$4.00 Ham Radio Satellite Antenna

In this video Dave Tadlock KG0ZZ describes a $4 amateur radio dual band 145 / 435 MHz satellite antenna.

Details of the antenna are at http://www.amateurradio.bz/4_dollar_satellite_antenna.html

Watch the $4.00 Ham Radio Satellite Antenna video

Zed Zed’s Workbench

Portable Amateur Radio Satellite Antenna

Excalibur Amateur Radio Satellite Antenna

LituanicaSAT-1 FM transponder test

LituanicaSAT-1 Camera and FM Voice Transponder

LituanicaSAT-1 Camera and FM Voice Transponder

The LituanicaSAT-1 team are carrying out a test of the FM transponder and they request reports.



Dear amateur satellite radio operators,

A courtesy notice that LituanicaSAT-1 FM transponder test is in progress. Today we performed initial operational test over Lithuania successfully. Downlink frequency was noted to have shifted to 435.1755 MHz. More tests are needed to verify that and determine exact uplink frequency shift but 145.950 MHz should work.

Please remember to use CTCSS PL 67 Hz sub-tone. If no problems will be encountered the operational tests for 23rd of April are planned to resume on 12:45 UTC and finish on 16:00 UTC. Just after activation you should here callsign in Morse and short salutation message from Lithuanian president. This identification message is transmitted every 5 min if there is no radio activity as well.

Your reports are more than welcome. Please submit your reports to ly5n@qrz.lt (please provide some supporting data like frequencies, max elevation of the pass, signal to noise ratio, etc.). Also please feel free to share this information through any media channels.

Best Regards,
LituanicaSAT-1 team

Lithuanian CubeSat LituanicaSAT-1 http://amsat-uk.org/2014/02/27/lituanicasat-1-cubesat/

Book now for International Space Colloquium

AMSAT-UK Chairman Professor Sir Martin Sweeting G3YJO

AMSAT-UK Chairman Professor Sir Martin Sweeting G3YJO

The AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium 2014 is open to all. It will be held on July 25-27, 2014 at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ, United Kingdom.

The Colloquium attracts an international audience from across Europe as well as North America and the Middle East. Attendees range from the builders of the CubeSats and Nanosats, those who communicate through them and beginners who wish to find out more about this fascinating branch of the hobby.

It provides a rare opportunity to chat with satellite designers and builders, discussions frequently continue until the early hours of the morning.

There will be a beginners session starting mid to late afternoon on the Friday.

Dr Chris Bridges M6OBC / M0GKK and STRaND-1

Dr Chris Bridges M6OBC / M0GKK and STRaND-1

Not part of the Colloquium, but held close by at the University of Surrey Space Centre is the “Bring Your Own Board” event. The first of these sessions was held last year and was very successful. The idea is that satellite builders and designers bring a piece of hardware to show off, demonstrate etc. Entrance is free. Further details of last years event are here http://www.surrey.ac.uk/ssc/news/events/ssc_and_ee/byob_cubesat_workshop.htm

A Gala dinner is held on the Saturday evening along with the fund raising auction, speeches, presentations, etc.

BOOKINGS. (Please note that this is a different procedure from last year!)

Holiday Inn Guildford GU2 7XZ

Holiday Inn Guildford GU2 7XZ

If you wish to stay overnight at the hotel, you must book your room direct with the hotel (tel 020 3349 9169) or via their web site http://www.higuildfordhotel.co.uk/ We have negotiated special rates of £75.00 for bed and breakfast, and £95.00 for dinner, bed and breakfast.

If you book dinner bed and breakfast for Saturday night, this will cover the cost of the Gala Dinner, for any other night, it covers the standard dinner in the hotel. Please use code AMSAT when making your booking.

Additionally, on arrival, please pay £5 for Friday, and £10 for each of Sat and Sunday at the AMSAT shop (not the hotel). The AMSAT shop will be located in the Business centre. This covers use of the lecture room, plus tea on Sat afternoon, and coffee Sunday morning.

If you are attending as a day visitor, there is no need to book in advance, just pay on arrival at the AMSAT-UK shop (£5 for Friday, and £10 for each of Saturday and Sunday).

Holiday Inn Guildford side entrance

Holiday Inn Guildford side entrance

Access to the Colloquium is via the hotel side entrance about 30 metres to the left of the main entrance.

