Send your message “from the Moon”

4M payload under test

4M payload under test

The LuxSpace 4M amateur radio payload is expected to fly around the Moon at the end of October and you can upload a message to the 4M website that will be transmitted on 145.980 MHz using JT65B during the flight.

Full Moon 2010 - Credit Gregory H Revera

Full Moon 2010 – Credit Gregory H Revera

There is room for 2500 messages each up to 13 characters long. Your message could be your name/callsign or “73 de M5AKA”.

During the lunar flyby, the spacecraft will be about 399,636 km from Earth. The LuxSpace team wish to encourage radio amateurs around the world to receive the transmissions and send in data. There will be a number of Experiments and Contests with prizes to the winners in each experiment and category. Details are given on page 19 of 4M Mission: a Lunar FlyBy experiment.

4M stands for Manfred Memorial Moon Mission in memory of Professor Manfred Fuchs, founder and chairman of OHB group, Bremen who passed away on April 27, 2014.

Register and Upload your message at http://moon.luxspace.lu/messages/

4M Mission: a Lunar FlyBy experiment
https://ukamsat.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/lxs-4m-eme2014-a4-v3.pdf

Further information on this project is at http://amsat-uk.org/2014/09/01/4m-lunar-payload/

Ofcom Amateur Radio Licence Consultation Announced

Ofcom-logo-col-tOfcom has published a public consultation setting out proposals for updating the terms and conditions of the amateur radio licence – Essex Ham summary here.

Ofcom say: These proposals include changes which would provide amateurs with access to some frequency bands previously available only through the variation of individual licences.

The consultation follows changes announced in our April statement on Public Sector Spectrum Release, where we set out our decision to remove access for amateur radio operators to certain frequencies in the 2300 MHz and 3400 MHz ranges in order to support the release of these bands by the Ministry of Defence.

This consultation, which is likely to be of interest to those in the amateur radio community, closes on October 20, 2014.

Ofcom Amateur Radio Licence Consultation
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/amateur-radio-licence/

PDF at http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/amateur-radio-licence/summary/condoc.pdf

Information on how you can respond to the consultation is at
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/amateur-radio-licence/howtorespond/

Read a summary of the changes at http://www.essexham.co.uk/news/licence-changes-ofcom-consultation.html

A RSGB discussion forum should be opened soon at http://rsgb.org/licencereview

ISS SSTV received on SUWS WebSDR

ISS SSTV image received by Paulo PV8DX

ISS SSTV image received by Paulo PV8DX

On Saturday, September 6, at 1000 GMT Paulo PV8DX emailed the news that the International Space Station (ISS) Slow Scan Television (SSTV) on 145.800 MHz FM had been active again.

At the end of the passage (ISS) in northern Brazil where I live. I heard the sound of early SSTV. So I went to the WEBSDR in your area [the SUWS WebSDR near London, UK] and I got two images.

The ISS has been transmitting photographs devoted to the life and work of the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. They were sent in the PD180 SSTV mode with additional voice commentary.

On August 27, 2014 a test of the ISS Slow Scan Television (SSTV) experiment MAI-75 using the Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver and a new cable took place. Although a carrier was successfully transmitted on 145.800 MHz no SSTV audio tones were heard. It appears that the earlier problem has now been rectified. http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/23/iss-sstv-august-27/

ISS SSTV received by Jan van Gils PE0SAT Sept 26. 2014 at 14:02 GMT

ISS SSTV received by Jan van Gils PE0SAT Sept 26. 2014 at 1402 GMT

The Kenwood TM-D710 was delivered to the ISS in the summer of 2012. The original TM-D700 in the Russian ISS Service Module had been experiencing problems with the PA after giving many years service in space, see ARISS minutes for March 2013. It is thought the Kenwood TM-D710 is set to run at just 5 watts output because convection cooling doesn’t work in zero gravity. http://www.ariss.org/meeting-minutes/archives/03-2013

David Barber G8OQW received some good images in Chelmsford, Essex which can be seen on the AMSAT-UK Facebook page.

