The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and information service of AMSAT, The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation. ANS publishes news related to Amateur Radio in Space including reports on the activities of a worldwide group of Amateur Radio operators who share an active interest in designing, building, launching and communicating through analog and digital Amateur Radio satellites.
The news feed on http://www.amsat.org publishes news of Amateur Radio in Space as soon as our volunteers can post it.
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In this edition:
- Contacts Completed Successfully Through AO-109
- Registration Now Open for AMSAT Space Symposium
- 2021 AMSAT Board of Directors Election Being Held
- AMSAT Awards Update
- ARISS News
- Upcoming Satellite Operations
- Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
- Satellite Shorts From All Over
ANS-234 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
To: All RADIO AMATEURS
From: Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation
712 H Street NE, Suite 1653
Washington, DC 20002
DATE 2021 Aug 22
Contacts Completed Successfully Through AO-109
Several amateurs have reported successful operation through the AO-109 satellite, even though the satellite’s power output has been determined to be less than 10 milliwatts.
Carlos Cardon, W7QL in DN40, completed a contact with Dave Beumer, W0DHB in DN70, on August 12 using FT4. They repeated with additional QSOs on August 15 and 18. Also on August 15, W7QL completed a contact with Alan Bowker, WA6DNR in CM87 using FT4. Further, W0DHB and Mark Johns, K0JM in EN35, completed an FT4 QSO through the satellite on August 18, and repeated with a second QSO on August 19.
Carlos noted, “Based upon our testing the past couple of days, I think FT4 QSOs should be consistently achievable on this satellite.”
These contacts have been an extension of digital mode experiments via satellite involving a larger number of stations, as reported earlier and in greater detail in the May/June 2020 issue of The AMSAT Journal.
The stations involved have been fairly typical satellite setups without exotic additions. W7QL reports “using my IC-9700 (in Data mode, full power) and LEO-Pack antenna, with SatPC32 and WSJT-X.” W0DHB, WA6DNR, and K0JM are using FlexRadio transcievers with transverters.
All report using 75-100 watts of transmit power to get signals through AO-109, although care is taken to reduce power to 1 or 2 watts when using digital modes on other linear satellites, such as RS-44. While FT4 activity is generally at the low end of the downlink passband on other linear satellites (5 kHz above the bottom passband limit), activity on AO-109 has been on a downlink frequency of 435.770 (5 kHz below transponder center).
Several other stations have reported experimenting with CW on AO-109. Take Tone, JK2XXK in PM85, completed a CW QSO with Tetsurou Satou, JA0CAW in PM97, on May 1, and other contacts among Japanese amateurs have followed. John Papay, K8YSE, Doug Tabor, N6UA, and Burns Fisher, WB1FJ, in addition to W7QL and W0DHB, have reported hearing or experimenting with CW on the bird in North America. K8YSE in EN91 and Stephan Greene, KS1G in FM18, reported a completed CW QSO on August 21.
Mark Hammond, N8MH, AMSAT Director and Command Station, has also been paying close attention to AO-109 signals. He notes, “All you need is to use AF from the built in sound cards of the 9700, directly into WSJT-X, over USB cable. Then, have the radio use USB-D and LSB-D modes. It will probably give you a little better signal to noise I think? Seeing 3 kHz of the transponder downlink is plenty. Doppler correction is important, especially around TCA. Tell SatPC32 under the CAT tab to do Intervals of “0 Hz” for SSB/CW and use a Speed of x5.”
[ANS thanks Carlos Cardon, W7QL, for the above information]
Join the 2021 President’s Club!
Score your 2″ 4-Color Accent Commemorative Coin.
This gold finished coin comes with
Full Color Certificate and Embroidered “Remove Before Flight” Key Tag
Donate today at
You won’t want to miss it!
Registration Now Open for AMSAT Space Symposium
The 39th AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting will be held Friday through Sunday, October 29-31, 2021, at the Crowne Plaza AiRE in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Registration is now open for the event at https://launch.amsat.org/Events. Student registrations are available at $40, and General registration is at $75. Registration for the Saturday evening Symposium Banquet is an additional $55. Full details are available at the registration website.
The Crowne Plaza AiRE is located at 3 Appletree Square, Bloomington, MN 55245, adjacent to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and only steps away from the METRO Blue Line’s American Blvd. stop. Nearby shopping and tourist attractions include Mall of America, SEA LIFE at Mall of America, Nickelodeon Universe, and the Minnesota Zoo.
The Symposium includes presentations, exhibit space, and the AMSAT Annual General Meeting. The preliminary schedule is presented at https://launch.amsat.org/event-4414716
The AMSAT Board of Directors Meeting will be held before the Symposium, October 28-29, at the same hotel.
Those attending may make hotel reservations by calling the hotel directly at (952) 854-9000 or (877) 424-4188 (toll free) or online by visiting crowneplazaaire.com. The group name is Amateur Satellite Group.
Platinum and Titanium members of the AMSAT President’s Club receive free admission to the Symposium and receive a complimentary lunch with the President on Saturday afternoon. Please email [email protected] to arrange registration.
