IARU Paper: APRS Harmonization and removal of OSCAR sub-band

IARU_Region_1_logoIARU Region 1 has released the papers for the Interim Meeting to be held in Vienna April 15-17, 2016.

Among the papers for the C5 VHF/UHF/Microwave Committee is one on harmonizing APRS.

VIE16_C5_41_1.pdf – 144 /435 MHz APRS Harmonisation

The paper covers global band planning considerations and among the recommendations says:

Emphasise that spaceborne APRS must be confined to globally coordinated amateur satellite sub bands. Therefore items that are ambiguous and generate confusion in national band plans such as ‘Space communications’ and ‘New Oscar Sub band’ should be removed as soon as possible in all Regions in accordance with IARU-AC and Satellite Coordination guidance

It is believed that ‘New Oscar Sub band’ refers to the USA’s ARRL 144 MHz band plan and ‘Space communications’  to the Australian WIA 144 MHz band plan. These band plans, as well as those for some other countries, show 144.300 – 144.500 MHz as being for Amateur Satellite use.

Direct link for C5 VHF/UHF/Microwave Papers
http://www.iaru-r1.org/index.php/documents/Documents/VHF/C5-papers-v2.zip/

Links for all committee papers and email addresses of Committee Chairs are at
http://www.iaru-r1.org/index.php/88-news/1518-interim-meeting-vienna-2017
[Although URL says 2017 the meeting is 2016]

ARRL 144 MHz Band Plan http://www.arrl.org/band-plan

WIA 144 MHz Band Plan http://www.wia.org.au/members/bandplans/data/documents/Australian%20Band%20Plan%202m%20150729.pdf

LAPAN-A2 Launch

LAPAN-A2

LAPAN-A2

An Indonesian satellite LAPAN-A2/ORARI, carrying an FM transponder and an APRS digipeater, is planned to launch September 28, 2015 on India’s PSLV-C30 rocket.

The satellite will be deployed in a 650 km near equatorial orbit with an inclination of between 6 and 8 degrees enabling it to cross the territory of Indonesia 14 times a day. The low inclination orbit means it will not be receivable in the UK.

The primary aims of the mission are Earth observation using an RGB camera and maritime traffic monitoring using AIS, both using frequencies outside the Amateur Satellite Service.

The IARU has coordinated these frequencies for LAPA-A2/ORARI:
• 437.425 MHz telemetry beacon
• 435.880 MHz FM uplink
• 145.880 MHz FM downlink (5 watts)
• 145.825 APRS digipeater (5 watts)

A recording of the telemetry signal can be heard at https://chirb.it/MrgLGy

LAPAN-A2 paper
http://www.researchgate.net/publication/259844289_Development_of_Micro-satellite_Technology_at_the_Indonesian_National_Institute_of_Aeronautics_and_Space_%28LAPAN%29

AMSAT-ID Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/831872960241607/

Organisasi Amatir Radio Indonesia (ORARI) in Google English http://tinyurl.com/IndonesiaORARI

The IARU Region 3 Conference takes place in Bali, Indonesia, October 12-16, 2015
https://amsat-uk.org/2015/08/21/iaru-region-3-act-on-band-plan-satellite/

Do not Digipeat via PCSAT

US Naval Academy PCSAT

US Naval Academy PCSAT

As has been reported in the RSGB News, the PCSAT spacecraft was launched September 30, 2001 and has, due to an on-board power system issue, started to transmit APRS again on 144.390 MHz.

Although this is the correct frequency for APRS operation in IARU Region 2, it is not compatible with our Region 1 bandplan which has this part of the band designated for weak signal and particularly Meteor Scatter operation.

The orbit of this spacecraft means that sometimes it is in full sunlight and, at other times, it is eclipsed for a major percentage of the orbit. As the on-board batteries have lost their ability to hold a charge, the problem can only occur when it is in sunlight.

Various methods of mitigate this problem are presently under active consideration but in the meantime it is important that no amateur in Region 1 should attempt to digipeat through this spacecraft. Additionally those amateurs on the east coast of the American continent are also requested not to attempt to activate the spacecraft when it can be “seen” from Europe.

At IARU level, further work is being undertaken to reduce the risk from future spacecraft potentially causing similar problems. Such problems could result from developers not following the globally agreed bandplans for amateur satellite operations. In particular the IARU Satellite Coordinator has been requested to make urgent contact with the team responsible for XW-2(CAS-3) mission of nine satellites from China. Some of the proposed frequencies do not respect the internationally agreed Region 1 Bandplan for 2 metres.

