wao at vfr.net
Sat Jan 25 22:13:38 PST 2014
AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and infor-
mation service of AMSAT North America, The Radio Amateur Satellite
Corporation. ANS publishes news related to Amateur Radio in Space
including 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
The news feed on http://www.amsat.org publishes news of Amateur
Radio in Space as soon as our volunteers can post it.
Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to:
ans-editor at amsat.org.
In this edition:
* AMSAT-NA will be at HamCation 2014!
* AMSAT-NA Updating Their List of Current AMSAT-Related Nets
* FUNcube at National Student Space Conference
* Radio amateurs receive Rosetta signals
* Northern Virginia-Maryland-Washington, DC AMSAT Events
* $50SAT PocketQube two months after launch
* Upcoming AMSAT Events
* ARISS News
* Satellite Shorts from All Over
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-026.01
ANS-026 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 026.01
From AMSAT HQ SILVER SPRING, MD.
January 26, 2013
To All RADIO AMATEURS
AMSAT-NA will be at HamCation 2014!
AMSAT-NA will be at the 2014 Orlando HamCation on Friday through
Sunday, 7-9 February 2014. Stop by the AMSAT booth where John Papay,
K8YSE will be demonstrating his two remote satellite stations. Don’t
miss the AMSAT Forum on Saturday, February 8th. It will be moderated
by Dave Jordan, AA4KN and will be located in the Children’s Safety
Village, Classroom I, 1:45 – 2:45 PM. Speakers will include AMSAT-NA
President Barry Baines, WD4ASW on AMSAT’s activities, Lou McFadin,
W5DID on the new HamTV experiment on the International Space Station,
and Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, AMSAT-NA Vice President for Operations
on AO-73 and other new amateur satellites. Drew will also will be on
hand both Saturday and Sunday conducting portable satellite contacts
and fielding questions from the crowd.
FLASH: Drew and John will be operating as W1AW/4 for the portable
demos from the HamCation!
[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA for the above announcement]
AMSAT-NA Updating Their List of Current AMSAT-Related Nets
AMSAT-NA is updating their list of AMSAT and AMSAT-related nets, and
needs your help. The current list may be found on AMSAT.ORG under
the Services Menu. The information is somewhat dated. Please review
the list of nets, and send corrections and deletions to AMSAT
Director-Field Operations, Patrick Stoddard, WE9EWKWD9EWK at AMSAT.ORG.
We are looking for nets on all modes, including Echolink and D-Star.
[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA for the above announcement]
FUNcube at National Student Space Conference
David Johnson G4DPZ will be giving a presentation on the FUNcube-1
(AO-73) spacecraft to the National Student Space Conference being
held at the University of Leicester on March 1-2.
David is a software engineer and committee member of AMSAT-UK. He
writes Open-Source satellite Ground-Segment and orbit prediction
software, and has been involved in many amateur satellite projects
over the past 35 years including PCSAT-2 (flew on the ISS), GENSO
Network, AmsatDroid prediction App, STRaND-1 smartphone
nanosatellite, and FUNcube Data Warehouse.
His talk will cover the AMSAT-NL/AMSAT-UK educational amateur
satellite project – FUNcube, an educational single CubeSat project
with the goal of enthusing and educating young people about radio,
space, physics and electronics. He will give a short history of the
project and the work leading up to the launch, share the thrill of
launch day, and the current and future plans for operation of the
Also at the conference will be speakers from the UK Space Agency,
Reaction Engines, and HE Space.
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above announcement]
Radio amateurs receive Rosetta signals
James Miller G3RUH reports reception of the Rosetta spacecraft
signal at a distance of 805 million km from Earth using the 20 metre
dish at the Bochum amateur radio facility
On the AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB) James Miller G3RUH writes:
Just a quick note about Rosetta X-band. I checked it this morning
2014 Jan 21 [Tue] 0934 utc
R 805 Million km
CNR 25.5 dB(Hz)
QRG 8421.786900 MHz at the spacecraft
Rosetta is about 14 dB weaker than Stereo A/B.
The system at Bochum has a G/T approx 40 dB(1/K).
