Caution Urged in Using High Duty Cycle Digital Modes via Satellite

Amateur Radio Satellite FO-29

Amateur Radio Satellite FO-29

A report in ANS-288 discussed an experiment operating with the WSJT-X FT8 digital mode via satellite. Satellite operators have gained more experience with this mode over this past week.

As a result of on-the-air observation other satellite users planning to try FT8 or MSK144 modes via satellite are encouraged use caution using these modes and possibly avoid their use completely in light of problems.

Dave, KG5CCI wrote, “He noticed a very hard time getting into the transponder. The pass was nearly overhead, and the 3w-4w that is normally sufficient was barely cutting it. I also noticed it was ‘up and down’ alot, whereas some moments it was easy to get in, then it would be nearly impossible. There were also pockets of ‘noise’ all over the transponder, that sounded somewhat digital, but I just couldn’t place them.” Further investigation revealed that an MSK144 signal in the transponder passband was causing the problems.

Matthew, NJ4Y noted, “Experimentation isn’t the problem, too much power is. It’s bad enough on SSB, worse with CW, and killer on constant duty cycle modes like FT8.”

To gain a full understanding of the situation readers are encouraged to follow the amsat-bb message thread which can be accessed at http://www.amsat.org/pipermail/amsat-bb/2017-October/064896.html

Source: AMSAT News Service http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans

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CAS-4A and CAS-4B amateur radio linear transponders activated

CAS-4A and CAS-4B launch on CZ-4B

CAS-4A and CAS-4B launch on CZ-4B

On Wednesday, October 18, 2017 the amateur radio linear (SSB/CW) transponders on the CAS-4A and CAS-4B satellites were activated.

CAMSAT’s amateur radio payloads piggybacked on the optical remote sensing micro-satellites ZHUHAI-1 01 (OVS-1A / CAS-4A) and ZHUHAI-1 02 (OVS-1B / CAS-4B) that were launched at 0300 GMT on Thursday, June 15, 2017 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, on the CZ-4B launch vehicle. The primary payload of the launch was a hard X-ray modulation telescope satellite (HXMT).

Satellite CAS-4A/OVS-1A/ZHUHAI-1 01:
● Architecture: Micro-satellite
● Dimensions: 494Lx499Wx630H mm
● Mass: 55 kg
● Stabilization: three-axis stabilization system with its +Y surface facing the earth
● Primary Payload: optical Camera with 1.98m resolution

CAS-4A Orbit:
● Orbit type : Sun synchronization orbit
● Apogee: 524 km
● Inclination: 43°
● Period: 95.1 minutes

CAS-4A Amateur Radio Payload:
● Call sign: BJ1SK
● VHF Antenna: one 1/4λ monopole antenna with max. 0 dBi gain located at +Z side
● UHF Antenna: one 1/4λ monopole antenna with max. 0 dBi gain located at -Z side
● CW Telemetry Beacon: 145.855 MHz 17 dBm
● AX.25 4.8k Baud GMSK Telemetry: 145.835 MHz 20 dBm
● U/V Linear Transponder Downlink: 145.870 MHz 20 dBm, 20 kHz bandwidth, Inverted
● U/V Linear Transponder Uplink: 435.220 MHz

CAS-4 Satellite

CAS-4 Satellite

Satellite Name: CAS-4B/OVS-1B/ZHUHAI-1 02:
● Architecture: Micro-satellite
● Dimensions: 494Lx499Wx630H mm
● Mass: 55 kg
● Stabilization: three-axis stabilization system with its +Y surface facing the earth
● Primary Payload: optical Camera with 1.98m resolution

CAS-4B Orbit:
● Orbit type : Sun synchronization orbit
● Apogee: 524 km
● Inclination: 43°
● Period: 95.1 minutes

