Goodbye HAMSAT-VO52 – Rest In Peace

HAMSAT VO-52

HAMSAT VO-52

AMSAT-India’s satellite VO-52, launched on May 5, 2005, ceased operation on July 11, 2014. For over 9 years it proved to be a valuable communications resource for the amateur radio community.

Mani VU2WMY posted the sad news:

Dear Friends,

With heavy heart, I sadly convey, that our little angel ‘HAMSAT VO-52’ would no more be able to offer her services to the ‘Amateur Radio Fraternity. HAMSAT VO-52 succumbed in Space on 11th July 2014, while she was on her 49,675th orbit, due to the failure of on-board lithium ion batteries that have met their end of life.

Although her desires were to be at work with other systems and sub-systems working normal as per the latest telemetry received, the on-board computer recurring to ‘Reset’ mode due to the failure of batteries is preventing her to do so.  Hence, it is decided not to expect any more meaningful and reliable services from HAMSAT VO-52.

Since 11th July, every best possible effort has been put in by the spacecraft controllers here in ISTRAC Bangalore to revive her back to life and to help her with work load, so she won’t be swamped when she returns, but with no luck.  Though it is hard, the HAMSAT VO-52 designers and controllers insist that the time has come to let the little angel free in space to go drifting on her own from their care and custody.

Thus, today 21st July 2014, ISRO have decommissioned ‘HAMSAT-VO52′ officially.

We all here in ISRO do definitely hope that ‘HAMSAT VO-52’ worked tirelessly and was a good friend to the ‘Amateur Radio Fraternity’ around the World. We are sure that HAMSAT was loved by all who worked through her. Though, we are deeply saddened by the loss of HAMSAT VO-52, but she will never be forgotten and far from our hearts, minds and memories.

HAMSAT VO-52 will always be remembered by all of us here in ISRO as one of the greatest satellites of ours.

Dear ‘HAMSAT’, looking at the sky, we all say ‘Good Bye’ to you. You’ll be greatly missed. Rest in Peace.

Nevertheless, at this point of time, on behalf of the World Amateur Radio Fraternity, we thank each and everyone who contributed to the great success of ‘HAMSAT’.

Particularly, our sincere thanks to the Chairman ISRO, Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, past chairmen Dr. Kasthurirangan, Dr. G. Madhavan Nair, Director-ISAC Dr. S.K.Shiva Kumar, past ISAC Directors Dr. P.S. Goel, Dr. Shankara, Dr. T.K. Alex, Director-ISTRAC Shri. B.S. Chandrasekhar, scientific secretary Dr. Koteshwar Rao, Project Director-Shri. J.P. Gupta, Deputy project Directors, Mission Director-Shri. R.Suresh, Operations Director-Shri. Parimalarangan and each and every person directly or in-directly contributed.

At this point of time, we also thank AMSAT-India and in particular, lateShri. Nagesh Upadhyaya-VU2NUD,  Shri. B.S. Gajendra Kumar-VU2BGS, Shri. Prathap Kumar-VU2POP, Air Commodore. Subramanian-VU2UV, Shri.  V.P. Sandlas-VU2VP, Dr.R. Ramesh-VU2RMS, Shri. Nitin-VU3TYG, Mr. Williams Leijenaar PE1RAH and each and every member.

Pasted below is the message from Mr. R. Suresh, Mission Director:

HAMSAT, the first small satellite by ISRO has been Decommissioned after nearly a decade of service to the World Ham community.

A true masterpiece among small satellites, designed for one year mission life, but exceeded all expectations by serving for almost 10 years. A truly autonomous satellite, with “Zero maintenance“ in terms of Mission operations, it provided a springboard to test many new concepts such as BMU. LI-ion based power system, automatic Spin rate control and Auto SAOC for maintaining the Satellite attitude without any ground commanding.

HAMSAT known as “OSCAR-52” among the Amateur HAM operators has been very popular because of its high sensitivity receiver and strong transmitter. Indian Radio Amateurs on many occasions conveyed to us that they have been greatly honored to share the adulations showered on ISRO and INDIA by the International Radio Amateur for gifting this wonderful satellite “HAMSAT”.

I take this opportunity to applaud the HAMSAT teams at ISAC, ISTRAC and other centre for their efforts and  support, which has made ISRO proud among the HAM users across the globe.

