ISS Packet Digipeater Back On 145.825 MHz FM

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

ARISS is pleased to announce that Packet Radio from the International Space Station is back on 145.825 MHz FM.

A few months back, the ARISS Team did the foot work and paperwork to launch the final copy of the Ericsson VHF handheld radio to the ISS.  This work was began in October after the unit onboard the ISS failed.  ARISS has been using the Ericssons for 16 years. In the last days of February, the launch vehicle, SpaceX 10’s Dragon, flew to the ISS.  Then the ISS crew had the odious job of unloading and unpacking 5,500 pounds of cargo along with the Ericsson HT.

ARISS got word this morning that we now have VHF capability back in the Columbus module.  Followers of ISS Fan Club have already posted that they’ve heard and used packet, and are thrilled.

In 2015, ARISS began its first fundraising campaigns.  It relies on NASA, ARRL, AMSAT and individual donors, along with ARISS volunteers to pay the day-to-day operations expenses and everything related to the hardware, testing, and certification.  Donors can go to http://www.amsat.org and http://www.ariss.org to support the program.

EMike McCardel, AA8EM
Rotating Editor AMSAT News Service

Almost any 144 MHz FM rig will receive the ISS, you can even use a general coverage VHF scanner with an external antenna. As far as the antenna is concerned the simpler the better. A ¼ wave ground plane has a high angle of radiation and works well. Large 144 MHz colinears are not as good because the radiation pattern is concentrated at the horizon while the ISS is above 15 degrees elevation for most of a pass.

You can receive the ISS outdoors using a 144 MHz hand-held with its helical antenna but a 1/4 wave whip will give far better results.

In the UK we use narrow 2.5 kHz deviation FM but the ISS transmits using the wider 5 kHz deviation used in much of the world. Most rigs can be switched been wide and narrow deviation filters so select the wider deviation. Hand-held rigs all seem to have a single wide filter fitted as standard.

How to work the ISS using APRS Packet Radio
https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/how-to-work-the-iss-on-aprs-packet-radio/

5 GHz – RSGB respond to Ofcom

The RSGB has published its response to the Ofcom statement on increasing the amount of the 5 GHz band that can be used for WiFi. The Amateur Satellite Service has a Space-to-Earth allocation at 5830-5850 MHz.

Annex 6 of the Ofcom 5 GHz statement says regarding Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) operation in 5725-5850 MHz:

“…once it becomes clear that this band will become used for Wi-Fi worldwide it will become less attractive for new satellites.”

“In Table 2 below we show the impact that different regulatory regimes for Wi-Fi might have on the exceedance of the protection criteria of the most sensitive satellites in 5.8 GHz assuming a comprehensive Wi-Fi roll-out across Europe and Africa.”

“As discussed previously, the risk of interference is an aggregate of all Wi-Fi use and so will rise slowly over a number of years rather than appearing suddenly.”

“The UK cannot cause interference to 5.8 GHz satellites on its own but it is fairly likely that Europe and Africa will follow our lead. This is likely to be driven by the potential for 5.8 GHz to become a worldwide Wi-Fi band.”

Response of RSGB to the Ofcom 5 GHz Statement
http://rsgb.org/main/files/2016/08/170411_RSGB_5GHz-WT-Regs-2017.pdf
http://rsgb.org/main/blog/spectrum-forum-posts-overview/spectrum-forum-papers-consultations/2016/08/01/5ghz-wi-fi/

Ofcom 5 GHz consultation and statement page
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations-and-statements/category-1/5-GHz-Wi-Fi

Direct link to Ofcom statement PDF
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0032/98159/5p8-Regs.pdf

Argentine balloon to fly to South Africa and beyond

Picoglobo Amateur Radio WSPR Balloon

Picoglobo Amateur Radio WSPR Balloon

On Saturday, April 8 at 08:00 GMT, weather permitting, Amsat Argentina plans to launch the amateur radio HF WSPR Leila PicoBalloon from the East Argentina coast.

This 24 gram PicoBalloon, with micro Atmel328, of long duration (circumnavigator) would flight around 13,500 meters height, possibly heading to South Africa and beyond.

Its tracker is powered by solar panels and a small supercapacitor, only emits during its day.

It will transmit every 10 minutes its WSPR 25mW beacon in 20m, dial in 14095.6 kHz USB, now active as test from Castelar, Buenos Aires.

The WSPR mode of K1JT is used to send and receive weak signals. It can receive up to 28dB below noise.

