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[jamsat-news:1810] ANS-180 AMSAT Weekly Bulletin


ANS is a free, weekly, news and information service of AMSAT North America,
The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation. ANS 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.

In this edition:
*  AO-40 Update
*  FO-29 Reactivated
*  Challenger Center ARISS Contact
*  Lesotho DXpedition plans AO-40 operation
*  UK expanded satellite access proposal
*  New PREDICT version released
*  This Week's News in Brief

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-180.01
AO-40 Update

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 180.01 From AMSAT HQ
Silver Spring, MD. June 29, 2003
To All Radio Amateurs
BID: $ANS-180.01

ALON/ALAT is moving slowly forward and within two orbits should be:

ALON/ALAT >350/0

In anticipation of ALON reaching 350, the schedule has been lengthened to
leave the passband on until MA=220.

Estimated ALON/ALAT for June 28 is 353/0

N  QST AMSAT AO-40          SCHEDULE                 2003-06-24
                MA      002   030   220   244   002
                S2/K-Tx  |  S  |  S  |  S  |  S  |
                MB       |  *  |  *  |  *  |  *  |
                RUDAK    |     |     |     |     |
                V/U-Rx   |  U  |  U  |  U  |  V  |
                Uplink   |     | UL1 |     |     |

[ANS thanks Stacey, W4SM, for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-180.02
FO-29 Reactivated

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 180.02 From AMSAT HQ
Silver Spring, MD. June 29, 2003
To All Radio Amateurs
BID: $ANS-180.02

Yuki, JH3DJX, reports that FO-29 was reactivated by JARL control station on
orbit#-33721.  The satellite is currently operating mode JA and downlink
signals from FO-29 have been very good .

[ANS thanks Yuki, JH3DJX, for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-180.03
Challenger Center ARISS Contact

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 180.03 From AMSAT HQ
Silver Spring, MD. June 29, 2003
To All Radio Amateurs
BID: $ANS-180.03

The Challenger Center in Hammond, IN had a successful ARISS afternoon
contact on 2003-06-26.Congrats Ed Lu, W9PUC Purdue University Calumet radio
club, the Challenger Center, Ed K9TZT the ham coordinator, Mark K9MQ the
control op, and the rest of the crew from the Lake County Amateur Radio

Check out the web page for the Challenger Center in Hammond, Indiana ARISS
You will probably need to get the latest RealOne Player (formerly

ARISS Contact Schedule and Successful school list updated 2003-06-25 21:00

Check out Ed Lu's web page: http://www.edlu.com/

The latest ARISS announcement and successful school list is now available on
the ARISS web site.  Several ways to get there.

Latest ARISS announcements and news

Successful school list


The GSFC website is having problems.  Go directly to the RAC site.

click on English (sorry I don't know French)
you are now at http://www.rac.ca/ariss/
click on News

[ANS thanks Charlie, AJ9N, for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-180.04
Lesotho DXpedition plans AO-40 operation

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 180.04 From AMSAT HQ
Silver Spring, MD. June 29, 2003
To All Radio Amateurs
BID: $ANS-180.04

The July 18-25 Lesotho 7P8 DXpedition sponsored by the Lone Star DX
Association and the Texas DX Society has added amateur satellite mode
to its planned operations, DXpedition Leader Charles Frost, K5LBU/7P8TA
has announced.

The operation will be on the AO-40 satellite mode U/S.

Equipment including antennas and a down converter were donated by Wayne
Estes, W9AE, and a spare down converter donated by Bruce Paige, KK5DO.
Paige, QSL manager for the recent P5/4L4FN operation from North Korea, is
also providing pre-DXpedition satellite training in Houston. Paige is AMSAT
VP of User Services & ARRL Awards Manager (WAS, 5BWAS, VUCC). For additional
7P8 satellite information and news click on http://www.amsatnet.com

"We're glad to offer such a needed mode from Lesotho," Frost said, adding
that those wanting to  make a contact with the DXpedition  "take it easy on
us because none of us are satellite operators, but we are willing to try our
best at giving everyone who wants one a 7P8 QSO."

