[amsat-bb] Re: AO-16 update 3 December 2008

Sebastian w4as at bellsouth.net
Wed Dec 3 14:30:19 PST 2008

Mark, on the last pass of AO-16 (I would say approximately 21:30 UTC  
over EL95), the bird was nice and strong, and there weren't any  
signals on there, with the exception of some QRM south of the border.   
The bird was traveling north from the Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico area.

I was calling CQ, but no one was coming back to me, until the  
footprint was over the USA.  Then Rick, WA4NVM came back to me.  I  
said hello and did the usual exchange.  When he came back to me, all I  
heard was heavy distortion.  I wasn't sure if it was him.  I waited  
for a few seconds and didn't hear anything, so I transmitted and asked  
him if he had heard me - my downlink sounded fine.  Again I heard the  
heavy distortion, and once again, I keyed up and said that if it was  
him, that he was very distorted.  Once again, my downlink was clear,  
but then it started to get distorted, to the point where it was  

Towards the end of the pass, the distortion went away, and I called  
him when I was down to about 3 degrees, and he said that yes it was  
him, and he couldn't figure out what was going on, that he had lowered  
and increased his power, but there was still distortion.  I replied to  
him and all was well until LOS.

I have a sad feeling the end is near.

73 de W4AS

On Dec 3, 2008, at 3:31 PM, Mark L. Hammond wrote:

> Hello All,
> As expected, over the last few days AO-16 has started to again  
> experience "shutdowns".  Thanks to your updates at the very handy  
> webpage at http://oscar.dcarr.org/  it seems that the first shutdown  
> occurred between 28 Nov 2008 2030 UTC and 29 Nov 2008 0615 UTC.
> So far I've restarted the bird three times, and each time it appears  
> to stay up for a day or more.  We can expect the situation to  
> worsen, as the eclipse periods get longer and the satellite  
> temperatures continue to go down.  We've been warning you :)  Get  
> those AO-16 contacts in now!
> I'll try to restart AO-16 as my schedule allows.  Your reports to  
> the OSCAR Satellite Status page by KD5QGR are very helpful; it helps  
> me know when the bird is down so that I can do my best to restart  
> it.  Based on the times of the passes lately, it's difficult to be  
> available when the bird is above the horizon.
> If the birds is operational in voice mode, you should clearly hear  
> the "not-so-repressed carrier" on the downlink.  Special request--if  
> you do not hear the carrier, please do not transmit to AO-16, as  
> your transmissions make it difficult to command the satellite.    
> And, if you hear the "hummmming" of the PSK transmitting, again  
> please do not attempt to transmit to the bird; it's likely that I  
> have restarted the bird and need to collect telemetry before  
> configuring it into voice mode.
> Thanks to all you faithful AO-16 operators!
> Current operational mode for AO-16 (as available!):
> Mode FM Voice Repeater ( Downlink is DSB)
> Uplink : 145.9200 MHz FM
> Downlink 437.0260 MHz SSB
> 73,
> -- 
> Mark L. Hammond [N8MH]
> AO-16 Command Station

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