73 on 73 Award Announcement

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

Paul Stoetzer N8HM has announced a new award for contacts made via the AO-73 (FUNcube-1) amateur radio satellite

I am pleased to announce that I will be sponsoring a new award to promote activity on AO-73 (FUNcube-1). The requirements for this award are simple:

1. Work 73 unique stations on AO-73.
2. Contacts must be made on or after September 1, 2014.
3. There are no geographic restrictions on your operating location.

There will be no cost for this award (donations to AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NA’s Fox program are encouraged though). No QSLs are required. When you complete the requirements, email your log extract including the callsign of each station worked, time GMT, and date to n8hm@arrl.net as well as the address where you’d like the award certificate sent.

Enjoy AO-73’s transponder!

73 Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
Washington, DC

Chasqui-1 deployment from ISS

Oleg Artemyev releases the Chasqui-1 CubeSat

Oleg Artemyev releases the Chasqui-1 CubeSat

On August 18, 2014 at 14:00 UT the Russia Cosmonauts on the International Space Station (ISS), Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev, opened the hatches of the Pirs docking module and to start Extra Vehicular Activities (EVA).

Engineer Ing. Margarita Mondragon and Chasqui-1

Engineer Ing. Margarita Mondragon and Chasqui-1

One of their tasks was the deployment of the Peruvian satellite Chasqui-1, a research satellite designed to standard CubeSat dimension by the Peruvian National University of Engineering (Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria (UNI)) in collaboration with the Southwestern State University (SWSU) in Kursk.

Chasqui-1’s batteries were charged by the Russian Cosmonuats inside the ISS during August 14/15.The satellite was successfully deployed by Oleg Artemyev near the start of the EVA at 14:23 UT.

Chasqui-1 was developed with the intention of improving their satellite technology through the design and testing of a small satellite. Its facilities include two cameras, one in visible and the other in infra-red. Other facilities include communication in the amateur radio band and control systems for its power, thermal and embedded management of its components.

Peruvian CubeSat Chasqui-1

Peruvian CubeSat Chasqui-1

Chasqui-1 will provide a number of functions that include taking pictures of the Earth. From an academic perspective it will facilitate collaborations among various faculties and research centres of the university to train students and teachers with real world experience in satellites. It will also generate opportunities to work with other universities in the world which in turn will lead to technological advances in the aerospace industry of Peru.

The 437.025 MHz beacon (+/- 10 kHz Doppler shift) can transmit either 1200 bps AFSK AX.25 or 9600 bps GMSK. At the time of writing no signal from the beacon had been heard.

Chasqui-1 as a small dot against the Earth, seconds after Oleg Artemyev sent it spinning - Screenshot Jonathan McDowell

Chasqui-1 as a small dot against the Earth, seconds after Oleg Artemyev sent it spinning – Screenshot Jonathan McDowell

On August 19-20 there may be a relay of the Chasqui-1 signal transmitted from the ISS on 145.800 MHz FM using the callsign RS02S. This relay should provide a strong signal with reduced Doppler receivable even on handheld radios.

Listen for Chasqui-1 and the ISS online using the SUWS WebSDR, further details at

Find out when you can hear the ISS and Chasqui-1 which is currently in close proximity at http://issfanclub.com/

Chasqui-1 http://www.chasqui.uni.edu.pe/eng.html

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chasqui-1/253013641985

Twitter @chasqui1

R4UAB Chasqui-1 http://r4uab.ru/?p=7178

Watch Hand deployment from ISS of Peruvian satellite Chasqui-1

SUWS VHF/UHF/Microwave WebSDR moves to new site

Antenna's at SUWS WebSDR site in Farnham

Antenna’s at SUWS WebSDR site in Farnham

The Southampton University Wireless Society SUWS VHF/UHF/Microwave WebSDR has now moved to its new site in Farnham.

You can use the free online SUWS Web Software Defined Radio (WebSDR) from your PC or Laptop to receive the International Space Station (ISS) and the many amateur radio satellites transmitting in the 144-146 MHz or 435-438 MHz bands.

The WebSDR also provides reception of High Altitude Balloons in the 434 MHz band and coverage of the microwave 10368-10370 MHz band.

144 MHz prototype helix antenna

144 MHz prototype helix antenna

Martin Ehrenfried G8JNJ has equipped the SUWS WebSDR with omni-direction helix antennas for both 144-146 MHz and 432-438 MHz which have proved effective for both high altitude balloon and satellite reception.

The SUWS WebSDR is located at Farnham not far from London, 51.3 N 1.15 W, listen to it at http://websdr.suws.org.uk/

Martin says this about the special satellite antennas “I had been experimenting with single turn ‘twisted halo’ design, and decided to try stacking them to see if I could achieve more gain. Modelling suggested that a stretched 3 turn helix with a helix circumference of approx 1/2 wave length and an overall length of 1/2 wave at 70cm, and fed with a gamma match at the centre would offer reasonable gain, an omni-directional pattern and mixed polarisation.”