R,SURESH
MISSION DIRECTOR
HAMSAT

—-
Mani [VU2WMY/KJ6LRS]
Secretary & Station-In-Charge
Upagrah Amateur Radio Club VU2URC
ISRO Satellite Centre

AMSAT-India VO-52 completes nine years in orbit

HAMSAT VO-52

HAMSAT VO-52

On Monday, May 5, 2014 AMSAT-India’s VO-52 will have completed 9 years in orbit. During this time it has proved to be a valuable communications resource for the amateur radio community.

Mani, VU2WMY, posted this on the AMSAT Bulletin Board:

It gives us great pleasure to inform that ‘HAMSAT – VO-52′ is successfully completing 9 years of fruitful services on 4th May 2014 and entering into her 10th year of services on 5th May. HAMSAT was launched as a piggy back aboard PSLV-C6 on 5th May 2005 (5-5-5). We do hope that the contribution of ‘HAMSAT’ by India/ISRO to the ‘Global Amateur Radio Fraternity’ has served its purpose. It gives us great pleasure and satisfaction to note that ‘HAMSAT VO-52′ has remained as one of the most sought after and favorite ‘Linear Birds’ among the radio amateurs for her sensitivity, strong down link signals, stability and the ease to work.

Though expected to work for two years (mainly, considering the battery), HAMSAT VO-52 has really out lived and still doing strong. Latest telemetry indicates all the parameters and systems to be normal and satisfactory. We do hope that ‘HAMSAT’ would continue to provide her good services to ‘Amateur Radio fraternity’ for many more years.

On this happy occasion, we place on records our sincere thanks and appreciations to, Chairman ISRO, Scientific Secretary ISRO, Director ISRO Satellite, Mission Director, Operations Director, ‘HAMSAT’ project team at various ISRO centres, AMSAT-India and Williams Leijenaar PE1RAH  for their contribution in achieving this this milestone.

73 de
 
Mani [VU2WMY/KJ6LRS]
Secretary & Station-In-Charge
Upagrah Amateur Radio Club VU2URC
ISRO Satellite Centre

How to make contacts through the VO-52 satellite
http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/how-to-work-the-ssb-satellites/

Getting started on Amateur Radio satellites
http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/radcom-getting-started-on-satellites/

2005 – HAMSAT launch was 100% successful
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/may2005/hamsat_update2.htm

AMSAT-India http://www.amsatindia.org/

AMSAT-India VO-52 satellite completes eight years in orbit

HAMSAT VO-52

HAMSAT VO-52

On Sunday, May 5, 2013 AMSAT-India’s VO-52 completed 8 years in orbit. During this time it has proved to be a valuable communications resource for the amateur radio community.

Mani, VU2WMY, posted this on the AMSAT Bulletin Board:

It gives us great and immense pleasure to say that ‘HAMSAT VO-52′ completes eight fruitful years in orbit contributing to the wonderful cause of ‘Amateur Radio Satellite Communication’.

The overall health parameters are excellent and we do hope that transponder(s) on-board ‘HAMSAT VO-52′ would continue to render good services for many more years to come.

On this joyous occasion,on behalf of everyone here in ISRO/India and on my personal behalf, I thank each and every user, contributors and well wishers for this great achievement.

Special thanks to Guru VU2GUR, Nitin VU3TYG, Partha VU2GPS,Sunil VU2UKR,Bob W7LRD, Trevor M5AKA and others for sending in their reports and suggestions for the possible HAMSAT 2.

73 es good wishes de

Mani, VU2WMY
Secretary & Station-In-Charge
Upagrah Amateur Radio Club VU2URC
ISRO Satellite Centre

How to make contacts through the VO-52 satellite
http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/how-to-work-the-ssb-satellites/

Getting started on Amateur Radio satellites
http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/radcom-getting-started-on-satellites/

2005 – HAMSAT launch was 100% successful
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/may2005/hamsat_update2.htm

AMSAT-India http://www.amsatindia.org/

Video of VO-52 Downlink Over Europe

Dimitrios Pallis SW1JGW has made available a video of the downlink of the amateur radio satellite VO-52 over Europe on May 27, 2012.

Among the stations heard in the downlink is Domenico I8CVS. His interest in satellites first started in 1960 when he built a VHF converter and yagi antenna to succesfully receive the 108.000 and 108.030 MHz beacons from the passive communication satellites ECHO-I and ECHO-II.

Dimitrios SW1JGW made the recording with a G59 SDR and Ten Tec 1012 Transverter.