Besides Frost, the operators include: Igor Zdorov of Minneapolis MN,
W0IZ/7P8IZ; Dave Anderson of Ashville NC K4SV/7P8DA; Madison Jones of
Houston TX, W5MJ/7P8MJ; Neil King of Port Coquitlam, British Columbia Canada
VA7DX/7P8NK; and Tom Anderson of Colleyville TX, WW5L/7P8TA, on the all
modes, all band team July 18-25 from Mohale's Hoek, Lesotho.

K4SV and VA7DX will also be operating from 3DA after 7P8.  Callsigns will be
3DA0SV for Dave Anderson K4SV and 3DA0WC for Neil King, VA7DX. QSL via home

Operations will be will be at the Hotel Mount Maluti
http://www.seelesotho.com/mountmaluti.htm near Mohale's Hoe (30.16 S and
27.48 E).  Equipment includes Tribanders for 10-15-20, a 2 element  WARC
Band antenna, a log periodic, a 40-80-160 vertical, and Alpha Delta
40/80/160 dipoles. Kenwood TS850S, ICOM 706MKIIg and 756 PRO, plus 600
 and 1 kW amps. Most of the equipment is already in country.

QSLs will be handled by each operator separately via their  home calls as
each will have their own 7P8 call.

QSL routes are: 7P8CF--K5LBU--Frosty; 7P8TA--WW5L--Tom;
7P8MJ--W5MJ--Madison; 7P8NK--VA7DX--Neil; 7P9DA--K4SV--Dave; and

Andre van Wyck, ZS6WPX, is the on-scene coordinator of the  DXpedition.

Commercial equipment donors include Tennadyne Antennas, Array Solutions, and

For additional information contact Frost at frosty1@pdq.net or Tom Anderson
at WW5L@gte.net.

[ANS thanks Charles, K5LBU, for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-180.05
UK expanded satellite access proposal

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 180.05 From AMSAT HQ
Silver Spring, MD. June 29, 2003
To All Radio Amateurs
BID: $ANS-180.05

Currently access to the amateur satellite service in the UK is only
available to holders of full licenses and that at present the
foundation and intermediate license holders cannot operate via

AMSAT-UK has been lobbying strongly to change this situation and to allow
all UK amateurs access to our part of the hobby.  The new intermediate level
exam includes questions on satellites and it is the Radio Communication
Agency's (RA) intention to amend the Intermediate License accordingly.

The RA has just launched a consultation document which requests comments on
this proposal before July 11th

It can be found at:


AMSAT-UK is encouraging all UK amateurs could respond stating that they are
in favour of the change!

Comments can be sent by email to:


or by letter to:

Amateur Section
Radiocommunications Agency
Wyndham House
189 Marsh Wall
E14 9SX

A short email stating that you support the proposed changes to allow
intermediate licensees satellite access is all that is required!

It remains AMSAT-UK policy to press for access for Foundation License
holders at the earliest possible opportunity and if you agree with this it
might be good to say so.

[ANS thanks Jim, G3WGM, AMSAT-UK Hon. Secretary, for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-180.06
New PREDICT version released

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 180.06 From AMSAT HQ
Silver Spring, MD. June 29, 2003
To All Radio Amateurs
BID: $ANS-180.06

PREDICT version 2.2.2, a satellite tracking and orbital prediction
application for the Linux and Unix operating systems, has been released.
This release corrects several small bugs and adds several new features over
the previous version.  Some of the important changes include:

* Fixed a bug that caused GET_SAT (UDP socket) requests to fail after
 GET_DOPPLER requests were issued.  (Tnx: KF6RFX)

* Fixed a bug in  "earthtrack" where latitude and longitude options sent
 to  "xplanet" were reversed under certain circumstances.  (Tnx: ZL2BSJ)

*  "earthtrack" has been modified to work with  "xplanet" version 1.0 and
 later.  Compatibility for versions of  "xplanet" prior to 1.0 is retained
 through an earlier version of  "earthtrack" that has been moved into
 an  "old_version" directory.