Full details of the antennas are available at

A presentation by Phil Crump M0DNY on the SUWS WebSDR will be streamed live to the web from the UKHAS Conference on Saturday, August 16, see http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/14/ukhas-2014-conference-live-video-stream/

UKHAS 2014 Conference Live Video Stream

Dan Bowen K2VOL

Dan Bowen K2VOL

The UKHAS conference on Saturday will be streamed live and the radio amateurs giving the presentations will if time permits take questions via the web.

The annual UK High Altitude Society (UKHAS) conference at the University of Greenwich in London attracts those interested in learning about building and flying High Altitude Balloons or in tracking their 434 MHz signals.

There is an impressive line-up of speakers in addition to which there will be workshops, demonstrations along with amateur radio exams.

Morning Sessions

09:30 Assembly – Coffee / Tea + Biscuits
10.10 Introduction – James Coxon M6JCX and Anthony Stirk M0UPU
10.20 Predictor – Daniel Richman M0ZDR and Adam Greig M0RND
10.50 Advanced superpressure balloon technology – Dan Bowen K2VOL Balloon Scientist Google Loon Project
11.30 SUWS WebSDR – Philip Crump M0DNY
11.40 UK Ham Radio Airborne Operation Update – Steve Randall G8KHW
11.45 Break
12.00 $50SAT Low cost satellite- Stuart Robinson GW7HPW
12.45 Batc.tv Introduction – Noel Matthews G8GTZ
13.00 Lunch / Show and Tell

Afternoon Sessions

Combination of workshop/lectures.

Main Lecture
14.30 STM32+DSP – Adam Greig M0RND, Jon Sowman M0JSN, Matt Brezja M6VXO
15.30 UKHASNET – James Coxon M6JCX

Side Room
14:30 Pi In The Sky – Anthony Stirk M0UPU and Dave Akerman M0RPI
15.30 Amateur Radio Exams

The video streaming will be available on Saturday, August 16 at http://stream.ukhas.org.uk/

UKHAS Conference http://ukhas.org.uk/general:ukhasconference2014

Dnepr Launch Planned for October

Dnepr Launch November 21, 2013 - Credit ISC Kosmotras

Dnepr Launch November 21, 2013 – Credit ISC Kosmotras

According to an ITAR-TASS report the launch of a Russian-Ukrainian conversion rocket Dnepr (RS-20) with Japanese satellites, should take place in early October from the Orenburg region, southern Urals.

On Wednesday, August 13, when asked by ITAR-TASS whether the plans had not been affected by Japanese sanctions against Russia a source in the Russian Military Industrial Commission said “The launch is scheduled for the beginning of October. There have been no cancellations so far”.

The rocket will orbit five Japanese satellites, including four micro ones. “The satellites will be brought to Russia on August 20,” the source said, adding that this year’s third Dnepr launch was scheduled for December.

The Dnepr rocket conversion programme was initiated in the 1990s by the presidents of Russia and Ukraine to convert RS-20 Voyevoda ICBMs for civilian uses.

Dnepr rockets are launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, and the Yasny Launch Site of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces in the Orenburg region under a joint project commenced by Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

The Dnepr rocket is a three-stage liquid-engine vehicle. Its takeoff mass is 210 tones. The first two stages are the regular stages of the RS-20 rocket and have not been changed. The third stage has been worked on to improve its flight control system.

The rocket is injected from an RS-20 silo by propellant gases. Its engine turns on after the whole vehicle has come out of the silo. The rocket is made by the Ukrainian company Yuzhmash in Dnepropetrovsk.

Source ITAR-TASS http://en.itar-tass.com/non-political/744861

The five satellites are understood to be:
• ChubuSat 1
• Hodoyoshi 1
• Tsubame

23 cm band and WRC-2018

IARU_Region_1_logopaper to be discussed at the IARU Region 1 Conference in Varna-Albena, Bulgaria, September 21-27, 2014 highlights the threat to continued amateur radio usage of our 23 cm allocation which is now being used by the Galileo GPS system. The amateur 23 cm allocation includes a key Amateur Satellite Service uplink band at 1260-1270 MHz.

Michael Kastelic OE1MCU, Chair of the IARU R1 VHF/UHF/Microwave Committee has written the paper VA14_C5_36 which says:

After the last reports and slides received by the author, it seems that radio amateurs will lose the 23 cm band in the near future. That is the reason for this late proposal.

We can be optimistic, but more than a small piece of spectrum for near band communication will not survive. Also the enthusiastic testing with ATV on 70 cm is not a replacement for 23 cm, because this will cause disturbance to our amateur satellites and all cars will stay locked if the ISM band is used.

GNSS - Credit Microwave Journal

GNSS – Credit Microwave Journal

Radio amateurs need a new allocation (like 1300 -1310 MHz) for the agenda of the World Radio Conference 2018 (WRC2018) so that amateurs get back spectrum near the existing 23 cm band.

