[ans] ANS-096 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
n8hm at arrl.net
Sun Apr 5 00:00:07 UTC 2020
AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and infor-
mation 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 commun-
icating 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.
Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to:
ans-editor at amsat.org.
You can sign up for free e-mail delivery of the AMSAT News Service
Bulletins via the ANS List; to join this list see:
In this edition:
* Ham Radio Book Featured in "Story Time From Space" on ISS
* NO-104 / PSAT2 Status
* VUCC Standings for April 2020
* AMSAT Awards During Stay-at-Home Orders
* Radio Amateurs of Canada Offers New Online Amateur Radio Course
* AMSAT South Africa Reports Good Progress with AfriCUBE
* ARISS News
* Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
* Upcoming Satellite Operations
* Satellite Shorts from All Over
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-096.01
ANS-096 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 096.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE April 5, 2020
To All RADIO AMATEURS
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office
is closed until further notice. For details, please visit
Ham Radio Book Featured in "Story Time From Space" on ISS
In a collaborative initiative between the ISS National Lab Space Sta-
tion Explorers, Story Time From Space, and ARISS, the recent book Ada
Lace, Take Me to Your Leader by Emily Calandrelli, KD8PKR, was read by
Astronaut Anne McClain for Story Time From Space. Anne read the book
in three segments. The second segment features a tour of the ARISS
radio station that includes details about ham radio and ARISS.
Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT VP Human Spaceflight, pointed out that at
the end of the final segment, a video was included of Astronaut Sunita
Williams, KD5PLB talking about the impact of ham radio on both the ISS
astronauts and the students participating in ARISS activities. Many
schools and media outlets—and even the USA’s First Lady—have recom-
mended that parents have housebound youth listen to McClain read the
The Vermont Community Newspaper Group‘s (Burlington) reporter wrote in
part, “A great way to get out of the house—way out of the house—without
leaving home…. In this installment Ada is trying to fix a ham radio.
It’s a nice antidote to weighty issues, enjoying readings from weight-
A few posts recommending McClain’s YouTube thus far are: Los Angeles’s
ABC TV7; Daily Times (Delaware County, PA); The Mercury (Berks County,
PA); The Trentonian (NJ); The Barnstable Patriot (MA); and the Orange
School District and Hamilton School District (NJ).
Find the video for your favorite future astronaut at:
[ANS thanks Rosalie White, K1STO, of the ARISS staff for the above
NO-104 / PSAT2 Status
The 2m/APRS side of the sat is still non operating for the unknown
reasons. Any change or any packet heard would be welcomed.
The 435MHz side of the sat is still going strong. The PSK31 trans-
ponder is operating flawlessly with occasional activity seen over the
US. If you are operating through transponder, you are asked to stay
within 400-1000Hz of downlink frequency. Lower you can interfere with
the tlm beacons and higher you will be wiped off by the SSTV signal.
The orbit is elliptical with apogee position period approximately 34
The 435.350MHz downlink frequency is temperature dependent a bit so
best reception with any kind of SDR, where in waterfall you can see
actual downlink freq. The greatest offset is seen after eclipse when
sat is coldest. The downlink is operating in Sun only, it switches off
entering the eclipse and switches on coming from eclipse or after 30-
The tlm beacons transmit every 4 minutes. The spectrum of the signal
is narrow, so in SDR you can use just 2kHz bandwidth gaining SNR. Two
minutes after tlm, the SSTV picture is transmitted in 4 minutes
intervals also. For reception best bandwidth observed is around
9500Hz. Transmitted pictures are alternating prestored ones and pict-
ures from camera memory stored on orbit.
Reception is possible on high passes with good omni antenna using the
LNA in the quiet environment. But for the passes till horizon,
directional antenna and LNA is needed.
