Videos of AMSAT Symposium talks

Videos of the presentations given at the 2018 William A. Tynan W3XO Memorial Space Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama, on Friday/Saturday November 2/3 are now available

Schedule of symposium presentations

Watch Friday, November 2

Watch Saturday, November 3

The JOTA-JOTI FUNcube Challenge

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch Rev4 20100609

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch

In space, satellites can be found. A recent development in this area are the “CubeSat” satellites.

Normal satellites typically have a size ranging from that of a washing machine to a small truck.

CubeSats have the size of a milk-carton!

The JOTA-JOTI FUNcube Challenge focuses on the FUNcube-1 (AO-73) CubeSat satellite. During the Jamboree On The Air (JOTA-JOTI) on October 19-21, a special, coded, message will be transmitted. This message can be received with a simple 2m handheld antenna, e.g. HB9CV, a small yagi or even a vertical, and a SDR-dongle or any SSB radio for 2m. The data is sent by the satellite on its telemetry channel of 145.935 MHz (1200bd BPSK modulated). You will need to set your receiver to Upper Side Band (USB). If you use a FUNcube dongle, you can directly receive the satellite.

Sixth Staines Scouts with Chertsey Radio Club completing the JOTA FUNcube Challenge

The message is coded using the Enigma cipher machine. The deciphering key and Enigma settings can be obtained by answering the questions below.

The message sent by the satellite follows the following format: JOTA JOTI START coded message STOP

Your deciphered message can be mailed to: JJ.Satellite.Challenge (at) ( (at)=@)

The mail should contain your name, age, country and Scout group name and the correct answer!

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

If you have any pictures of the reception of the satellite with your group, this would also be highly appreciated, we would love to see how you did it!

If your answer is right and mailed before the 1st of November 2018, you will participate in a raffle.

The winner will get some products from
Have a lot of fun and good luck! Best 73s, Wouter PA3WEG and Jeroen PE1RGE

Information about the FUNcube1 can be found at:

Possible online Enigma coding machines:

Background information on the Enigma can be found here:

The message is coded with an Enigma M3, Navy version. Plugboard (Steckerbrett) is not used!!

FUNcube-1 Launch Day Mug

The questions for obtaining the deciphering key:

1.) A geostationary satellite has an altitude above the earths surface of (approximately):
A. 20200 km or 12600 miles – First rotor is rotor III
B. 35786 km or 22236 miles – First rotor is rotor V
C. 42164 km or 26199 miles – First rotor is rotor VII

2.) NASA has selected over 300 astronauts since 1959,
A. None of them was ever active in Scouting – First rotor alphabet setting (ringstellung) A
B. Not more than 37 of them were active in Scouting – First rotor alphabet setting
(ringstellung) F
C. More than 200 were/are active in Scouting – First rotor alphabet setting (ringstellung) S

3.) The average distance between the moon and the earth is:
A. 1738 km or 1080 miles – First rotor initial setting (grundstellung) D
B. 12742 km or 7918 miles – First rotor initial setting (grundstellung) G
C. 385001 km or 239228 miles – First rotor initial setting (grundstellung) H

4.) AMSAT, an organisation involved in launching a number of radio amateur satellites was founded in:
A. 1969 – Second rotor is rotor II
B. 1978 – Second rotor is rotor VI
C. 1991 – Second rotor is rotor VIII

5.) As satellites are flying extremely high in the sky, at least 100 Watts of transmit power is needed to establish communication with or through a satellite. Is this true or false?
A. True – Second rotor alphabet setting (ringstellung) D
B. False – Second rotor alphabet setting (ringstellung) C

6.) The Russian Sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite orbiting around the earth. When was this satellite launched?
A. October 4th, 1957 – Second rotor initial setting (grundstellung) A
B. January 31st, 1958 – Second rotor initial setting (grundstellung) G
C. July 20th, 1969 – Second rotor initial setting (grundstellung) F

7.) The abbreviation OSCAR means:
A. Open Source Communication for Amateur Radio – Third rotor is rotor III
B. Outer Space Charge – free Amateur Radio – Third rotor is rotor IV
C. Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio – Third rotor is rotor I

8.) Signals from a satellite are characterized by Doppler-shift, this means:
A. The frequency of the transmitted signal appears to be higher when the satellite is moving towards you. – Third rotor alphabet setting (ringstellung) T
B. The frequency of the transmitted signal appears to be lower when the satellite is moving towards you. – Third rotor alphabet setting (ringstellung) U

9.) If a radio amateur wants to communicate through satellites he/she needs to do an additional exam in order to obtain a special license, the Amateur Radio Operator License (AROL). True or false?
A. True – Third rotor initial setting (grundstellung) R
B. False – Third rotor initial setting (grundstellung) M

10.) Radio amateurs can make radio contact with the ISS (International Space Station)?
A. Yes – Reflector B
B. No – Reflector C

Download PDF of the JOTA-JOTI 2018_FUNcube_Challenge

Autumn issue of OSCAR News now available for download

OSCAR News 223 Autumn 2018 Front CoverE-members of AMSAT-UK can now download the Autumn 2018 edition of OSCAR News here.

