September 23, 2001

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AO-40 Update

AO-40 command station Stacey Mills, W4SM, informed ANS that because of current ALON/ALAT, RUDAK time slots during orbit have been moved and also increased slightly. RUDAK is currently active from MA=70 and MA=87.

AO-40 is currently in a long period during which the Earth eclipses the Sun near perigee. These actually began about August 28th, and will rapidly increase in length. The will continue well into June 2002. During September, eclipses will peak at 85 minutes in duration.

For the current transponder operating schedule visit

Stay tuned to ANS, the official source of AO-40 information.
[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA, AMSAT-DL and the ARRL for this information]

Dennis Kitchen, G0FCL, Silent Key

The worldwide amateur radio society and the satellite community has lost a very good friend -- Dennis Kitchen, G0FCL. Dennis passed away in late August, following a short illness.

G0FCL was an active member of AMSAT-UK for many years. He was committee member in charge of the UK's Orbital Calendar since 1991, and coordinated AMSAT-UK's goods and services in recent years. Dennis also wrote the satellite column in the RSGB publication of Radio Communication. His passing will leave a void in our lives.

Dennis will be warmly remembered for his passion for amateur radio, especially satellites, and for his willingness to share his knowledge and experience with all. AMSAT-UK Secretary, Jim Heck, G3WGM, told ANS that "I find it very sad to record the passing of a great friend, who gave so much to amateur radio and AMSAT-UK, in a very quiet and unassuming way."

AMSAT-NA President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, upon hearing the sad news, released the following statement:

I received this news with much regret. Dennis has been on this side of the Atlantic several times and he will be warmly remembered by many of us. It is always sad to lose a good friend. On behalf of the AMSAT-NA Board of Directors, Officers and members, I pass our condolences to his wife Barbara, his family and his many friends in AMSAT.

Robin Haighton, VE3FRH
President AMSAT-NA

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NA for this information]

W2RS Headed to Region 2 Conference

AMSAT-NA Executive Vice President Ray Soifer, W2RS, will be attending the IARU Region 2 Conference, which will be held September 30 to October 5, 2001, in Guatemala City. The Conference agenda will include some very important issues including WRC-03 items on the proposed realignment of the 40-meter band. Possible changes to the ITU regulations governing amateur radio will also be discussed.

As many ANS readers remember, W2RS demonstrated AO-27 operation at the 1998 IARU Region 2 Conference in Venezuela as YV7/W2RS. At the upcoming Conference, Ray will again represent AMSAT, and will try to operate as many UO-14 and AO-27 passes during the Conference as his schedule permits.

Ray will be using the callsign TG9/W2RS. The grid square for Guatemala City is EK-44.

As in Venezuela, the main purpose of this demonstration is to show the Conference delegates (many of whom are representing relatively poor countries with little or no satellite activity), how easy satellite operation can be - using minimal equipment and antennas.

From Venezuela W2RS worked 17 stations on AO-27, as far away as Canada, with just a handheld and extended length whip antenna. He will be using the same equipment in Guatemala.

Look for TG9/W2RS!

W2RS also reports that recent IARU Region news included two problems of Mexican origin, encrypted speech transmissions on 7008 kHz (and several other 40-meter frequencies) and taxi cabs in San Luis and Sonora using 2 meters for commercial communication. These issues have been addressed by Ramon Santoyo, XE1KK, the IARU Liaison with Federacion Mexicana de Radioexperimentadores.

After discussing these problems, as well as two problems of CB interference, with officials at COFETEL, the Mexican communications administration, formal complaints were sent. It is hoped that the Mexican authorities will take appropriate action to eliminate these interference problems. The taxicabs have been especially troublesome because their signals have been picked up by the uplink receivers of several OSCAR satellites and have been rebroadcast over wide areas of North America.

Also, CRAG, the Guatemalan IARU member society, said in its report to Region 2 that government authorities there have returned 430-440 MHz to amateur radio use, effective June 2001. Commercial users (which had purchased the auctioned frequencies in this band) will be relocated elsewhere. At WRC-03, Guatemala will request a footnote making amateur radio the primary user at 430-440 MHz, CRAG reported.

AMSAT-NA congratulates CRAG and IARU Region 2 on this outstanding result!

W2RS invites satellite operators to visit our the IARU Monitoring System Region 2 web site. Information on MS activities and reference information is provided along with a number of interesting links. The address is

[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA Executive Vice President Ray Soifer, W2RS, 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.