ARISS-US Kicks Off Major Fundraising Initiative with Challenge Coin Door Prize at 2016 Dayton Hamvention

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Team has donated two of its handsome ARISS Challenge Coins to the Dayton Amateur Radio Association as a 2016 Hamvention door prize.  The two keepsake coins are positioned side by side in a beautiful display box so that each side of the coin is seen from either direction.

2016 ARISS Dayton Hamvention Door Prize
2016 ARISS Dayton Hamvention Door Prize

The commemorative ARISS Challenge Coin is the premium received by donors who give $100 or more to ARISS.  Dayton Hamvention General Chairman Jim Tiderman, N8IDS, agreed to feature the ARISS keepsake coin by holding a special prize drawing immediately following the introduction of the winners of the 2016 Dayton Hamvention national awards at 2 pm on Sunday.

The ARISS Team kicks off its 2016 fund-raising campaign at the Dayton Hamvention to raise money for the very high cost of replacing its aging radio system on the ISS and to help defray the cost of continuing ARISS operations. This special Hamvention prize drawing is the first step of the campaign.

ARISS International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, noted the importance of this fundraising campaign: “ARISS is in need of critical upgrades of our on-orbit equipment.  The radio system in the Columbus module is over 17 years old and underpowered. We need a 21st Century next generation solution. This fundraising campaign will enable these upgrades and, as a result, significantly improve ARISS operations and provide the funding necessary to better support our stakeholders and the amateur radio community.”

Those wanting to support the ARISS fundraising campaign can donate to ARISS online via the AMSAT Website, (select the “ARISS Donate” button) or the ARISS web page, (select the “Donate” tab).  ARISS representatives will also be at the AMSAT Booth during the Hamvention with Challenge Coins ready for people ready to donate $100 or more.

Be sure to go to the Hara Arena at the Dayton Hamvention on Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 2 pm for the major door prize drawings … and good luck!

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students in classrooms or informal education venues.  With the help of experienced amateur radio volunteers, ISS crews speak directly with large audiences in a variety of public forums.  Before and during these radio contacts, students, teachers, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio. For more information, go to: , and .

Also, join us on Facebook:  Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) / Follow us on Twitter:  ARISS_status

David Jordan, AA4KN

AMSAT videos from Dayton 2014

Tom, K3IO, was the speaker at the AMSAT/TAPR Banquet at the Dayton Hamvention. In his talk, he remembers the many Elmers that helped him with his hobby and career.

Barry, WD4ASW and AMSAT President, gives an update on AMSAT, including changes to the BoD roster, regulatory issues, membership and finances.

As AMSAT’s new VP of Engineering and Fox satellite team leader, Jerry gives an update on the Fox-1 satellite, its design, milestones, and launch opportunities. He also looks ahead to Fox-1B, Fox-1C, Fox-1D, and Fox-2.

Howard, G6LVB, gives a fascinating look into the launch and operation of the FUNcube-1 satellite, and a tentative calendar of the next three FUNcube satellites.

Drew, KO4MA, reviews six operational amateur satellites, then previews another dozen amateur satellites that will be launched soon, or should be turned over to amateur use when their primary mission is completed.

Frank, KA3HDO, gives an update on Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, including the radios and antennas on board, the impact of funding changes at NASA, and the new Ham TV system.

EMike, KC8YLD, explains how K-16 education is key to the launches of future amateur radio satellites, and discusses the joint work of AMSAT, ARRL, and NASA.

In this brief video, Spence, WA8SME, shows the next version of the WRAPS rotor with circularly polarized antennas and discusses an updated broadband preamp that now includes an antenna polarity switch.

Older AMSAT videos can be found at

Special Thanks to Steve Belter, N9IP for recording and editing the videos from the Dayton Hamvention, making them available for those who couldn’t attend in person!

Cubesats Deployed from ISS

Friday February 28 at 0730Z, several cubesats were deployed from the International Space station.litsat deploy

Perhaps of most interest to radio amateurs are Lithuania’s first satellites, LituanicaSAT-1 and LitSat-1.

LituanicaSAT-1 carries an FM repeater with a 145.950 MHz uplink and 435.180 MHz downlink, a 9600 baud AX25 packet system with a 145.850 MHz uplink and 437.550 MHz downlink, and a CW beacon on 437.275 MHz. Detailed information may be found at  and

LitSat-1 carries a linear transponder of unknown bandwidth and with a reported uplink of 435.180 MHz and downlink of 145.950 MHz, a AX25 packet system with a 437.550 MHz uplink and 145.850 MHz downlink. Limited additional information can be found at and .

UAPSAT is Peru’s third satellite, and will transmit AX25 packet telemetry and an audio message on 145.980 MHz. It is unclear whether there will be a two-way capability. Additional information via Google Translate at

ArduSat-2 and SkyCube are also included in this deployment.

