Additional Spectrum in EI – Clarification from IRTS

Frequency Table

Frequency Table

The very welcome announcement of the massive allocation by ComReg of low-band VHF spectrum to the Amateur Service raised some questions about the wording in the document.

Seán Nolan EI7CD, IRTS/ComReg Liaison, has kindly provided this clarification:

The use of AMSAT in ComReg Document 09/45 R4 is regrettable and is a legacy issue carried forward from earlier versions of the Amateur Station Licence Guidelines. Most of ComReg’s documents are commercially sensitive and no draft documents (other than consultations) are published. Although documents relating to amateur radio are not commercially sensitive we do fall under the non-publishing of draft documents embargo.

The use of AMSAT somewhat randomly confuses the actual situation regarding satellite operation. The frequencies in Annex 1 of the Guidelines are available to all CEPT Class 1 and Class 2 licensees. So far as satellite operation is concerned amateurs here can use the satellite segments mentioned (435-438 MHz; 1260-1270 MHz: 5650-5670 MHz –uplink and 5830-5850 MHz –downlink). The “All modes” in the Modes column in Annex 1 covers the relevant operating mode for the satellite concerned. Similarly 10450-10500 MHz can be used for satellite communications.

In the Modes column of Annex 1, all modes are indicated. In many cases “including digimodes” is stated but of course ‘all modes’ includes digimodes. In the definitions in Annex 1 digimodes are defined as “Any digital mode such as —–“. So DSTAR, DMR etc would be included.

We will of course work with ComReg to secure additional spectrum and facilities. The present initiative by ComReg is as a result of such work by IRTS. In this context we would hope in the future to get 2400-2450 MHz among the bands on general release.

Finally some people are wondering why we didn’t get 52-54 MHz. We have of course been seeking this. However, as you know the question of granting 52-54 MHz to Region 1 of the ITU to align with ITU Regions 2 and 3 is the subject of Agenda Item 1.1 of WRC-19. ComReg will be involved in in seeking to establish a CEPT Common Position and so will not move on it before WRC-19. If the IARU WRC-19 initiative is not successful we will seek a national allocation at 50-54 MHz under Article 4.4 of the ITU Radio Regulations.

I realise that the somewhat random use of “AMSAT” and the use of “All Modes” in some places and “All modes including digimodes” in others can lead to confusion. I hope my attempt to ‘clarify’ helps.

Best regards,

Seán Nolan EI7CD
IRTS/ComReg Liaison

The new ComReg amateur radio document can be downloaded from
http://comreg.ie/publication-download/amateur-station-license-guidelines

Amateur radio regulatory changes in Eire
https://amsat-uk.org/2018/05/01/amateur-radio-regulatory-changes-in-eire/

Amateur radio regulatory changes in Eire

ComReg LogoComReg‘s massive allocation of low-band VHF spectrum to radio amateurs in Eire is most welcome and sets an example to other regulators but other aspects of the regulations raise questions especially regarding Amateur-Satellite Service allocations.

Unusually for an official document ComReg seem to use “AMSAT” as an abbreviation for the ITU Amateur-Satellite Service, however, they fail to define exactly what they intend it to means. AMSAT is a registered trademark of a USA Corporation, see https://www.amsat.org/notification-of-trademark-copyright-and-other-proprietary-information/

Frequency Table

Frequency Table

The low-band VHF Amateur Service allocations are now:
30.0-49.0 MHz 50 watts
50.0-52.0 MHz 100 watts
54.0-69.9 MHz 50 watts
69.9-70.5 MHz 50 watts

The national amateur radio society, IRTS, are to be congratulated on achieving amateur access to so much spectrum.

The ComReg document as written appears to mean amateur satellite operation is not permitted in these ITU Amateur-Satellite Service allocations:
435-438 MHz
1260-1270 MHz
5650-5670 MHz
5830-5850 MHz

Oddly satellite operation is permitted in 430-432 MHz but there are no amateur satellites there!

Transmitting to amateur satellites operating in 2400-2450 MHz is only allowed with a Special Permit, it’s not included as standard in the licence. Even with the Permit amateurs will be restricted to a transmitter output of just 25 watts.

ComReg limit which modes that can be used in each band by listing three-character ITU Emission Designators. For example X7F is among those permitted for the 54.0-69.9 MHz band and means Digital Amateur TV (e.g. DVB-S) can be used. Unfortunately it appears to be the only band where X7F is permitted, an unnecessary restriction.

The Emission Designators for digital voice modes such as D-STAR and DMR don’t appear to be listed anywhere suggesting they cannot be used.