The 1st 2-minute broadcast transmits LU7AA, Locator and power in dBm, 2nd, height, temperature and voltage.

WSPR can be downloaded from http://amsat.org.ar/wspr.exe or http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/WSPR2_r1714.EXE

To operate connect PC audio output and input to the transceiver, it can also be coupled acoustically.

If running WSPR mark UPLOAD SPOTS, your reception reports via Internet will be uploaded  in wsprnet.

Each report uploaded to http://wsprnet.org/ will allow to see where is the picoballoon, heading, height, voltages, temp, and so on.

It is important to have the largest number of receiving stations, which will help track Leila.

There is a Spanish presentation available at http://amsat.org.ar/wspr.ppt

You could track Leila and see your own reports at: http://lu7aa.org/wspr.asp and / or http://aprs.fi?call=lu7aa-15

Thank you for being part of this experience and if possible disseminate this information.

73, LU7AA, Amsat Argentina
http://amsat.org.ar/
https://facebook.com/Amsat.LU

Spring issue of OSCAR News now available

E-members of AMSAT-UK can now download the Spring edition of OSCAR News here.

This edition has the latest information on the new Nayif-1 EO-88 CubeSat which carries a 435/145 MHz amateur radio linear transponder.

The paper edition should be sent to postal members in 2-3 weeks.

In this issue:
• From the Secretary
• 2017 Meetings & Events calendar
• UK Space Agency announces new Chief Executive
• Nayif-1 EO88 Launch and successful early operations
• AMSAT-UK Colloquium – 2017
• LAUNCH UK
• Using DVB-S2X and Annex M to implement low-cost Phase 4B Earth Station Terminals
• Erin Ryan Listens to ISS Astronaut Shane Kimbrough KE5HOD
• Chertsey Radio Club YOTA callsign
• ESEO Payloads – Reproduction of an A0 poster being used to promote ESEO at Surrey
• JSpOC Recommendations for Optimal CubeSat Operations
• The principle of forward error correction

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

PDF sample copy of “Oscar News” here.

Join AMSAT-UK using PayPal, Debit or Credit card at
http://shop.amsat-uk.org/

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

Beginners Guides to Satellite Operating

Amateur satellite operator Hope KM4IPF

Amateur satellite operator Hope KM4IPF

The web site of the Chertsey Radio Club now has beginners guides to operating the FM and SSB amateur radio satellites.

Getting started with FM satellites
http://chertseyradioclub.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/getting-started-with-fm-satellites.html

Getting started with SSB satellites
http://chertseyradioclub.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/ssb-ham-radio-satellites-beginners-guide.html

Recently club members have been working through the satellites from the historic site of Windsor Castle http://chertseyradioclub.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/windsor-castle.html

Additional information is available at https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/

ITF-2 (YUI-2) Satellite Update

ITF-2 Yui ProjectAtsushi Yasuda JI1OEH reports the ITF-2 (YUI-2) CubeSat entered normal operation phase on March 25 JST, it was deployed from the ISS on January 16, 2017.

Telemetry information and messages will be transmitted in this phase for the achievement of main mission.

The details of AWARD and SWL cards are:

AWARD:
With reference to the message on January 15 UTC, the First 100 Reports from overseas stations are qualified for this award. Only ten overseas stations sent report so far. Still enough award can be issued. Additionally, a souvenir, a sticky screen cleaner, will be given with this award.

The design motif is the small antenna of ITF-2
https://twitter.com/yui_tsukuba/status/841096655046758400

ITF-2 Flight Model

ITF-2 Flight Model

SWL cards:
Five designs are prepared. The stations which report more than five times can receive all designs. Also, the specially designed card will be presented to the stations which received a signal from the small antenna, because the reports are valuable to demonstrate the antenna in space. So far, two stations succeeded in the reception.

Designs of SWL cards
https://twitter.com/yui_tsukuba/status/846219342190555136

Further special events are planned for the promotion of receptions by more stations. This will be announced later.

There were some reception reports by very simple equipment, for example, Dipole or 5/8 wave length whip with USB tuner dongle (RTL2832).

The examples are
Ex1: https://twitter.com/dspic/status/842000948834717696
Ex2: https://twitter.com/dspic/status/826823146955120640

Reception reports can be submitted at:
https://operationitf-2.blogspot.jp/p/blog-page_58.html

Operation information of ITF-2: http://operationitf-2.blogspot.jp/

Looking forward to reports from more stations.

Atsushi Yasuda, JI1OEH
University of Tsukuba Satellite project