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[jamsat-news:780] * SpaceNews 16-Feb-98 *

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* SpaceNews 16-Feb-98 *

BID: $SPC0216



SpaceNews originates at KD2BD in Wall Township, New Jersey, USA.  It
is published every week and is made available for non-commercial use.

In late January, the Telecommunications Authority in the country of Guatemala
auctioned off four frequencies between 430 MHz and 435 MHz for commercial
use, despite their use by amateur radio operators in that part of the world.
Amateurs in the region have been trying to convince authorities not to
auction spectrum that is shared by amateurs to commercial users for over
a year, but as is often the case, the money that could be gained through
such a frequency auction spoke much louder than reasonable arguments by
hams against the selling of spectrum rights to the highest bidder.  Mexico
also recently lost UHF amateur band spectrum to commercial interests, and
this appears to be a disturbing trend.

Although the 430 MHz to 435 MHz spectrum loss in Guatemala does not directly
effect OSCAR satellite communications, a precedence has now been set, and
just as arguments against such an auction by amateur radio operators largely
fell on deaf ears, there is no guarantee that frequencies within the 435 MHz
to 438 MHz UHF amateur satellite sub-band will not be auctioned off to the
highest bidder in the future.

The implications of frequency auction involving spectrum used by OSCAR
satellites are staggering.  While commercial interests buying rights to UHF
spectrum are primarily concerned with short-range communication services, it
is well known that even low-power transmissions can be relayed half a world
away via a transponder carried on-board a communication satellite in earth
orbit.  Clearly, something needs to be done to prevent future spectrum grabs
that affect worldwide amateur satellite communications if OSCAR satellites
are to continue to utilize spectrum that is not exclusively allocated to the
Amateur Radio Service.

The situation is not all doom and gloom, however.  Frequency allocations used
in amateur radio satellite communications did fare well at the World Radio
Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland late last year.  WRC 97 delegates did
agree to upgrade the Earth Exploration Satellite Service from secondary to
primary at 1215 MHz to 1300 MHz, which should have only minimal impact on
amateur use of 1240 MHz to 1300 MHz.  The presence of these satellites
reduces the possibility that other, less-compatible services might later
be introduced into this band.  

* WT0N SK *
It is with great sadness that the passing of B.J. Arts, WT0N, is reported.
BJ, who was 37 years old and had suffered for a number of years from acute
diabetes, reportedly succumbed to flu soon after being taken to the hospital
on the evening of 08-Feb-98.   

BJ was very active on the satellites and VHF bands, and acted as editor of
the AMSAT-NA's AMSAT News Service bulletins for the past several years.
AMSAT News Service bulletins are available on amateur packet radio and
via the Internet.

BJ sent a QSL card to SpaceNews on 17-Mar-91.  On his card, BJ wrote:

	Just wanted to let you know I like SpaceNews.  Great Info!

	73 es God Bless

BJ was a very special person who gave of himself to help others, and will
be sorely missed by all.

During the period 14-Jan-98 to 16-Feb-98, good signals have been received
from UoSAT-OSCAR-11's 145.826 MHz VHF beacon.  Three reports of the S-band
beacon have been received.  Masa, JA0BES, reports signals of one S-unit
above the noise using a 34 element beam and Maki-Denk1 converter.  Joe,
KC6SZY, uses a 76-cm dish with 2.5 turn helical feed into an SSB Electronics
converter.  He reports S3 signals, compared to DOVE's S6.  Joe has very
kindly sent Clive Wallis an audio file of the signals which he has added
to his OSCAR-11 Web site (details below).  Ken, G8VR, also reports hearing
OSCAR-11 and DOVE on S-Band.

UoSAT-OSCAR-11's telemetry has been nominal.  After a slight fall, the
internal temperatures have stabilized at around at 5.4C and 3.0C for battery
and telemetry electronics respectively.  The change in temperature is due to
variations solar eclipse times.  In recent years, the satellite has been
subjected to long periods of continuous sunlight which has produced fairly
high internal temperatures (eg. battery 22C, and beacons around 34C).
Eclipses are expected throughout 1998 which should result in lower
temperatures with fairly small variations.

A single WOD survey has been transmitted during the reporting period.
Channels 10, 20, 30, 40 (+Y, -X, +X array currents, array voltage), dated
06-Jan-98.  This shows the effect of solar eclipses on array currents and

OSCAR-11 users are welcome to visit Clive Wallis' OSCAR-11 Web site.
Clive has recently added some audio files, including the Mode-S recording
made by KC6SZY, which plays for 20 seconds.  The other audio files are
examples of each type of data transmitted by OSCAR-11, and each one plays
for about ten seconds.  All the audio files are compressed (ZIP), so that
they can be played off-line.  They should help listeners identify the
various types of data transmitted by OSCAR-11, and give an indication of
the signal quality required for successful decoding.  The web site also
contains some software for capturing data, and decoding ASCII telemetry
and WOD.  There is an archive of raw data (mainly WOD) for analysis, which
is continually being expanded as new data is captured.  The URL is:


UoSAT-OSCAR-11's operating schedule remains unchanged:

	ASCII status (210 seconds)
	ASCII bulletin (60 seconds)
	BINARY SEU (30 seconds)
	ASCII TLM (90 seconds)
	ASCII WOD (120 seconds)
	ASCII bulletin (60 seconds)
	BINARY ENG (30 seconds)

There are also additional status blocks after each bulletin is transmitted,
and between ASCII TLM and WOD.

The Mode-S beacon is ON transmitting  an  unmodulated  carrier, but telemetry
indicates that it has partially failed and delivering half power.  This
beacon is a useful test source for those testing Mode-S converters, prior
to the launch of P3-D.  It is considerably weaker than DOVE, which should
be used for initial testing.  Any reports of reception of UO-11's 2401 MHz
beacon would be most welcome, and should be directed to Clive Wallis at:

The 435.025 MHz beacon is normally OFF.  However, it can sometimes be heard
when the satellite is being commanded by ground control (ie. within range of
Guildford, UK).  When the 435 MHz beacon is transmitting, the 145 MHz beacon
is normally OFF.  The data transmitted is mainly binary.

[Info via Clive Wallis, G3CWV, g3cwv@amsat.org]

Comments and input for SpaceNews should be directed to the editor (John,
KD2BD) via any of the paths listed below:
WWW       : http://www.njin.net/~magliaco/
INTERNET  : kd2bd@amsat.org, magliaco@email.njin.net

      <<=- SpaceNews: The first amateur newsletter read in space! -=>>
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-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- John A. Magliacane, KD2BD -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Internet  : kd2bd@amsat.org          |  Voice : +1.732.224.2948
Satellite : AO-16, LO-19, KO-25      |  Morse : -.-  -..  ..---  -...  -..
Packet    : KD2BD @ KS4HR.NJ.USA.NA  |  WWW   : http://www.njin.net/~magliaco/
Video     : 426.250 MHz/439.250 MHz  |  FAX   : +1.732.224.2060
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