In 2006 the UK regulator Ofcom adopted a Technology Neutral approach to amateur radio, they scrapped listing of specific Emission Designators and allowed all modes to be used. It is unfortunate ComReg hasn’t taken this opportunity to do the same.

The new ComReg amateur radio document can be downloaded from
http://comreg.ie/publication-download/amateur-station-license-guidelines

Jeri Ellsworth AI6TK will be AMSAT/TAPR Banquet Speaker during Hamvention

Jerri Ellsworth AI6TK

Jerri Ellsworth AI6TK

Entrepreneur and electrical engineer Jeri Ellsworth AI6TK will be guest speaker at the AMSAT/TAPR banquet which takes place during Hamvention 2018 in May.

The twelfth annual joint AMSAT/TAPR Banquet will be held on Friday, May 18 at the Kohler Presidential Banquet Center, 4572 Presidential Way, Kettering, OH 45429 (just south of Dayton). Doors open at 6:30 PM for a cash bar with the buffet dinner served at 7:00 PM.

Jeri Ellsworth, AI6TK, will present on her innovative ideas and adventures in Amateur Radio. Jeri is an American entrepreneur, self-taught engineer, and an autodidact computer chip designer and inventor.

She gained notoriety in 2004 for creating a complete Commodore 64 system on a chip housed within a joystick, called C64 Direct-to-TV. That “computer in a joystick” could run 30 video games from the
early 1980’s, and at peak, sold over 70,000 units in a single day via the QVC shopping channel.

Ellsworth co-founded CastAR (formerly Technical Illusions) in 2013 and stayed with the company until its closure on June 26, 2017. In 2016, she passed all three amateur radio exams, earned her Amateur Extra license, and received the AI6TK callsign. This has now launched new adventures into Amateur Radio. She has been featured in January 2017 QST and in YouTube videos from Quartzfest earlier this year. Jeri has been given a free hand to speak on whatever topic she wishes (as long as it’s amateur radio, somewhat).

Source AMSAT News Service

AMSAT at Hamvention https://www.amsat.org/other-events/amsat-activities-at-hamvention-2018/

Hamvention http://hamvention.org/

Jeri Ellsworth AI6TK
https://twitter.com/jeriellsworth
https://www.youtube.com/user/jeriellsworth

DSLWP Lunar Amateur Radio Satellites

Hu Chaoran BG2CRY tests 435/2250 MHz dish feed for DSLWP ground station - Image credit Wei Mingchuan BG2BHC

Hu Chaoran BG2CRY tests 435/2250 MHz dish feed for DSLWP ground station – Image credit Wei Mingchuan BG2BHC

Two microsatellites DSLWP-A and DSLWP-B carrying amateur radio payloads are planned to launch with the Chang’e 4 Relay satellite on a CZ-4C from the Xichang Space Center into lunar orbit early Monday, May 21 Beijing time (2130 GMT May 20).

Chen Yue with 435/2250 MHz feed for the 12m dish at the DSLWP ground station - Image credit Wei Mingchuan BG2BHC

Chen Yue with 435/2250 MHz feed for the 12m dish at the DSLWP ground station – Image credit Wei Mingchuan BG2BHC

Wei Mingchuan BG2BHC reports DSLWP is a lunar formation flying mission for low frequency radio astronomy, amateur radio and education, consists of two microsatellites.

Developed by students at the Harbin Institute of Technology the amateur radio payload onboard DSLWP-A1 will provide telecommand uplink and telemetry / digital image downlink. An open telecommand is also designed to allow amateurs to send commands to take and download an image.

The satellites are 50x50x40 cm with a mass of about 45 kg and are 3-axis stabilized. Two linear polarization antennas are mounted along and normal to the flight direction.

The downlinks for DSLWP-A1 are 435.425 MHz and 436.425 MHz while downlinks for DSLWP-A2 are 435.400 MHz and 436.400 MHz using 10K0F1DCN or 10K0F1DEN. Will use 250/500 bps GMSK with turbo code or JT4G. Uplinks are reported to be in the 144 MHz band.

Nico PA0DLO says the two satellites, (also known as LongJiang 1 and 2) are planned to perform formation flying in a high elliptical orbit around the Moon (300 x 9000 km).

After launch it will take about 4 and a half days to reach the Moon. This GMAT script should work well for the first days after launch
https://hamsat1.home.xs4all.nl/LongJiang_NYC.script

The groundstation used in this script is a random location in New York City. You can change this to your location by updating the values under the GroundStation tab in GMAT.

