First family-friendly amateur radio event at The Royal Mint Experience

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

A unique event is taking place at The Royal Mint Experience, The Royal Mint’s new visitor centre in Llantrisant, Wales from July 30 to August 5, 2017. Local school children and members of the public have been invited to “The Royal Mint Radio Experience” to enjoy a fun, informal and interactive workshop.

They’ll have the opportunity to send and receive radio signals with FUNcube-1, an educational satellite launched in 2013 which is used by schools and educational groups all around the world. Visitors will also exchange greeting messages with radio enthusiasts across the world and, as each country is contacted it will be logged on a large map. The target is to contact each of the 100 countries with which the Royal Mint has worked during its 1,000 year history! The national amateur radio societies in many of those countries have contacted us to say that their members are looking forward to greeting the children on air.

In addition, during the sessions each person will be able to learn how to send their name using Morse code and will receive a special certificate to confirm their achievement.

RSGB General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB said: “We’re delighted to be supporting this event which will give visitors to the Royal Mint a chance to experience the wonder of amateur radio and satellite communication. Amateur radio has many links with the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) curriculum and can lead to rewarding careers.”

Members of the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB), Barry Amateur Radio Society (BARS) and AMSAT-UK will be running the special amateur radio station whose call sign GB4RME (GB 4 Royal Mint Experience) has been granted by Ofcom just for this event.

RSGB Regional Manager and BARS Chairman Glyn Jones, GW0ANA added: “We believe this is the very first time any amateur radio station has been allowed to operate from a Royal Mint anywhere in the world, so it really is a unique occasion!”

The FUNcube-1 Fitter message transmitted by the satellite says:
“Greetings from space to visitors, staff and team G B 4 R M E . Amateur Radio special event and demonstrations at the Royal Mint Experience South Wales. 30 Jul to 5 Aug.”
http://warehouse.funcube.org.uk/downloads/fitter.txt

The Royal Mint Experience http://www.royalmint.com/en/the-royal-mint-experience

Barry Amateur Radio Society http://www.bars.btck.co.uk/

FUNcube-1 https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/communications/funcube-1/

Bittern DXers get 10k Lottery Grant

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

The Eastern Daily Press report the Bittern DX Group in North Walsham have been awarded £10,000 by the Big Lottery Fund.

The newspaper story says:

The award will help them continue to introduce people to the world of technology, and the possibilities that radio communication can offer people.

But the news wasn’t only celebrated in North Walsham, or even Norfolk, as the announcement was transmitted from a satellite orbiting the Earth.

The satellite, FunCube1, as built by members of the Amateur Radio community and launched into orbit on 21st November 2013.

It was built with the goal of enthusing and educating young people about radio, space, physics and electronics, and is the first satellite with outreach as its primary mission and demonstrates the depth and breadth of the hobby of Amateur Radio.

The Bittern DXers hope that with their new funds they can continue to work on initiatives such as the Educational Outreach Project which entails the group taking their equipment to public events and teach people about their hobby.

Read the full newspaper story at
http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/message-from-space-celebrates-north-walsham-group-s-stellar-grant-1-5106808

The FUNcube-1 Fitter message transmitted by the satellite said:
“The Bittern DXers are delighted to announce they have received a National Lottery Awards for All grant for their Educational Outreach project bringing amateur radio to the public.”
http://warehouse.funcube.org.uk/downloads/fitter.txt

Information on the FUNcube-1 (AO-73) satellite can be found at  https://funcube.org.uk/
and https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/funcube-cubesat/

Bittern DXers https://www.bittern-dxers.org.uk/
https://twitter.com/BitternDXers

Any amateur radio club can apply for a Big Lottery Fund grant, details at https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/

What is Amateur Radio? http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

Find an amateur radio training course near you https://thersgb.org/services/coursefinder/

ARISS Celebrates its 20th Anniversary through SSTV Event

ISS SSTV image 2 received by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN April 12, 2016 at 1556 UT

ISS SSTV image 2 received by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN April 12, 2016 at 1556 UT

In commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of ARISS, a Slow Scan Television (SSTV) event is planned for Thursday, July 20 starting around 21:25 UT.

Update 2017-07-21: Crew schedule now indicates activity will conclude at 18:00 UT on Monday, July 24.

The event plans to feature images from ARISS activities both past and present. This opportunity should cover most of the world during the operation period.

The event plans to use a computer on the ISS Russian Segment, which stores images that are then transmitted to Earth using the ham radio, specifically the onboard Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver. Those receiving the images can post them at https://ariss-sstv.blogspot.com/ for viewing by the public.