Further it is proposed to engage the EC after WRC-2015 to bring this theme to the
agenda for WRC-2018 with high priority

Read the paper at http://tinyurl.com/IARU-VA14-C5-36

Potential Interference To Galileo From 23 cm Band Operations

IARU R1 VHF/UHF/Microwaves discussion forum

Other VHF/UHF/Microwave papers for the Conference can be downloaded from

RAGazine now available for download

RAGazine August 2014 Front CoverVolume 2 issue 1 of the free BAA-RAG radio astronomy publication RAGazine is now available for download.

In this edition:
– VLF quarterly observing report
– Simple equipment for SID observations
– Intro. to radio objects that can be detected by the amateur radio astronomer
– The man who made maps of the moon (poetry)
– UKRAA update
– Long baseline interferometry with unmatched SDRs
– Diurnal variation of VLF signals
– Hydrogen Line Obs. Group (HLOG)
– SIDI, the Simple Digital Interferometer
– Receiving moon-bounce signals from the GRAVES radar

Download this and previous issues of RAGazine from

Join the BAA-RAG Yahoo Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/baa-rag

Ham radio goes around the Moon

Full Moon 2010 - Credit Gregory H Revera

Full Moon 2010 – Credit Gregory H Revera

Towards the end of the year radio amateurs will have the opportunity to receive what must be the ultimate DX from a ham radio payload transmitting the data mode JT65B as it flies around the Moon.

Beijing plans to send a lunar orbiter around the Moon carrying a 14 kg battery powered payload known as 4M-LXS which was developed at LuxSpace. The amateur radio payload will transmit a JT65B signal on 145.990 MHz which can be decoded by radio amateurs using the free WJST software.

The orbiter is one of the test models for Beijing’s new lunar probe Chang’e-5, which will be tasked with landing on the moon, collecting samples and returning to Earth. The launch, planned for 4th quarter 2014, is aimed at testing the technologies that are vital for the success of Chang’e-5. The orbiter will be launched into Lunar Transfer Orbit (LTO) then will perform a flyby around the Moon and re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere after 9 days.

Delivery convoy - Image credit Xinhua

Delivery convoy – Image credit Xinhua

The orbiter arrived by air in Xichang, Sichuan on Sunday, August 10 and was then transported to the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

Beijing to test recoverable moon orbiter

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Pages http://amsat.org.uk/iaru

Free WSJT Software http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/




Founded in 1975 AMSAT-UK is a voluntary organisation that supports the design and building of equipment for amateur radio satellites.

AMSAT-UK initially produced a short bulletin called OSCAR News to give members advice on amateur satellite communications. Since those early days OSCAR News has grown in size and the print quality has improved beyond recognition. Today, OSCAR News is produced as a high-quality quarterly colour A4 magazine consisting of up to 40 pages of news, information and comment about amateur radio space communications.

The new lower-cost E-membership provides OSCAR News as a downloadable PDF file giving members the freedom to read it on their Tablets or Smartphones anytime, anyplace, anywhere.

An additional advantage is that the PDF should be available for download up to 2 weeks before the paper copy is posted.

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch Rev4 20100609

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch

The Membership year lasts for 12 months starting on January 1 each year.

If you join after July 31 of any particular year, then you will receive complimentary membership for the whole of the following year, i.e. join on August 10, 2014, and you have nothing more to pay until Dec 31, 2015.

Take out an Electronic membership here http://shop.amsat.org.uk/shop/category_9/Join-Amsat-UK.html

E-members can download their copies of OSCAR News from http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/on

A sample issue of OSCAR News can be downloaded here.

D-STAR satellite repeater test 437.050 MHz

TabletSat-Aurora in Space - Credit Sputnix

TabletSat-Aurora in Space – Credit Sputnix

A test of the D-STAR Parrot Repeater on the TabletSat-Aurora satellite is expected to take place during Monday, August 11 on 437.050 MHz (+/- 10 kHz Doppler shift).

TabletSat-Aurora - Credit Sputnix

TabletSat-Aurora – Credit Sputnix

TabletSat-Aurora launched with 11 other satellites carrying amateur radio payloads from Dombarovsky near Yasny on Thursday, June 19, 2014.

The D-STAR GMSK Parrot (Store and Forward) Repeater can store up to 8 seconds of voice message and runs 0.8 watts to a whip antenna.

There are two other transceivers on the satellite, they transmit GMSK telemetry data on 435.550 MHz and 436.100 MHz. Their power can be varied by command from the ground station between 0.8 and 2.0 watts. TabletSat-Aurora is also a downlink on 8192 MHz.

Dmitry Pashkov R4UAB reports the test on his website at http://r4uab.ru/?p=7160

Description of TabletSat-Aurora in Google English http://tinyurl.com/TabletSat-Aurora-Description

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SPUTNIX.ltd/

Dnepr Launch for D-STAR Satellite http://amsat-uk.org/2014/06/18/dnepr-launch-for-d-star-satellite/

Satellite Tracking http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/satellite-tracking/