CAS-4B Amateur Radio Payload:
● Call sign: BJ1SL
● VHF Antenna: one 1/4λ monopole antenna with max. 0 dBi gain located at +Z side
● UHF Antenna: one 1/4λ monopole antenna with max. 0 dBi gain located at -Z side
● CW Telemetry Beacon: 145.910 MHz 17 dBm
● AX.25 4.8k Baud GMSK Telemetry: 145.890 MHz 20 dBm
● U/V Linear Transponder Downlink: 145.925 MHz 20 dBm, 20 kHz bandwidth, Inverted
● U/V Linear Transponder Uplink: 435.280 MHz

73!
Alan Kung, BA1DU

CAMSAT Press Release PDF

N2YO online real-time tracking:
CAS-4A http://www.n2yo.com/satellite/?s=42761
CAS-4B http://www.n2yo.com/satellite/?s=42759

CAS-4A and CAS-4B

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AMSAT-UK Colloquium Talks – Videos being added to YouTube

Working satellites with Arrow AntennasVideos of the presentations given at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium, which was held as part of the RSGB Convention in Milton Keynes, October 14-15, are being made available on YouTube.

The first of the videos is ‘An introduction to Amateur satellites’ by David Johnson G4DPZ and Carlos Eavis G3VHF.

The PDF of the slides is here.

The other presentations are expected to be uploaded in the coming days.

Watch An introduction to Amateur satellites

PDF Slides of ‘An introduction to Amateur satellites’
https://ukamsat.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/beginners-guide-to-amateur-satellites-by-dave-johnson-g4dpz.pdf

AMSAT-UK videos on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/AMSATUK/videos

 

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Live streaming of talks from International Space Colloquium Milton Keynes

Kents Hill Park Conference Centre Milton Keynes MK7 6BZ

Kents Hill Park Conference Centre Milton Keynes MK7 6BZ

Thanks to volunteers from the British Amateur Television Club (BATC) the presentations given at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium will be streamed live to a global audience.

This year the Colloquium is taking place as part of the RSGB Convention at the Kents Hill Park Conference Centre, Timbold Drive, Milton Keynes, MK7 6BZ on the weekend of October 14-15.

The webstream of the Colloquium talks will be available at https://beta.batc.tv/live/amsatuk
(The other talks at the RSGB Convention are not being streamed)

The Live Stream will begin on Saturday morning, October 14 at 9:30am BST (0830 GMT) with the presentation ‘Everything you wanted to know about Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)’ by ARISS Contact Coordinator Kenneth Ransom N5VHO.

The AMSAT-UK Colloquium is talking place in Lecture Room 5 download the programme schedule from
http://rsgb.org/main/about-us/rsgb-convention/rsgb-convention-programme/

Tickets to the event are available at the door or you can book in advance at
http://rsgb.org/main/about-us/rsgb-convention/

Recordings of all talks will be posted on the AMSAT-UK YouTube Channel after the event
https://www.youtube.com/user/AMSATUK

British Amateur Television Club http://www.batc.org.uk/

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Geostationary Amateur Radio Transponder Talk and Demonstration

Coverage area of Es'hail 2

Coverage area of Es’hail 2

On Saturday, October 14 at 1:45pm BST (1245 GMT) AMSAT-DL President Peter Guelzow DB2OS will give a presentation on the Es’hail-2 Geostationary Satellite Amateur Radio Transponders to the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Milton Keynes.

It is expected the presentation will include a demonstration of the P4A transponder simulator. All attendees are welcome to bring any equipment they have for CW/SSB or DATV for the 2.4 GHz and 10.5 GHz bands. The transponder mimics the real thing: 2400-2410 MHz uplink to 10489.5-10499.5 MHz downlink.