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

In this issue:
• From the Secretary’s Keyboard
• 2018 Meetings & Events calendar
• Programme for the 2018 Colloquium
• A Newcomer to Satellites and a First Rove – to Iceland!
• Mini Rove by Pete Green G0ABI
• MacDoppler Pro
• OSCAR NEWS – The Editors are retiring!
• The First OSCAR spacecraft is now in orbit around the moon
• Inter MAI-75 ISS SSTV
• FUNcube-1 after almost five years’ service!
• AMSAT-UK Construction Competition
• NASA Upgrades Space Station Emergency Communications Ground Stations
• EA8/DL4ZAB operation
• AMSAT-UK 2017-2018 Statement of Accounts
• Work at Goonhilly
• Charter Member, Past AMSAT President William A. “Bill” Tynan, W3XO, SK
• My Radio Life by Bill Tynan, W3XO, (Part 1)
• Keynote Speaker at Colloquium
• EMF 2018
• Es’Hail-2 Launching soon!
• AMSAT-UK update – upcoming launches and other news
• Notice Of The 2018 Annual General Meeting Of AMSAT-UK
• Youngsters On The Air 2018 – South Africa

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

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

Ada Lace book features amateur radio and space communications

Emily Calandrelli KD8PKR with her new Ada Lace book

Emily Calandrelli KD8PKR with her new Ada Lace book

Ada Lace, Take Me to Your Leader is a new book written for young people by Emily Calandrelli KD8PKR that features amateur radio and space communications.

Ada is an 8-year-old with a knack for science, mathematics, and solving mysteries with technology. Her latest project is to fix up a ham radio, something that she could use to contact people on this planet and beyond.

The book is available on Amazon at

Emily Calandrelli KD8PKR

What is Amateur Radio?

Find a UK amateur radio training course near you

Free online amateur radio Foundation course

King’s High School ARISS contact on BBC TV

Nicola Beckford from BBC TV interviewing Eleanor Griffin before the ARISS contact - image credit KHS

Nicola Beckford from BBC TV interviewing Eleanor Griffin before the ARISS contact – image credit KHS

On April 19 student Eleanor Griffin led the live question and answer session between King’s High School and Warwick Preparatory School (GB4KHS) and astronaut Ricky Arnold KE5DAU on the International Space Station (NA1SS).

Nicola Beckford reporting for BBC Midlands TV on Kings High School ARISS contact - image credit KHS

Nicola Beckford reporting for BBC Midlands TV on Kings High School ARISS contact – image credit KHS

King’s High School strongly encourage their girls to develop their interests both inside and outside the classroom. This culture of empowerment led one of their girls, Eleanor Griffin, to apply to ARISS Europe (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) for a highly prestigious link-up to the International Space Station.

When Eleanor Griffin was selected to hold a space conversation with an astronaut, she was inspired to set up the Warwick Mars Project, for students across the Warwick Independent Schools Foundation, to further interest in Space Science. Eleanor says: “The moon landings belong to the generation of our grandparents, and the International Space Station to our parents. What will happen in our generation? Will Mankind travel to another planet?”

After the ISS contact when asked what this incredible experience had taught her Eleanor replied “Just do it! No one is going to stop you, if you just go and pursue your dreams, you really can do anything.”

Watch the BBC TV news item broadcast on Midlands Today @bbcmtd. Fast forward to 18:45 into the recording at

In this video the students present their work and activities that lead up the contact, followed at 12:11 by a presentation by ARISS Operations UK team lead Ciaran Morgan M0XTD with the ISS contact commencing at 31:32 into the video

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)

King’s High School Warwick

“NASA on the Air” ham radio events

Kennedy Space Center Amateur Radio Club members Dennis Veselka KI4KNC and Scott Vangen WB0QMZ

Kennedy Space Center Amateur Radio Club members Dennis Veselka KI4KNC and Scott Vangen WB0QMZ

NASA is known for communicating with astronauts on missions to space, but did you know regular citizens can radio NASA too?

From the end of this year through the next, NASA will mark several key milestones. Amateur radio clubs at agency centers across the nation plan to celebrate these occasions with several “NASA on the Air” events.

“We enjoy sharing NASA’s story as part of the fun of making contact with fellow ham radio operators across the nation and around the world,” said Kevin Zari KK4YEL, who is activities officer for the Amateur Radio Club at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. “We occasionally communicate with people who think that because we’re not flying the space shuttle anymore, NASA has almost gone out of business. We tell them about activities such as the International Space Station and the Space Launch System, and they appreciate the update.”

Amateur, or ham, radio operators use a frequency spectrum for communicating noncommercial and private messages. One of the most important uses of ham radio operations is providing emergency messaging following disasters, such as the recent Hurricane Maria that destroyed most avenues of communication in Puerto Rico.

“The amateur radio clubs at NASA centers are made up of civil servants, contractors and tenants who participate on their own time,” said Zari, who has been at Kennedy since 1990 and is chief technology officer in the Mission and Support Office of Exploration Research and Technology Programs. “We all have a common goal to show our support for NASA and highlight some of the agency’s amazing accomplishments.”

Read the full NASA story at

What is Amateur Radio?

Find a UK amateur radio training course