September 7, 2003

Latest Bulletins
Last Week's Bulletins
2003 Bulletins
These Bulletins in plain text format
Subscribe to bulletins by e-mail
Submit your News for ANS

AMSAT-NA President's Reminder

Just a few more reminders to bring to your attention:

1) In support of Echo you can fly your name/callsign on the bird. Call Martha for details (301)-589-6062 and be the first one in your local club to get into space.

2) Remember the membership contest - Get new members for AMSAT - every one helps with the funding and the more users we have on the birds - the more fun we have. Don't forget the tri-bander prize for the contest

3) Registration for the annual meeting goes up in price after September 15th, help yourself to a saving, and help the organizers to know how many will be present.

4) The annual meeting Spouses Program, - In case there is any confusion, on the Friday you need to take the bus downtown in order to get on the "Shop and Dine Tour" but you do not have to take that tour if you want "to do your own thing downtown." The bus will bring you back to the hotel after the tour.

5) Every year we get a number of people who try to book the hotel after the block has been closed. Make sure that you book your room early (before September 16) to ensure that you get the best rate and can stay in the Airport Marriott with everybody else. While there are other hotels around the area they will cost more and have less facilities. Currently the $Cdn is about $0.71 US thus the current price of our rooms is about $84.50 + local tax for a first rate hotel.

6) I am advised , by an independent chef, that the Saturday night Banquet ($33.00 US) is excellent and well worth attending.

7) Take the Sunday Morning trip to the "Hammond Radio Museum" - one of the very best of its kind.

More Reminders to follow next week.

Robin Haighton, VE3FRH,
President AMSAT

[ANS thanks Robin, VE3FRH, for the above information]

Keith Baker Resigns from AMSAT-NA BoD

It is with regret that we announce the resignation of Keith Baker, KB1SF from the AMSAT-NA Board of Directors. Keith cites a desire to spend more time with his family, as well as pressures in his professional life, as reasons for this action.

KB1SF was first elected to the Board 1994, and has served continuously since then. He was re-elected to serve a regular two year term in 2002. Keith also served as Executive Vice President under President, Bill Tynan, W3XO, from 1994 until 1998 The Board elected him President in 1998 when W3XO stepped down, and served for two years.

Robin Haighton, V3FRH, AMSAT North America President says, "Keith's seat on the Board will be filled by the First Alternate, the person receiving the highest number of votes in the current election after the four contested seats are filled."

Bill Tynan, W3XO
Board Chairman

[ANS Bill, W3XO, for the above information]

OSCAR-11 Report

OSCAR-11 Report 06 September 2003

During the period 13 August to 06 September 2003 the 145.826 MHz. beacon has been heard transmitting continuous ASCII telemetry from 22 August to 01 September. During this period good signals have been received. Telemetry transmissions are expected to resume around 11 September for about 9 - 10 days.

The internal temperatures have increased by 3.2C during the period, indicating that the eclipse times are continuing to decrease. The temperatures are now 5.0C, 4.0C, and 9.8C respectively, for battery, telemetry electronics and command decoder, respectively. However, there is a considerable variation in the temperature changes between the three units. This may due to the very low spin rate producing uneven heating. The slow spin rate has also caused some uneven heating of the external surfaces, and temperatures of +32C and down to 0C have been observed. The range of temperatures was less than those reported last month.

Temperatures are expected to increase, reaching a peak in the Autumn with higher temperatures than in 2002.

The battery voltage observed during daylight passes was unchanged. Observations have varied between 14.0 and 13.3 volts, with an average value of 13.5 volts.

Examination of the magnetometer telemetry shows that the satellite is now rotating very slowly ie. the spin period is very long. Accurate determination of the spin period is very difficult when the spin period exceeds the time of a pass. Spin periods of 582 to 716 seconds have been measured. On one occasion no spin was observed, and on another the X & Y axes indicated an unusual motion.

The mode-S beacon has been heard by Ken W7KKE. He uses a one metre dish, with a G3RUH patch, RHCP, 0.7 dB pre-amp, and Drake converter. The measured frequency, after correction for Doppler, but not CW beat, was 2401.5023 MHz. The equipment was calibrated before and after the measurement. Ken also noticed two weak 1200 Hz. sideband tones. At the time the 145 MHz. beacon was OFF. Many thanks for that report Ken.

Users of OSCAR-11 should note that the date in the telemetry is advanced by three days. The time is advanced by 18.6 minutes, and this error is increasing by about one minute per year.

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. This regular sequence might be interrupted by ground control.

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, ie. 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 covers 1996 to April 2003. 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:U2RPT89.CWV, to prevent duplication.

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

AMSAT Comments on BPL Debate

AMSAT filed Comments with the FCC in July and Reply Comments in August, opposing proposals to allow Broadband over Power Line (BPL) systems. A short excerpt of those comments follow.

AMSAT agrees with ARRL, the National Association for Amateur Radio ("ARRL"), that BPL is a Pandora's Box of unprecedented proportions. Once deployed, the consumer's expectations will be such as to preclude termination of the service, and interference problems, both to and from BPL, will inevitably be both widespread and impossible as a practical matter to rectify. The amateur and amateur-satellite services cannot be protected from interference from BPL, and BPL cannot be protected from interference from HF and VHF amateur radio stations. The rules must insure that BPL is not permitted to operate in or near any amateur radio allocation, and if BPL is permitted at all, any changes in amateur radio allocations must immediately trigger retroactive modifications to BPL facilities to delete any use of amateur radio frequencies. In addition, spurious emissions from BPL facilities must be substantially attenuated below current Part 15 spurious emission levels.

Therefore, the foregoing considered, AMSAT joins ARRL in respectfully requesting that the Commission take no steps to permit access or in-building BPL at HF or VHF at this time.

The complete text of all AMSAT FCC filings are posted at

[ANS thanks Perry, W3PK, for the above information]

Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule

Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule as of 2003-09-06 06:00 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.

Websites that may be of interest include:

ISS Expedition 7 crew:
Yuri Malenchenko RK3DUP

Tentative cutoff day for ARISS contacts with Expedition 7 is 2003-09-20

Next up Expedition 8 crew:
Mike Foale KB5UAC
Alexander Kaleri U8MIR

Tentative schedule:
2003-10-18 Soyuz launch
2003-10-20 dock
2003-10-28 undock

Boulder High School
Contact was successful Wed 2003-09-03 16:10 UTC (***)
Congratulations Ed and Boulder High! (***)

Cornell University
Contact was successful Thu 2003-09-04 13:39 UTC (***)
Congratulations Ed and Cornell! (***)

Kagawa Junior High School, Ube City, Japan
TBD direct via 8N4ISS

Webster High School, Webster, N.Y.
Wed 2003-09-10 12:30 UTC via W2SKY (***)

Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii
Mon 2003-09-15 16:57 UTC via WH6PN (***)

Verbum Casa das Palabras Vigo Spain
TBD UTC with Pedro Duque

Ceip Seixalbo school Ourense, Spain
TBD UTC with Pedro Duque

Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee, Tallahassee, FL
TBD UTC (Contact was not completed)

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 or

If you can not get into the GSFC site, then go directly to the RAC site. (***)

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 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]

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

Return to top

This week's AMSAT News Service bulletins were edited by AMSAT News Service Editor Lee McLamb, KU4OS,