Update on HamTV on ISS

This was posted earlier today to amsat-bb by Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, ARISS-Europe chairman:

HamTV Bulletin #5
January 26, 2014

Ham Video Commissioning– Blank Transmissions

As announced December 22, 2013 the Ham Video transmitter is onboard the International Space Station and stored in the Columbus module. It is slated to be installed February 5, 2014 by Michael Hopkins KF5LJG. Hopkins will also install the camera and the supporting Bogen arm.The Ham Video transmitter will be connected to the ARISS 41 antenna and to the KuPS power supply. The installation procedure comprizes a check of the electrical connections. The transmitter will be powered on and will transmit a signal on 2.422 GHz. This check will be very limited in time, just enough to verify that the control LEDs are nominal. Then Ham Video will be powered off, ready for the first Commissioning Step.
January 23 and 24, Commissioning Simulations were again performed by ESA, in collaboration with ARISS. The ARISS Team, in charge of receiving the signals during the Commissioning, worked with B.USOC, simulating the four scheduled Commissioning Steps. The procedure was an update of the Simulations performed 5-6 September 2013,
as reported in HamTV Bulletin #2. (All HamTV Bulletins are archived at <> ).The four Commissioning steps are scheduled February 8, 15 and 16 and March 5. These dates are still to be confirmed and this depends on the
signature of the Flight Rules relative to Ham Video (see HamTV Bulletin #4). Blank Transmissions will start immediately at the conclusion of Commissioning Step 1 and will
continue till Commissioning Step 4. This means that the Ham Video transmitter will operate continuously during 25 days.

The DATV signal parameters will be:
* Downlink frequency: 2.395 GHz
* DVB-S standard (QPSK modulation)
* Symbol rate: 1.3 Ms/s
* FEC : ½
* Video PID = 256
* Audio PID = 257
* RF radiated power : approximately 10 W EIRP
Ham Video will operate with a Canon XF-305 camera, but the camera will be turned off during the Blank Transmissions.

Blank Transmissions
A « blank » DVB-S signal contains all the data of normal DVB-S. The information tables describing the content and the content itself, i.e. the video (black) and the audio (silence), are the same as for the image and the sound produced by a camera.Receiving a black image and silent sound may seem uninteresting but, from a technical perspective,
the digital signal offers an important source of information.

The decoded signal provides many data :
* the video stream can be measured (Tutioune + TS reader)
* the audio stream can be measured (Tutioune + TS reader)
* the DVB tables can be decoded (satellite receiver (Set Top Box) or Tutioune or TS reader or VLC …)
The DVB tables mention the PIDs (content identification numbers) as well as the SDT
(Service Description Table) with the TV channel name, which will be « HAMTV »
Even without decoding, several measurements of the received signal provide valuable information:
* analogic HF signal strength  (dBm)
* analogic Signal/Noise ratio (dB)
* digital Signal/Noise ratio = MER (dB)
* error/correction ratio = Vber, Cber …
* validation of the received transport stream = TS

Reception Reports
Ground stations with S-band capability can provide valuable information, which will be much appreciated.Basic data such as:
* noise level without signal
* AOS and LOS time (UTC)
* maximum signal level during pass
can be reported by ground stations without the need of special DATV hard- and software.
ARISS is preparing a Ham Video Internet Reporting Program for collecting reception data from volunteering ground stations.These most needed reception reports will be gratefully accepted.

Basic DATV receiver
A “Set Top Box” or a Television receiver with satellite tuner can be used for receiving Ham
Video signals during a pass of the ISS.

Bill Ress, N6GHZ has provided an excellent article, Low Cost DVB-S Receivers Suitable For HAMTV Reception, in the November/December issue of the AMSAT Journal.  While normally only available to our members, AMSAT-NA is pleased to make it available in our Sample Download Section.

When scanning the 2.395 GHz frequency, the DVB stream can be decoded. When this is successful, the channel name « HAMTV » will appear on the TV screen.

Windows computer with TechnoTrend TT S2-1600 card and Tutioune software

A Windows computer with TT S2-1600 receiver card can be used for Ham Video reception. See appended Block Diagram of N6IZW Station.

The Tutioune software, developed by Jean Pierre Courjaud F6DZP, measures and  records  the Ham Video signals second per second:
* HF signal level
* digital Signal/Noise level = MER (dB)
* error/correction = Vber
·         validation of the received transport stream = TS

The recorded file can be examined and forwarded to ARISS.

Better even, the data can be forwarded during an ISS pass to the TiouneMonitor on
the> website. In other words, the data can be observed worldwide, real time.

Tutioune also shows the constellations during signal reception (see HamTV Bulletin #4). The TS stream can be recorded, but this is less interesting since richer information is already available.

Tutioune also decodes the DVB tables and provides the PIDs and the channel name  (« HAMTV ») recovered from the SDT table.


Gaston Bertels, ON4WF
ARISS-Europe chairman