Bertrand Pinel F5PL, located near Castelnaudary, France, 65km from
Toulouse, successfully tracked Rosetta on January 21, 2014 at 10:00
UT, using a 3.5m dish antenna,
ESA Rosetta Blog
ESA on Facebook
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above announcement]
Northern Virginia-Maryland-Washington, DC AMSAT Events
Maryland-DC AMSAT Area Coordinator Pat Kilroy, N8PK says that two
opportunities are coming for AMSAT to make a splash in the amateur
radio community. Pat hopes as many Northern Virginia, Maryland and
Washington, DC AMSAT members as possible come out for these events
to show amateur radio in space to the public and fellow amateur
Sunday, February 23, 2014 - The Vienna Wireless Winterfest
Steve Greene, KS1G, of Herndon, Va. will be leading an effort to
staff an impressive AMSAT booth as well as provide a forum and a
*possible* satellite demo. But he needs help from the local AMSAT
guys. Please contact Steve at ks1g at amsat.org to offer your time and
Saturday, April 5, 2014 - The Greater Baltimore Hamboree and
Computerfest 2014 including the Maryland Emergency Preparedness
Pat Kilroy, N8PK is organizing the AMSAT booth and display for this
event. Conditions permitting the demonstrations may include flying
a small experiment on a high-altitude balloon. Pat is planning to
staff a three table AMSAT display indoors. Contact Pat via e-mail
at n8pk at amsat.org to volunteer and offer your ideas for the display.
[ANS thanks Pat Kilroy, N8PK for the above information]
$50SAT PocketQube two months after launch
Michael Kirkhart KD8QBA reminds us that the PocketQube $50SAT has
now been operating for two months. He writes:
It has now been 2 months since the launch of $50SAT into its 625 km
(approximate) sun-synchronous orbit, and as of this morning [Tuesday
January 21], it is still operating.
It is getting cold again in EN82 land, so it is not likely I will be
able to gather RTTY telemetry during the next few days, as my trusty
netbook will not likely be able to deal with the cold for very long.
Hopefully, everyone else can “pick up the slack” for me. I will still
go out and monitor passes, provided it does not get too cold.
Since it was pretty cold this morning (about -12 to -13 degrees C),
I chose not to record the pass at 15:24 UTC (10:28 AM local time).
Instead, I monitored it using my FT-60. At about 15:36 UTC, I heard
the codespeed on the FM Morse beacon drop, which indicates the
availability of solar power. Using gpredict, I estimated the latitude
of the satellite sub-point (the point on the Earth directly
underneath the satellite) to be about 24 degrees N. Today, the sun is
directly over 20.4 degrees south latitude (23.5 degrees * sin(270 +
30), as it has been about 30 days since the winter solstice). At the
time I heard the beacon, the angle of $50SAT normal to the sun
(assuming the passive magnetic stabilization is working) would be
about 24 – (-20.4), or about 44.4 degrees. This means the solar
radiation intensity is about 70% of its maximum value, which means
the solar power generating capacity will be anywhere from 50% to 70%
of its maximum, depending on whether one or two panels are facing the
sun. But since I did not collect telemetry, I have no values for
I was able to collect RTTY telemetry on Sunday and Monday, and here
Michael Kirkhart KD8QBA
$50SAT is one of the smallest amateur radio satellites ever launched
at 5x5x7.5 cm and weighs only 210 grams. Transmitter power is just
100 mW on 437.505 MHz (+/-9 kHz Doppler shift) FM CW/RTTY. It uses
the low cost Hope RFM22B single chip radio and PICaxe 40X2 processor.
$50SAT has been a collaborative education project between Professor
Bob Twiggs, KE6QMD, Morehead State University and three other radio
amateurs, Howie DeFelice, AB2S, Michael Kirkhart, KD8QBA, and Stuart
Further information in the $50SAT Dropbox
There is a discussion group for $50SAT
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]
Deploying software updates to ArduSat in orbit
Radio amateur Jonathan Oxer VK3FADO gave this Keynote presentation
on the latest developments in the ArduSat CubeSat project to the 2014
Linux conference in Perth, Western Australia.
Jon has been hacking on both hardware and software since he was a
little tacker. Most recently he’s been focusing more on the Open
Hardware side, co-founding Freetronics as a direct result of
organising the first Arduino Miniconf at LCA2010. His books include
“Ubuntu Hacks” and “Practical Arduino”.
Jon has been variously referred to as Australia’s geekiest man and
as a cyborg-in-progress. As part of his “SuperHouse” home automation
series, Jon has taken keyless entry to an all new level by embedding
an RFID tag into his arm using a vet’s chipping tool.
Recently he has been working on ArduSat, a satellite that aims to
give hobbyists, students and space enthusiasts an opportunity to
design and run their own experiments in space. By choosing a
standardised platform based on the hugely popular Arduino hardware
design, ArduSat allows anyone to develop and prototype experiments at
home using readily accessible parts and all based on a simple open
source software environment.
