[amsat-bb] QIKCOM-2 SPoken Messages (Valid Contacts)

Bruce kk5do at amsat.org
Mon Jul 27 14:28:48 UTC 2015

  I might chime in here. A contact with a satellite does not qualify as 
a contact for ARRL purposes. A contact through a satellite does. For 
example, as Bob suggests, you say here I am and the satellite says here 
I am. That is not a contact as it is not two hams making a contact 
THROUGH a satellite. We had this same discussion back in the RS robot 
satellite days in the 90's. If you were lucky enough to get your signal 
into the RS robot just right, it came back and talked to you and gave 
you a contact number. But, it was not a two-way contact.

If we apply the ARRL Worked All States rules....
"Contacts made through repeaters or any other power relay method cannot 
be used for WAS credit. A WAS award is available for Satellite contacts. 
All stations contacted must be “land-based stations.” Contacts with 
ships, anchored or otherwise, and aircraft cannot be counted."
Then the satellite talking would not count as both stations are not 

If we look at the ARRL VUCC rules....
"No contacts through active repeaters are permitted, except for 
Satellite Awards."
Thus, both stations did not operate "through" a satellite, one was the 

ARRL DXCC rules are the same...
"*6.  All contacts*must be made with amateur stations working in the 
authorized amateur bands or with other stations licensed or authorized 
to work amateurs. Contacts made through "repeater" devices or any other 
power relay methods (other than satellites for Satellite DXCC) are not 
valid for DXCC credit. "

It is like the little Sputnik that went up for the 50th anniversary and 
gave out messages from all over the world. If you copied it, you got a 
certificate. However, had they added your call sign to the message, you 
could not have been able to use it for an award (VUCC, WAS, DXCC) 
because the contact was not through the satellite but with the satellite.

Now, I might suggest that we offer an AMSAT award for this satellite or 
one be sponsored by a group. For AMSAT to offer an award, it must be 
available to be earned by any ham worldwide and not be a contest.


On 7/27/2015 7:48 AM, Robert Bruninga wrote:
> Maybe what I really need to know, is whether a grid exchange is required to
> constitute a valid satellite contact, or just an exchange of calls?
> Bob
> *From:* Robert Bruninga [mailto:bruninga at usna.edu]
> *Sent:* Sunday, July 26, 2015 4:12 PM
> *To:* amsat bb
> *Cc:* Robert Bruninga
> *Subject:* Re: QIKCOM-2 SPoken Messages
> AMSAT Armchair "contact" lawyers:
> Continuing with the DTMF message ideas. What kind of exchange "counts" for
> satellite contacts?  (where counting matters)?  Does it really have to be
> CQ... QSL... and then QSL ...?
> For the DTMF Voice system, we could have two more messages:
> " CQ Satellite, my number is *"  (the satellite assigns the digit *)
> " QSL number _, my number is *" (station enters the _ in his reply)
> Usage would be:
> A station sends a DTMF uplink message "WB4APR says CQ Satellite my number
> is X".
> A responding station sends "W3ADO says QSL number X, my number is Y"
> Finishing it off with "WB4APR says QSL number Y, my number is X.
> Another station joins in "W4XYZ says QSL number X, my number is Z
> and the reply could be "WB4APR says QSL Number Z, my number is X...
> WB4APR made two valid contacts with XYZ and ADO.
> In otherwords is that  required for an exchange?  The number for "My number
> is *." is assigned sequencially for the pass, so that it is unique.  The
> QSL station always has to enter the number of the matching station to which
> he is responding.
> Just a thought.  Or does anyone give a hoot about counting satellite
> "contacts"?
> Bob, Wb4APR
> On Sun, Jul 26, 2015 at 2:02 PM, Robert Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu> wrote:
> In addition to all of the numbered ARL messages, we have now implemented all
> of these additional messages (as adjusted to fit) and found it was trivial
> to include a "0-9" modifier in messages... wherever a " _" appears.  There
> is still some room.
> Remember, for the sender using DTMF the message and callsign always fits
> into 16 digits from the DTMF keypad.  The format is:
>    CeMMxCCCCCCpppp#
> Where e is an emergency flag which, along with x, must be 9 if this is a
> true emergency message otherwise it says "TEST ... "
> Where MM is the message number (00 to 99)
> Where x is a numeric modifier for messages with a "_" in them.
> Where CCCCCC is the callsign in DTMF and pppp is the key position codes for
> the 6 letters
> See http://aprs.org/qikcom-2.html
> Here are the new  ones implemented.
> ------------------------
> W2JV suggested: “Greetings from AMSAT.  Keeping ham radio in space over 44
> years”.
> ------------------------
> WA1KAT suggested:
> There is no cell service here.
> Cell battery is dead.
> Cell power charging is limited.
> Radio power charging is limited.
> Next contact time available in 90 minutes.  (time of one full orbit)
> Next contact time is tomorrow.
> Contact me on _ Meter band. (interpret as 1=160, 2=2m, 3=30, 8=80, etc)
> --------------------------
> Bob added:
> Demonstrating APRStt at Hamfest
> Demonstrating APRStt to friends
> I am on schedule.
> I may be delayed _ hours
> I may be delayed _ days
> I may be early _ hours
> I May be early _ days
> I may quit early  _ stops
> I may go farther _ stops
> We are camping and enjoying it greatly.
> We are hiking and enjoying it greatly.
> Call me on my cell.
> Call my cell on the hour.
> Please Send items number _.     (1=Money,2= food, water, supplies, shoes,
> sleeping bag, blanket,fuel)
> We are operating on emergency power.
> We are operating on solar power.
> Just thinkin...
> Bob, WB4APR
> On Wed, Jul 22, 2015 at 11:11 PM, Robert Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu> wrote:
> Inviting proposed standard messages for the next APRS Satellite:
> Our next QIKCOM-2 APRS satellite will accept 2 digit uplink DTMF messages to
> be spoken on the downlink.  We have already programmed all of the ARRL
> standard radio grams and emergency messages.
> But there is room for more.  So think....  What kind of message would you
> want to send (that is not included in the existing ones) from your HT out in
> the wilderness.  At a hamfest?  or any other HAM Radio event or opportunity.
> Keep them simple and of the same order of length as the existing ones.
> The existing ones are listed here:
> http://nts.ema.arrl.org/node/30
> But the implementation cannot include blanks for fill-in like the regular
> ones.  But any sentence that stands alone can work.
> Just thought I'd open it up.  Plenty of RAM and only 1 week before
> delivery...
> Serious considerations only.  Thanks
> Bob, WB4APR
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Bruce Paige, KK5DO
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