The 20 year history of ARISS will be displayed through a collection of 12 unique images sharing the amazing accomplishments of ARISS over the last two decades. SSTV signals will be sent to earth at 145.800 MHz using FM. The SSTV mode of transmission is expected to be PD 120 (PD 180 may be a second option). The event is expected to continue over a two day period.

Since it’s inception, Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has provided students an opportunity, through ham radio, to engage in conversation with orbiting astronauts and inspired many to seek careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Consider how you might inspire students in your area through this chance to capture images directly from space to their computers.

Please note that the event, and any ARISS event, is dependent on other activities, schedules and crew responsibilities on the ISS and are subject to change at any time.

While preparations are being finalized please check for new and the most current information on the ARISS website or  Twitter, or Facebook or  the AMSAT Bulletin Board for the latest information on this event.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) logoAbout ARISS

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students in classrooms or informal education venues. With the help of experienced amateur radio volunteers, ISS crews speak directly with large audiences in a variety of public forums. Before and during these radio contacts, students, teachers, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies and amateur radio. For more information, see

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)
http://www.ariss.org/
https://twitter.com/ARISS_status
https://www.facebook.com/Amateur-Radio-on-the-International-Space-Station-ARISS-153679794647788/

ARISS SSTV Blog https://ariss-sstv.blogspot.com/

Note the ISS transmissions on 145.800 MHz FM use the 5 kHz deviation standard rather than the narrow 2.5 kHz used in Europe. If your transceiver has selectable FM filters try the wider filter.

The ISS Fan Club website will show you when the space station is in range http://www.issfanclub.com/

Useful links on receiving SSTV from the ISS https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/iss-sstv/

ARISS-SSTV Images http://ariss-sstv.blogspot.co.uk/

Listen to the ISS online when it is over Russia with the R4UAB WebSDR

Listen to the ISS online when in range of London with the SUWS WebSDR http://websdr.suws.org.uk/

The RSGB produce a handy Media Guide and Template press release, see
http://rsgb.org/main/clubs/media-guide-for-affiliated-societies/

If you receive a full or partial picture from the Space Station your Local Newspaper may like to know http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2016/july/now-is-a-great-time-to-get-ham-radio-publicity.htm

Example of the publicity you can get for the hobby by telling your Local Newspaper
https://amsat-uk.org/2015/04/15/iss-sstv-in-the-press/

BIRDS-1 constellation of five CubeSats deployed

BIRDS-1 CubeSat Constellation Deployment

BIRDS-1 CubeSat Constellation Deployment

On Friday, July 7, 2017 five CubeSats carrying amateur radio payloads were deployed from the Japanese Kibo module on the International Space Station.

ISS astronaut Jack Fischer KG5FYH @Astro2fish tweeted:
Another great example of International Cooperation today on @Space_Station –launched 5 micro-satellites from 5 countries off the JAXA arm!

The BIRDS-1 constellation consists of five 1U CubeSats (BIRD-B, BIRD-J, BIRD-G, BIRD-M and BIRD-N). They launched to the ISS on a SpaceX Falcon 9 CRS-11 on June 3, 2017. The satellites are made of the exactly same design and use the same amateur radio frequency.

The main mission of the constellation is to do experiments on radio communication with a CubeSat constellation via a network of UHF/VHF amateur radio ground stations all over the world.

BIRDS CubeSat NationsThe challenge is to distinguish each satellite from the others sharing the same transmit frequency, hand over operation of a satellite from one ground station to another and assemble the satellite data, such as housekeeping telemetry, music and the Earth images, obtained at different ground stations.

Amateur radio enthusiasts are asked to join the network to assist in the data downlink and reconstruction of the patchy satellite data into one meaningful data. Orbit information and operational plan of each satellite will be made available to the amateur radio community in the world. Software to decode the satellite data will be also made available.

The respective amateur ground stations that can successfully decode the telemetry data, music and the Earth images, shall receive a QSL card from the BIRDS team.

The data reconstructed by the effort of the amateur ground station network will be made public to share the sense of satisfaction and achievement.

BIRDS CubeSat Project LogoA particularly interesting mission of BIRDS project is the SNG mission that exchanges music via a digi-singer. It is an outreach-oriented mission. First, music in MIDI format is uploaded from ground. Then the MIDI file is processed on-board using a vocal synthesizer. Finally, the processed music is sent back to Earth using UHF antenna as voice FM data.

During organized events on space utilization with schools or general public, music could be heard using a common hand-held receiver and hand-made Yagi antenna positioned to track the satellite at each given pass over the region. This has a tremendous effect on awareness of radio communication among school children and general public, especially in the countries participating in the BIRDS project, Japan, Ghana, Mongolia, Nigeria and Bangladesh.