Interference from PC-Sat reported July 28, 2002 http://home.hccnet.nl/uffe.noucha/pcsat

Amateur Satellites at Skills Night

Steve Hedgecock M0SHQ sending Packet Radio to the ISS

Steve Hedgecock M0SHQ sending Packet Radio to the ISS

The Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society Skills Nights, are hosted by the CARS Training Team and continue to be a popular and appealing event, especially for newcomers to the hobby.

There was an excellent turnout on the evening of Monday, June 15 with 68 people signing in.

A major highlight of this month’s event was a live demonstration of amateur APRS packet data on 145.825 MHz FM from the International Space Station (ISS) as its flew overhead. Steve Hedgecock M0SHQ had clear reception and even managed to get a few of his own packets sent and relayed by the ISS.

Andrew Garratt M0NRD in Newark-on-Trent was one of those who received Steve’s packets and he immediately sent an eQSL.

Steve had received his new Elk 2m/70cms Log Periodic satellite antenna from the AMSAT-UK shop just a few days before and it performed admirably. During the evening Steve explained how to get started with amateur satellites. They can be received on handheld rigs and worked using low power, just 5 or 10 watts. Further information can be found at https://amsat-uk.org/beginners

On May 31 Steve M0SHQ was filmed making contacts via the SO-50 satellite by the team from the TX Factor TV show so you may see him in one of their future videos.

Satellites were just one aspect of great evening, with a wide range of activities from home construction to how to operate portable taking place. Read the report on the evening at http://www.essexham.co.uk/news/skills-night-june-2015-report.html and http://www.g0mwt.org.uk/skills/cars-skills-jun2015.htm

The next CARS Skills Night will be on Monday, July 20. It’s free to attend and all are welcome.

PSAT PSK31 CubeSat Update May 24

PSAT PSK31 FM Downlink received by Martin G8JNJ at 1429 UT May 22, 2015 using the online SUWS WebSDR

PSAT PSK31 FM Downlink received by Martin G8JNJ at 1429 UT May 22, 2015 using the online SUWS WebSDR

Bob Bruninga WB4APR released this update on the PSAT PSK31 CubeSat on Sunday, May 24

28 MHz PSK31 Receiver Board Flight Prototype - Brno University of Technology

28 MHz PSK31 Receiver Board Flight Prototype – Brno University of Technology

The PSAT PSK31 435.350 MHz FM downlink is full quieting with 6 bars using a decent UHF Yagi. But we have not seen any users other than those using the 28.120 PSK channel on HF normally. We welcome people to experiment with it.

Everyone within the 28.120 to 28.123 MHz ten meter passband will be uplinked and heard on the 435.350 MHz downlink.

The Naval Academy’s PSAT seems healthy with plenty of power (we are keeping the APRS digipeater off to allow max power for PSK31).

PSAT’s radio and packet system are a simple $250 APRS tracker http://www.byonics.com/mtt4b sent to space. The PSK31 transponder is a single 3.4″ square circuit board made by Brno Universtiy in the Czech Republic. The CPU for controlling bulletins and timing is a simple Parallax Basic Stamp.

PSAT is actually only about a 1U cubesat but in a 1.5U package since the flight was available and it gave us more power for our NON-SPACE solar cells. We are using standard silicon that are only half as efficient as multi-junction cells, but only cost 1% as much.

PSAT has a single 21″ VHF  and 72″ long HF whip. It has two UHF 6″ orthogonal monopoles, all of very thin Nitinol wire.

More details will eventually follow as the page will be updated over the coming weeks http://aprs.org/psat.html

* PSAT packet telemetry is OK, Digipeater will be off (secondary mission)
* PSAT PSK31 transponder is ON with 28.120 MHz uplink! (primary mission)
* WOD data fixed.  Spin data now available.  Right now it is at 3 RPM with
+Z pointing 45 deg off Sun
* Launch TLE elements (below) are still very good
* http://PCSAT.APRS.ORG web page is now capturing PSAT telelmetry that
users inject into the APRS-IS
* BRICSAT telemetry has been heard but is cycling OFF due to low power
* BRICSAT PSK31 downlink (also FM) has also been heard barely (when ON)
* USS Langley not heard

Frequencies:

