January 5, 2003

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SaudiSat-1C Opened for Operation

Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, and AMSAT-NA President is pleased to announce that he has received the following E-mail from Saudi Arabia.

Dear Mr. Robin Haighton,

We are pleased to inform you that the Space Research Institute of KACST has successfully launched its third spacecraft, SaudiSat-1C. The launch and separation were accomplished flawlessly on December 20th, 2002, using a modified SS-18 intercontinental ballistic missile.

SaudiSat-1C carries several experiments, including a new mode J FM amateur repeater experiment operating on 145.850 MHz uplink and 436.800 MHz downlink. The repeater was activated and tested this past week, and we are pleased to make it available to your members and amateurs worldwide as power permits. The repeater is accessible using a 67.0 Hertz tone on the uplink, for on-demand activation.

The receive antenna is a single element quarter wave whip on top of the spacecraft, feeding a VHF receiver with -124 dBm sensitivity, while the UHF transmitter is coupled to a quarter wave antenna element on the bottom of the spacecraft, radiating 250mW of RF energy.

We kindly request a new Saudi OSCAR designator for our spacecraft.

Turki Al Saud
Director, Space Research Institute.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Robin informed the AMSAT-BB readers that, "This satellite will require activation on each pass by a designated control operator. A worldwide network of designated control operators is now being developed so that radio amateurs may begin using the satellite immediately." He continued, "You will note however that a 67.0 Hz tone is required to switch on the satellite when uplinking. The purpose of this is to try and remove annoying interference. You will note that the operational frequencies are the same as AO-27. We expect that the satellite will receive an OSCAR number within a few days."

[ANS thanks Turki Al Saud and Robin, VE3FRH for the above information]

SaudiSat 1A and 1B Status

When asked about the status of SaudiSat1A Turki Al Saud responded, "SaudiSat1-A is fine and has been used for some testing and will be put back into the service soon." Continuing on, he also said, "SaudiSat1-B is fine but we still need it for some experiments, we hope to release it in the future."

[ANS thanks Turki Al Saud and Don, KD4APP, for the above information]

AO-40 Operating Schedule Update

Stacey Mill, W4SM, provided the following update on AO-40's operating schedule. "The power budget allows us to extend the passband time by 10 MA's on each end and we have activated the 24 GHz K-band transmitter. From MA 126 to 128 both the S2 and K middle beacons only will be active. From MA 128 to 132 both the S2 & K transmitters will be active on the U/L uplink passbands." Stacey said. He continues, "The last time the K-Tx was active, it was noted to have suffered a partial power loss suggesting that one of the output transistors may have failed. We will monitor its function to see if this condition has changed." Stacey also requested that K-band successes and failures be reported to the AMSAT-BB.

Stacey also noted that, "We are holding ALON/ALAT at nominal 0/0, but ALAT has been drifting slightly positive (~1 deg), which will slightly favor northern hemisphere users."

N  QST AMSAT AO-40      SCHEDULE    @=VARIABLE      2003-01-03
    MA      002   040   110@  126   128   132   210   244   002
    S2/K-TX  |  S  |  S  |  S  | S/K | S/K |  S  |  S  |  S  |
    MB       |  *  |  *  |     |  *  |  *  |  *  |  *  |     |
    RUDAK    |     |     |  *  |     |     |     |     |     |
    V/U-RX   |  U  |  U  |  V  |  U  |  U  |  U  |  U  |  V  |
    UPLINK   |     | UL  |     |     | UL  | UL  |     |     |

[ANS thanks Stacey, W4SM, for the above information]

AO-40 RUDAK Operations

During the week of Christmas the RUDAK team has concentrated on getting software loaded after the long period of quite time when there was inadequate power to run RUDAK and the experiments.

A task to record all activity on the CAN bus was loaded and run on the B processor while the CAN server and CEDEX task were run on the A. The CAN logging task files and the CEDEX task files were downloaded and are being analyzed to diagnose the problem that has prevented collection and logging of CEDEX data since December, 2001.

During the Christmas eve and day windows it was determined both RUDAK processors had crashed back to the boot loader and reloading was begun. An initial attempt to reload A failed and the short window prevented further diagnosis.

Some testing on the new windows based command software was accomplished and a few changes have been made. This is an important activity because it forms the basis for telemetry and command software for future AMSAT-NA satellites including Echo and Eagle. Again, however, the short RUDAK window prevented complete testing.

Further load and diagnosis activities will be undertaken during the next available window.

[ANS thanks Jim, WD0E, for the above information]

Weekly Operating Update

ANS welcomes the opportunity to publish your good news of success in working a new satellite, new DX, new mode, etc. We also print reports about what space related activities your local satellite groups and ham clubs are doing. Send your operating reports to JoAnne ( and they will be printed here.

[ANS thanks KK5DO, and congratulates W8MRR for this week's operating news.]

OSCAR SKN Nominations Due

Best Fist Nominations Due

Thanks to all who participated in Straight Key Night on OSCAR 2003. Perhaps it was just me, but from here, activity seemed greater this year than last. Some Best Fist nominations have already been received, but if you have not already done so, please take a moment to nominate someone you worked. Remember, the person you nominate does not have to have the best fist of anyone you heard, just of those you worked. Please address nominations by e-mail to, by packet radio to W2RS @ WA2SNA.NJ.USA.NA, or by postal mail to W2RS's callbook address.