Watch VO52 27/05/2012 Recording with Genesis G59 SDR

VO-52 frequencies (note transponder is inverting, transmit LSB on 435 to get USB on 145 downlink):
Uplink:         435.2250 – 435.2750 MHz SSB/CW
Downlink:     145.9250 – 145.8750 MHz SSB/CW
Beacon:       145.8600 MHz CW

How to work the SSB amateur radio satellites such as VO-52 http://www.uk.amsat.org/2712

John Heath G7HIA wrote about operating through VO-52 in his article ‘Getting started on amateur radio satellites’ that was published by the Radio Society of Great Britain in the March 2007 edition of RadCom. Download the article at http://ukamsat.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/satellites_radcom_mar07.pdf
Copyright 2007 Radio Society of Great Britain. For personal use only – no copying, reprinting or distribution without written permission from the RSGB.

David A Palmer, KB5WIA, has written an article “Twins!  A Backpack-Portable Full Duplex Satellite Station with Dual FT-817ND’s” that can be seen at http://kb5wia.blogspot.com/2010/10/satellite-portable-station.html

AMSAT Demonstration Station at 2012 Dayton Hamvention

The AMSAT demonstration station at the 2012 Dayton Hamvention in Ohio (grid EM79ut) working the SSB/CW satellite VO-52 on Friday, May 18, 2012. This video starts at approximately 1418 UTC (10.18am EDT) on a pass to the west that covered much of North America.

Working the microphone is Keith Pugh W5IU. Assisting Keith is Doug Papay KD8CAO, and Roger Ley WA9PZL is taking care of the antenna. Keith’s equipment is used for the demonstration station – two Yaesu FT-817s, two homebrew antennas (3-element 2m Yagi, 6-element 70cm Yagi), and a laptop running SatPC32 to control the radios. The radios and laptop are powered from a large 12V battery.

As the video starts, Keith is working Angelo N5UXT in New Orleans, Louisiana. Other stations are heard later in the video, as the satellite is moving away and toward the horizon.

This video was recorded by Patrick Stoddard WD9EWK/VA7EWK using a Sony DSC-H70 camera at 720p.

See a video by Simon 2E0HTS describing how to work the SSB amateur radio satellites such as VO-52 http://www.uk.amsat.org/2712

John Heath G7HIA wrote about operating through VO-52 in his article ‘Getting started on amateur radio satellites’ that was published by the Radio Society of Great Britain in the March 2007 edition of RadCom. Download the article at http://ukamsat.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/satellites_radcom_mar07.pdf
Copyright 2007 Radio Society of Great Britain. For personal use only – no copying, reprinting or distribution without written permission from the RSGB.

How to work the SSB amateur radio satellites such as VO-52

The SSB/CW linear transponder amateur radio satellites such as VO-52 are great fun to work but the technique required is different to that used for the FM satellites.

Simon 2E0HTS has produced a video showing how to make contacts through VO-52.

Using a home-made 10 element 435 and IO Loop for 145MHz, with a Yaesu FT-847. Simon – 2E0HTS, adjusts his (uplink) transmitted signal to correct the Doppler of the received (downlink) frequency whilst talking to fellow Ham operators around Europe. Thanks to the stations worked via the VO-52 satellite which were SP9FPP, PD0HF & SP6DCO.

Watch How To Make A VO-52 SAT QSO

Most linear satellites use what are known as ‘Inverting Transponders’ to reduce the Doppler shift. You transmit lower sideband (LSB) on the uplink and it appears as upper sideband (USB) on the downlink.

When working through linear transponders use as little power as possible, this will help extend the lifetime of the transponder and satellite batteries. As a guide ensure your downlink signal is no stronger than the satellite beacon. Low duty cycle modes such as SSB and CW are recommended.

The band plan for linear satellite downlinks is similar to what you’d expect on the HF bands with CW operation in the lower part of the downlink and SSB in the rest. Current satellite status can be seen at http://oscar.dcarr.org/

Since this video was made VO-52 has changed over to its Dutch SSB/CW transponder and now uses these frequencies:
Uplink:         435.2250 – 435.2750 MHz SSB/CW
Downlink:     145.9250 – 145.8750 MHz SSB/CW
Beacon:       145.8600 MHz CW

John Heath G7HIA wrote about operating through VO-52 in his article ‘Getting started on amateur radio satellites’ that was published by the Radio Society of Great Britain in the March 2007 edition of RadCom. Download the article at http://ukamsat.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/satellites_radcom_mar07.pdf
Copyright 2007 Radio Society of Great Britain. For personal use only – no copying, reprinting or distribution without written permission from the RSGB.

