Phase 4 Spacecraft Frequencies

Graham G3VZV and Bob N4HY at Friedrichshafen June 2015

Graham G3VZV and Bob N4HY at Friedrichshafen June 2015

At the Hamfest event at Friedrichshafen held during last weekend, more information was provided about the exciting new Phase 4 amateur satellites presently under construction

P4A – This is a hosted payload on the geostationary spacecraft Es’hailSat 2. This spacecraft will be located at 26 degrees east. Launch is expected in late 2016 with operations commencing shortly thereafter. This spacecraft will carry two amateur radio linear transponders. One will consist of a 250 kHz wide linear analogue transponder and the other will be a transponder for experimental digital modulation with an 8 MHz bandwidth.

The proposed frequency plan for this spacecraft is:

Narrowband transponder:
Uplinks: 2400.050-2400.300 MHz
Downlinks: 10489.550- 10489.800 MHz

Wideband transponder:
Uplinks: 2401.500 – 2409.500 MHz
Downlinks: 10491.000 -10499.000 MHz

P4B – This is a hosted payload on a US geosynchronous spacecraft. This spacecraft is expected to be initially located over America. The transponder will use digital modulation schemes with FDMA up and TDMA down. In addition, there will be linear transponder facility. Ground station hardware is already well developed and the launch is expected to take place in mid 2017.

The proposed frequency plan for this spacecraft is:

Uplinks: 5655-5665 MHz
Downlinks: 10455-10465 MHz

Further, similar, High Earth Orbit, projects were also mentioned during the meeting. These will also use downlink frequencies in the 10 GHz band in the Amateur Satellite Service.

Geosynchronous Amateur Radio Satellites


Geosynchronous payload inches closer to reality

Millennium Space Systems AQUILA M8 Series Satellite Structure

Millennium Space Systems AQUILA M8 Series Satellite Structure

Colonel Fred Kennedy, USAF, Space Production Division and Program Manager for the Wide Field of View satellite (hereinafter WFOV) has accepted the proposal to allow Virginia Tech to place a hosted payload consisting of a Software Defined Radio designed and built by Rincon Research Corporation using support equipment and antennas designed by Virginia Tech and other volunteers to this effort.

The spacecraft hosted amateur payload will be included in the Aquila M8 bus by Millennium Space Systems who is the integrator for WFOV.  Our first role and immediate action item is to raise the $100,000 for Millennium to complete the study of the inclusion of this payload on Wide Field Of View.  Following successful completion of this study,  Virginia Tech will raise money to defray the cost of integration and launch of this payload.  After achieving orbit,  volunteers managed by Sonya Rowe and Zach Leffke of Virginia Tech will operate the payload for as long as it is over the US.  We at VT with the help of the ARRL will prepare partners in other regions to operate the spacecraft should it be moved in order to allow the WFOV to accomplish its primary mission and be prepared to take over operation of the hosted payload on its return to the area of the Contiguous United States (CONUS).

Colonel Kennedy told me how much he admires how unbelievably capable amateurs around the world have been in their many organizations to get spacecraft to orbit and wishes us the best of luck in the onerous task we will have of raising $5M to get this on board.

I will be making many details public now that Colonel Kennedy has told us we are a go if we raise the money.  I know this is a tall order but “A coward dies a thousand deaths and a brave person dies only once”.  I would rather go down trying than cower in a closet.  This is not intended as casting aspersions on any individual or organization just saying I must proceed hastily to succeed at all and I cannot afford caution.

Let’s GO!

Bob McGwier
Co-Founder and Technical Director, Federated Wireless, LLC
Research Professor Virginia Tech
Senior Member IEEE, Facebook: N4HYBob, ARS: N4HY
Faculty Advisor Virginia Tech Amateur Radio Assn. (K4KDJ)

Geosynchronous Amateur Radio Paylod

International Space Colloquium at Guildford

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch Rev4 20100609The AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium will be held on July 24-26 at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ, UK.

Among the speakers will be:
Peter Guelzow DB2OS with an update on AMSAT-DL projects, including the Phase 4 satellite
Chris Brunskill, formerly of Surrey Space Centre (SSC), now working at the Space Catapult at the Harwell Campus. He will be presenting an extremely novel project aimed at schools and education
• It is hoped the BATC will be able to demonstrate live Digital TV reception from the International Space Station, using the Ham TV system
Drew Glasbrenner KO4MA, from AMSAT North America will be attending, and presenting the latest news of the FOX satellite(s) due for launch later this year, and also on their Phase 4 project

The Colloquium is open to all further information is at

Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF with ISS HamTV Transmitter

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF with the HamTV transmitter in the ISS Columbus module

OSCAR News Issue 210

OSCAR News 210 front coverIssue 210 of the AMSAT-UK amateur radio satellite publication OSCAR News was released on June 4, 2015. E-members can download it here.

The paper edition is usually posted 2-3 weeks after publication of the electronic issue.