Listen to the ISS and amateur radio satellites online using the SUWS VHF/UHF/Microwave WebSDR http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

ISS Fan Club provides status and tracking information http://issfanclub.com/

How to hear the ISS http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/how-to-hear-the-iss/

Paul Turner G4IJE, co-developer of the SSTV PD modes, says regarding the PD180 mode: “Don’t forget to either enable “Always show RX viewer” or use the “Picture viewer” (magnifying glass icon) to show the picture at its real resolution of 640 x 496. If you just view as normal you will only see 320 x 248 resolution, which kind of defeats the object of using a high resolution mode.”

Tony Falla VK3KKP commented “I received a good picture from ISS on my iPad mid-Saturday evening [AEDT] on 145.800 MHz just using the microphone next to the rig.”

The APRS digipeater in the European Space Agency ISS Columbus module continued to be in operation on 145.825 MHz during the SSTV transmissions.

Watch a video of ISS SSTV reception by Dmitry Pashkov R4UAB

All you need to do to receive SSTV pictures direct from the space station is to connect the audio output of a scanner or amateur radio transceiver via a simple interface to the soundcard on a Windows PC or an Apple iOS device, and tune in to 145.800 MHz FM. You can even receive pictures by holding an iPhone next to the radio’s loudspeaker.

ISS SSTV received by Fabiano Moser CT7ABD on Sept 6, 2014 at 0910 GMT

ISS SSTV received by Fabiano Moser CT7ABD on Sept 6, 2014 at 0910 GMT

The ISS puts out a strong signal on 145.800 MHz FM and a 2m handheld with a 1/4 wave antenna will be enough to receive it. The FM transmission uses the 5 kHz deviation which is standard in much of the world.

Many FM rigs in the UK can be switched been wide and narrow deviation FM filters. For best results you should select the wider deviation filters. Handhelds all seem to have a single wide filter fitted as standard.

On Windows PC’s the free application MMSSTV can be used to decode the signal, on Apple iOS devices you can use the SSTV app. The ISS Fan Club website will show you when the space station is in range.

For more on Slow Scan Television SSTV, see this article SSTV – The Basics
http://www.essexham.co.uk/sstv-the-basics

How to be successful with the ISS Slow Scan Television (SSTV) imaging system
http://www.marexmg.org/fileshtml/howtoisssstv.html

Free MMSSTV Slow Scan TV software http://hamsoft.ca/pages/mmsstv.php

iOS SSTV App https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/sstv/id387910013

IZ8BLY Vox Recoder, enables you to record the signals from the ISS on 145.800 MHz while you’re away at work http://antoninoporcino.xoom.it/VoxRecorder/

ARISS Slow Scan TV (SSTV) Blog and Gallery http://ariss-sstv.blogspot.co.uk/

Information on the MAI-75 SSTV experiment
http://www.energia.ru/eng/iss/researches/education-26.html

Sarah Brightman to start space flight training in January

Private Spacefarer Sarah Brightman Undergoes Medical Tests

Private Spacefarer Sarah Brightman Undergoes Medical Tests

Sarah Brightman hopes to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) for a 10 day mission in September 2015. If the launch were to take place as expected she would become the UK’s second astronaut, the first was Helen Sharman GB1MIR on May 18, 1991. Tim Peake KG5BVI is expected to launch in November 2015.

TASS reports the soprano singer Sarah Brightman would begin pre-flight training for her journey to the International Space Station (ISS) as a private spacefarer early next year, instead of this autumn, Yuri Lonchakov, the head of the Russia’s Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, said on Wednesday. “She will begin training in the Star City in January of 2015 and therefore we are all waiting for her,” Lonchakov said adding that he believed “her training will be a success.”

She is paying $52 million for the flight considerably more than the $20 million that Iranian-American engineer Anousheh Ansari paid for her mission to the ISS in 2006, highlighting the dramatic escalation in launch charges in recent years.