We will be including an exclusive roundup of a number of new live and potential spacecraft projects that are under investigation and/or development.

Additionally a number of presentations are planned covering new communications techniques and similar futuristic topics.

Plus all the usual networking opportunities, the gala dinner and auction/raffle.

The weekend event is open to all. It attracts an international audience that ranges from those involved in building and operating Amateur Radio satellites to beginners who wish to find out more about this fascinating branch of the hobby.


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

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

We have a number of confirmed speakers for the 2014 event, these include:

The FUNcube Project—an update on FUNcubes 1, 2 and 3 plus news about FUNcube-4

The first Phase 4 geostationary amateur radio satellite

The South African projects -KLETSkous,  DynaCube, SA-QB50  and ZACUBE-1

$50SAT PocketQube by Stuart Robinson GW7HPW

Proliferation of non-Amateur Cubesats by Hans van de Groenendaal ZS6AKV

The satellite station at W1AW by ARRL QST Editor Steve Ford WB8IMY

VR2Space Virtual Ride to Space by Surrey Space Centre team member

IARU Satellite Forum by Hans van de Groenendaal ZS6AKV

ESA Danish Astronaut Dr Andreas Mogense attended a previous Colloquium

ESA Danish Astronaut Dr Andreas Mogense attended a previous Colloquium

But we are still looking for more and so; AMSAT-UK invites speakers, to cover topics about micro-satellites, CubeSats, Nanosats, space and associated activities, for this event.

They are also invited to submit papers for subsequent publishing on the AMSAT-UK web site. We normally prefer authors to present talks themselves rather than having someone else give them in the authors’ absence. We also welcome “unpresented” papers for the web site.

This year we are able to offer  limited financial support for young speakers—please contact Jim Heck email g3wgm -AT- amsat.org for information about this.

Generally, submissions should be sent to Trevor M5AKA: e-mail:  m5aka -AT- yahoo.co.uk

AMSAT-UK also invites anyone with requests for Program Topics to submit them as soon as possible to M5AKA.  Invitations for any papers on specific subjects will be included in the future call. Likewise if anyone knows of a good speaker, please send contact and other information to M5AKA.

Monitoring AO-73 with Minimalist Equipment

In this video Clint Bradford K6LCS demonstrates that a simple antenna is all you need to get a signal the FUNcube-1 (AO-73) telemetry beacon.

Clint writes: AO-73 just passed to the West over Southern California. With just a tape measure beam and a Yaesu FT-60R, it was received. AO-73 is transmitting at about 30 mW on 145.935 MHz today in the sun, and was never closer than about 450 miles.

Watch Monitoring AO-73 – Minimalist Equipment

In the video Clint was also using an  iPod touch, running the satellite tracking App PocketSat3 from http://www.pocketsat.com/

The AO-73 beacon uses BPSK modulation. To demodulate and decode the telemetry data you need a SSB receiver (FT-817, RTL-SDR, FUNcube Dongle, etc)  and the free Dashboard software. Clint made the video at the weekend when the beacon was in low power mode running just 30 mW. During the daylight hours on Monday-Friday the beacon runs 300 mW output so would be an even stronger signal.

WB2HOL 2m tape measure beam http://theleggios.net/wb2hol/projects/rdf/tape_bm.htm

Tape measure beam kit http://www.west.net/~marvin/wb2hol.htm

More fun with satellites at … http://www.work-sat.com/

Portable Amateur Radio Satellite Antenna

In this video Dave Tadlock KG0ZZ describes a home made small hand held portable amateur radio dual band 145 / 435 MHz satellite antenna.

Watch Portable Amateur Radio Satellite Antenna

Zed Zed’s Workbench

Excalibur Amateur Radio Satellite Antenna

Successful launch of KickSat carrying 104 Sprite satellites

Lift-off of SpaceX CRS-3 with five CubeSats and 104 Sprite satellites

Lift-off of SpaceX CRS-3 with five CubeSats and 104 Sprite satellites

Five CubeSats including KicksSat which carries 104 Sprite satellites on 437 MHz were successfully launched by the SpaceX CRS-3 mission on Friday, April 18 at 19:25:22 UT.

