New Format Coming for AMSAT 20 Meter Net

edit_microphoneKeith Pugh, W5IU and Larry Brown, W7LB, Net Control stations for the AMSAT 20M International net have announced changes to the net operation. Keith wrote, “The AMSAT 20 Meter Net will be changing format effective 9 November 2014. It will start with check-ins at 1900 UTC on 14.282 MHz and proceed with Satellite Q&A and other topics.”

Continuing, he adds, “The weekly AMSAT Bulletin Titles will be read and an offer will be made to read or discuss specific bulletins by request. We encourage check-ins from operators who are very active on the satellites, and especially, operators that are new to the satellites and/or ham radio. The activity will generally be over by 2000 UTC. We realize that not everyone has 20 meter capability but we need more activity to continue running this net. Dust off your HF gear, put up a 20 meter dipole, and join us or let the net die a natural death.”

November 15 is AO-7’s 40th Anniversary – W7O Special Events Station

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AO-7 40 years on-orbit. W2GPS archive. Click to enlarge.

40 years ago: AMSAT-OSCAR 7 was launched at 1711 UTC, November 15, 1974 from the Western Test Range at Vandenberg AFB in California

AO-7 became the second AMSAT-NA constructed and Phase 2 amateur radio satellite launched into Low Earth Orbit. It remained operational until a short circuit in a battery in 1981. On 21 June 2002 the satellite was heard again on its 2 meter beacon (145.9775 MHz CW) after 21 years of silence, and 27 years in space. AO-7 remains semi-operational with reliable power only from its solar panels. The restoration of service was due to the short circuited battery becoming an open circuit allowing the solar cells to power the spacecraft. When the satellite eclipses it powers down. It is operational while the solar panels are illuminated by sunlight.

Read the original AO-7 launch announcement in the 1974 AMSAT Newsletter: AMSAT-Newsletter-1974-AO-7Launch.

W7O Special Event Station

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EVA Photos of Chasqui-1 Deployment

Roscosmos EVA photo Chasqui-1 deployment. Click for full size image.

Roscosmos EVA photo Chasqui-1 deployment. Click for full size image.

The Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos announced that a nano satellite with the designation, NS-1 was hand-launched during a space walk that began at 14:00 UTC Monday, August 18, 2014.

The satellite is also referred to as the Peruvian Cubesat Chasqui-1 and weighs 1.5 kg. The satellite’s main mission is to serve as a platform for testing micro-electronics and optical devices used in cubesat applications.

Close-up of Chasqui-1 during deployment. Click for full-size image.

Close-up of Chasqui-1 during deployment. Click for full-size image.

Its secondary mission is to operate as an amateur radio satellite. It’s transmit downlink is 437.025 MHz. The craft will send information in CW mode. It also transmits images stored in memory, photos taken by two on board cameras and will send telemetry. Data transmissions will use either 1200 bps AFSK AX.25 or 9600 bps GMSK modes.

(Photo source: Sergey Samburov)

Possible ISS Voice Contacts on Field Day

ariss_logoARISS NEWS RELEASE   no. 14-02
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
David Jordan, AA4KN – ARISS Public Relations

Current discussions between the ARISS team and NASA suggest the possibility of voice contacts with the International Space Station (ISS) during Saturday’s ARRL Field Day activities this coming weekend.

In a June 23 email, Kenneth Ransom, the ISS Ham Radio payload developer, stated “I have received a response from astronaut (Reid) Wiseman that he is willing to try and work some stations on Saturday. Pass times begin very soon after the start of Field day.” Wiseman would operate under the call sign, NA1SS. Should Alex Gerst participate, he would use the call sign, DP0ISS.

If voice operation does occur, It will likely take place from the Columbus (COL) module using the standard Region 2 uplink frequency of 144.49 MHz and 145.800 MHz for downlink. It’s expected that the packet system will be operational on 145.825 MHz during periods when the crew is not available.

It’s not clear whether any of the Russian crew would participate from the Russian module, but if so, they would be directed to use 437.550 MHz for any contacts using the call sign RS0ISS. The COL would also be available to their crew using the VHF frequencies above, if Wiseman is not operating.

Listed below are approximate pass times and a chart showing ISS passes for the Field Day weekend. The pass times shown are not definite, scheduled times with the crew. They may or may not be able to support these times. And, updates to this tentative plan will be released as they become available.

Saturday, June 28:

Click for full size image. Each segment starts and ends when the U.S. coastline is  on the horizon of the ISS.

Click for full size image. Each segment starts and ends when the U.S. coastline is on the horizon of the ISS.

  • N. America (18:11-18:33 UTC)
  • Hawaii (19:36 – 19:47 UTC)
  • N. America (19:48-20:10 UTC)