This year the AMSAT-UK Colloquium is taking place as part of the RSGB Convention at the Kents Hill Park Conference Centre, Timbold Drive, Milton Keynes, MK7 6BZ on the weekend of October 14-15. Tickets to the event are available at the door or you can book in advance at
http://rsgb.org/main/about-us/rsgb-convention/

The Colloquium is talking place in Lecture Room 5, download the programme schedule from
http://rsgb.org/main/about-us/rsgb-convention/rsgb-convention-programme/

Live streaming of Colloquium talks https://amsat-uk.org/2017/10/11/live-streaming-space-colloquium-mk/

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New ham radio equipment for ISS

ARISS 25 watt JVC Kenwood D710GA at Hamvention 2017 - Credit John Brier KG4AKV

ARISS 25 watt JVC-Kenwood D710GA at Hamvention 2017 – Credit John Brier KG4AKV

The ARISS website reports on progress towards flying new amateur radio equipment to the International Space Station.

On behalf of the ARISS International team, I am proud to announce that on Friday September 29th the ARISS team submitted the InterOperable Radio System (IORS) Safety Data Package to NASA for review!  Our next step in this process is the Safety Review, which is planned for November 2.

Submitting this was a phenomenal accomplishment!!  Particularly since the entire Safety Data Package was developed exclusively by our ARISS volunteers—something we have never done before.  Prior to this submittal, all safety packages—from Owen Garriott’s in the early 1980s to today–were developed with contractors from NASA, ESA or Energia.  And might I say at substantial expense.  I am pleased that the ARISS team did it ourselves!

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

Why is this important?  Two reasons:

1) This is a very major IORS milestone. We cannot get to orbit without successfully completing the safety review process and getting our hardware certified for flight.
2) Developing the safety package exclusively with volunteers is an innovative and gutsy approach to keep costs down and get the hardware flown sooner.  Otherwise we probably would have to slip launch 1-2 years while we acquired additional funding to get this done.

NASA Human Spaceflight Safety Certification is a four-step process—Phase 0, Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3.  The material we submitted covers the first three of the four phases.  As part of Phases 0, 1 and 2, we need to make sure NASA understands our design.  And we need to show NASA that we understand all the potential hazards that our hardware systems could introduce to ISS and how we have mitigated (or prevented) these hazards.  One example is to demonstrate to NASA that our IORS was designed with electrical wiring and circuit breakers that possess adequate features and sufficient margin to prevent an electrical shock or fire on-board the ISS.  Critically important stuff!  The final phase (Phase 3) will be complete when we have completed all testing and NASA inspection of our flight hardware and NASA deems it flight worthy.  At that point the IORS will be flight certificated and we can fly!  Currently we are looking to March-May 2018 for flight readiness.

For those not following ARISS hardware development very closely, we are developing the IORS to replace most of the on-board radio hardware. It is called “interoperable” because it is being designed to be operated anywhere on ISS.  But specifically, it will be used in the two areas with ISS Ham legacy antennas: the Columbus Module and the Russian Service Module. Interoperability allows us to leverage existing ISS power cables, it can be moved between modules in the event of on-orbit failures, and it supports common training and operations.

Multi-Voltage Power Supply with JVC-Kenwood D710GA on mounting bracket

The IORS is the most complex in-cabin hardware system we have ever designed, built, tested and flown as a volunteer team. We will remove the 3 watt Ericsson handheld radio system, initially certified for flight in 1999, and the Packet module–both of which have recently had issues—and install a brand-new, specially modified 25 watt JVC Kenwood D710GA radio to enable a multitude of new or improved capabilities on ISS, including voice repeater and better APRS operations.  A key development is the Multi-Voltage Power Supply (MVPS), which interfaces with multiple electric outlet connection types on ISS and provides a multitude of power output capabilities for our current and future ARISS operations and amateur radio experimentation.  It will also allow our Ham Video system to have a dedicated power outlet, eliminating the outlet sharing we have now, which shuts down Ham Video at times.