The satellites transmit CW on 437.372 MHz and 9k6 FSK, 1k2 AFSK FM, audio FM and 9k6 GMSK downlinks on 437.375 MHz.

A QSL is issued for a reception report. Please check the BIRDS web site.
http://birds.ele.kyutech.ac.jp/amateur.html

BBC News has a story about one of the satellites GhanaSat-1 (BIRDS-G, ANUSAT-1)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-40538471

BIRDS-1 CubeSat Constellation
https://amsat-uk.org/2017/07/01/birds-1-cubesat-constellation-deployment/
https://amsat-uk.org/2016/08/11/ham-radio-birds-constellation/

BIRDS-1 CubeSat Constellation Deployment

BIRDS CubeSat Engineering Model integration test

Masahiro Arai JN1GKZ reports the BIRDS Project Newsletter Issue No. 17 shows the deployment of five amateur radio BIRDS-1 CubeSats from ISS is planned for July 7, 2017.

The IARU reports the satellites will be using CW, 1k2 AFSK FM, audio FM and 9k6 GMSK downlinks on a coordinated downlink frequency of 437.375 MHz.

On the AMSAT Bulletin Board Masa JN1GKZ writes:

The schedule is:
Time        Satellites                       Location
#1 0900z BIRD-J, BIRD-G, BIRD-M over Fance
#2 0930z BIRD-N, BIRD-B              over the south Indian ocean

BIRD-B (BRAC Onnesha) :Bangladesh
BIRD-G (GhanaSat-1, ANUSAT-1):Ghana
BIRD-J (Toki) :Japan
BIRD-M (Mazaalai, NUMSAT-1) :Mongolia
BIRD-N (EduSat-1) :Nigeria

A QSL is issued for a reception report. Please check the BIRDS web site.
http://birds.ele.kyutech.ac.jp/amateur.html

Live broadcast of the deployment is planned by JAXA.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP5YZi5usHc

BIRDS Project Newsletter Issue No.17
http://birds.ele.kyutech.ac.jp/files/BIRDS_Newsletter_Issue_No_17.pdf

73 Masa JN1GKZ Tokyo Japan

Amateur Radio BIRDS-1 CubeSat Constellation
https://amsat-uk.org/2016/08/11/ham-radio-birds-constellation/

Russian Satellites Tanusha 1 and 2 set for Activation

A Tanusha CubeSat

Two Russian satellites are planned to be activated inside the International Space Station (ISS) Russian Segment as part of a verification test from July 4-8.

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

The satellites will eventually be deployed by hand from the ISS during a Russian space walk tentatively scheduled for August 17, 2017.

The satellites Tanusha 1 and Tanusha 2 [спутники Тануша 1/2], will be downlinked at 145.800 MHz FM. Transmissions from Tanusha 1 should begin around 18:30 UT on July 4. Transmissions will cease on July 6 from 08:20 till 18:00 UT to allow the satellites to be swapped out. Tanusha 2 will then be activated beginning on July 6 around 18:00 UT and continue until July 8 at 10:30 UT.

The satellites will broadcast greeting messages in Russian, English, Spanish and Chinese. More details will be made available on the Southwest Western State University site at https://www.swsu.ru/

Source ARISS

Greeting messages recorded from Tanusha-1 from inside the ISS
https://chertseyradioclub.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/thersgb-hamradio-amsat-pic.html

Greetings messages from Tanusha-2 from inside the ISS
https://chertseyradioclub.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/greetings-messages-from-tanusha-2-from.html

The satellites are also referred to as Tanyusha-SWSU 1 & 2, or Tanyusha-YuZGU 1 & 2, or Танюша-ЮЗГУ 1 & 2, or Radioskaf 6 & 7 (RS6S, RS7S) http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/tanyusha-yuzgu-1.htm

Tomsk-TPU-120 was launched to the ISS in 2016. It is reportedly very similar to Tanusha-1 and there is a possibility it may be deployed with the Tanusha CubeSats during the Russian spacewalk (EVA) around August 17 https://amsat-uk.org/2016/12/29/tomsk-tpu-120-eva-deployment/

Southwest Western State University SWSU in Google English http://tinyurl.com/RussiaSWSU

Listen to the ISS using an Online Radio – Select Frequency of 145800.0 kHz and Mode FM
• SUWS WebSDR when ISS in range of London http://websdr.suws.org.uk/
• R4UAB WebSDR when ISS is over Russia

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