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G3BJ elected IARU Region 1 President

Jue, 09/25/2014 - 19:10

Don Beattie, G3BJ, former President of the RSGB, has been elected as IARU Region 1 President at the General Conference in Varna-Albena, Bulgaria.

During the Final Plenary of the 23rd IARU Region 1 General Conference, the following members were elected to serve on the Executive Committee:

President: Don Beattie, G3BJ

Vice President: Faisal Al-Ajmi, 9K2RR

Treasurer: Eva Thieman, HB9FPM / OK3QE

Secretary: Dennis Green, ZS4BS

Members:

Thilo Kootz, DL9KCE

David Court EI3IO

Oliver Tabakovski, Z32TO

Ivan Stauning, OZ7IS

Ranko Boca, 4O3A

The 24th IARU Region 1 General Conference will be held in Wildbad Kreuth, near Munich in Germany an hosted by the DARC.

Don Beattie G3OZF (now G3BJ) in Essex Chronicle newspaper July 21, 1972

In the 1970’s Don Beattie, then G3OZF, lived at East Hanningfield in Essex. He was a member of the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) and was subsequently made an Honorary Member. He was featured several times in the Chelmsford press promoting amateur radio and defending the right to antenna masts.

CARS Amateur Radio Training http://g0mwt.org.uk/training

IARU Region 1 http://iaru-r1.org/

AMSAT-UK Colloquium in TX Factor Show

Jue, 09/25/2014 - 12:48

In this episode of the TX Factor Show Bob McCreadie G0FGX reports from the recent AMSAT-UK Colloquium in Guildford, and finds time to test out the SuperAntenna Superstick delux package. Nick Bennett 2E0FGQ travels north and discovers a rather remarkable radio club.

Among those interviewed at the Colloquium are AMSAT-NA VP Operations Drew Glasbrenner KO4MA, Tom Harle from VR2Space, Graham Shirville G3VZV, Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG and Carlos Eavis G0AKI.

Watch TX Factor – Episode 5 (TXF005)

View recordings of the talks given at the Colloquium
http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/presentation-videos/

Previous editions of TX Factor are at https://www.youtube.com/user/txfactorshows/videos

TX Factor http://www.txfilms.co.uk/txfactor/

IARU R1 VHF/UHF/uW C5 meeting has started work

Mar, 09/23/2014 - 19:56

The key IARU Region 1 VHF, UHF and Microwave C5 Committee

The VHF, UHF and Microwave C5 Committee meeting has started work at the IARU Region 1 General Conference in Varna-Albena, Bulgaria.

The meeting discussed the 70 MHz IARU Region 1 initiative to obtain regulatory recognition in Europe for a secondary frequency allocation to the amateur service at 70 MHz. Also covered were the challenges to Amateur and Amateur-Satellite allocations in the UHF and Microwave bands.

24th IARU Region 1 General Conference opens
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/09/22/24th-iaru-region-1-general-conference-opens/

IARU Region 1 Conference documents and pictures http://iarur1con2014.bfra.bg/

23 cm band and WRC-2018 http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/13/23-cm-band-and-wrc-2018/

24th IARU Region 1 General Conference opens

Lun, 09/22/2014 - 22:26

Delegates at IARU Region 1 Conference 2014

The First Plenary of the 24th IARU Region 1 General Conference was opened at 10:30 on Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Grand Hall of the Flamingo Grand Hotel, Albena, Bulgaria.

The message of Dr Kristalina Georgieva, European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response was read by Mr Encho Gospodinov.

Dr Kristalina Georgieva

“Dear IARU Conference participants,

Dear radio messengers in times of trouble and hope

Friends, ladies and gentlemen,

It is my pleasure and privilege to address your General Conference. The timing for your gathering could not be more indicative for the world we live in and the challenges we all face today.

The lives of millions of people is impacted by troubling events: conflicts in Africa and the Middle East (and sadly, in Europe); natural disasters all over the world with all the un-predictabilities of the mother Nature and the responsibilities of the human beings for the Climate Change; human waves of migrants and refugees moving from one place to another, and assorted diseases often trailing the disasters and conflicts. In short, this is a world, which does not stop to surprise us every morning when we open the TV screen or a newspaper.

At the same time, the world has never been better connected and wired. Today\’s communications are a real miracle once considered a fantasy coming from the novels of Arthur Clarke or Rey Bradbury. Never before, we had this privilege to transmit or exchange information with such accuracy, speed and scope of distribution. And never before so many people from all corners of the world and all layers of the society had access to this information. The arrival of internet really made our planet a Global village and ever since our live changed forever in the way we deal with information. Politics, diplomacy, journalism, technology, science, research, banking, literally all changed overnight with this powerful instrument.

However, there are moments in life when a good, stable, reliable and independent information tool is the only one we can use to save lives. And this is the one we call simply the RADIO.