In this issue:
• UAE to build new space research centre
• Clive Wallis G3CWV – 15 Sep 1932 – 27 Mar 2015
• 40 years and counting: the team behind Voyager’s space odyssey
• United Nations/South Africa Symposium on Basic Space Technology
• 29 MHz – the forgotten frequency for amateur radio satellites
• Pairing SDR dongles with Windows 8.1 tablets
• The ESEO Mission report
• Recent Breakup of a DMSP Satellite
• Fox-1 Development, Launch, and Frequency Coordination Status at Dayton
• Geostationary Transponder News
• FUNcube on-orbit missions update
• Colloquium 2015
• The new FUNcube Project – Nayif-1

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch

Membership of AMSAT-UK is open to anyone who has an interest in amateur radio satellites or space activities, including the International Space Station (ISS).

E-members of AMSAT-UK are able to download OSCAR News as a convenient PDF that can be read on laptops, tablets or smartphones anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Join as an E-member at Electronic (PDF) E-membership

There are two rates for the paper edition to cover the extra postage costs:
Rest of the World (Overseas)

PDF sample copy of “Oscar News” here.

Join AMSAT-UK using PayPal, Debit or Credit card at

E-members can download their copies of OSCAR News here.

Martlesham FUNcube Development Workshop Report

Martlesham FUNcube Development Workshop May 30-31, 2015

Martlesham FUNcube Development Workshop May 30-31, 2015

Having two live projects underway is proving an enjoyable challenge for the AMSAT-UK teams involved. Both the Nayif-1 CubeSat and our payload on ESEO will provide similar 1k2 BPSK FUNcube compatible downlinks so the teams have quite a lot in common.

Martlesham FUNcube Workshop 2 - May 30-31 2015The two teams got together for two days at BT’s Adastral Research facilities at Martlesham over the weekend of May 30-31.

As will be more fully reported in the next edition of the “OSCAR News”, the work concentrated on updating the suite of existing FUNcube software for the forthcoming Nayif-1 spacecraft and also the first power on for the combined CCT/EPS (computer and power) board for ESEO with its ATMEL AT32 microprocessor.

Nayif-1 CubeSat


Join AMSAT-UK and receive the new issue of OSCAR News due out soon

Yahoo Group

29 MHz – the forgotten frequency for amateur radio satellites

Jan King W3GEY/VK4GEY prepares OSCAR 7 for a vibration test - Credit AMSAT-NA

Jan King W3GEY/VK4GEY prepares OSCAR 7 for a vibration test – Credit AMSAT-NA

Hans van de Groenendaaal ZS6AKV writes in the EngineerIT magazine about the potential for 29 MHz as a satellite uplink band.

Universities and other scientific research institutions are using portions of the amateur spectrum for their CubeSat’s which has caused the 145 and 435 MHz amateur-satellite band segments to be very crowded, leading to an increasing number of satellite builders to explore alternatives.

For many, such as those requiring single-channel bandwidth greater than approximately 12.5 kHz, the best answer will be found in the microwave bands. However, for those who can use it, the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) satellite frequency coordination process has now opened another alternative: 29 MHz uplinks.

Read the EngineerIT article at

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination

Nine CAS-3 amateur radio satellites to launch in July



The CAMSAT orchestrated CAS-3 amateur satellite system is now nearing completion.

Nine satellites, CAS-3A – CAS3i, should be launched on July 20, 2015 from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center on the new CZ-6 launcher. It is understood the CZ-6 will be carrying a total of 20 satellites.

Six of the CAMSAT satellites, CAS-3A-CAS-3F, are equipped with substantially the same amateur radio payloads. A 20 kHz bandwidth 435/145 MHz (mode U/V) 100 mW linear transponder for SSB/CW communications, a CW telemetry beacon and an AX.25 19.2k/9.6k bps GMSK telemetry downlink.

Each set of amateur radio equipment has the same technical characteristics, but operates on different frequencies in the 435 MHz uplink band and 145 MHz downlink band. While the amateur payloads are similar the sizes of the satellites differ, one is 20 kg, three are 10 kg and two are 1 kg.

CAS-3A will be deployed into a 450 km sun-synchronous orbit while the other satellites will in a 530 km sun-synchronous orbit.

LilacSat-2, developed at the Harbin Institute of Technology, has been renamed as CAS-3H, and has had to change frequencies to avoid a clash with other CAMSAT satellites on the flight. CAS-3H carries 145 MHz APRS, a 145/435 FM transponder and a 437 MHz CW beacon.

Two others satellites on the launch also carry amateur satellite service payloads and have been named as CAS-3G which has 9k6 GMSK AX25 downlinks on 145 MHz and 437 MHz and CAS-3i which has a 9k6 FSK telemetry downlink on 437 MHz.

Further information on the CAS-3A to CAS-3F satellites can be seen at

CAMSAT with support from the Qian Youth Space Academy has been developing two satellites CAS-2A1 and CAS-2A2. These will not be on this launch, instead they may fly on a CZ-2 at a later date.