ArduSat Open Source Ham Radio CubeSats
Linux Conference Perth Jan 6-10
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]
Upcoming AMSAT Events
Friday and Saturday, 14-15 February 2014 – Yuma Hamfest at Yuma
County Fairgrounds in Yuma AZ (south of I-8, along 32nd Street near
Yuma International Airport and MCAS Yuma). AMSAT will have a table
in the main hall at the hamfest, and satellite demonstrations outside
the hall are planned.
Sunday, 23 February 2014 – Vienna Wireless Winterfest at Vienna VA.
AMSAT will have a table at this hamfest, Steve Greene KS1G will lead
a forum, and there may be satellite demonstrations during this event.
Saturday, 15 March 2014 – Scottsdale Amateur Radio Club‘s Springfest
in Scottsdale AZ (northeast of Phoenix). AMSAT will have a table at
this hamfest, and satellite demonstrations are planned.
Demonstrations at this hamfest will be done using the call sign
W1AW/7 as part of the ARRL centennial commemorations, and QSLing will
be handled by ARRL.
Saturday, 29 March 2014 – Radio Society of Tucson‘s 2014 Hamfest in
Tucson AZ. AMSAT will have a table at this hamfest, and satellite
demonstrations are planned.
Saturday, 5 April 2014 – The Greater Baltimore Hamboree and
Computerfest 2014, including the Maryland Emergency Preparedness Expo
2014, at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium MD. AMSAT will
have a booth at this hamfest, and other AMSAT-related events may be
Monday, 28 April 2014 – presentation at Franklin County Amateur
Radio Club meeting in Greenfield MA by Barry Baines WD4ASW (AMSAT
Saturday, 3 May 2014 – Cochise Amateur Radio Association‘s Larry
Warren Hamfest in Sierra Vista AZ (southeast of Tucson) – AMSAT will
have a table at this hamfest, and satellite demonstrations are
Saturday, 7 June 2014 – Kachina Amateur Radio Club‘s White Mountain
Hamfest in Show Low AZ (eastern Arizona, south of US-60/AZ-77/AZ-260)
– AMSAT will have a table at this hamfest, and satellite
demonstrations are planned.
Friday and Saturday, 13-14 June 2014 – Ham-Com in Plano TX (north of
Thursday through Sunday, 17-20 July 2014 – ARRL Centennial
Convention in Hartford CT. AMSAT will host a day-long Satellite
Workshop on Thursday, and have a booth at the convention along with
an AMSAT Forum and demonstrations throughout the convention.
Saturday and Sunday, 30-31 August 2014 – Shelby Hamfest in Shelby NC
(west of Gastonia and Charlotte) – Barry Baines WD4ASW (AMSAT
President) will host an AMSAT Forum on Saturday of this weekend
[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA for the above announcement]
Uncoming ARISS contact with Indiana Area School District, Indiana,
PA, telebridge via W6SRJ Contact is a go for:
Tue 2014-01-28 13:30:33 UTC 62 deg
An International Space Station school contact has been planned with
participants at the Indiana Area School District, Indiana, PA,
USA on Tuesday January 28th. AOS is anticipated at 13:30 UTC.
The duration of the contact is approximately 9 minutes and 30
seconds. Contact times are approximate. The contact will be a
telebridge between NA1SS and W6SRJ in California. The contact should
be audible over the west coast of the U.S. Interested parties are
invited to listen in on the 145.80 MHz downlink. The contact is
expected to be conducted in English.
Indiana, Pennsylvania is a rural town with a population of 32,000
that is situated sixty miles northeast of Pittsburgh. Our residents
enjoy the convenient proximity to a major city, as well as the
community-feel and lifestyle of a small town. The Indiana Area
School District has provided a dynamic high-quality educational
program for over 170 years. Our four K-5 elementary schools, one 6-8
junior high school and one 9-12 senior high school serve 2800
students district wide. In addition to distinguished academic
achievement, our students’ activities include fundraising for a
variety of charitable causes, school and community leadership, as
well as setting new standards for excellence in both academic and
athletics competitions. In fact, we currently boast two National
Merit Scholarship semi-finalists and a third honoree. We are proud
of our student’s accomplishments!
Our dynamic school programs are part of the building blocks for
student success. Beginning with a commitment to early childhood and
pre-K programs to increase student learning readiness, to the rigor
and challenge of enrichment options at the elementary school level.
