ANS-362 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for December 27th


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 publishes news of Amateur Radio in Space as soon as our volunteers can post it.

Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to: ans-editor at

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In this edition:

  • ARISS SSTV Event Commemorating 20 Years of Operations Continues Through 12-31
  • AMSAT CW Activity Day – January 1st
  • FoxTelem v 1.09n5 Released
  • Virgin Orbit LauncherOne Launch Window Now Likely Mid-January
  • AO-7’s Full Sun Season Ends
  • ARISS News
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts from All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-362.01
ANS-362 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 362.01
DATE December 27, 2020
BID: $ANS-362.01

ARISS SSTV Event Commemorating 20 Years of Operations Continues Through 12-31

An ARISS Slow Scan TV (SSTV) event is scheduled from the International Space Station (ISS). This will be a special SSTV event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of ARISS on board the International Space Station. The event is scheduled to begin on December 24 at 16:40 UTC and continue through December 31 ending at 18:15 UTC. Dates are subject to change due to ISS operational adjustments.

Images will be downlinked at 145.8 MHz +/- 3 KHz for Doppler shift and the expected SSTV mode of operation is PD 120. Radio enthusiasts participating in the event can post images they receive at the ARISS SSTV Gallery at

After your image is posted at the gallery, you can acquire a special award by linking to and following directions for submitting a digital copy of your received image.

[ANS thanks ARISS for the above information]

AMSAT CW Activity Day 2021

You are cordially invited to participate in CW Activity Day 2021, sponsored by AMSAT for amateurs around the world. Operate CW through any amateur satellite on 1 January 2021 UTC. Straight keys and bugs are encouraged but not required. You need not send in a log, but are encouraged to post a brief report of your activity on the amsat-bb

Protect your satellites! Please remember to use the minimum power needed to complete your QSOs. CU on the birds!

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

Purchase AMSAT Gear on our Zazzle storefront.
25% of the purchase price of each product goes
towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space

FoxTelem v 1.09n5 Released

I have a slightly updated version of FoxTelem. This is not a mandatory upgrade and you won’t get a reminder message.

This includes just a couple of fixes:

  • Allow both Mode and Freq to be switched automatically in Find Signal mode, assuming Auto Start is on. This might be important to you if you use Find Signal and you want to track Fox-1E and the existing Fox spacecraft.
  • Support a 12kHz IF for BPSK as requested by SatNogs. This will allow the IF from the SatNogs receiver to be decoded, including any recordings that are made by SatNogs ground stations.
  • Display correct error messages on WOD tab when T0 or keps not available

If those are important to you then feel free to upgrade.

The release is available here:

If you are upgrading from 1.09n3 then you only need to replace the jar file. If you know how to do that, then the jar file is here:

If you have questions then feel free to send me an email.

[ANS thanks Chris Thompson, AC2CZ/G0KLA, AMSAT FoxTelem Developer, for the above information]

Virgin Orbit LauncherOne Launch Window Now Likely Mid-January

Via @Virgin_Orbit on Twitter:

Update from Mojave: as our teammates cleared their preventative quarantines, we got back into our pre-launch operations. Sunday and Monday, we completed our final wet dress rehearsal — the last big test we had planned prior to our launch.

Our policies around social distancing were strict before, but we’ve since implemented even more extreme measures to ensure the health and safety of our team. A full 2/3rds of the small crew who were on-site for our previous WDR supported this latest rehearsal remotely.

Our hardware is basically ready to go, as is our team. We are working with our partners in government and with our customers to identify our new candidate launch windows. We’ll publish new dates as soon as they are final, but currently, the window is likely to be mid-January.

Finally: to all of our friends, neighbors, and families, we wish you a joyous, safe, socially distanced, disinfected holiday season. As 2020 winds down and we all prepare to enter a new chapter, please take care of yourselves and your loved ones — and wear a mask!

[ANS thanks Virgin Orbit 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. Come along for the
ride. The journey will be worth it!

AO-7’s Full-Sun Season Ends

On December 26th, AO-7 began entering eclipse each orbit after two months of continuous sunlight. This means that the 24 hour timer will no longer switch the satellite between Mode A and Mode B each day as the satellite normally powers up in Mode B after exiting eclipse.

Joe Werth, KE9AJ, was a strong advocate for Mode A operation this season, making 18 QSOs, including 4 transatlantic QSOs, using a 10m moxon for the downlink. On October 19th, operating portable in EN50, he worked Jérôme LeCuyer, F4DXV, in JN15, a distance of 7,088 km. Although longer distance QSOs have certainly been made on AO-7 Mode A, this represents the longest distance QSO claimed for AMSAT records.