Sarah Brightman - DreamchaserSarah started her singing career in the 1970’s and had hits such as “I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper” and “Love in a UFO”. She is now a classical crossover artist.

In 2012 in conjunction with Virgin Galactic, The Brightman STEM Scholarship program (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) was launched to help young women in the US pursue STEM education across their four year college careers.

Her album, “Dreamchaser” was released on January 22, 2013. She said “I don’t think of myself as a dreamer. Rather, I am a dream chaser, I hope that I can encourage others to take inspiration from my journey both to chase down their own dreams and to help fulfill the important UNESCO mandate to promote peace and sustainable development on Earth and from space. I am determined that this journey can reach out to be a force for good, a catalyst for some of the dreams and aims of others that resonate with me.” She intends to become the first professional musician to sing from space.

It is not yet known if she will make any amateur radio contacts while on the ISS. In 1991 the first UK astronaut Helen Sharman was issued with a special callsign GB1MIR by the Radiocommunications Division of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). She was then able to contact radio amateurs on Earth during her stay on the MIR space station.

Read the TASS story at http://en.itar-tass.com/non-political/747859

You can sign up to receive updates on Sarah’s mission at  http://www.sarahbrightman.com/

Wiki – Sarah Brightman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Brightman

Space Adventures http://www.spaceadventures.com/

International Space Station - Image Credit NASA

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

BBC reports EMF 2014 about “Getting kids involved”

30 metre mast for EMF 2014 Internet

30 metre mast for EMF 2014 Internet

BBC News reports on last weekend’s successful Electromagnetic Field EMF 2014 event held near Bletchley, Milton Keynes.

The three day event attracted nearly three times as many people as the previous event held in 2012. Of those attending 75 were children under 16. “Getting kids involved has been crucial,” says Jonty Wareing @Jonty one of the event’s volunteer organisers.

Dr Elpida Makrygianni, from UCL’s Engineering Sciences faculty is charged with engaging young people with science, she thinks the festival is an important place to be.

“It’s the social context, the fact that it is in the countryside, a million miles from the stereotype of a sterile lab.”

That preconception is one of the first obstacles that has to be overcome when trying to engage young people in science, she says, especially young women.

AMSAT-UK reported on a tweet that those responsible for organising technical events should bear in mind. Rosie Campbell @RosieCampbell tweeted: The gender balance of speakers at #emfcamp has been great. So many awesome women! Take note, other tech event organisers!

Although not reported by the BBC the Amateur Radio Foundation was held at the event and radio amateurs launched several balloons carry 434 MHz transmitters and flew a Quadcopter which carried a Repeater.

Unlike other countries the UK amateur radio licence currently bans experimentation on aeronautical platforms fortunately amateurs still can use licence exempt bands such as 434 MHz and 868 MHz for aeronautical work instead.

Read the BBC report – Electromagnetic Field: Can geeks get kids into science?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-29011889

UK Editor of Motherboard Victoria Turk @VickiTurk interviewed Steve Netting M0SPN in the Amateur Radio Village at EMF 2014. Her article contains a good picture of the special event station GB2EMF.
Read Not Your ‘Traditional Hacker Camp': Inside Electromagnetic Field Festival
http://motherboard.vice.com/read/inside-uks-electromagnetic-field-festival

Watch Aerial video of the Electromagnetic Field site on Saturday

Additional info on EMF 2014 at
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/29/live-webcast-of-electromagnetic-field-emf-2014-event/

 See pictures of EMF 2014 at https://www.flickr.com/search/?q=emfcamp

Join AMSAT-UK

AMSAT-UK_Bevelled_Logo

AMSAT-UK Logo

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.

4M-LXS Lunar amateur radio payload

4M payload under test

4M payload under test- Credit LuxSpace

Beijing plans to launch a Lunar spacecraft on a journey lasting 196 hours that should take it around the Moon before returning and re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. It will carry a 14 kg payload known as 4M-LXS which was developed at LuxSpace. The launch is expected to take place on October 23, 2014 at 1800 UT.