Presenters are invited to participate at the Symposium and/or submit a paper to the Symposium Proceedings. Read the Call for Papers at https://www.amsat.org/2021-amsat-symposium-proceedings-call-for-papers/ for more information.
[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information]
Need new satellite antennas? Purchase Arrows, Alaskan Arrows,
and M2 LEO-Packs from the AMSAT Store. When you purchase through
AMSAT, a portion of the proceeds goes towards
Keeping Amateur Radio in Space.
2021 AMSAT Board of Directors Election Being Held
The nomination period for the 2021 Board of Directors Election ended on June
15, 2021. The following candidates have been duly nominated and their
candidate statements can be found at link that follows:
Joseph Armbruster, KJ4JIO
Robert Bankston, KE4AL
Jerry Buxton, N0JY
Zach Metzinger, N0ZGO
In accordance with our Bylaws, AMSAT must hold an election, even though we
have four nominations for four open Director positions. As such, we will
host electronic voting on our Member Portal this year, at no cost to the
organization. Voting is now open and will close on September 15, 2021.
When members click on the poll link, they will see their ballot (poll
question). After choosing from the possible options, click the Submit button
to cast your vote. Unlike many online polls, the results of all votes cast,
up to the point of your vote, will not be displayed. AMSAT members can only
vote once. If you click the poll link again after already voting, a vote
submitted message will be displayed. As four seats on the Board of Directors
are up for election this year, all four candidates will be seated on the
Board when the voting period concludes on September 15, 2021.
To read candidate biographies see:
AMSAT members may access their ballots at:
[ANS thanks Jeff Davis, KE9V, AMSAT Secretary, for the above information]
AMSAT’s GOLF Program is about getting back to higher orbits, and it all
begins with GOLF-TEE – a technology demonstrator for deployable solar
panels, propulsion, and attitude control, now manifested for launch on
NASA’s ELaNa 46 mission. Come along for the ride. The journey will be
AMSAT Awards Update
Here are the latest award updates for the first half of the year, plus a bit.
AMSAT Satellite Communicators Award for making their first satellite QSO
John Wedge, VA6WEG
Brandon Coon, KI5MJH
Davy Jacobs, ON8ZJ
Ryan Frederick, K7NZE
Peter Spinelli, N4YOT
John Hutchison, KI5NYZ
Allen Beard, K4WSD
David Johnston, WD6AOE
AMSAT Communications Achievement Award
Martin Schuette, N9EAT, #633
Stephen DeVience, N8URE, #634
Dave Lane, KB0RFY, #635
Allen Beard, K4WSD, #636
Wes Baden, NA1ME, #637
Thomas Talley, K0CFI, #638
AMSAT Sexagesimal Satellite Communications Achievement Award
Martin Schuette, N9EAT, #190
Stephen DeVience, N8URE, #191
Wes Baden, NA1ME, #192
AMSAT Century Award
Martin Schuette, N9EAT, #57
Wes Baden, NA1ME, #58
AMSAT South Africa Satellite Communications Achievement Award
Martin Schuette, N9EAT, #US236
Stephen DeVience, N8URE, #US237
Dave Lane, KB0RFY, #US238
Allen Beard, K4WSD, #US239
Wes Baden, NA1ME, #US240
Thomas Talley, K0CFI, #US241
AMSAT Robert W. Barbee Jr., W4AMI Award (1,000-4,000)
Ken Bodholt, KI7UXT #US104 upgraded to 4,000
Bernd Scholer, DL6IAN #US116 upgraded to 3,000
Michael Mark, VE4MM, #117 upgraded to 2,000
Stephen DeVience, N8URE, #US118
Larry Callahan, KF6JOQ, #US119
AMSAT Rover Award
To see all the awards visit http://www.amsat.org and click on Services then Awards.
[ANS thanks Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director Contests and Awards, for the above information]
Want to fly the colors on your own grid expedition?
Get your AMSAT car flag and other neat stuff
from our Zazzle store!
25% of the purchase price of each product goes
towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space
Amateurs and others around the world may listen in on contacts between amateurs operating in schools and allowing students to interact with astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station. The downlink frequency on which to listen is 145.800 MHz worldwide.
The next scheduled contact is with Carl Fuhlrott-Gymnasium, Wuppertal, Germany, direct via DN1CFG. The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS. The scheduled astronaut is Akihiko Hoshide, KE5DNI. The contact is go for: Monday, 2021-08-23 07:54:53 UTC, 81 degrees maximum elevation over Germany.
The ARISS station is currently supporting packet operation (145.825 MHz up & down). Next mode change is to cross band repeater after the school contact on Aug 23 (after 08:05 UTC). The station will power down for upcoming U.S. EVA [spacewalk] on August 24. Shutdown scheduled for about 19:00 UTC Aug 23. Power up scheduled for 07:45 UTC Aug 25.