The next full sun period is estimated to begin on September 10, 2021 and last until April 7, 2022.

[ANS thanks AMSAT Executive Vice President Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, for the above information]


Twenty years of ARISS!

On December 21, 2000 at 20:29 UTC, Luther Burbank School in Burbank, IL had ARISS contact number 1. I was privileged to be the control operator and ARISS mentor for that first contact. We failed two days earlier, but we figured out what had gone wrong and on the second day, we had a highly successful contact with Bill Shepherd KD5GSL who operated NA1SS. Since that first contact, ARISS has had 1411 total events; all of them an unforgettable experience for everyone involved. I am sure the crewmembers have enjoyed the contacts just as much as the schools.

I thank my ham crew who worked in putting together contact number 1 (try putting antennas up with minus 30 degrees windchill factors), the students who went into the great unknown (someone has to be first), the school staff who knew they had the right students to make it happen, and the parents who pushed their student to participate.

Now ARISS embarks on the next 20 years of space exploration. In the not-too-distant future, a school may be talking to a crewmember who is orbiting the moon. So, stay tuned where ARISS goes next.

Please check for additional 20th year anniversary messages at

The latest information on the operation mode can be found at

The latest list of frequencies in use can be found at

[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, ARISS Operations, for the above information]

Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

Want to see AMSAT in action or learn more about amateur radio in space?

AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.

No upcoming presentations listed

[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, 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.

Upcoming Satellite Operations

****Watch Twitter, there are lots pop-up roves happening lately, and I can’t keep this page updated with all of them.****

N4DCW: EM66 12/27

W9TWJ: Either next Tuesday 12/29 or Wednesday 12/30, AB5SS and I will be loading up and activating EL28 (maybe a few other surrounding) – FM and linear.

Please submit any additions or corrections to ke0pbr at

[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, 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

Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ AO-92 was returned to service on Christmas Day. Due to the condition of the satellite’s batteries, please do not use the satellite when it is in eclipse (when the satellite is not in sun). It is unknown how long it will continue to operate. AO-91 is also experiencing battery issues. Please do not use AO-91 in eclipse.

+ Want to try ham radio satellite operating but don’t think you have the gear you need? Check out Sean Kutzko. KX9X’s latest video for DX Engineering & see how you can work satellites using gear you may already have in your shack!

+ The Los Angeles Times published an article about ham radio aboard the ISS entitled “Living in space can get lonely. What helps? Talking to random people over ham radio” on December 23rd.

+ also published an article on ARISS:

+ AMSAT Secretary Jeff Davis, KE9V, reports on his blog that the Twin Cities DX Association included a member profile of Senior AMSAT News Service Editor Mark Johns, K0JM, in the December 2020 edition of the Gray Line Report.

+ Astronomers have encountered a mystery surprisingly close to Earth. Using the Parkes telescope in Australia, scientists discovered a strange radio signal coming from Proxima Centauri, the star system closest to the Sun. The signal occupies an oddly narrow 982MHz band that’s unused by human-made spacecraft, yet not possible through known natural processes. The frequency shifts up, too, rather than down like you’d expect for a planet. Even though the cause is likely something other than extraterrestrial life, the eventual answer could be very useful. (ANS thanks for the above information)

+ Several new products are available on the AMSAT Zazzle store, including a set of coasters, a watch, a t-shirt featuring the AMSAT round logo, and more. Check out the new items! 25% of the purchase price goes towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space.

+ All issues of The AMSAT Journal dating back to 2014 are now available to AMSAT members on AMSAT’s new membership portal. The 1969-2013 archive will be added at a later date. All editions of AMSAT’s Symposium Proceedings are also available for members. If you’re a current AMSAT member, get logged on today. If you are not yet a member, consider joining today at

+ The 2020 edition of AMSAT’s Getting Started with Amateur Satellites is now available on the AMSAT store. A perennial favorite, Getting Started is updated every year with the latest amateur satellite information, and is the premier primer of satellite operation. The book is presented in DRM-free PDF format, in full color, and covers all aspects of making your first contacts on a ham radio satellite. The digital download is available for $15 at The print edition is $30 plus shipping and is available (only within the United States) at


In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership in the President’s Club. Members of the President’s Club, as sustaining donors to AMSAT Project Funds, will be eligible to receive additional benefits. President’s Club donations may be made at

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.

Join AMSAT today at

73 and remember to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space,

This week’s ANS Editor,

Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
n8hm at amsat dot org