David A Palmer, KB5WIA, has written an article “Twins!  A Backpack-Portable Full Duplex Satellite Station with Dual FT-817ND’s” that can be seen at http://kb5wia.blogspot.com/2010/10/satellite-portable-station.html

SimpleSatLookDown satellite tracking software http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=8217

HAMSAT VO-52 Dutch Transponder Activated

VO-52 on FUNcube Dongle by Dave G4DPZ

VO-52 received on an AMSAT-UK FUNcube Dongle by Dave Johnson G4DPZ during the 17:27 pass on March 14, 2012

The Dutch SSB/CW linear transponder on the AMSAT-India amateur radio satellite HAMSAT VO-52 has been successfully activated.

Transponder # 1, which had been operating for over 6 years, fell silent on February 28 and efforts have been underway to activate transponder # 2.

Mani VU2WMY reports that the commands to ‘Turn On’ the transponder # 2 on-board HAMSAT VO-52 were successfully sent on March 14 during the 1400 UT 35 deg ascending Node pass over Bangalore, India.

The commands were successful and the CW message beacon of the Dutch transponder # 2, built by William Leijenaar PE1RAH, was heard in Bangalore loud and clear, some 6 years and 4 months since it was last switched on.

The Dutch SSB/CW transponder uses these frequencies:
Uplink:         435.2250 – 435.2750 MHz SSB/CW
Downlink:     145.9250 – 145.8750 MHz SSB/CW
Beacon:       145.8600 MHz CW

When working through linear transponder satellites such as VO-52 use as little power as possible, this will help extend the lifetime of the transponder and satellite batteries. As a guide ensure your downlink signal is no stronger than the satellite beacon. Low duty cycle modes such as SSB and CW are recommended.

How to work the SSB satellites such as VO-52 http://www.uk.amsat.org/2712

AMSAT-India Thanks You http://www.uk.amsat.org/5777

HAMSAT VO-52 Activation Planned For Wednesday http://www.uk.amsat.org/5685

HAMSAT VO-52 Falls Silent http://www.uk.amsat.org/5217

Leijenaar Electronics http://www.leijenaarelectronics.nl/

AMSAT-India http://www.amsatindia.org/

HAMSAT VO-52 Activation Planned For Wednesday

HAMSAT VO-52

HAMSAT VO-52

Mani VU2WMY reports that due to ‘Operational Constraints’ the commands to turn on the Dutch SSB/CW transponder on HAMSAT (VO-52) could not be sent on Tuesday and attempts at 01:44 UT and 03:20 UT Wednesday were unsuccessful.

The next attempt will be made during the 14:00 UT pass over India.

William Leijenaar PE1RAH, designer and builder of the Dutch SSB/CW linear transponder on HAMSAT (VO-52), requests reports when the transponder is activated. He says:

! ! !  Please don’t use high uplink powers !!! (We don’t want it to rise temperature very fast just after cold switch on) ! ! !

Please listen for the CW beacon at 145.860, which is a good reference.
(Audio records and reports are very welcome at ISRO and myself)

73 de PE1RAH,
William Leijenaar

The frequencies used will be:

Uplink:         435.2250 – 435.2750 MHz SSB/CW
Downlink:     145.9250 – 145.8750 MHz SSB/CW
Beacon:       145.8600 MHz CW

How to work the SSB satellites http://www.uk.amsat.org/2712

HAMSAT VO-52 Falls Silent http://www.uk.amsat.org/5217

Leijenaar Electronics http://www.leijenaarelectronics.nl/

AMSAT-India http://www.amsatindia.org/

VO-52 Transponder Activation Postponed

HAMSAT VO-52

HAMSAT VO-52

It had been hoped that the amateur radio SSB/CW satellite HAMSAT (VO-52) would be reactivated on Thursday, March 8 but this has now been postponed.

More time is needed to carry out observations on the state of the satellite, which fell silent Feb. 28, so the activation has been put back by at least a week.

HAMSAT (VO-52) carries two linear transponders for SSB/CW operation. It had been using the Indian transponder but when it is switched back on it will use the Dutch transponder built by William Leijenaar PE1RAH. The frequencies used will be:

Uplink:         435.2250 – 435.2750 MHz SSB/CW
Downlink:     145.9250 – 145.8750 MHz SSB/CW
Beacon:       145.8600 MHz CW

Working the SSB satellites http://www.uk.amsat.org/2712

HAMSAT VO-52 Falls Silent http://www.uk.amsat.org/5217

Leijenaar Electronics http://www.leijenaarelectronics.nl/

AMSAT-India http://www.amsatindia.org/