The latest information on the operation mode can be found at https://www.ariss.org/current-status-of-iss-stations.html
The latest list of frequencies in use can be found at https://www.ariss.org/contact-the-iss.html
[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team mentors for the above information]
AMSAT, along with our ARISS partners, is developing an Amateur
Radio package, including two-way communication capability, to
be carried on-board Gateway in lunar orbit.
Support AMSAT’s projects today at https://www.amsat.org/donate/
Upcoming Satellite Operations
WL7T will be putting a number of Alaska grids on the air, August 21-27:
BP44, BP45, BP46, BP47, BP54, BP55, BP57, BP58, BP59, BP64, BP65, BP75, BP84, BP85
VE7KPM: CN78, upcoming. 9/2 approx.
[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT rover page manager, for the above information]
Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.
Ambassador Clint Bradford, K6LCS, has online presentations scheduled for the following clubs:
Sonoma (CA) ARC
STARS – Easy Coast
Contact Clint at http://www.work-sat.com or by phone at 909-999-SATS (7287) to arrange a presentation.
The 2021 HamXposition is taking place September the 11th and 12th, in Marlborough, Massachusetts. The convention has a new home at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center. If you would like to volunteer at the booth contact Phil Smith w1eme at amsat.org.
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN for the 39th AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting
October 29-31, 2021
Crowne Plaza AiRE
3 Appletree Square, Bloomington, MN 55245.
Complete information and registration at tinyurl.com/ANS-227-SYMPOSIUM.
[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT Events page manager, for the above information]
Satellite Shorts From All Over
+ The previously announced schedule of FCC amateur radio application fees likely will not go into effect before 2022. FCC staff confirmed during a recent virtual meeting with Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (VECs) that the agency is still working on the necessary changes to the Universal Licensing System (ULS) software and other processes and procedures that must be in place before it starts collecting fees from amateur applicants. Once it’s effective, a $35 application fee will apply to new, modification (upgrade and sequential call sign change), renewal, and vanity call sign applications. (ANS thanks ARRL for the above information.)
+ AMSAT-DL reports the antenna used by DP0GVN in Antarctica for the QO-100 geostationary satellite amateur radio transponder is completely destroyed. According to the Alfred-Wegener-Institute (AWI), a severe winter storm hit Atka Bay (Antarctica) at the end of last week. Unfortunately, the satellite antenna for the geostationary QO-100 amateur radio satellite was also completely destroyed during the storm, despite the weatherproof radome, so no school contacts with DP0GVN can take place until further notice. AMSAT-DL and AWI hope to erect a new antenna early next year, in particular to continue the very successful contacts with schools. (ANS thanks AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-DL for the above information.)
+ NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, KG5GNP, and astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, KE5DNI, of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will venture outside the International Space Station on Tuesday, Aug. 24, for a spacewalk to install a support bracket in preparation for future installation of the orbiting laboratory’s third new solar array. NASA will discuss the upcoming spacewalk during a news conference at 1800z (2 p.m. EDT) Monday, Aug. 23. Live coverage of the news conference and spacewalk will air on NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app. [Amateurs should be aware that all amateur radio transmissions are powered off during spacewalks.] (ANS thanks NASA for the above information.)
+ The Ingenuity helicopter on Mars has now completed its 12th flight, where it acted as a scout, looking ahead for dangerous terrain for it’s partner in crime, the Perseverance rover. The 4-pound autonomous rotocraft climbed over almost 10 meters (33 ft) high, and traveled a total of 450 meters (1,476 ft) in 169 seconds. It flew over the over an area dubbed the ‘South Seitah’ region of Mars, where Perseverance will explore. (ANS thanks Universe Today for the above information.)
+ Scientists have spotted a previously unrecognized feature of our Milky Way galaxy: A contingent of young stars and star-forming gas clouds is sticking out of one of the Milky Way’s spiral arms like a splinter poking out from a plank of wood. Stretching some 3,000 light-years, this is the first major structure identified with an orientation so dramatically different than the arm’s. (ANS thanks Space Daily for the above information.)
+ NASA is calling on all sixth through 12th-grade educators and students to submit experiments for possible suborbital flights as a way of gaining firsthand experience with the design and testing process used by NASA researchers. The NASA TechRise Student Challenge invites students to design, build, and launch experiments on suborbital rockets and high-altitude balloons. Each winning team will receive $1,500 to build their experiment and an assigned spot to test it on a NASA-sponsored suborbital flight. For details, see https://www.futureengineers.org/nasatechrise (ANS thanks NASA for the above information.)
Join AMSAT today at https://launch.amsat.org/
In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership to:
* Societies (a recognized group, clubs or organization).
* Primary and secondary school students are eligible for membership at one-half the standard yearly rate.
* Post-secondary school students enrolled in at least half time status shall be eligible for the student rate for a maximum of 6 post-secondary years in this status.
* Memberships are available for annual and lifetime terms.
Contact info [at] amsat.org for additional membership information.
73 and remember to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space!
This week’s ANS Editor, Mark Johns, K0JM
k0jm at amsat dot org