PSAT: 145.825 – 1200 baud AX.25 telemetry – digi off
PSAT PSK31-5: 435.350 FM down, 28.120 SSB PK31 uplink – Brno University Transponder

BRICsat: 437.975 – 9600 baud telemetry evry 20s
BRICsat PSK31-6 – same as PSAT but PSK TLM on 375 Hz (PSAT on 315 Hz)

USS Langley – 437.475  9600 baud telemetry  <== CORRECTION

ULTRASat3  
1 99993U          15140.67013889  .00040043  00000-0  10235-2 0 00009
2 99993 055.0004 339.9238 0251027 182.3314 074.3075 15.12517086000014

Bob, WB4APR

Guide to using the PSK31 transponder https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/how-to-work-psk31-satellites/

ParkinsonSAT (PSAT) http://www.aprs.org/psat.html

Fldigi PSK31 software http://www.w1hkj.com/Fldigi.html

Listen to satellite signals in the 145 and 435-438 MHz bands from anywhere in the world using the online SUWS WebSDR located near London. Further details at https://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

AMSAT-UK
Web https://amsat-uk.org/
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Facebook https://facebook.com/AmsatUK
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Yahoo Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FUNcube

PSK31 and APRS CubeSat Status Update

PSAT PSK31 FM Downlink received by Martin G8JNJ at 1429 UT May 22, 2015 using the online SUWS WebSDR

PSAT PSK31 FM downlink received by Martin G8JNJ at 1429 UT May 22, 2015 using the online SUWS WebSDR

Martin Ehrenfried G8JNJ reports receiving the PSAT PSK31 FM downlink on the online SUWS WebSDR located at Farnham near London.

Bob Bruninga WB4APR has posted two updates on May 21 and May 22 to the AMSAT Bulletin Board about the three USNA CubeSats PSAT, BRICSAT and USS Langley along with a guide on how to use the PSK31 transponder. These can be seen below.

Status Summary – Day 2 – May 21

We now have heard 4 of 5 transmitters from our 3 spacecraft all still in a close cluster:
* PSAT packet is OK but WOD not working (no digipeating for users yet)
* PSAT PSK31 downlink is ok [remember, it is FM!]
* BRICSAT telemetry has been heard but is cycling OFF due to low power
* BRICSAT PSK31 downlink (also FM) has also been heard barely (when ON)
* USS Langley not heard

28 MHz PSK31 Receiver Board Flight Prototype - Brno University of Technology

28 MHz PSK31 Receiver Board Flight Prototype – Brno University of Technology

PSAT CPU shows the 4 day-fail-safe backup reset circuit is not counting down, so we have lost this (1 of 3) fail safe backup RESET capabilities. Bad line of code already found.  But cannot change it.

PSAT is not properly reporting WOD data and S#… STATUS packets are being bundled until 255 byte packet length is reached and then it all comes down at once.  Noone has captured any of these long packets.  Please try with PASSALL ON so that you can receive partial packets.

Awaiting permission from Brno University of Technology to authorize HF user uplinks on PSAT PSK31. UPDATE May 22 Here is the announcement from Brno University: “We can uplink open to all users. Please, do it.”Mirek OK2AQ.

BRICSAT PSK31 transponder is on identical frequencies as PSAT’s.  You can tell them apart because one has PSK Telemetry on 315 Hz and the other is on 365 Hz.  Both on the UHF FM downlink 435.350 MHz

We’d LOVE to hear from USS Langley, and we’d love to capture one of those long WOD packets from PSAT.  Our ground station is only getting a few packets compared to some submissions from others.  Keep it up.

SUMMARY:

145.825 1.5U  CubeSat – PSAT 1200 baud AX.25
435.350 same CubeSat – PSAT PSK31 FM – Brno University transponder

437.975 1.5U  CubeSat – BRICsat 9600 baud
435.350 same CubeSat – BRICsat PSK31 FM – Brno University transponder

437.475 3.0U  CubeSat – USS Langley 9600 bd

ULTRASat3 
1 99993U          15140.67013889  .00040043  00000-0  10235-2 0 00009
2 99993 055.0004 339.9238 0251027 182.3314 074.3075 15.12517086000014

Bob, WB4APR

Status Summary – Day 3 – May 22

* PSAT packet telemetry is OK, Digipeater will be off (secondary mission)
* PSAT PSK31 transponder is ON with 28.120 MHz uplink! (primary mission)
* WOD data fixed.  Spin data now available.  Right now it is at 3 RPM with
+Z pointing at Sun
* Launch TLE elements (below) are 6 minutes ahead of satellite
* PCSAT.APRS.ORG web page is now also capturing PSAT telelmetry downlinks
* BRICSAT telemetry has been heard but is cycling OFF due to low power
* BRICSAT PSK31 downlink (also FM) has also been heard barely (when ON)
* USS Langley not heard

Only fault so far is the loss of the 4 day-fail-safe backup reset circuit
(1 of 3) fail safe backup RESET capabilities.  The lack of WOD data was
because we had a LOW-POWER bits set that was holding it off.

