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[jamsat-news:2779] ANS-031 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins


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.

Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to:

In this edition:

* 2010 OSCAR SKN "Best Fist" Winners
* ISS on SSTV This Week
* How's Satellite DX? Pretty Good, Thanks for Asking
* Sumbandila SO-67 Amateur Radio Operations Suspended
* Building the First US ARISSAT-1 Flight Unit Begins
* 8 New Cubesats in Development

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-031.01
2010 OSCAR SKN "Best Fist" Winners

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 031.01
January 31, 2010
BID: $ANS-031.01

Ray Soifer, W2RS has compiled the Best Fist votes from AMSAT's 
Straight Key Night on OSCAR 2010 and reported the results this
week. Ray said, "We saw a great deal of activity throughout the 
world, with 'Best Fist' nominations coming in from four contin-
ents." The following "Best Fist" winners, 23 in all, each received 
at least one nomination from someone they worked:
As some will remember, at one time we used to award a "grand prize" 
to the participant who got the most nominations.  This was discontin-
ued a few years ago, for fear of making the event too "competitive."  
However, we have to make an exception this year: Glenn Miller, AA5PK, 
received a record six nominations.  Well done!
Many thanks to all who participated, and congratulations to all of 
our "Best Fist" winners.
See you next year!

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


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-031.02
ISS on SSTV This Week

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 031.02
January 31, 2010
BID: $ANS-031.02

This week the 145.800 MHz downlink from the International Space Station
was active with the Slow Scan Television (SSTV) signals from the MAI-75
experiment. On Wednesday, January 27 automated SSTV operations were con-
ducted using the VC-H1 system transmitting a Robot-36 formatted picture
once every 3 minutes worldwide between 0900 to 1400 UTC. SSTV operations
on Thursday, January 28, and Friday, January 29 were conducted using the
PD-160 transmission format using MMSSTV and were generally focused toward 
ground stations in western Russia.

SSTV images received by Amateur Radio Operators worldwide this week have
been uploaded to the ARISS SSTV gallery at:

The SSTV downlink on 145.800 from the ISS is transmitted in FM mode. 
You can receive and decode these images at your station using freeware
software. You will need to connect the audio output from your 145.800
MHz receiver to an input on your computer's soundcard. Depending on your
radio and computer an audio interface may be required. Plans for these
are available via internet searches. Others have reported success by
simply connecting a speaker or headphone jack to their soundcard input
and adjusting levels using the soundcard driver program's audio slider

One widely used SSTV software program is MMSSTV available at:
http://mmhamsoft.amateur-radio.ca/ (MMSSTV 1.11G or later is recommen-

The downlink signal from the ISS on 145.800 MHz is generally very strong
and a full OSCAR class tracking system is not needed. Many Amateur Radio
operators are successful using a 2 meter vertical on the house roof.

Tracking information for those who do not have a tracking program can
be viewed on-line at: 
http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/tools/predict/satloc.php (and select the
ISS as the object to be displayed).

[ANS thanks the ARISS team for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-031.03
How's Satellite DX? Pretty Good, Thanks for Asking

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 031.03
January 31, 2010
BID: $ANS-031.03

+ January 16 - WC7V had a contact with RN1NW via AO-7 Mode B over
  a distance of 7659 KM. Kerry, WC7V said, "I have hoped to make this 
  contact for over 30 years. The satellite was ascending at my QTH 
  and was at about 3 degrees elevation at the end of our QSO." 

+ January 18 - ZS6BB had a contact with EA6SA via AO-7 Mode B over
  a distance of 7,766 KM. This contact was conducted via SSB.

+ January 23 - N3TL and KL7XJ had a  contact on HO-68 in FM. Tim,
  N3TL said, "At the time, the satellite was below 4.5 degrees and 
  descending for me. I'm thrilled to put state No. 49 in the log with 
  my handheld station." 

+ January 24 - Piraja PS8RF had a contact with EA4CYQ in SSB via the
  linear transponder through HO-68. This is believed to be the first
  SSB contact between South America and Europe on this satellite over
  a distance 7,477 KM. Juan Antonio, EA4CYQ wrote, "After that I worked 
  Canada VE2DWE and several USA stations KB1RVT, K3SZH and KC9ELU.

+ January 25 - K3SZH with PY2OV on SSB via AO-7. The distance between 
  the two stations was 7738 KM. PS8RF recorded the contact and posted
  a short video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS4Mdl-P6X4

+ Schedule update for VP8 South Shetland Islands AO-51 operation. The
  DNXL Newsletter #1660 (Jan 27, 2010) reports that XR9JA will now be
  active between February 1 - 28. This operation was originally planned 
  for January but has been re-scheduled. Their QTH will be the Chilean 
  naval base "Arturo Prat" on Greenwich Island belonging to the South 
  Shetland archipelago (AN-010). Their QSL manager is CE5JA (via bureau 
  or direct) and more information can be found on their website: 

+ FO-29 seems to be recovering well. On January 24 Rowland K4XD heard
  strong signals while copying his own CW signal with no one else on
  the satellite. On January 27 Mike, DK3WN reported strong signals
  received from FO-29.

+ January 28 - ZS6WB in Pretoria, South Africa copied a double-hop
  signal from I8CVS in Italy. Dom, I8CVS was uplinking to AO-7 on
  432.158 MHz which translated out on 145.940 MHz on AO-7. The sig-
  nal on 145.940 from AO-7 was received as an input on FO-29, and
  translated to 435.840 MHz output on FO-29. Hal, ZS6WB said he
  copied a good signal via 435.840 MHz for several minutes.