We are still looking for any stations capable of regular downlink
receptions with position between 40deg South and 40deg North. If you
can make the receptions available in IQ format it would be greatly
welcomed. Station capable of uplink in 29MHz to sat can be selected as
commanding station and then can acquire pictures in real time or store
them in sequence. So you can get pictures of your side of the globe,
just contact us.
Further info and contacts can be found at
[ANS thanks Tomáš Urbanec, OK2PNQ, 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
VUCC Standings for April 2020
Here are the endorsements and new VUCC Satellite Awards issued by the
ARRL for the period March 1, 2020 through April 1, 2020.
Congratulations to all those who made the list this month!
CALL Mar Apr
N3GS 624 652
K9UO 550 565
KK4YEL 413 504
G0ABI 453 454
KB2YSI 101 450
AD0HJ 405 425
N7EGY 351 405
KC9VGG 228 310
N9FN 207 303
PT9BM 225 255
KC9UQR 240 252
WA9JBQ 175 225
W4ZXT 150 202
K5ZM 135 179
WD9EWK (DM41) 148 164
WD9EWK (DM22) 131 150
N4QX 125 138
XE2YWH 102 137
EA2AA 101 125
IZ1ERR New 112
N7JY New 106
KE4BKL New 101
AA7WB New 100
DP0GVN New 100
[ANS thanks Ronald Parsons, W5RKN, for the above information]
AMSAT Awards During Stay-at-Home Orders
So, you are sitting at home waiting to go back to work. You are work-
ing some of the passes of a satellite. Logging as you go. What are you
going to do with all those contacts in your log? Easy…
You apply for an AMSAT or ARRL award. The ARRL has Worked All States,
DXCC and VUCC all with satellite endorsements. AMSAT has the Satellite
Communicator Club for working your very first contact on a satellite.
The easiest award to apply for. Go directly to the AMSAT Online store
and purchase the award. In the comments enter the time/date, satellite
and station worked. That’s it. No waiting for QSL cards, no waiting
for LoTW confirmation. Then send me an email that you have paid for
the award so I know there is one waiting to be processed.
AMSAT has a few other awards. The AMSAT Satellite Communications
Achievement Award for working 20 different contacts in different US
States, VE Call Areas and DXCC entities. Adding 40 more, you earn the
AMSAT Sexagesimal Award and adding another 40 earns the AMSAT Century
Have you been keeping your log for a long time? You might already
qualify for the AMSAT Robert W. Barbee Jr., W4AMI Satellite Operator
Achievement Award. This award is for 1,000 contacts with anyone over a
satellite. Endorsements for each 1,000 up to 4,000 and a special
certificate at 5,000.
There is also the South Africa AMSAT Satellite Communications
Achievement award. This award is for 25 contacts through a LEO
satellite. As we have no HEO satellites at this time and only one GEO
satellite you are pretty much good on almost any satellite you work.
And the final one, the AMSAT Rover award. A bit much to explain here.
You can get information on all the AMSAT Awards at
http://www.amsat.org click on Services and click on the word Awards.
You can also click on each of the individual awards to get information
Submission is easy for the AMSAT awards. Scan your QSL cards or screen
shot your LoTW for each contact. Place them in a ZIP file, Word
Document, PDF document and email them to kk5do at amsat dot org. I
will then take a look at your submission, complete my documentation
and email you to go pay for the award/s at the AMSAT online store.
Remember, all satellites are COVID-19 free and you should have no
hesitation making a contact through one.
[ANS thanks Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director of Contests and Awards
for the above information]
Radio Amateurs of Canada Offers New Online Amateur Radio Course
In response to the current Covid-19 crisis, Radio Amateurs of Canada
is pleased to announce that it is introducing a new online Amateur Ra-
dio course so that individuals can upgrade their qualifications while
continuing to practise social/physical distancing.
The RAC Online Basic Amateur Radio Qualification Course prepares stu-
dents for the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
(ISED) Basic Qualification Level Operator Certificate exam to operate
on allocated Amateur Radio frequencies.