This effort would not be possible without the dedication and persistence of our IORS development team of volunteers.  They have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to provide an outstanding amateur radio experience for all.  Our IORS development team includes: Lou McFadin, W5DID, our Chief Engineer; Kerry Banke, N6IZW, the MVPS lead designer; Bob Davis, KF4KSS, the MVPS Mechanical enclosure designer; Ed Krome, K9EK, supporting IORS thermal control and cabin noise dissipation; Dave Taylor, W8AAS, our JVC Kenwood D-710 development liaison; Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, our APRS and D-710 operations expert; Shin Aota, JL1IBD, and Phil Parton, N4DRO for all their phenomenal support from JVC Kenwood; Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO, our operations lead; and our safety package team—Ken Ernandes, N2WWD, and Gordon Scannell, KD8COJ.  Kudos to all on a fantastic effort!

Designing, building and testing the IORS is a huge undertaking and *very* expensive.  We need to build ten (10!) units to support flight hardware, flight spares, testing, and training across the international team.  Hardware parts, development tools, fabrication, testing, and expenses to certify the IORS are expected to cost approximately $150,000.  And the hard part (i.e. most expensive part) is just now starting.  So please consider making a donation to ARISS to take our hardware system from dream to reality.  You can donate to ARISS directly through the AMSAT web site at:  http://www.ariss.org/donate.html.  ALL donations go directly to ARISS.

Thank you for all your support to inspire, engage and educate our youth to consider wireless communications and amateur radio, and to pursue STEAM careers through our exciting human space exploration and amateur radio endeavor!

Ad Astra!  To the Stars!

Sincerely,
Frank H. Bauer, KA3HDO
ARISS International Chair and ISS Ham Radio Principal Investigator

Source http://ariss.org/

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AMSAT Pioneer Patrick J. A. Gowen, G3IOR, Silent Key

Pat Gowen G3IOR

Pat Gowen G3IOR

Pat Gowen, G3IOR, of Norwich, Norfolk, passed away on August 17, 2017, after a long illness. He was 85. The amateur-satellite world has lost one of its true pioneers.

Ray Soifer, W2RS, writes:

Pat was a co-founder of AMSAT-UK, and was elected to the board of directors of AMSAT-NA in 1974. He was also the longtime satellite columnist of Practical Wireless, as well as a frequent contributor to The AMSAT Journal and OSCAR News.

He was the first to work 100 DXCC entities via satellite (all LEOs), and received Satellite DXCC No. 4 when his QSL cards arrived. Fluent in Russian, Pat enjoyed conversing with the cosmonauts aboard MIR and ISS. He and I made the first transatlantic QSO between two handheld transceivers, in 1991.

More recently, Pat was the first to discover the “re-birth” of AMSAT-OSCAR-7 when its battery returned to life in sunlight. In addition to his work with AMSAT and satellites, Pat was a prominent HF operator and DXer. He had confirmed QSOs with all DXCC entities and had also been a member of the First Class CW Operators Club (FOC), as well as a leading member of the Norfolk Amateur Radio Club. Literally hundreds of new amateurs obtained their licenses as a result of Pat’s NARC training classes.

Pat Gowen G3IOR in radio shack circa 1968

Martin Sweeting, G3YJO, Chairman of AMSAT-UK and founder of Surrey Satellite Technology, Ltd. (SSTL) remembered Pat this way:

“If my memory serves me well, I first met Pat G3IOR sometime in the mid-1970’s when I became interested in space and naturally amateur radio satellites – starting with OSCAR-6. In 1975, Pat was a founding member and sometime Chairman of AMSAT-UK along with other stalwarts such as Roy Stevens G2BVN, Arthur Gee G2UK and Richard Limebear G3RWL and had a strong interest in not only the OSCAR series but also especially the RS satellites from the then Soviet Union.

Starting in late 1973, Pat produced the first editions of OSCAR News as a typed newsletter providing essential orbit tracking information for the new OSCAR-6 satellite (at a time before easy access via the internet!) and contributed more timely updates and observations via the AMSAT-UK 80-metre net each Sunday morning – along with a news round-up each month transmitted by G3RWL. Pat attended and contributed to the early AMSAT-UK Colloquia at Surrey.