Our secondary programs include an array of Advanced Placement and
STEM course offerings, dual enrollment options, and our own cyber
school option for students. Many local residents will tell you,
“Indiana, PA is a great place to raise a family.” This is true
because we blend the small town community with a school system that
continually strives to provide cutting-edge programs that prepare
students to be successful citizens. .
Indiana Area School District, Indiana, PA, telebridge via W6SRJ (***)
Contact is a go for: Tue 2014-01-28 13:30:33 UTC 62 deg (***)
Proposed questions generated by the Indiana Area School District
1. How many countries are involved in the International Space Station?
2. Can you feel the cold of space through your space suit?
3. Do you believe that there is intelligent life thriving somewhere
in the universe?
4. Does being weightless have any long-term effects on the human body?
5. When do you think we will have the technology for astronauts to
travel farther in space?
6. Which of the research projects that you are working on right now,
has the most scientific potential?
7. Who has the most control over the spacecraft? The astronauts,
stabilization auto-pilot, or mission control?
8. What is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you in space?
9. Are space suits comfortable?
10. How do you help your families deal with the dangers of your job?
11. What is the most common misconception teenagers may have about
12. Do you have any anxiety because you are nowhere near the safety
13. What college, and what major, would you recommend for someone to
become an astronaut?
14. What is the most interesting, or strangest, thing you have seen
in the space station?
15. What surprised you the most when you first arrived in space?
16. What is your theory of life on other planets?
ARISS is requesting listener reports for the above contacts. Due to
issues with the Kenwood radio that are not fully understood at
present, the Ericsson radio is going to be used for these contacts.
ARISS thanks everyone in advance for their assistance. Feel free to
send your reports to aj9n at amsat.org or aj9n at aol.com.
Audio from this contact will be fed into the: EchoLink *AMSAT*
(101377) and IRLP Node 9010 Discovery Reflector.
Streaming Audio will be provided at:
Audio on Echolink and Web stream is generally transmitted around
20 minutes prior to the contact taking place so that you can hear
some of the preparation that occurs. IRLP will begin just prior to
the ground station call to the ISS.
Please note that on Echolink there are automatic breaks of 1.5
seconds in the audio transmission. These occur every 2.5 minutes
during the event. Breaks on IRLP are manual and occur approximately
after every third question.
January 18, 2014
A telebridge contact via station K6DUE with Wallingford STEM
Academy/Town of Wallingford, CT, USA was successful Saturday,
January 18th. Nineteen questions were answered by astronaut Koichi
To read a local news story:
Here is a tweet astronaut Wakata sent after the contact:
Wallingford STEM Academy is a community based and family oriented
organization the excites students about science, technology,
engineering and mathematics. This program, previously known as the
Young Astronaut Club of Wallingford and founded in 2000, has been
providing STEM enrichment for students in grades 4 through 8 for over
thirteen years through Wallingford Youth and Social Services.
The Wallingford STEM Academy is a collaborative partnership between
the Spanish Community of Wallingford (SCOW), the Town of Wallingford
Youth and Social Services Department (WYSS), the Wallingford
Education Association (WEA).
STEM Academy branches in Wallingford, and Hamden, are the flagship
programs for CEA’s STEM Education Initiative. We currently serve the
Spanish Community of Wallingford (SCOW) and the general population.
40% of our STEM Enrichment Academy is comprised of students from the
Spanish community and 40 % of our students are girls interested in
STEM education. Our weekly meetings are conducted at the Spanish
Community of Wallingford Great Room and in our STEM Education
Classroom next to SCOW.
Since 2005, a companion project to Wallingford STEM Enrichment
Academy is the Wallingford Family Science and STEM Night Series. At
least twice a month, we organize and implement family oriented
Science and STEM Family Nights in Wallingford. These events range
from evening programs, daytime vacation programs, hands-on
investigations, assembly style programs, and night sky observations.
The purpose of this organization is to deepen student, and family,
understanding of STEM concepts as a compliment to an existing inquiry
based STEM curriculum in Wallingford. Our major funders for both
STEM Academy and Wallingford Family STEM Nights are the Wallingford
Rotary Club’s Wallingford Foundation, 3M Charitable Contributions and
the Connecticut Education Association.
