September 29, 2002

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ANS in Brief

[ANS thanks JoAnne Maenpaa WB9JEJ for the above information.]

AO-7 SWL QSL Cards Now Available

A small number of the ORIGINAL two batches of AO-7 SWL QSL cards from the 1970's have been discovered in the AMSAT offices. They are not all perfect, but they are ORIGINAL, and are available for those that send an AO-7 reception report to:
Andy MacAllister - W5ACM
14714 Knights Way Drive
Houston, TX 77083-5640.
Please include a business-size S.A.S.E. with your reception report.

[ANS thanks JoAnne Maenpaa WB9JEJ for the above information.]

AMSAT 1974 Newsletter

Reprints of the December 1974 AMSAT Newsletter are now available. This issue was published shortly after the launch of AMSAT-OSCAR-7. Not only is it full of AO-7 information, but is fascinating to read.

To get your copy, send a $5 donation ($6 for non-U.S. addresses) made out to "AMSAT" to:
Andy MacAllister - W5ACM
14714 Knights Way Drive
Houston, TX 77083-5640

[ANS thanks JoAnne Maenpaa WB9JEJ for the above information.]

Satellite DXpedition Planned for Guam

Yoshi JF6BCC announced that his satellite DXpedition plans to operate from Guam (KH2) are set to go. He plans to be active between October 11 to October 14.

His satellite operating plans include:

QSL info is via JF6BCC (direct or via JA bureau OK). Please do not use the KH2 bureau. You can mail to his KH2GR mailing address in California but it will take a few weeks or months.

Also Yoshi says, "I already booked my flight to T88 Palau in the middle of next February. Maybe I will QRV from there."

[ANS thanks Yoshihiro Imaishi JF6BCC/KH2GR for the above information.]

ANS Good News of the Week

ANS would like to print your successes as you get things to work on a new satellite, work your first satellite DX, etc. Send your reports to ANS Editor JoAnne Maenpaa at and they will be printed here.

[ANS thanks and congratulates K7MT, N5XMV, and N2YTF for this week's good news.]

JT44 Weak Signal Experiments Show Promise on AO-40

As you may have already read in the AO-40 status reports, the wonders of orbital mechanics are combining into a short-term condition where many "average" CW/SSB stations on the bird may not be able to access it.

In the near future the squint angles and solar angles will be worsening. The AO-40 command team has announced that the passbands will be turned off in about 7 days as solar/squint angles worsen. The passbands will be re-established in several weeks, when AO-40 comes out of drift and ALAT begins lowering. When AO-40 gets to that point, the best conditions will be shortly after perigee. The schedule will be adjusted accordingly. AO-40 should be back to ALON/ALAT = 0/0 about November 15th. The command team says we can stay there until early March 2003.

Roy VE7BPB in Vancouver reports he has had success with his testing using the JT44 weak signal program through AO-40. Conditions are best for CW/SSB signals when the squint angle is less than 20 degrees. Roy says he has had success with high squint angles around 45 to 50 degrees when no other stations could be heard.

Roy said in an earlier message he posted, "I found that one difficulty is knowing where your downlink signal will be in relation to your uplink signal. The normal practice of just tuning for your own carrier doesn't work too well because you can't hear it." He found that he can run a program called Spectran which helped him to reliably tune in his signals, even when they were below audibility.

In regards to finding his otherwise inaudible signal with Spectran, Roy said, "Well, it works exactly as advertised. I was able to find my own signal fairly quickly, and from there the JT44 frequency display got me down to the last few hertz. The JT44 sync tones seem to be around 1300 hertz, so by tuning the receiver, and watching Spectran for the train of pulses at about 1300 Hz, I could quickly find myself. And as a bonus, it would be a good way to identify another JT44 station that you couldn't hear. The pulse train is quite unique, with the higher frequency tones showing up as random dots next to the sync pulses."

Roy thinks this would be an ideal way to find JT44 stations operating at a "calling frequency" on the satellite, such as 50 kHz below the beacon. This "calling frequency " idea is used for JT44 on the vhf/uhf bands.

Roy also notes additional results from his testing. It seems to him that it is easier to decode very weak JT44 signals using the L2 uplink rather than the L1 uplink, even with the 6 dB weaker signals on L2. One hypothesized cause is this may be due to the way the L1 receiver jumps back and forth in frequency every 10-15 seconds. The 10 Hz movement it makes is probably enough to upset the decoding algorithm in JT44. Since the frequency on L2 is rock stable, it seems to decode somewhat better.

So far, Roy has worked 2 other stations successfully on JT44. He also had another station try to answer his CQ, but was too far off in time-synchronization to decode. (It may have been a JA station.)

Roy summed up with, "It seems that this mode might be quite interesting for those times when regular communications are too difficult, or for small stations that want to play. I have decoded my own signals under good conditions (less than 20 degrees squint) while running only 40 watts eirp on the L-band uplink, so it opens up some interesting possibilities."

Here is a list of links for additional information and downloads of the software packages mentioned:

Joe Taylor, K1JT's, "official" Web site at

Additional JT44 links:

The Spectran web page is at

[ANS thanks Roy VE7BPB, Ray W2RS, and Stacey W4SM for the information used to compile this article. Written by JoAnne WB9JEJ.]