In June 21, 2002 Pat surprised the AMSAT community by detecting CW signals from the long-believed defunct OSCAR-7 satellite whose batteries had failed in 1981 but came back to life after the batteries eventually went open circuit enabling operations in sunlight to this day! Pat was passionate about amateur radio, amateur satellites and the environment; he contributed much over his long life to each of these and will be sadly missed.”

Professionally, Pat was a biochemist, retired from the University of East Anglia. He had also served as a magistrate in the Norfolk courts, the youngest in England at the time. No mention of Pat would be complete without noting his decades of work in cleaning up the beaches and waters of his beloved Norfolk. He leaves his wife Norma, a noted landscape artist.

Source AMSAT News Service

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FalconSAT-3 now open for amateur radio use

FalconSAT-3

FalconSAT-3

The Air Force Academy satellite Falconsat-3 is now open for amateur radio use as a digital store-and-forward system.

FalconSAT-3 DiagramFalconSAT-3 was built in 2005 and 2006 by cadets and faculty in the Space Systems Research Center at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, and launched in 2007 on an Atlas V.

After serving in scientific and training roles, the Academy has now made the satellite available for Amateur radio use.

The satellite is in a 35.4 degree inclination orbit, with an approximate altitude of 465 to 476 km. The Packet Bulletin Board System is operating at 9600 baud with a 145.840 uplink, and 435.103 downlink. Output power is 1 watt, and the downlink is continuously on. Digipeating is enabled for live QSOs, but unattended digipeating operations is not authorized at this time. Current Keplerian elements can be found in the AMSAT distributed Keplerian elements.

More information can be found at https://www.amsat.org/falconsat-3/

Further operational inquiries should be directed to AMSAT Vice President Operations, Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA (ko4ma<at>amsat.org).

Source AMSAT News Service http://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans

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IARU Region 1 Medal awarded to Graham Shirville G3VZV

Graham Shirville G3VZV at 2016 AMSAT-UK Colloquium – Credit Mike Rupprecht DK3WN

The 24th General Conference of IARU Region 1 was held in Landshut near München on September 17-21, 2017. In recognition of his outstanding and ongoing work with Satellite Coordination the IARU Region 1 Medal was awarded to Graham Shirville G3VZV.

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Autumn/Fall issue of OSCAR News now available

OSCAR News Front Cover Autumn 2017E-members of AMSAT-UK can now download the Autumn/Fall edition of OSCAR News here.

This edition features a low cost ground station using a DTV Dongle, SDRSharp and FUNcube Dashboard to capture Telemetry from the FUNcube satellites.

The paper edition should be sent to postal members in 2-3 weeks.

In this issue:
• From the Secretary’s Keyboard
• 2017 Meetings & Events calendar
• Notice of the 2017 AGM of AMSAT-UK
• Patrick J. A. Gowen, G3IOR (SK)
• IARU Region 1 Conference 2017
• Chertsey Radio Club
• A Low Cost Ground Station Using a DTV Dongle
• Yet another antenna for LEO satellites
• Just when you thought it was safe to do an ARISS contact in the UK!
• FUNcube-1 Transatlantic Experiment
• NOVA Satellite Tracking programme now free!
• Ground Based DVB-S2 Repeater for GEO Satellites
• AMSAT-UK Colloquium
• Future Spacecraft Planned For The Amateur Satellite Service Operating Above 1GHz
• AMSAT Phase-4A downconverter for SSB and DATV reception
• The new FUNcubes – progress reports
• FUNcubes – In Orbit Report Sept 2017
• GB4RME – Special Event Station – HM Royal Mint

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch

Membership of AMSAT-UK is open to anyone who has an interest in amateur radio satellites or space activities, including the International Space Station (ISS).

E-members of AMSAT-UK are able to download OSCAR News as a convenient PDF that can be read on laptops, tablets or smartphones anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Join as an E-member at Electronic (PDF) E-membership

PDF sample copy of “Oscar News” here.

Join AMSAT-UK using PayPal, Debit or Credit card at
http://shop.amsat-uk.org/

E-members can download their copies of OSCAR News here.

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