January 17, 2014
A direct contact with students at Collège Les Gondoliers, La
Roche sur Yon, France with astronaut Koichi Wakata was successful
Friday, January 17th at 09:51:13 UTC 34 deg. Wakata answered 17
questions in English. His answers were later translated to French for
the audience of 200 students, teachers, media and radio amateurs in
For a video of the contact conducted in English:
Local news coverage:
Les Gondoliers Secondary School, with its 500 pupils -aged 11-15- is
located in Vendée, 70 km south of the city of Nantes, where famous
Jules Verne author was born . At the end of the last year, the pupils
take an exam called "Diplôme National du Brevet". Our Astronomy Club
has resumed its activities this year with the objective to enter in
contact with the ISS. The starting point has been the visit of the
exhibition “Voyages planétaires” (Planetary spaceflights), in Nantes,
during the International Planetary Science Congress. Various
astronomy and amateur radio activities will be organized, with the
help of members of the association of "radioamateurs of Vendée", who
will come to our school to display their activities and provide us
with the tools that will be necessary to get in contact with the ISS.
PLEASE CHECK THE FOLLOWING FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ARISS UPDATES:
Sign up for the SAREX maillist at
Visit ARISS on Facebook. We can be found at Amateur Radio on
the International Space Station (ARISS).
To receive our Twitter updates, follow @ARISS_status
A planned event for:
1. A contact with students at Fort Belvoir Elementary school in
Fort Belvoir MD, USA, sponsored by Marymount University in Arlington,
VA, USA that was planned for Fri 2014-01-24 will be rescheduled.
ARISS is an international educational outreach program partnering
the participating space agencies, NASA, Russian Space Agency, ESA,
CNES, JAXA, and CSA, with the AMSAT and IARU organizations from
ARISS offers an opportunity for students to experience the
excitement of Amateur Radio by talking directly with crewmembers on-
board the International Space Station. Teachers, parents and
communities see, first hand, how Amateur Radio and crewmembers on ISS
can energize youngsters' interest in science, technology, and
learning. Further information on the ARISS program is available on
(graciously hosted by the Radio Amateurs of Canada).
[ ANS thanks ARISS for the above update]
Satellite Shorts from all over
Funcube - an observation from the AMSAT-BB
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2014 13:43:03 -0500
From: John Papay <fl at papays.com>
To: amsat-bb at amsat.org
Subject: [amsat-bb] Funcube - an observation
Message-ID: <673369.9651.bm at smtp120.sbc.mail.gq1.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed
Most everyone knows about Funcube and how successful it has been.
If you look at the Funcube Warehouse page you will see that many
hams around the world are uploading data from the satellite every
day. As of this morning I counted 493 different ground stations and
they have uploaded more than 1.15 Million data packets since late
November. About half of the stations are located in the US and
Britain. The other half are spread out around the world showing that
this is not just something that has interested those in the UK.
Thirty-three stations have each uploaded more than 10,000 packets!
In addition I have to give accolades to Mark Spencer, WA8SME, at the
ARRL for his excellent paper describing Funcube, its experiments and
how to receive it and make sense of the data. Most everyone on the
birds asks about what antennas work best. Mark seeks to quantify the
performance of some common antennas like the M2 circular polarized
beam, Arrows on rotors or fixed, with or without preamps, 5/8 wave
and 1/4 wave ground planes. He does that by comparing the number of
packets received on each antenna during a pass. The results are quite
interesting. You can download the paper at:
Mark is the reason that the Teacher's Institute has been so
successful. If you operate on the satellites you probably have heard
his student teachers making contacts on the birds. When he was
living on the west coast he went to DN01 and DN00 and put them on the
birds for those of us that chase grids.
After moving to the east coast he has continued the work with
satellites at the League and has developed hardware for satellites
including the FT817 interface and most recently a portable az/el
rotator system. We see articles about satellites in QST Magazine on
a regular basis and I'm sure it is because of his representation at
the League. The younger generation is the future of AMSAT and Mark's
work is certainly making a difference in terms of introducing
them to satellites.
The Funcube team and G6LVB have certainly encouraged our young
people to get interested in ham radio and satellites. The Funcube
SDR was a great fundraiser and facilitated students in their quest
to receive data from space and learn from the experiments on board.
Congratulations to everyone involved in the highly successful Funcube
[ANS thanks John, K8YSE and AMSAT-BB for the above short]
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 addi-
tional benefits. Application forms are available from the AMSAT
Primary and secondary school students are eligible for membership
at one-half the standard yearly rate. Post-secondary school students
enrolled in at least half time status shall be eligible for the stu-
dent rate for a maximum of 6 post-secondary years in this status.
Contact Martha at the AMSAT Office for additional student membership
This week's ANS Editor,
Joe Spier, K6WAO
k6wao at amsat dot org
More information about the AMSAT-BB