CAS-2 Series IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination page

CAS-3 Series IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination page

Yahoo Group

Beijing may launch amateur satellites in July

CAMSAT CAS-2 at Friedrichshafen Ham Radio 2012 Event

CAMSAT CAS-2 at Friedrichshafen Ham Radio 2012 Event

UPDATE May 24, 2015: CAS-2A1 and CAS-2A2 will not be launching in July but nine CAS-3 series satellites will be. See the latest information at

Mineo Wakita JE9PEL reports on his website that Beijing may launch satellites carrying amateur radio payloads in July 2015. It is understood the launch would be on a CZ-6 rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center.

XW-2 (CAS-2) and LilacSat-2 will be carrying amateur radio payloads but at the time of writing it is not clear if Tiantuo-3 and ZDPS-2 may also have amateur radio payloads.

Additionally it is reported elsewhere there may be up to 20 satellites on the launch.

Fan Shaomin BA1EO with CAS-2 A1

Fan Shaomin BA1EO with CAS-2 A1

CAS-2A1 satellite: 270x270x250mm
2m CW telemetry beacon 100 mW
2m AX.25 digital telemetry beacon 500 mW
2m FM voice beacon 500 mW
U/V mode Linear transponder 50 kHz 500 mW
L/S mode Linear transponder 200 kHz 320 mW
U/V mode APRS repeater

CAS-2A2 satellite:
70cm CW telemetry beacon 100 mW
70cm AX.25 digital telemetry beacon 500 mW
13cm CW telemetry beacon 200 mW
3cm CW telemetry beacon 200 mW
V/U mode Linear transponder 500 mW

LilacSat-2 – Harbin Institute of Technology
Approx. 11 kg 20x20x20 cm
Uplink: 145.825, 145.875 MHz
Downlink: 437.200 MHz beacon 437.225 MHz FM/APRS

Tiantuo-3 (TT-3) – Small satellite from China’s National University of Defense Technology

ZDPS-2 – Nano-satellite mission of the Microsat Research Center Zhejiang University

Source Mineo Wakita JE9PEL

Yahoo Group

Extreme DX satellite contact between UK and Texas

CO6CBF-FO-29-SATPC32aOn April 27, 2015 at 1901 GMT, Cuban radio amateur Hector Martinez W5CBF/CO6CBF achieved a 7537.8 km DX contact with UK amateur Peter Atkins G4DOL via FO-29.

Antennas of Peter Atkins G4DOL near Weymouth

Antennas of Peter Atkins G4DOL near Weymouth

I am pleased to report that Peter G4DOL and I had another extreme QSO on FO-29. It is my furthest contact on the birds!

Back on October 2013, Peter and I had a very nice contact between EL92sd, Cienfuegos, Cuba and IO80so, Weymouth area, UK. It was a 7286 km contact and probably the first contact between UK and Cuba on FO-29!

Peter and I desired to try again on FO-29, this time between EM21hs, Texas, US and his habitual spot in IO80so. We were able to complete a very nice CW contact on the 92319 orbit of FO-29. Peter had just 0.1 degree as maxim elevation while I had 0.8 during the 80 seconds mutual window.

As before, Peter did all the hard work by driving until his habitual spot at a cliff-top and setting up his “portable satellite station” (19 elements Yagi for 435 MHz and 10 elements Yagi for 145 MHz both with horizontal polarization). FO-29 was sounding really good on these orbits. It was a solid 559 satellite contact, we were very impressed.

Antennas used by Hector Martinez W5CBF/CO6CBF in Texas

Antennas used by Hector Martinez W5CBF/CO6CBF in Texas

We made the calculations using our 10 digit grid squares at

The distance between the stations was 7537.799 km (4683.77 mi). To my knowledge, the longest distance achieved on FO-29 until now had been 7,533.685 km between Frank, K4FEG and Erich, DK1TB

UPDATE 2015-05-08: K4KEG has now revised his distance to 7,538.685 km. This puts his contact with DK1TB just ahead of that of W5CBF and G4DOL.

It appears that an even longer distance is achievable. It has been reported that FO-29 has a “theoretical maximum range” of 7502 km, but I guess that at least 7600km is doable. We will try to break our own record!

This contact was possible thanks to the great feature implemented on SatPC32 V12.8b. There is an option of seeing the frequency you are at the satellite receiver at any time during a pass. It allows the operators to tune the right frequencies and attempt a contact without having to search for each other.

Thanks very much to Peter for his persistence, effort and all the fun!

Hector, W5CBF/CO6CBF

Listen to a recording of the contact between W5CBF and G4DOL via FO-29

2013 FO-29 satellite contact between Cuba and the UK

FO-29 information

Can you help identify this picture ?

Antenna used in a BBC TV showThe Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) have requested help in identifying this picture (click for full size version).

The person on the far right looks rather like the television presenter James Burke.

Could it be possibly be the BBC Tomorrows World TV show from the 1970’s ?

Do you know which programme was being filmed and what was it about ?

It certainly looks satellite related. If you have any thoughts please post them on the RSGB Facebook page at