[ans] ANS-351 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

JoAnne Maenpaa k9jkm at comcast.net
Sat Dec 16 18:11:47 PST 2006


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:
ans-editor at amsat.org

In this edition:

* Changes to AO-51 CTCSS Access Tone
* Eagle Prototype Parts Received
* ISS Amateur Station Status
* SKN on OSCAR 2007 To Be In Memory Of K7RR
* Satellite Shorts
* AMSAT Files Petition for Reconsideration With the FCC
* GeneSat Operational in Orbit

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-351.01
Changes to AO-51 CTCSS Access Tone

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 351.01
December 17, 2006
BID: $ANS-351.01

This week Drew Glasbrenner KO4MA, AMSAT-NA VP Operations reported that
the CTCSS 67 Hz subaudible tone used on AO-51's uplink to enable the
FM transponder has been turned off.  Carrier access is all that is re-
quired to access this satellite.

Drew explained further, "The 67 Hz tone was originally designed to allow
AO-51's downlink to be switched off when the satellite was not in use.
The use of the subaudible tone access has been problematic over areas of
heavy use and when trying to identify the seemingly growing interference
issues experienced on the 2 meter uplink frequency."

Access into AO-51 is expected to improve worldwide. Despite the near
ubiquity of subaudible tone enabled radios in North America, many areas of
the world have limited or difficult access to this type of equipment, even
in commercial off-the-shelf gear.  Carrier-access enables amateur radio
operators in these areas to use the satellite.

Drew concluded, "Full duplex operation is the most courteous and efficient
means of operating the FM satellites.  This allows you to listen to the
downlink before you transmit as well as when you transmit to reduce QRMing
other users. Also, please continue with renewed vigor to help identify and
eliminate both non-amateur interference, and amateurs operating outside of
the established bandplan that interfere with our satellites."

[ANS thanks Drew, KO4MA for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-351.02
Eagle Prototype Parts Received

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 351.02
December 17, 2006
BID: $ANS-351.02

Dick, WD4FAB, mechanical engineer on the AMSAT Eagle satellite, reported
the news that the Eagle Project has received the prototypes of the heat
sinks that will be riveted into Eagle's high-power electronic modules to
enable the dissipation from the power devices in those modules.

Dick thanked the team, "The heat sinks were fastidiously machined by our
friends at Embry Riddle Aeronautic University, Daytona Beach, Florida. This
is the culmination of discussions started over a year ago. We are very much
indebted to Embry Riddle and Dr. Al Helfirck, K2BLA, a very long-time
operator, for their participation in the Eagle Project.  A tip of the hat
to Al and his gang."

What makes these heat sinks very special is that they are machined from
a high thermal conductivity, 99% pure, aluminum. This alloy is 33% higher
conductivity than alloy aluminum, and as such it is quite soft and difficult
to machine. In addition, the surface finish of these parts is also demanding
and Embry Riddle Aeronautic University has presented us with a superb

Prior to launch the heat sink module surfaces will be protected by a plastic
film to protect the thermal conductive and radiative surfaces of importance,
as they all are of delicate and soft alloys.

[ANS thanks Dick, WD4FAB for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-351.03
ISS Amateur Station Status

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 351.03
December 17, 2006
BID: $ANS-351.03

ARISS Project Engineer, Kenneth, N5VHO provided a status report on
the amateur radio gear aboard the International Space Station.  He
said, "The Phase I amateur radio gear in the FGB module appears to
have developed an intermittent audio issue that will require some
crew time to be scheduled in order to try and determine the cause
of the problem. This system has been used primarily for school con-
tacts since the packet system associated with that radio began
exhibiting problems during Expedition 6."

Kenneth continued, "The Phase II system in the ISS service module
has not been operating properly since August 2006 when the default
settings for the radio changed. The radio transmits and receives
well and it will continue to be used for school contacts.  But,
until the radio is reprogrammed, only intermittent operations will
be possible. A computer designated for amateur radio operations will
allow reprogramming of the radio and is planned to arrive on the next
Progress vehicle in 2007. Until the radio is reprogrammed, it is un-
likely that any of the automatic modes such as Packet and APRS, SSTV
or the Crossband Repeater will be operating or will only operate
for brief periods of time."

[ANS thanks Kenneth, N5VHO for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-351.04
SKN on OSCAR 2007 To Be In Memory Of K7RR

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 351.04
December 17, 2006
BID: $ANS-351.04

All radio amateurs, worldwide, are cordially invited to participate in
Straight Key Night on OSCAR 2007.  This year, the event is dedicated to
the memory of Cliff Buttschardt, K7RR.  Cliff was an enthusiastic and
longtime SKN participant on both OSCAR and HF, as well as a perennial
Best Fist winner.  He will be sorely missed.