4M stands for Manfred Memorial Moon Mission in memory of Professor Manfred Fuchs, founder and chairman of OHB group, Bremen who passed away on April 27, 2014.

Full Moon 2010 - Credit Gregory H Revera

Full Moon 2010 – Credit Gregory H Revera

The 4M-LXS amateur radio payload will transmit on 145.980 MHz +/- 2.9kHz (-40°C to +125°C), Doppler max: -2200Hz, +1000Hz. The continuous transmissions will start 4670s (77.8 minutes) after launch (-0, +600s). Five successive 1 minute sequences are sent during the 5 minutes cycle. The digital mode JT65B will be used, this can be decoded by radio amateurs using the free WJST software, there will also be ‘human readable’ tone transmissions. See the transmit sequence description on page 14 of 4M Mission: a Lunar FlyBy experiment.

During the lunar flyby, the range will be 399,636 km at the most and the distance to the Moon will be between 12,000 and 24,000 km depending on the final injection vector. The transmitter produces 1.5 watts to a simple Monopole antenna which should give a Signal to Noise ratio ( S/N) comparable to amateur moon bounce (EME) signals at the Earth’s surface.

LuxSpace wish to encourage radio amateurs around the world to receive the transmissions and send in data. There will be a number of Experiments and Contests with prizes to the winners in each experiment and category. Details are given on page 19 of 4M Mission: a Lunar FlyBy experiment.

A Java client will be made available to automatically send the WSJT ALL.TXT and the decoded.txt files to a central database.

Delivery convoy - Image credit Xinhua

Delivery convoy – Image credit Xinhua

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 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 196 hours (9 days).

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

Read the paper 4M Mission: a Lunar FlyBy experiment

EME 2014 slides: 4M, A Moon Flyby Mission

LuxSpace Sarl on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LuxSpaceSarl

Beijing to test recoverable moon orbiter
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-08/10/c_133546027.htm

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

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

OHB mourning the loss of its founder Manfred Fuchs
http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2014/04/28/630464/0/en/DGAP-News-OHB-AG-OHB-mourning-the-loss-of-its-founder-Manfred-Fuchs.html

4M Payload - credit LuxSpace

4M Payload – Credit LuxSpace

Japanese Asteroid Mission To Carry Amateur Radio

Abyss 2

Abyss 2

A Japanese news report says the asteroid mission Hayabusa 2, planned to launch in December 2014 on a  H-IIA rocket, will also carry the amateur radio satellite Abyss 2 (Shin’en 2).

Shin’en 2 is  a polyhedron measuring 490×490×475 mm and weighing 17 kg. It was built by students at Kyushu Institute of Technology and carries a Mode J linear transponder for amateur radio communications along with CW and WSJT beacons.

Shin’en 2 will have an elliptic orbit around the Sun and travel to a deep space orbit between Venus and Mars. Its inclination will be almost zero, which means Shin’en 2 will stay in the Earth’s equatorial plane The distance from the Sun will be between 0.7 and 1.3 AU. An Astronomical Unit (AU) is 149,597,871 km.

Shin’en 2 IARU coordinated frequencies:
• 437.505 MHz CW beacon
• 437.385 MHz WSJT telemetry
• Inverting SSB/CW transponder
– 145.940-145.960 MHz uplink LSB
– 435.280-435.260 MHz downlink USB

Another amateur radio satellite ARTSAT2:DESPATCH is also on the same launch.

Read the Japanese language article (try Chrome translator) at
http://www.nishinippon.co.jp/nnp/f_kitakyushu_keichiku/article/111554

Shin’en2 project website http://kit-okuyama-lab.com/en/sinen2/sinen2-outline/

Shin’en2 to carry Mode J linear transponder
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/04/23/shin-en2-to-carry-mode-j-linear-transponder/

Shin’en2 Satellite Linear Transponder Frequencies
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/05/21/shin-en2-satellite-frequencies/

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH
http://amsat-uk.org/2013/11/03/art-and-ham-radio-in-deep-space/

Hayabusa 2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayabusa_2

73 on 73 Award Update

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

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

Paul Stoetzer N8HM provides an update on the 73 on 73 Award for contacts made via the amateur radio satellite AO-73 (FUNcube-1).