DSLWP Radio Information http://lilacsat.hit.edu.cn/wp/?page_id=844

Harbin Institute Of Technology Amateur Radio Club BY2HIT
Weibo: http://www.weibo.com/by2hit
QRZ: http://www.qrz.com/db/BY2HIT
Web in Google English: http://tinyurl.com/BY2HIT

Wei Mingchuan BG2BHC
https://github.com/bg2bhc/
https://twitter.com/bg2bhc

IARU Amateur Satellite Frequency Coordination pages http://www.amsat.org.uk/iaru/

DSLWP Lunar Satellite

DSLWP Lunar Satellite

Es’hail-2 geostationary satellite discussed in Doha

Michael, DF4HR, Wolfgang, DK2DO, Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, Mustapha, DL1BDF, Sabaan Mismar Al-Jassim, A71BP - Credit DARC

Michael, DF4HR, Wolfgang, DK2DO, Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, Mustapha, DL1BDF, Sabaan Mismar Al-Jassim, A71BP – Credit DARC

The DARC report the Es’hail-2 geostationary satellite, which will carry 2.4 to 10 GHz amateur radio transponders, was discussed at a meeting in Doha in January.

A Google-English translation of the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club e.V. post reads:

Es'hail-2 Geostationary Satellite

Es’hail-2 Geostationary Satellite

At the invitation of Sabaan Mismar Al-Jassim, A71BP, General Secretary of QARS, Mustapha Landoulsi, DL1BDF, Coordinator of the Foreign Office for Arabic-speaking Countries, visited Doha in January to discuss topics of common interest with the Qatari radio-comrades and engage in radio-related activities QARS to participate. He was accompanied by Michael Regitz, DF4HR, and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Borschel, DK2DO. The German OMs were u. a. by Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Energy.

The focus of the talks was information about the new satellite Es’hail-2, which will be launched this year from the United States. Es’hail-2 is the first geostationary satellite with an amateur radio payload and a joint project by Qatar’s Qatar Amateur Radio Federation, Qatar Satellite Company and AMSAT-DL. With the stationing of the Phase 4 satellite, amateur radio traffic from Asia via Europe to South America will result in previously unknown opportunities for new activities.

Al Attiyah, who continues to play a key role in the international energy dialogue as president of a foundation for energy and sustainable development, has accepted an invitation from DARC e. V. and pay a visit to the HAM RADIO in Friedrichshafen. He will be there u.a. the amateur radio community are available for questions. The visit offers the opportunity to continue to promote the cooperation between the amateur radio associations of both countries and the concerns of international amateur radio. This is reported by Mustapha Landoulsi, DL1BDF, and Helmut van Edig, DL3KBQ.

Source: http://darc.de/
Follow DARC at https://twitter.com/DARC_eV

Es’hail-2 is expected to be positioned at 25.5 degrees East, as yet no launch date has been announced. Amateur transponder frequencies https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/geosynchronous/eshail-2/

On February 25, 2018 Es’hailSat @eshailsat tweeted that Es’hail-2 reached a major milestone in spacecraft and ground compatibility, with successful completion of TT&C RF and baseband compatibility tests https://twitter.com/eshailsat/status/967678982404689920

Radio amateur brings her hobby to university

Ruth Willet KM4LAO

Ruth Willet KM4LAO

Kettering University reports student Ruth Willet KM4LAO brings her amateur radio expertise to campus.

Ruth, who is double majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Physics, was first licensed in June 2015. On her QRZ page she says:

“I love getting on the air on amateur radio satellites! I have operated from a number of grid squares in Georgia, Michigan, Virginia, and more. I am enjoying the challenge of balancing two radios and an arrow antenna, changing frequencies, and trying to talk on the satellite and remember callsigns at the same time! The more passes I do, the more I learn, and I am having a ton of fun. I started out on FM satellites only, and am slowly learning how to do linear satellites as well.”

The university article reports:

She has found that the skills she learns in classes go hand in hand with her amateur radio hobby. Willet plans to start up an Amateur Radio Club on campus in the spring 2018 term to get more students interested.

“I really enjoy sharing this hobby with other students,” she said. “I would encourage people to consider exploring amateur radio because it’s a hobby that allows you to explore anything from technical electronics to international friendships. Amateur radio is open to anyone. It will help develop your professional and personal skills, participate in and learn from fascinating activities, and connect with an incredible community.”

Read the Kettering University story at
https://news.kettering.edu/news/kettering-university-student-brings-ham-radio-hobby-expertise-campus

Watch Ruth’s satellite operation at GLHamCon ’17

Watch Ruth Willet – KM4LAO – 2017 Hamvention – DX Dinner Keynote Speaker

QRZ https://www.qrz.com/db/KM4LAO

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

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