April 6, 2003

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AMSAT-NA Bod Nominations

It is time to submit nominations for AMSAT-NA Board of Directors. AMSAT Member Societies or five current individual members may make nominations of fellow members to serve a two-year term. Four seats on the seven member board must be filled this year. Those who terms are expiring are: Barry Baines, WD4ASW, Dick Daniels, W4PUJ, Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, Bill Tynan, W3XO. Please be sure that anyone you nominate understands that meeting attendance is necessary. Nominations should be sent to AMSAT, 850 Sligo Ave, #600, Silver Spring MD 20910 and must arrive no later than JUNE 15th.

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

AMSAT-NA Space Symposium Call for Papers

The 2003 AMSAT-NA Annual Symposium is scheduled for October 17-19, 2003 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This is the first call for papers to be presented at the 2003 Symposium.

Papers may be presented by the author during the Symposium or simply offered for inclusion in the Symposium Proceedings publication.

The subject matter should be of general interest to amateur radio operators involved in satellite communications. Suggested topics include:

A brief abstract of the proposed paper should be submitted as soon as possible. The final date for abstracts is June 15, 2003.Copy ready papers must be received no later than August 15, 2003.

Electronic submittal is preferred in MS WORD format. Please email your electronic submittals to Wayne Chandler at

[ANS thanks Wayne, VE3WHC, for the above information]

AO-40 Update

The nominal ALON/ALAT is now 40/0.
The passband has been moved to MA 120-240

N  QST AMSAT AO-40          SCHEDULE                2003-03-25
                MA      010   120   240   244   010
                S2/K-Tx  |  S  |  S  |  S  |  S  |
                MB       |  *  |  *  |  *  |  *  |
                RUDAK    |     |     |     |     |
                V/U-Rx   |  U  |  U  |  U  |  V  |
                Uplink   |     | UL  |     |     |

[ANS thanks the AO-40 command team for the above information]

PCSat Operations

"PCSat is still going strong, but is on ragged edge of power budget during maximum eclipses." reports Bob Bruinga, WB4APR. He continues, "We have caught her 3 or 4 times in the last week doing a low power reset and fortunately we have been able to restore her before the batteries went to negative power budget."

Bob recommends that since there are as many as 50 users per day, it is best if everyone turns off any unattended user stations at night when PCSat is in eclipse.

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

OSCAR-11 Report

During the period 01 March to 21 March 2003 the 145.826 MHz beacon has been heard transmitting continuous ASCII telemetry from 09 to 19 March. During this period good signals have been received.

The internal temperatures have continued to fall, by about one degree C, with an up/down variation of half a degree. They are now 6.0 C, 4.8 and 11.2 C for battery, telemetry electronics, and command decoder respectively. The temperatures are expected to fall slowly as the solar eclipse times lengthen, reaching a minimum in the Summer, and then increase in the Autumn. The solar eclipse times should be shorter than last year,resulting in higher temperatures in 2003.

The battery voltage observed during daylight passes is unchanged. Observations have varied between 13.5 and 14.0 volts, with an average value of 13.7 volts.

The attitude is now being controlled solely by the passive gravity boom gradient, and there is no control over spin rate. The continuous telemetry has enabled the spin period to be calculated from the X & Y magnetometer readings. The spin period has varied from 295 to 376 seconds. The attitude is normal.

Users of OSCAR-11 should note that the date in the telemetry is advanced by three days. The time is advanced by 18 minutes.

The mode-S beacon has been heard by Michael OH2AUE. He uses a home brew feed horn antenna with a three stage pre-amp. Many thanks for your report Michael.

OSCAR-11 now operates in a default mode, controlled by the watch-dog timer. The satellite transmits continuous ASCII telemetry for about 8 - 9 days on 145.826 MHz, followed by about 10 - 12 days of silence. These times appear to be somewhat variable.

The mode-S beacon is ON continuously, even when the VHF beacon is OFF, nominally transmitting an unmodulated carrier on 2401.5 MHz. There is however a VERY low level of AFSK modulation, (now a constant 1200 Hz audio tone), which has been detected on strong signals. Telemetry indicates that the beacon has partially failed, and is delivering half power. This beacon is a useful test source for those testing mode-S converters, as an alternative to OSCAR-40. However the signals are very weak, and there is a lot of Doppler. Users should also note that the polarization of OSCAR-11 is LHC. Even if you can't hear OSCAR-11, your equipment may still be OK for OSCAR-40. Any reports of reception on 2401.5 MHz would be most welcome. Please e-mail

The 435.025 MHz beacon is normally OFF. It can only be heard on the very rare occasions when the satellite is being commanded by ground control, i.e., within range of Guildford, UK. When the 435 beacon is transmitting, the 145 beacon is normally OFF. The data transmitted is mainly binary.