Zac Manchester KD2BHC and the SpaceX Falcon-9 CRS-3

Zac Manchester KD2BHC and the SpaceX Falcon-9 CRS-3

Zac Manchester KD2BHC says:

After a beautiful launch KickSat was deployed in low Earth orbit. We at Cornell and several amateur radio operators around the world have made contact with the spacecraft and it is alive and well. I can’t thank all of you enough for your tremendous support over the past two years. Thank you for believing in KickSat!

This is the culmination of a lot of hard work and is a huge milestone, but we’re not done yet. In 16 days the Sprites will deploy from KickSat. We need as many people as possible listening in, so if you’re interested, please check out the wiki and our mailing list for more information. As always, don’t hesitate to contact me with questions.

The CubeSats KickSat, SporeSat, TSAT, PhoneSat-v2.5 and ALL-STAR/THEIA were deployed into a 325×315 km 51.5 degree inclination orbit.

KickSat Sprite satellites deployed - Image by Ben Bishop VK2FBRB

KickSat Sprite satellites deployed – Image by Ben Bishop VK2FBRB

On the KickSat updates page Zac Manchester KD2BHC has announced a competition to receive the first amateur radio signals from the KickSat CubeSat and the tiny Sprites satellites.

Zac writes: I’d like to announce a little contest…

I’ll be offering prizes to the first several people who receive telemetry packets from KickSat as well as the first few who receive signals from the Sprites. The prizes will include souvenir Sprites and CRS-3 and ELaNa-V mission patches.

437 MHz Sprite

437 MHz Sprite

Now for the rules:
• In the case of KickSat telemetry, you have to send me the raw hex or ASCII packet data and I have to be able to successfully decode it.
• In the case of the Sprite signals, you have to send me a raw baseband recording and I have to be able to decode at least one Sprite signal from it.
• I’ll continue offering prizes until I run out of cool swag.
• I have the ultimate say on whether or not you win.

To get in on the fun, check out our wiki and join the KickSat mailing list. Let the games begin!

CRS-3 CubeSat frequency chart by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN

All the Sprites operate on a single frequency of 437.240 MHz and use Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). The transmitter runs 10 mW output of Minimum Shift Keying (MSK) modulated binary data with each data bit modulated as a 511 bit Pseudo-Random Number (PRN) sequence. The ITU emission designator is 50K0G1D.

The KickSat CubeSat has downlinks on 437.505 MHz and 2401-2436.2 MHz.

In this video Ben Bishop VK2FBRB gives an alternative view of the deployment

Wiki https://github.com/zacinaction/kicksat/wiki

KickSat mailing list https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/kicksat-gs

Kicksat Updates https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/zacinaction/kicksat-your-personal-spacecraft-in-space/posts

PRN codes for KickSat Sprites released http://amsat-uk.org/2014/03/23/prn-codes-for-kicksat-sprites-released/

Preliminary TLE’s are at http://mstl.atl.calpoly.edu/~ops/crs3_tle/

Frequencies of the other CubeSats can be found at

CRS-3 Payloads http://www.spaceflight101.com/dragon-spx-3-cargo-overview.html

Zarya http://www.zarya.info/Diaries/Launches/Launches.php?year=2014#022

Equipment for receiving the Sprite 437 MHz signals

Equipment for receiving the Sprite 437 MHz signals

FUNcube items now in the AMSAT-UK shop

FUNcube Mission Patch

FUNcube Mission Patch

A range of FUNcube products are now available from the AMSAT-UK shop.

The FUNcube items available are:
• Badges
• Mission Patch
• Polo Shirt
• Telemetry Receive Antenna System

You can order them from the shop at

Excalibur Amateur Radio Satellite Antenna

In this video Dave Tadlock KG0ZZ describes his home made 21 element 2 meter and 70 cm yagi antenna for working SO-50, the ISS and other amateur radio satellites.

Watch Excalibur Amateur Radio Satellite Antenna

Zed Zed’s Workbench

RAGazine now available for free download

National Space Centre Leicester

National Space Centre Leicester

The latest issue of the free BAA-RAG radio astronomy publication RAGazine is now available for download.