The course will use the GoToMeeting web-based service and will start
on Thursday, April 16 and will finish in mid-June. Classes will be
held on Thursday evenings from 6 pm to 8:30 (1800 – 2030) Eastern Time
(1900 – 2130 Atlantic Time) and Sunday afternoons 1 pm to 3:30 pm
(1300 – 1530) Eastern Time (1400 – 1630 Atlantic Time).
The course instructor is Al Penney, VO1NO. Al was first licensed in
1977 and has been active in many areas of Amateur Radio including con-
testing, DXing, VHF/UHF weak signal, satellites, emergency communica-
tions and DXpeditioning. He has served as the President of six differ-
ent Amateur Radio clubs in both Canada and the United States and cur-
rently chairs the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2
Band Planning Committee. Al has taught the Basic Qualification Amateur
Radio Course since 1994.
Cost: The registration fee for the course is $50 plus GST/HST. The
cost of the Basic Study Guide is extra and an order link will be pro-
vided upon completion of payment.
For more information please visit:
[ANS thanks Southgate ARC for the above information]
AMSAT South Africa Reports Good Progress with AfriCUBE
AMSATSA held its regular online progress meeting this past Wednesday.
During the past few weeks, progress was made on all fronts. The trans-
ponder was tested on the air and an actual contact was made through the
transponder. Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP installed the transponder on the
tower at his house and made a contact with Keith Laaks, ZS6TW. While
it was only over a few kilometres distance, the importance of the
contact was that there was no interference and the audio quality was
This past week Anton Janovsky, ZR6AIC has worked on the software and
through a complicated link managed to upload and install newer soft-
ware remotely. “Anton connected to my computer and took over the
machine using TeamViewer and then connected via Wi-Fi to the trans-
ponder on my tower,” Hannes, ZS6BZP said. “In normal times we would
have simply exchanged a memory stick, but in abnormal times one has
to resort to unconventional ways of doing things”.
Further updates will be uploaded this weekend with more testing of the
transponder. The next step is to open the testing to local radio ama-
teurs. Full details will be announced on SARL News and on the AMSAT SA
Web. The full AfriCUBE development story is available on
The review meeting was also updated with the other components of Afri-
CUBE. The space frame is complete, the PC boards for the solar panels
have been designed and will be manufactured as soon as the lockdown
is over. Work is continuing on the antenna and solar panel deployment
and a further prototype will be manufactured as soon as South Africa
returns to normal work. The electronic power supply unit is complete.
A new interface between the Raspberry Pi and the processor has been
designed and the circuit board laid out.
[ANS thanks the South African Radio League for the above information]
Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule as of 2020-03-30 21:00 UTC
Quick list of scheduled contacts and events:
Looking for some stay at home activities related to science and for
when you are not playing on your radio? Check out these links:
Celestron, the telescope, microscope, and sports optics folks, now has
something called #STEMINYOURBACKYARD that you can find on Instagram,
Facebook, or Twitter. By the way, I don't work for Celestron or have
any business dealings with them and this is just something I saw.
Apparently there are 10 free STEM activities covering Astronomy,
ature and Wildlife, and The Microscopic World. Check out:
NASA has a STEM page with fun activities to do at home.
Check out https://www.nasa.gov/stem
ARISS is very aware of the impact that COVID-19 is having on schools
and the public in general. As such, we may have last minute cancel-
lations or postponements of school contacts. As always, I will try to
provide everyone with near-real-time updates.
The following schools have now been postponed or canceled due to COVID
* SPDW Voortrekker Movement, Oranjeville, South Africa, direct via
* RO-SAT One, Piatra-Neamț, Romania, direct via YRØISS
* McConnell Middle School, Loganville, GA, prefer direct via KD4TGR
* Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN,
direct via N4FR
* Oakwood School, Morgan Hill, CA, direct via AE6XM
* Ramona Lutheran School, Ramona, CA, direct via N6ROR
* Electromagnetic Field, Ledbury, United Kingdom, direct via GB4EMF
The ARISS webpage is at https://www.ariss.org/
Watch for future COVID-19 related announcements here also.