Listeners to OSCAR-11 may be interested in visiting my web site.

The web site contains details about using a soundcard for data capture, and also details about using hardware demodulators. There is software for capturing data, and decoding ASCII telemetry and WOD. There is an archive of raw data for analysis, which is continually being expanded, as new data is captured. Originally this was for WOD, but it is now being expanded to include ASCII telemetry. At the present time the telemetry is just for 2002, and 2001. I will add other years as time permits. In parallel there is a news archive which provides an overview of the state of the satellite, at the times when the telemetry was captured.

If anyone out there can provide any data, particularly for the 1984 to 1993 years, this would be most appreciated. Please e-mail me with details. However please DO NOT SEND ANY FILES, before further discussion.

Also included are some audio files, examples of each type of data transmitted by OSCAR-11, each one plays for about ten seconds. There are also examples of mode-S reception. All the audio files are zipped, so that they can be played off-line. These should help listeners identify the various types of data, and give an indication of the signal quality required for successful decoding.

The URL is

If you place this bulletin on a terrestrial packet network, please use the bulletin identifier $BID:U2RPT83.CWV, to prevent duplication.

[ANS thanks Clive, G3CWV, for the above information]

Boston AMSAT Net Celebrates 7th Anniversary

The AMSAT Net in the Boston area has been on the amateur 2m band weekly on Thursdays at 8:30 - 9:30 p.m. since March 14, 1996 on the Waltham Repeater 146.640- and has crossed 2 net milestone. It was 7 years old on March 14 with net number 350 on March 20, 2003.

Ernie, K1ELA, says, "Thanks to all who have checked in over the years and to George W1ME for getting me started in the first place!"

Net control, Ernie MacLauchlan, K1ELA, sent out certificates to all stations that checked in on March 20, 2003.

Some net trivia as of March 20, 2003:
Total Check-ins 5775
Nets 350
Average per net 17
Individual People 689

[ANS thanks Ernie, K1ELA, for the above information]

ARISS Contact Schedule and Successful Schools

ARISS Contact Schedule and Successful school list updated 2003-04-01 19:00 UTC

There is a problem with the AMSAT server where I normally upload the latest schedule. Until that gets fixed, you should know that there is one school coming up near the end of the week.

National Space Centre, In conjunction with Rushey Mead School in England
Fri 2003-04-04 18:26 UTC

The latest ARISS announcement and successful school list is now available on the ARISS web site. Several ways to get there.

Latest ARISS announcements and news

Successful school list


The GSFC website is having problems. Go directly to the RAC site.

click on English (sorry I don't know French)
you are now at
click on News

[ANS thanks Charlie, AJ9N, for the above information]

AMSAT Award Recipients

Satellite Communicators Club (first Satellite QSO)

John Price, N4IHP 16-Mar-2003
David Ball, KG4OJR 16-Mar-2003
Robert Tyler, KF4VBR 16-Mar-2003
Greg Mauldin, AF4RZ 16-Mar-2003
Carl Plotz, Jr. WB9JSW 16-Mar-2003
Wes Akins, KA4IAO 16-Mar-2003
Ed Honeycutt, WA4VFH 16-Mar-2003
Anna Tyler, KG4ATH 16-Mar-2003
Karl Phillips, K4GZZ 16-Mar-2003
Steve Garrison, N4SEG 16-Mar-2003
Susan Swiderski, AF4FO 16-Mar-2003
Bill Ahls, AB0KF 16-Mar-2003
Les Scofield, W4SCO 16-Mar-2003
Cameron Amos (not licensed) 16-Mar-2003
John Tutarima, YB2MQ 16-Mar-2003
Clayton Freund, WB5TOI 16-Mar-2003
Jim Kennedy, W5SSG 17-Mar-2003

AMSAT Achievement Award

373 KD6V 16-Mar-2003
374 W5SSG 17-Mar-2003

AMSAT South Africa Award

US74 W5SSG 17-Mar-03

[ANS thanks Bruce, KK5DO, for the above information]

This Week's 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. AO-49. SO-50

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,