have shut down the satellite's transponders as preparations continue for a slight shift in orbital configuration.

"Due to changes of the spacecraft latitude for the arcjet cold firing, the squint pointing angle is more than 30 degrees and not currently useful for general transponder operation," said AMSAT-DL President and AO-40 team member Peter Guelzow, DB2OS. "Therefore, we have suspended transponder operation for now - this will also give the RUDAK team more access." Guelzow said the S-2 transponder will remain off "until further notice."

Plans call for raising the AO-40's perigee by approximately 200 km. AMSAT-NA President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, said ground controllers will use magnetorquing to adjust AO-40's attitude to 270/0, then cold fire the arcjet using only ammonia fuel.

Haighton said it's hoped that a slightly higher perigee for AO-40 will eliminate the effects of what he described as "a mysterious force" that alters the satellite's attitude when it comes through perigee.

Ground controllers also have suspended further testing on the X and K band transmitters and C band receiver.


Stay tuned to ANS, the official source for news and information about AMSAT OSCAR 40.

[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA, AMSAT-DL and the ARRL for this information]

W3ASK Honors

As announced earlier, the Dayton Hamvention named engineer and propagation guru George Jacobs, W3ASK, as its Amateur of the Year. AMSAT's Bill Tynan, W3XO, as AMSAT-NA past president (and current AMSAT Chairman of the Board), had the following to say about this award:

Dear George,

I want to personally congratulate you on your selection as Amateur of the Year by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association. As a recipient of this award in 1996, I am fully aware of how great an honor this is.

Your continuing dissemination of propagation information has been a great help to amateurs, many of whom would be ignorant of this important facet of our hobby - if it were not for your efforts. Additionally, even though I have written about it several times, many are unaware of your role in inspiring the foundation of AMSAT. The talk you presented to the Comsat Radio Club (in early 1969), was the spark that got a young Perry Klein, now W3PK, thinking about starting an East Coast organization to carry on the great work of Project OSCAR. This spark is what kindled AMSAT.

Later that year you also addressed the new organization and put us on the right track - which led to us to obtain (from Project OSCAR) the spacecraft built by students at Melbourne University in Australia a year or so before. This first AMSAT project became OSCAR-5! As such, it put AMSAT on the right course, building satellites for use by amateurs worldwide on a non-discriminatory, free basis. Without your inspiration and guidance, we might well have become little more than a paper factory, like so many other Washington-area organizations are prone to being.

The world of amateur radio owes much to you.

It has been my pleasure to know you and I want to wish you the best for the years to come.

Bill Tynan, W3XO
AMSAT Chairman of the Board, and President 1991 to 1998

[ANS thanks AMSAT Chairman of the Board Bill Tynan, W3XO, for this information and congratulates George Jacobs, W3ASK, as the Dayton Amateur of the Year.]

Dayton AMSAT Winner

AMSAT was offered a wonderful opportunity to build our membership base during the Dayton Hamvention. An AMSAT benefactor offered to cover the cost of a providing a complete Mode-S and Mode-L system for use with AO-40, including antennas, a Mode-S downconverter and a Mode-L transverter/amplifier for one lucky new or re-subscribing member.

The winner of the equipment was Bob Halley, K8YMI. Bob expressed his gratitude in winning this equipment in a letter to AMSAT-NA president VE3FRH:

Hello Robin,

I was the winner of the AO-40 station given away at the AMSAT booth during Dayton week. It was delivered to my home here in the Cincinnati area recently. I want to say thank you to AMSAT for this excellent gift.

I have written letters to the suppliers of the antennas and the converters but didn't know who to write to at AMSAT, so you are the recipient. It's a great prize and I expect to have it up and running before the 1st of July, an ambitious project when I think about some of the other projects that I must also be done before that date!

In any case, I really appreciate the prize and ask that you let the AMSAT members know how happy I am!

Bob, K8YMI

[ANS congratulates Bob Halley, K8YMI, on his win!]

2001 Symposium Update

AMSAT-NA is looking forward to Atlanta, Georgia and the 19th Space Symposium and AMSAT-NA Annual Meeting this October! Symposium Chairman Steve Diggs, W4EPI, reminds ANS the deadline for submitting a paper for the Symposium is rapidly approaching: June 30th.

Steve reports there have been many topics discussed on the AMSAT-BB mailing list and these would be excellent Symposium topics, including: S-band downconverters, homebrew antennas, satellite telemetry, operating on an inverting SSB transponder and status reports on upcoming launches - just some of the ideas that would be of interest at the Symposium.

"It's time for the writers in our group to buckle down and get busy," said Steve, "all I need by June 30th is a high-level description of your idea. Then, July 15th, I need the final version."

Steve says if authors aren't comfortable writing solo, but have a great idea, please let him know and he will arrange mentoring.

[ANS thanks Steve Diggs, W4EPI, Chairman, AMSAT-NA 2001 Annual Symposium for this information]

ANS in Brief

ANS news in brief this week includes the following:

Weekly Satellite Report

Link to the weekly report on satellite ...

All Satellites
ISS . RS-12 . RS-13 . RS-15 . AO-10 . UO-11 . UO-14 . AO-16 . DO-17 . WO-18 . LO-19 . FO-20 . UO-22 . KO-23 . KO-25 . IO-26 . AO-27 . FO-29 . TO-31 . GO-32 . SO-33 . PO-34 . SO-35 . UO-36 . AO-40 . SO-41 . SO-42

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.