Imagine a major natural disaster, which knocks down all modern information tools in the affected area: with no electricity, no internet, no telephone and fax connections, not even the old telex machines. No trains and ships moving, no roads to use or airports functioning. Nothing. We know a tragedy has happened, we know many are dead, and even more still alive, but trapped and helpless. And no one can help them as nobody knows what has happened. Because there is no information.

Luckily, there is a last resort: the radio amateurs; the people who are the eyes and the ears of the world in time when all other information channels are silent. “Amateurs” is actually not the right word in this case: these are professional communicators who are listening to the heartbeat of the planet and registering the emotional vibrations of people who may be in danger. In short, you are the last technical miracle, which is independent, reliable information channel, which can transmit an important piece of news from any place in the world, any time, by anyone who knows how to operate this wonderful creature, called radio.

Your advantage is that you are independent. A well-trained radioman with good equipment and ever-charged batteries can be a fantastic link between two villages, two countries or two continents. When organized in a Union, you are a communication superpower in time of total electronic darkness. But the most important part of your equipment is the people you have; the Bravehearts of men and women listening to people who may be in danger and may need help; the professional live-savers called strangely amateurs, who nevertheless act as volunteers when and where they are needed.

IARU Region 1 VHF, UHF and Microwaves C5 Committee

In your history, you have many examples of lives being saved because some of your members caught a signal from a village, a region or un-accessible place that someone needs help. We need your skills and services because we will have more and more disasters in the future. The dry statistics reveal troubling trends: during the last 20 – 30 years, the number and the intensity of the natural disasters have increased dramatically. So did the number of people killed or affected. The earthquake in Haiti in 2010 killed 230 000 people alone ….  Between 2003 and 2012, some 6 700 disasters hit the planet with 2005 being the darkest one – 810 disasters in one year. Typhoons in the Philippines, floods in Pakistan, China or Europe, droughts and famine in Africa, garnished with conflicts, are now almost daily events. The economic losses from these disasters went up from $ 50 billion to $ 200 billion a year since the 80s.

Every Red Cross volunteer will tell you that during a disaster the most needed and precious live saving element is not food, water or medicines. It is the timely, accurate information that is the most needed. As timely and accurate information saves lives, prevents major tragedies, stops rumours, which create panic and leads to even more casualties. This is how solid information flow becomes the backbone of a successful communication strategy. In short, everything, which you do and helps your societies to organise themselves better, is vital. Local and national authorities count on you as the last bastion of reliable information channel. Your professional skills and your humanitarian duties make you more than radio amateurs; you are truly needed guardians in time of troubles and I hope you will always stay as a pillar of hope and courage for all who are in danger.

Thank you for your noble work. I wish you every success in this Conference.”

Kristalina Georgieva

Source IARU Region 1 http://iaru-r1.org/

IARU Region 1 Conference documents and pictures http://iarur1con2014.bfra.bg/

23 cm band and WRC-2018 http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/13/23-cm-band-and-wrc-2018/

Ofcom WRC-15 Consultation Responses

Lun, 09/22/2014 - 09:25

The RSGB report responses to the Ofcom consultation on WRC-15 prepared by the Society and affiliated groups including AMSAT-UK are now available in the WRC-15 Special Focus section.

In addition to supporting Agenda Item 1.4 for a 5MHz allocation, the detailed responses cover amateur radio interests across several VHF and Microwave allocations. This includes amateur bands affected by other agenda items, ITU procedures for nano- and pico-satellites, and preferences for future agenda items that may be proposed for WRC-18.

AMSAT-UK response

WRC-15 Special Focus section
http://rsgb.org/main/news/special-focus/wrc-15/wrc-15-papers/

For background see the parent RSGB WRC-15 page
http://rsgb.org/main/news/special-focus/wrc-15/

Frequencies of Es’hail 2 Geostationary Amateur Radio Transponders

Dom, 09/21/2014 - 18:51

Qatar Amateur Radio Society Geostationary Transponders Leaflet Page 1

 

The Qatar Amateur Radio Society released a leaflet about the geostationary amateur radio transponders at the IARU Region 1 Conference taking place September 20-27, 2014 in Varna-Albena, Bulgaria. The frequencies quoted are:

Amateur satellite service spectrum used by cell-phone masts in the UK

Linear transponder
2400.050-2400.300 MHz Uplink
10489.550-10489.800 MHz Downlink

Wideband digital transponder
2401.5-2409.5 MHz Uplink
10491.0-10499.0 MHz Downlink

In the UK the 10475-10500 MHz section of the Amateur Satellite Service allocation was auctioned by Ofcom for nationwide cell-phone backhaul links. The winner of the auction was T-Mobile(UK) now part of the phone company EE. The use of this segment of the band by cell-phone masts may cause problems to UK amateurs wishing to receive the transponders. See this spreadsheet of spectral masks for the 10 GHz links.

