August 17, 2003

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Bali QSO Party on AO-40

Many hams in the middle and eastern United States will get a good chance to make their first satellite contact with Indonesia on August 18 from 1710-1830 UTC during the "Bali QSO party". The window will go as far east as the mid-Atlantic states. Reinhard informed me that he will be using a 9-foot dish and he has a clear view of the horizon. He believes he will be able to make contacts down to 0 degrees elevation.

Unfortunately this is on a Monday during business hours. Fortunately the window is during lunchtime for hams in the Central and Mountain time zones. Some people might be able to take a long lunch and go home to make the contact. Those in the Eastern time zone could take a late lunch or go home early. I have tree obstructions at home, so I plan to set up my portable AO-40 station in the parking lot at work where I have a clear view of the sky down to about 2 degrees elevation.

[ANS thanks Wayne, W9AE, for the above information]

Flatholm Island Expedition Includes Satellite Ops

Many amateur radio operators may be aware of the significance of "Flatholm Island " located in the Bristol Channel in the UK. The island has a very historic link in connection with our hobby as it was used by Marconi when he demonstrated to the British Post Office that his theory that radio waves would travel across water. He made the link via radio from Lavernock Point in south Wales to the island on Thursday May 13th 1897.

To pay homage to Marconi the Barry Amateur Radio Society (South Wales) erected a monument on the island and each year make an annual visit to operate a special event station using the callsign "GB5FI " (Flatholm Island). This years visit will take place between Friday 22nd August and Wednesday 27th August when once the society will activate this very rare WAB square ST26 and operating mainly on the amateur HF bands.

To follow in the footsteps of the historic event. This year it is also planned to operate via satellite using AO-40 and also OSCAR 14 (subject to access in the short pass time). Whist the priority will be for normal SSB operation we also endeavor to perhaps operate in the digital or SSTV modes.

This is a very rare opportunity to add to your QSL card collection a "Flatholm Island " via satellite memento!

Details of the site are as follows:

Flatholm Island ( Bristol Channel ) - UK
Callsign: GB5FI
Grid Square: IO81ki
Latitude N 51 29 69
Longitude S 003 33 59
Also Lighthouse ref: 0007

[ANS thanks Ken, GW1FKY, for the above information]

AO-40 Transponder Schedule

The schedule has been changed slightly to put the beacon-only portion of the K-band session at the end of the session, rather than the beginning.

If you are operating using the S-band downlink during the K-band session, PLEASE try to be more than 25 kHz from the middle beacon and reduce power.

N  QST AMSAT AO-40          SCHEDULE                 2003-08-14
      MA      002   030   126   132   134   220   244   002
      S2/K-Tx  |  S  |  S  | S/K | S/K |  S  |  S  |  S  |
      MB       |  *  |  *  |  *  |  *  |  *  |  *  |  *  |
      RUDAK    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
      V/U-Rx   |  U  |  U  |  U  |  U  |  U  |  U  |  V  |
      Uplink   |     | UL1 | UL  |     | UL  |     |     |

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

Roy Neal, K6DUE, SK

Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, provided the following report on the passing of Roy Neal, K6DUE.

It is with great sadness in my heart that I must tell you that my good friend and mentor, Roy Neal, K6DUE has passed away today, August 15. Roy was recovering from heart surgery that was performed on August 12 when he passed away.

Roy played a pivotal role in bringing amateur radio on-board human spaceflight vehicles. Through his extensive contacts in NASA, he was instrumental in convincing NASA management to fly amateur radio on-board the Space Shuttle. Roy's successful negotiations with NASA management led to the first on-orbit amateur radio operations by astronaut Owen Garriott, W5LFL, on the STS-9 Space Shuttle Columbia flight in November 1983. He was the leader of the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) working group and he was instrumental in the formation of the international team that represents Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS). For the ARISS program, Roy served as moderator of the ARISS international meetings. K6DUE's extensive experience as a newsman was put into practice as he utilized these talents to keep the ARISS team on-track and focused during these critical, consensus-gathering meetings. Roy loved the amateur radio hobby in general and continued to be on-the-air until the last few weeks of his life. He provided substantial support and guidance to amateur radio organizations such as AMSAT, ARRL and amateur radio news organizations such as Newsline.

The general public will remember Roy for his years of outstanding service at NBC news. As the NBC science correspondent, K6DUE covered the space program extensively, particularly the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle missions. He was personal friends of the astronauts, particularly the Mercury 7 astronauts. Roy was full of stories about the fledgling U.S. space program. I enjoyed countless hours listening to him talk about the space missions, the challenges and many of the "behind the scenes" stories about what happened before, during and after the flight. When it came to the U.S. space program, Roy Neal was an encyclopedia of knowledge.

As a young child, I remember seeing Roy Neal on NBC news standing near the launch pad explaining to me (and the whole world) all the details of the upcoming Mercury, Gemini and Apollo flights. At that time, I would have never have guessed that I would not only meet Roy but that he would become my personal friend. I feel blessed to have had such a wonderful person as a friend and a mentor. I will miss him dearly.

K6DUE worked tirelessly to expand amateur radio operations beyond the surface of the Earth. He personally challenged me and the entire ARISS team to develop, operate and maintain a permanent amateur radio station on ISS. The ham radio station on-board ISS serves as a living legacy to Roy Neal. As humans extend their reach beyond Earth orbit and into the far reaches of the universe, may Roy Neal's spirit inspire us to continue the pursuit of expanding amateur radio in space.

On behalf of AMSAT and the ARISS International team, I would like to extend our collective condolences to the Neal Family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

To Roy Neal SK: Our sincerest 73's and 88's

Frank H. Bauer, KA3HDO
AMSAT-NA V.P. for Human Spaceflight Programs
Chairman, ARISS International

[ANS thanks Frank, KA3HDO, 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,