Participating in SKN on OSCAR 2007 is easy.  No rules, no scoring and
no need to send in a log.  Just operate CW through any OSCAR between
0000 and 2400 UTC on 1 January 2007, using a straight hand key.

In keeping with the friendly nature of this event, all participants are
encouraged to nominate someone they worked for "Best Fist."  Your nominee
need not have the best fist of those you heard, just of those you worked.
Please send your nomination to w2rs at amsat.org.  A list of those nominated
will appear in ANS and The AMSAT Journal.

[ANS thanks Ray, W2RS for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-351.05
Satellite Shorts

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 351.05
December 17, 2006
BID: $ANS-351.05

* The STS-116 Shuttle launch carried to orbit three new satellites,
RAFT-1, MARSCOM and ANDE, designed, built, and tested by the Midshipmen
of the US Naval Academy's Satellite Laboratory in Annapolis, Maryland.
After completing its primary mission of constuction of the International
Space Station, the Shuttle crew is expected to deploy these satellites
on December 20.  The downlink for RAFT-1 and ANDE is on 145.825 MHz.
MARSCOM will operate on Navy-Marine Corps MARS frequencies.  RAFT is
planned to be deployed at 00:05 UTC; ANDE is planned to be deployed at
19:42 UTC.

* 4X6EM/4Z7DFC at the Techsat Ground Control Station reported the Techsat1B,
GO-32 is expected to resume its BBS packet satellite services this week.
Stations have reported hearing the 435.225MHz 9600bps FSK KISS signal on
December 15.

* Mineo, JE9PEL has written software to decode the FO-29 beacon.  Refer
to these links for more information:

* Time is running out to take advantage of the Pension Protection Act to
help AMSAT's fund raising efforts.  If you have reached the age of 70-1/2
you are required withdraw a certain amount from your IRA each year. The law
allows you contribute a portion of the required withdrawal directly to
AMSAT. The the amount you contribute directly is NOT counted as income and
thus may put you into a lower tax bracket. It may also reduce  the percent-
age of your Social Security income subject to taxation.  Contact the AMSAT
office to take advantage of this financial opportunity to build and fly

* If you volunteer time to AMSAT-NA please remember to log your volunteer
hours on the Volunteer Reporting System) on the AMSAT web site.

[ANS thanks everyone for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-351.06
AMSAT Files Petition for Reconsideration With the FCC

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 351.06
December 17, 2006
BID: $ANS-351.06

AMSAT has filed a petition for reconsideration with the FCC regarding
the most recent wording of the rules for orbital debris mitigation that
were embedded in Report and Order 06-149.  AMSAT points out to the
Commission that our prior Petition for Reconsideration about orbital
debris is still pending and is not a moot point as the Commission called
in R&O footnote 169.  AMSAT respectfully requested that the orbital debris
amendments be deleted.

The full text of AMSAT's filing can be found on-line at:
t=6518712069  (careful with the line wrap.)

[ANS thanks Lee, KU4OS for the above information]


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-351.07
GeneSat Operational in Orbit

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 351.07
December 17, 2006
BID: $ANS-351.07

GeneSat-1, the latest university cubesat, was successfully launched
from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA Wallops Flight
Facility on December 16, 2006 at 1200 hours UTC.  It was a secondary
payload aboard a Minotaur launch vehicle.

Earlier GeneSat press releases mentioned 437.075 MHz and 437.100 MHz
for the beacon frequency.  Reception reports received from the USA,
Japan, and southeast asia confirm that 437.075 MHz is being used.
Many report the frequency seems to be 8-9 kHz below the published
frequency.  Transmissions from GeneSat are telemetry packets in
AX.25 1200bps AFSK format.

The GeneSat mission website at http://www.genesat1.org describes the
satellite's mission and provides QSL information. Check out the rules
for the telemetry reception contest on this site.

Within hours after the launch the GeneSat Ops Team was reporting nominal
power and thermal conditions.
See: http://genesat1.engr.scu.edu/log/opslog.htm

Reception reports and received telemetry packets can be posted at:

Additional GeneSat technical resources can be found at:

Post Launch Two Line Elements:
1 99999U Genevec2 06350.62500000 -.00014664  00000-0 -26801-3 0 00000
2 99999 040.0599 076.9488 0017534 172.9505 257.1789 15.48261244000034

[ANS thanks the GeneSat Team and amateur satellite operators around the
 world 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.

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

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