[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, of the ARISS Operations Team, 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.
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.
Due to COVID-19, many hamfest and events around the United States have
been canceled or postponed. While we make every effort to ensure the
information contained below is correct, there may be some that we
We wish all of you safekeeping and hope to be at a hamfest near you
May 2, 2020 Arrowhead Radio Amateurs Club Hamfest, Superior, WI
June 12-13, 2020, Ham-Con, Plano, TX
October 16-18, 2020, AMSAT Symposium and Annual General Meeting,
The following events scheduled to have an AMSAT presence have been
April 18, 2020 Brainerd Area Amateur Radio Club Hamfest, Brainerd, MN
May 2, 2020, Cochise Amateur Radio Association Hamfest, Sierra
May 8-9, 2020 Prescott Hamfest, Prescott, AZ
May 15-17, Hamvention, Xenia, OH
[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT Vice President - User
Services 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
+ From the Mountains to the Bay (CM88,89,98,99 DM09,19,29 DN00,01,02,
10,11,20,21) April 12-21, 2020
RJ, WY7AA, is hitting the asphalt again, roving from Wyoming to Vaca-
ville, CA. He’s attending a class from April 15-19, so most of the
roving will be outside of this time. Grids to be covered include:
CM88,89,98,99 DM09,19,29 DN00,01,02,10,11,20,21. Specific pass details
will be posted on WY7AA QRZ page and Twitter
(https://twitter.com/WY7AA) as the trip approaches.
[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT Vice President - User Serv-
ices for the above information]
Satellite Shorts From All Over
+ At 15:41 UTC on April 2nd, the thrusters of Progress MS-13 fired for
427.5 seconds to provide Δv 0.48. m/s and raise the ISS's orbit height
by about 0.9 km. (ANS thanks @Zarya_info on Twitter)
+ New distance records have been claimed for XW-2B and EO-88. F4DXV
reports working VO1FOG on XW-2B on April 1st and again on EO-88 on
April 2nd. The 4,086 km trans-Atlantic QSOs are the longest claimed
on either of these two satellites. For more records, check
+ The Folding at home project is a distributed computing project that
is currently running calculations to analyze protein structures on the
COVID-19 virus. Donate your spare computer time to help this project
and consider joining AMSAT's team (#67910). More information at
https://foldingathome.org/covid19/ AMSAT's team standings can be
found at https://stats.foldingathome.org/team/69710
+ The 2020 Eastern VHF/UHF Conference has been canceled, so there will
be no Proceedings published. All the papers submitted so far are now
available online at: http://newsvhf.com/conference/2020papers.html
(more papers may be coming - there is no hard deadline) (ANS thanks
the 2020 Eastern VHF/UHF Conference)
+ AMSAT-EA has applied for IARU coordination of the Hades satellite.
Hades, a 1.5p Pocketqube will feature a V/U linear transponder, a re-
generative transponder for FM/FSK/ASK and 0.05kbps-125kbps ASK/FSK/PSK
telemetry, store & forward and data transmission from ground stations.
(ANS thanks the IARU for the above information)
+ Bob Beatty, WB4SON, reported a successful "Satellites for Beginners"
presentation via Zoom to the Rochester VHF Society on Saturday, April
4th. If your group would like to host a virtual AMSAT presentation,
email ambassadors at amsat.org.
+ Happy First Contact Day! 43 years from today, Zefram Cochrane will
break the warp barrier with the Phoenix and make first contact with
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 addi-
tional benefits. Application forms are available from the AMSAT
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 stu-
dent rate for a maximum of 6 post-secondary years in this status.
Contact Martha at the AMSAT Office for additional student membership
73 and remember to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space,
This week's ANS Editor,
Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
n8hm at amsat dot org
More information about the ANS