BRICSAT PSK31 transponder is on identical frequencies as PSAT’s.  You can
tell them apart because one has PSK Telemetry on 315 Hz and the other is
on 365 Hz.  Both on the UHF FM downlink 435.350 MHz

Bob, WB4APR

Receiving the PSAT PSK31 FM downlink

BRICsat 435.350 MHz FM PSK31 signal received by Tetsurou Satou JA0CAW at 2057 UT on May 22, 2015

BRICsat 435.350 MHz FM PSK31 signal received by Tetsurou Satou JA0CAW at 2057 UT on May 22, 2015

Receiving the PSAT (and BRICsat) 435.350 MHz FM downlink is as simple as placing  your PSK31 laptop microphone next to the speaker on your FM satellite UHF receiver and just watching the waterfall.

What you see is exactly what everyone else sees (it’s FM).  There is no Doppler added to the tones due to your station’s position relative to the satellite.  But you DO have to retune your FM radio at least 3 times during the pass (+5 kHz, 0, -5 kHz) to stay in the FM passband. [Note: UK users should remember to selected the wide FM (5 kHz deviation) filter setting on their rigs]

User uplinks, however, will shift in the waterfall according to each user’s position relative to the satellite.  The shift can be as low as 1 Hz per second to as high as 6 Hz per second.  This is because the uplink is on 10 meters where the Doppler rate is only 1/15th of what it would be on UHF.

The TELEMETRY channel at 315 Hz (PSAT) or 375 Hz (BRICsat) is FIXED with no Doppler since it is generated onboard into the FM downlink

WHAT TO DO:

1) We will need PSK31 authors to open the PSK31 frequency tracking to accommodate more than 1 Hz per second Doppler tracking.  Current implementations can do 1 Hz/s but completely fail at 3 Hz/s.  2 Hz/s might work a little…

2) Until then, ANY uplink user that is in line with a direct overhead pass will have minimum Doppler at the start and end of his pass (1 Hz/sec) when the satellite is going right at him and directly away from him.  (Though it will be MAX (6 Hz/sec) when it passes over her/his station).

3) Just turn on MULTI CHANNEL window and let the PSK31 decode everyone.The ones with the least Doppler at any instant may be decoded for a while!

USERS can transmit later when BRNO University says it has completed its tests.  Brno provided the transponders for use in the PSAT and BRICsat satellites.

So start preparing your station to TX PSK31 on 10 meters SSB and to receive the audio from an FM UHF rig on 435.350 +/- 5 kHz steps of Doppler.

DOWNLINK Limitations:  The UHF downlink signal is only 300 mW and so a UHF beam is needed on the downlink.

UPLINK RESTRICTIONS:  *NOTHING MORE THAN* a Vertical 1/4 wave or Dipole is authorized on the 10m uplink  and no more than 25 Watts (for now).

Remember a 1/4 wave vertical is the ideal antenna because it maximizes the signal at lower angles and tapers the signal as the satellite gets closer. This keeps  user uplinks about the same during a pass.  Strong stations just drive down the AGC and ruin it for everyone.

Use minimum power!!  Remember, this is crossband FULL DUPLEX so  you can see yourself in the downlink just like everyone else can see you.  Act accordingly.  And of course DO NOT TRANSMIT if you cannot see the waterfall  … Duh!

Enjoy!
Bob, WB4APR

ParkinsonSAT (PSAT) http://www.aprs.org/psat.html

Fldigi PSK31 software http://www.w1hkj.com/Fldigi.html

Listen to satellite signals in the 145 and 435-438 MHz bands from anywhere in the world using the online SUWS WebSDR located near London. Further details at https://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

AMSAT-UK
Web https://amsat-uk.org/
Twitter https://twitter.com/AmsatUK
Facebook https://facebook.com/AmsatUK
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YouTube https://youtube.com/AmsatUK
Yahoo Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FUNcube