[ANS thanks everyone for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-031.04
Sumbandila SO-67 Amateur Radio Operations Suspended

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 031.04
January 31, 2010
BID: $ANS-031.04

The Sumbandila Satellite Operations at SunSpace in South Africa 
said this week that Amateur Radio Operations via SO-67 must be
suspended temporarily due to system commissioning requirements
of the main payload.

The message said after handover of operations of the commissioned
payloads the Satellite Applications Center plans return SO-67 back
to scheduled Amateur Radio operation in the middle-March to early-
April, 2010 timeframe.

[ANS thanks Jan-Albert Koekemoer for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-031.05
Building the First US ARISSAT-1 Flight Unit Begins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 031.05
January 31, 2010
BID: $ANS-031.05

Gould Smith, WA4SXM writing on behalf of the ARISSAT-1 team said
construction of the flight unit begins next week when Tony Monteiro, 
AA2TX begins electronic assembly of the first US flight unit for 

The ARISSAT-1 team has had prototypes working for months. The enclo-
sures have been painted by NASA and the cables prepared by Larry Brown, 
N7LB. The flight boards were built by the Microchip ARISSat team and 
Chuck Green, N0ADI, with Chuck checking all the flight units. 

Lou McFadin, W5DID has nearly assembled a complete flight structure 
designed by Bob Davis, KF4KSS. Lou expects to exhibit the structure 
in the AMSAT Booth at the upcoming Orlando HamCation. The first two 
flight TX/RX/Command receiver modules from Bill Ress, N6GHZ are due 
to arrive next week. 

We just found out that ARISSat will receive a new callsign and some 
additional Russian greetings will be added. We will have more than 
25 international greetings from around the world in twelve languages 
broadcast on the FM downlink. In addition to the greetings will be 
voice ID, voice telemetry values, SSTV images, CW signals, new 1k 
BPSK signal by Phil Karn, KA9Q sending full telemetry and experiment 
data and a 16 kHz wide transponder. Kurst State University in Russia 
is providing the experiment and the Silver-Zinc battery for the 

The ARISSAT-1 team will start system testing and Flight Safety reviews 
soon and plans to ship two flight units to Russia in the spring.

[ANS thanks Gould Smith, WA4SXM and the ARISSAT-1 Team for the
 above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-031.06
8 New Cubesats in Development

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 031.06
January 31, 2010
BID: $ANS-031.06

Four CubeSats from Japan are planned to launch on 20 May 2010 aboard
the JAXA PLANET-C mission to Venus.

UNITEC-1, NPO UNISEC (University Space Engineering Consortium) will 
fly to Venus. This will provide Amateur Radio operators a deep space
beacon for experimentation on 5.8GHz. More information is at:

Negai*", developed by Soka University will remain in low-earth orbit
with a 437.305 MHz CW, Packet 1200bps FSK AX.25 downlink. More infor-
mation is at: http://kuro.t.soka.ac.jp/main.html

WASEDA-SAT2, developed by Waseda University will remain in low-earth
orbit with a 437.485 MHz CW(FM), PCM-FSK(FM) 9600bps downlink. More
information is at: 

KSAT, developed by Kagoshima University will remain in low-earth orbit
with an uplink: S-band (2GHz, 10kbps) and downlink: Ku-band(13.275GHz, 
10kbps/1Mbps). More information is at:

NASA plans to launch 3 CubeSats with Amateur Radio payloads. The 
satellites are manifested as an auxiliary payload on the Taurus XL 
launch vehicle for NASA's Glory Climate Mission, planned for liftoff 
in late November, 2010.

Montana State designated its satellite as Explorer 1 Prime, or E1P. 
The name honors the launch and scientific discoveries of the Explorer-1 
mission, which detected the Van Allen radiation belts more than 50 years 
ago. E1P will carry a miniature Geiger tube to measure the intensity and 
variability of the electrons in the Van Allen belts. This satellite will
use 437.505 MHz as its downlink. See:

Colorado's satellite is named Hermes. Its mission is to improve CubeSat 
communications through the on-orbit testing of a high data-rate communi-
cation system that will allow the downlink of large quantities of data.
The planned downlink frequency is 437.425 MHz. See:

The Kentucky vehicle is called KySat-1. KySat, is believed to be the 
first CubeSat to carry a 2m to 70cm FM repeater. It includes a camera 
to support a scientific outreach program intended for, but not limited 
to, Kentucky students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The satellite 
also has a 2.4 gigahertz industrial, scientific and medical band radio, 
which will be used to test high-bandwidth communications in the license
free portion of the S-band. KySat-1 plans to use 145.850 MHz FM uplink 
and 436.975 MHz FM downlink. See:

The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in South Africa 
F'SATI post graduate program in Satellite Engineering announced plans 
for the development of an academic project which will develop and launch 
a 3U cubesat. The payloads will include a camera, a parrot repeater and 
a transponder. In partnership with the Hermanus Magnetic Observatory, a 
HF beacon will be included to assist the HMO to calibrate their radar 
systems in the Antarctic. A new type of magnetometer is also under con-
sideration. The project plans to have a flight ready display in October 
2011 when the International Astronomy Conference is held in Cape Town.

[ANS thanks Mineo Wakita, JE9PEL; SouthGate Amateur Radio News for the 
 above information]


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.
Application forms are available from the AMSAT Office. And, with that
please keep in mind when the artist was questioned about his vehicle
being stalled by the side of the road his reply was, "I had no Monet to 
buy Degas to make the Van Gogh."

This week's ANS Editor,
JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM
K9JKM at amsat dot org

Via the ANS mailing list courtesy of AMSAT-NA