Just a reminder that the award period for the 73 on 73 Award begins at 0000Z on September 1st, so begin keeping track of the unique callsigns that you work on AO-73. When you reach 73 unique callsigns in your log, email me at n8hm@arrl.net with a list of calls, date, and time worked (in GMT) and your mailing address. I hope to have a website up soon with an example of what the award will look like.

Some tips for working AO-73:

- Keep in mind the frequency drift on the transponder. The offset needed on your transmit frequency is usually from +10 kHz to +16 kHz. This can vary throughout the pass, requiring frequency adjustments if using computer control. Many find manually tuning the uplink to maintain a constant downlink to work better than computer control.

- I usually start a pass by trying to find myself come into the top edge of the passband (145.970 MHz). To do this, I usually start transmitting around 435.135 MHz and tuning up slowly until I can hear myself enter the passband. Then I can move around the transponder easily. Remember to tune your uplink to maintain an constant downlink frequency (the opposite of FO-29).

- Keep power output down. The transponder has a very sensitive receiver and a very active AGC circuit. Excessive uplink power will not make your signal louder – it will only reduce that available for others on the transponder. With a clear view of the horizon, 5 watts to an Arrow or Elk is plenty for horizon to horizon coverage. Very slightly more might be necessary if you are beaming through trees or other obstructions, but try to keep power to 25-40 watts ERP.

Good luck! Who will claim the 73 on 73 Award #1?

73, Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
Washington, DC, USA (FM18lv)

73 on 73 Award Announcement
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/18/73-on-73-award-announcement/

AO-73 http://amsat-uk.org/funcube/funcube-cubesat/

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Live Webcast of Electromagnetic Field EMF 2014 event

30 metre mast for EMF 2014 Internet

30 metre mast for EMF 2014 Internet

The Electromagnetic Field EMF 2014 event is taking place this weekend at Bletchley near Milton Keynes and the presentations will be streamed live to a global audience. GB2EMF will be on-the-air.

EMF 2014 is a festival for anyone interested in radio, electronics, space, homebrewing, robots, UAVs, 3D printing, DIYBio, Internet culture or pretty much anything else you can think of. It is a volunteer effort by a non-profit group, inspired by European and US hacker camps like Chaos Communication Camp, HAR, and toorcamp. There is an amateur radio village and special event station GB2EMF.

Imagine a camping festival with a power grid and high-speed internet access; a temporary village of geeks, crafters, and technology enthusiasts that’s lit up by night, and buzzing with activity during the day. Over a thousand curious people have descended on the friendly open space to learn, share, and talk about what they love.

Over a long weekend, you can expect to see a huge variety of talks across three stages, a slew of workshops, as well as music, games, and installations dotted around the site.

EMF 2014 takes place August 29-31 near Newton Longville, just South of Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK17 0BU. Talks include:
• High Altitude Ballooning by Adam Greig M0RND
• Amateur Radio – Practical Sign offs by Paul
• Amateur Radio: The Original Nerd Hobby! by Ryan Sayre 2E0RYS
• An Operator’s Guide to the Enigma Cipher Machine by Simon Singh
• Back to Basics Radio – build a self-powered solderless receiver by Iain Sharp
• InfraRed Communications by Michael Turner
• Surface Mount Soldering – SMD by hand isn’t hard, build your own Persistence of Vision kit to prove it! by Edinburgh Hacklab
Schedule https://frab.emfcamp.org/en/EMF2014/public/schedule/0

Watch the live streaming at http://webcast.emfcamp.org/

EMF 2014 https://www.emfcamp.org/
Twitter @emfcamp
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/emfcamp

Announcing TiLDA MKe, the incredible EMF 2014 camp badge
http://blog.emfcamp.org/post/94157161753/announcing-tilda-mke-the-incredible-emf-2014-camp