Radio in Space: Io -- A Jovian Transmitter

There are many mysteries in deep space. Men and their machines are hard at work trying to resolve them. At the heart of unmanned space flight, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Southern California is home to the huge antennas that control the space ships that go out in the attempt to unlock the secrets. It also is home to amateur radio station W6VIO and many of the hams who run the station take part in the deep space endeavors.

The latest report says they have found that Io, a volcanic moon circling the planet Jupiter, transmits charged particles … easily detectable as power and noise. But the moon apparently has no magnetic field. These data were gathered by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft as it orbited Jupiter for the last 6 years.

The discovery took on importance last fall. The researchers were trying to determine whether the moon created its own magnetic field inside the massive one generated by Jupiter, the largest of all our solar planets. When Galileo crossed the path of a magnetic field connection between Io and Jupiter, suddenly the density of the charged particles through which it was passing increased … but no magnetic field was detected. Leaving the researchers, in their earthly control room, yet anther puzzle of the universe to solve.

For the amateur radio newsline, Roy Neal, K6DUE

More on this fascinating finding is available in cyberspace at (NASA-JPL)

[ANS thanks Bill Pasternak WA6ITF and Amateur Radio Newsline for the above information.]

ARISS Contact Schedule

Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule as of 2002-09-20 03:00 UTC

The ARISS (a joint effort of AMSAT, the ARRL, NASA, the ARISS international partners including Canada, Russia, the European Partners, and Japan) operations team wishes to announce the following very tentative schedule for ARISS school contacts. This schedule is very fluid and may change at the last minute. Remember that amateur radio use on the ISS is considered secondary. Please check the various AMSAT and ARISS webpages for the latest announcements. Changes from the last announcement are shown in italics. Also, please check for possible live retransmissions ( Listen for the ISS on the downlink of 145.80 MHz.

For information about educational materials available from ISS partner space agencies, please refer to links on the ARISS Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you are interested in supporting an ARISS contact, then you must fill in an application. The ARISS operations mentor team will not accept a direct request to support an ARISS contact.

You should also note that many schools think that they can request a specific date and time. It does not work that way. Once an application has been accepted, the ARISS mentors will work with the school to determine a mutually agreeable date.

Websites that may be of interest include:

Your completely filled out application should be returned to the nearest coordinating ARISS region if your specific region is not listed. E-mail is the preferred method of submitting an application.

Here are the email addresses:

ARISS-Canada and all other countries not covered Daniel Lamoureux VE2KA
ARISS-Europe J. Hahn, DL3LUM / PA1MUC
ARISS-Japan and all Region 3 countries Keigo Komuro JA1KAB
ARISS-Russia Valerie Agabekov N2WW/UA6HZ
ARISS-USA The American Radio Relay League

ISS Expedition 5 crew: 
Peggy Whitson KC5ZTD
Sergei Treschev RZ3FU
Valeri Korzun RZ3FK

Whitson Crew Pick, Martensdale - St. Mary's School, Martensdale, IA
2002-09-19 17:22 UTC via WH6PN
Contact was successful. Congrats to St. Mary's and Peggy Whitson. Thanks to for the live coverage

Joamie Ilniarvik, Iqualuit, Nunavut, Canada
Fri. 2002-09-27 13:41 UTC via ZS6BTD 41 deg
Watch for coverage

Whitson Crew Pick, St. Mark's Lutheran School, Hacienda Heights, CA
Option # 1 Wednesday 2002-10-02 19:24 UTC via VK5ZAI 86 degrees
Option # 2 Friday 2002-10-04 21:23 UTC via NN1SS 65 degrees

Lamar Elementary (was Travis), Greenville, Texas, direct via KC5GQP
Week of 2002-10-14 TBD

Whitson Crew Pick, Spruce Hill Christian School (K-8), Philadelphia, PA
Week of 2002-10-21 TBD

Whitson Crew Pick, Silver Hills Middle School, Fairplay, CO
Week of 2002-10-28 TBD

Jamboree Station, The Netherlands, PI4RIS
TBD during JOTA 2002-10-19 to 2002-10-20

Frank De Winne Crew Pick, Royal Technical School Belgian Air Force, Sint Truiden, Belgium Direct via ON4BAF
2002-11-03 TBD

Frank De Winne Crew Pick, Euro Space Center, Transinne, Belgium, direct via ON4ESC or Telebridge
2002-11-04 TBD

Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, Chicago, Illinois direct via AJ9N
Look for possible live streaming video, the website is

Center for Educational Technologies, Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling, WV 
Telebridge TBD

St. Ursula's College, Toowoomba, Australia

The latest ARISS announcement and successful school list in now available on the ARISS web site. There are several ways to get there. Try and click on English. You are now at Click on News and you should be in the right place.

Currently the ARISS operations team has a list of over 60 schools that we hope will be able to have a contact during 2002-2003. As the schedule becomes more solidified, we will be letting everyone know. Current plans call for an average of one scheduled school contact per week.

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana AJ9N for the above information.]

Weekly Satellite Report

Link to the weekly report on satellite ...

All Satellites
ISS . RS-12 . RS-13 . RS-15 . AO-7 . AO-10 . UO-11 . UO-14 . AO-16 . LO-19 . FO-20 . UO-22 . KO-23 . KO-25 . IO-26 . AO-27 . FO-29 . TO-31 . GO-32 . SO-33 . PO-34 . UO-36 . AO-40 . SO-41 . SO-42 . NO-44 . NO-45 . MO-46

Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to the ANS Editors at

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This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT News Service Editor Rich Krajewski, WB2CRD,