A list of Best Fist nominees will be published in an AMSAT News Service bulletin in early February, and in The AMSAT Journal.

[ANS thanks Ray, W2RS, for the above information]

PCsat Operations Limited

Stations have been requested to please cease PCSAT transmissions as of 02 January 2003.

Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, provides the following update. "PCsat reset overnight over Europe and we are trying to get it back into low-power conservation mode. We will try hard for a day or so, and so it will be nice if everyone goes QRT to give us a chance to get back into positive power budget." Bob continued, "We can try over the next several days to recover, but if we don't get it by then, I assume we have lost dark ops again until mid February full sun period."

Additional information is available on the PCsat web page

[ANS thanks Bob, WB4APR, for the above information]

AMSAT Journal DX Editor Wayne W9AE

The AMSAT Journal welcomed Wayne Estes W9AE aboard as the DX Editor and columnist for the AMSAT Journal. Wayne will report on present and planned satellite DX operations.

Wayne has an article in the just published Journal about his portable antenna kit for loan to satellite DXpedition operators. He is a very good resource as his interests include finding out about the various satellite DX operations, especially DXpedition type operations. To keep track of both AO-40 and LEO DX operation Wayne says he checks a lot of sources including AMSAT-BB, U.S. DX bulletins, European DX bulletins, HB9DRI AO40 logger site, etc.

You can submit your satellite DX news and comments to Wayne via the Journal e-mail box

[ANS thanks JoAnne WB9JEJ, AMSAT Journal Editor, for the above information.]

AMSAT Journal Articles

We're catching up from the earlier software and production problems we had over the summer and fall. Here is a list of the submissions deadlines for the AMSAT Journal for upcoming year:

Deadline Journal Issue
1/25/03 January/February 2003
2/20/03 March/April 2003
4/20/03 May/June 2003
6/20/03 July/August 2003
8/20/03 September/October 2003
10/20/03 November/December 2003
12/20/03 January/February 2004

The Journal can be flexible in regards to late breaking news so please send that even if the deadline is past. I'll try real hard to fit it in.

The following formats work the best:

  1. Written items in MS-Word or plain text (including e-mail text).
  2. Tables can be in MS-Word or Excel. Or if you enter the text in neat rows/columns this can easily be converted to a table in the magazine.
  3. Diagrams in MS-Word documents will be converted to jpg to be printed. Or send the diagrams as separate files with your text.
  4. Photos can be JPG, GIF, or TIF format. I can scan regular photos if they need to be converted.

The e-mail address to send your Journal stuff is Please keep in mind that size does not matter ... we welcome all from 1-2 pages to the super-dooper articles. Feedback that I get all the time says that your fellow AMSAT hams out there are interested in reading your article.

Thanks for all your help so far ... and, I'm looking forward to receiving your input this year!

73 de JoAnne WB9JEJ
AMSAT Journal Editor

[ANS thanks JoAnne, WB9JEJ, for the above information]

FCC Seeks Comments on AMSAT-NA Petition

The FCC is inviting comments on two amateur radio-related petitions for rule making. Both have been put on public notice and are available for public review and comment.

In petition RM-10621, AMSAT-NA has asked the FCC to drop its presently required 27-month pre-space notification to the FCC's international branch for amateur satellite launches and substitute a pre-space notification within 30 days of a launch commitment.

The comment deadline for both petitions is January 17, 2003. Interested parties may view the AMSAT petitions and file comments via the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System on the web at, Commenters should include full name, US Postal Service mailing address and the applicable rulemaking number.

[ANS thanks the ARRL Bulletin for the above information]

ARISS Contact Schedule

Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule as of 2002-12-30 16:00 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 noted with (***). 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 6 crew:
Kenneth Bowersox KD5JBP
Nikolai Budarin RV3FB
Donald Pettit KD5MDT

Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, Chicago, Illinois direct via AJ9N
Contact is on for 2002-12-29 18:21 UTC
Ken Bowersox is the scheduled astronaut.
The contact was successful with an outstanding almost direct overhead pass. Congratulations Ken, the Adler kids, and AJ9N.

Contact will be on live streaming video/audio, the website is  and follow the links.

The Adler website will have copies of the audio and video within the next several days. (***)

Ecole Immaculle Conception, Brest, France, Direct
TBD week of 2003-01-06

Sacajawea Middle School, Montana Direct
TBD week of 2003-01-06

Cape Cod National Seashore, Wellfleet, MA, Telebridge
TBD week of 2003-01-13

Hochwald-Gymnasium, Wadern, Germany, Direct via DN1TA
TBD 2003-02

Cowichan Secondary School, Duncan, BC, Canada, Direct via VE7POH
TBD 2003-02

Park Ridge, Illinois

Oregon State University
TBD 2003-02

The latest ARISS announcement and successful school list in now available on the ARISS web site. Several ways to get there.
click on English (sorry I don't know French)
you are now at
click on News

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, AJ9N, for the above information]

News in Brief

Weekly Satellite Report

Link to the weekly report on satellite ...

All Satellites
ISS. RS-12. RS-13. RS-15. RS-20. 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. 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 Lee McLamb, KU4OS,