The British Astronomical Association Radio Astronomy Group (BAA-RAG) Coordinator Paul Hyde G4CSD writes:

1. RAG 2014
A reminder that BAA RAG is holding this year’s General Meeting at the National Space Centre, Leicester on Saturday, May 17, starting at 10:30.  We have two keynote speakers in Prof Paul Cannon (on solar superstorms) and Dr Klaas Wiersema (on Gamma ray Bursts) plus seven supporting talks to create a packed day on radio astronomy and geophysics.  Tickets are still available at £15 (£12 for BAA members) which includes free admission to the NSC and free parking.  Further information on the event, including details of the presentations, can be found on the BAA RAG website at www.britastro.org/radio/.  Bookings can be made by post, phone, fax or email using the Booking Form downloadable from the same website.

RAGazine March 2014

RAGazine March 2014

2. RAGazine
The 3rd edition of the RAG quarterly newsletter is now available for download from the BAA RAG website (see above).  This edition contains Karl Jansky’s 1932 paper identifying additional radio noise to that originating from thunderstorms, a review of the recent book on the life and times of Sir Bernard Lovell, and a description of the Siberian Solar Radio Telescope, along with articles on meteor scatter, magnetometry and VLF activity, plus Tony Abbey’s Technology Watch column.

We are always on the look-out for material for RAGazine.  The publication is an informal newsletter for sharing information and experiences in amateur radio astronomy and geophysics and we do depend upon input from those reading it.  We would like to move to publishing every other month, rather than quarterly, provided we can get a steady supply of material.  The Editor (Dave James) is keen to feature members’ home observatories, outreach activities, co-operative ventures and the like. We would also like to find one or two more contributing editors or correspondents for specific areas who can provide regular material on particular areas they feel would be of interest to readers.

If you can offer anything here please contact the Editor – dave<at>greenover.net.

3. HLOG project
The Hydrogen Line Observing Group was set up by Gordon Dennis and Brain Coleman to make use of Brian’s 3.7m diameter dish at Redenham Observatory for measuring Hydrogen Line emissions from the Galactic Plane.  Despite the high winds earlier in the year which twice damaged the azimuth gear box, observations have been largely completed from Galactic Longitude 20 to 94 degrees with some observations at 108, 110 and 180 degrees. The team is now looking for additional volunteers to extend the survey to at least 120 degrees longitude and maybe to 180 and beyond, plus an increased range of latitudes, in some cases as far as ± 14 degrees to capture all the “structure” detectable with the instrument.  Help is also needed to process the resultant data and re-check observations.

The project provides you with an opportunity to do some serious observing with a decent size dish.  All you need to participate is internet access and the time to set up and monitor individual scans.  As an observer you have access to the data collected by the whole Group for your own analysis work.

Those wishing to join the team should contact Gordon Dennis at gordon.dennis<at>koalapub.co.uk

Best wishes

Paul Hyde G4CSD
BAA RAG Coordinator

Download the March 2014 RAGazine from http://www.britastro.org/radio/ragazine/RAGazine_March_2014_rD.pdf

Back editions of RAGazine are available at http://www.britastro.org/radio/downloads.html

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

The STELAR Project 2014

STELAR Logo SmallThe education and science charity STELAR has been active in promoting radiocommunications in schools and colleges for over 20 years, as part of curriculum enrichment and personal and professional development for teachers.

Through its specialist courses, it has achieved much notable success in establishing radio clubs in schools and inspiring young people to seek careers in science, electronics and industry. It has played a major role in space and satellite communications in schools.

In 2013 it provided opportunities for satellite experiment by offering SDR receivers to schools allowing them to participate in the current series of FUNCUBE satellite experiments.

Now in 2014 STELAR is offering a new challenge to educators both professional and Amateur. The phenomenal success of the Raspberry Pi computer has opened up new opportunities and stimulated demand for educational projects linking communications systems, via computers.

This year STELAR is seeking to support the very best of those ideas by making available grants to educational groups, with projects designed to stimulate experiments with radio linked computing.

Typically these might take the form of:
• Radio systems linked to but not exclusively, a Raspberry Pi, computer.
• A detailed Teachers guide to the use and benefits of FUNCUBE or similar satellite systems in schools,
• The creation of radio-science projects to aid teachers personal and professional development.

Educational groups can apply for funding to develop a project of their choice, by submitting ideas for consideration by June 30, 2014. Groups should set out their aims and giving as much detail as possible. Successful entries will be notified during the Autumn term.

Interested ? then make contact by visiting the STELAR website http://www.stelar.info/contact