* Orbital phase, eclipse depth, and squint angle data has been appended
 to the information returned to UDP client applications in response
 to the GET_SAT command.

* Moon tracking code was replaced with a more precise algorithm based
 on Meeus' method.

* Added a lunar prediction mode that predicts  "passes" of the Moon.

* Added a solar prediction mode that predicts  "passes" of the Sun.

* Added  "MoonTracker", a small utility that runs in the background and
 directs an AZ/EL antenna array toward the position of the Moon (for
 EME communications).

* The Moon's declination, Greenwich hour angle, and right ascension
 have been appended to the information returned to UDP clients in
 response to the GET_MOON command.

* The Sun's declination, Greenwich hour angle, and right ascension
 have been appended to the information returned to UDP clients in
 response to the GET_SUN command.

* PREDICT now returns orbital data in NASA Two-Line format to UDP
 clients in response to the GET_TLE command.

* Added a new UDP socket command (GET_MODE) to return PREDICT's
 current tracking mode (single, multi, none) to networked clients.
 If PREDICT is operating in Single Satellite tracking mode, then the
 name of the satellite currently being tracked is returned by GET_MODE.

* In Main Menu option [G] (Edit Ground Station Information), ground
 station latitude and longitude may now be entered in degree, minute,
 second (DMS) format in addition to decimal degrees.

* The  "vocalizer" feature was dramatically improved.  Sound samples
 are now read from ubiquitous .wav files, making it easier for users
 to create samples of their own, even in languages other than English.
 PREDICT now articulates numeric values in their entirety (i.e.:
 "three hundred forty nine";) instead of articulating each digit
 individually ("three four nine";) as was done previously.  Alarms
 and additional announcements were added to alert a visual observer
 when a spacecraft is visible, when it enters into sunlight, and
 when it enters into eclipse.

* Added  "fodtrack", written by Luc Langermann, LX1GT.  This utility
 permits AZ/EL antenna control using the Fodtrack hardware interface
 via the parallel port.

* Added titles to windows when PREDICT is run under X.

* The latest version of  "gsat" (1.1.0) has been included.

* Several other coding changes were made.  Linux-specific code was
 removed in an effort to allow easier compilation under FreeBSD,
 MacOS X, and other Unixes in general.

* PREDICT's main menu was expanded to handle the additional program
 options.  The main menu also now displays the text  "Server Mode"
 when the program is invoked in socket server mode (-s).

* Program documentation was updated.

PREDICT may be downloaded from:


Further information on PREDICT is available at:


[ANS thanks John, KD2BD, for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-180.07
This Week's News in Brief

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 180.07 From AMSAT HQ
Silver Spring, MD. June 29, 2003
To All Radio Amateurs
BID: $ANS-180.07

**   Japan is set to give its final green-light next month to a joint
project with the European Space Agency to land mankind's first probe on
Mercury, officials said.  --SpaceDaily

**   The high-speed impact of a piece of foam insulation hitting Columbia's
left wing is the "most probable cause" of the shuttle's burn up on reentry
into Earth's atmosphere February 1 and the deaths of its seven astronauts,
investigators said.  --SpaceDaily

**  The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft expects to
experience a blackout in the transmission of its scientific data during the
week of 22 June 2003. This is estimated to last for about two and a half to
three weeks.  If the problem is not solved, the Earth will be left outside
the HGA beam on a periodic basis, with similar blackouts occurring every
three months.  --SpaceDaily

**   Japan's NTT Data Corp. said Thursday it has successfully linked
thousands of computers on the Internet to finish a task in 132 days that
would take a single computer 611 years.  It marked Japan's first test of
"grid computing" -- where linked computers share small parts of mammoth
calculations -- sales of the processing power would go ahead by next
arch.  --SpaceDaily


This weeks ANS Editor:
Lee McLamb, KU4OS, ku4os@amsat.org