Gunter Krebs reports on his Space Pages that Es’hailSat has signed a contract with MELCO to build the Es’hail-2 Geostationary Comsat. Es’hail 2 is a planned communication satellite operated by Es’hailSat, the Qatar Satellite Company. It will also feature an radio amateur payload.

The new satellite will be positioned at the 26° East hotspot position for TV broadcasting and significantly adds to the company’s ability to provide high quality, premium DTH television content across the Middle East and North Africa. It will feature Ku-band and Ka-band transponders to provide TV distribution and government services to strategic stakeholders and commercial customers who value broadcasting and communications independence,interference resilience, quality of service and wide geographical coverage. Es’hail 2 is expected to be launched at the end of 2016.

In September 2014, a contract with MELCO was signed to build the satellite based on the DS-2000 bus.

Es’hail 2 will also provide the first Amateur Radio geostationary communication capability linking Brazil and India. It will carry two “Phase 4″ Amateur Radio transponders. The payload will consist of a 250 kHz linear transponder intended for conventional analogue operations in addition to another transponder which will have an 8 MHz bandwidth. The latter transponder is intended for experimental digital modulation schemes and DVB amateur television. The uplinks will be in the 2.400-2.450 GHz and the downlinks in the 10.450-10.500 GHz amateur satellite service allocations. Both transponders will have broad beam antennas to provide full coverage over about third of the earth’s surface. The Qatar Amateur Radio Society and Qatar Satellite Company are cooperating on the amateur radio project. AMSAT-DL is providing technical support to the project.

Gunters Space Page http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_chr/lau2014.htm

2006 Ofcom auction of upper segment of 10 GHz Amateur Satellite Service spectrum
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/10ghz/

10 GHz Cell-Phone Links Spectral Mask http://tinyurl.com/10GHz-Cell-Phone-Mask

IARU Region 1 Conference link http://iaru.lz-live.com/

RSGB WRC-15 page http://rsgb.org/main/news/special-focus/wrc-15/

Qatar Amateur Radio Society Geostationary Transponders Leaflet Page 2

 

Essex ISS contact on Echolink and IRLP

Dom, 09/21/2014 - 12:46

Astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO

The POSTPONEMENT of this contact was announced on September 21 at 19:55

ARISS Contact Tuesday POSTPONED

Due to the one day delay of the Space X launch, berthing day now falls on Tuesday and has resulted in the cancellation of the Winter Gardens Primary School, Canvey Island and Pilton Bluecoat School, Barnstaple, United Kingdom

73, John – AG9D
ARISS Audio

Please join us in listening to the International Space Station (ISS) contact with participants at the Winter Gardens Primary School, Canvey Island, Essex, United Kingdom and Pilton Bluecoat School, Barnstaple, Devon, United Kingdom, on Tuesday, September 23. The students will be talking to astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO on the ISS who will be using the callsign NA1SS. Acquisition Of Signal (AOS) is anticipated at 1137 BST (1037 UT).

The duration of the contact is approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds. The contact will be a telebridge between NA1SS and VK7KHZ in Australia. The contact is expected to be conducted in English.

Audio from this contact will be fed into the:

EchoLink *AMSAT*  Node 101377 and IRLP Node 9010 Discovery Reflector

Streaming Audio on the web at https://sites.google.com/site/arissaudio/

Audio on Echolink and web stream is generally transmitted around 20 minutes prior to the contact taking place so that you can hear some of the preparation that occurs. IRLP will begin just prior to the ground station call to the ISS.

Please note that on Echolink due to server issues the usual automatic breaks will be done manually. Computer based listeners should after opening Echolink click on tools – setup – timing set receive time limit and inactivity timeout to 0, this should keep you from disconnecting. Echolink introduction guide

* Contact times are approximate. If the ISS executes a reboost or other manoeuvre, the AOS (Acquisition Of Signal) time may alter by a few minutes

73, John – AG9D
ARISS Audio Distribution

Echolink Introduction available on the web
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/april2007/echolink_intro.htm

Echolink Status http://www.echolink.org/

MB7IDA Chelmsford, Essex, Echolink Node 265297
Frequency 145.3375 MHz, Channel V27
Access CTCSS Tone-H 110.9Hz
http://www.essexrepeatergroup.org.uk/mb7ida.htm

South Essex Amateur Radio Club (SEARS) http://www.southessex-ars.co.uk/

Tuskegee Airman Col. Charles E. McGee at AMSAT Symposium

Dom, 09/21/2014 - 11:44

Tuskegee Airman Col. Charles E McGee

The AMSAT symposium committee has confirmed that one of the original Tuskegee Airman, Col. Charles E. McGee, will be attending the conference on Friday, October 10. Col. McGee will give a special presentation at our symposium on his experiences as a Tuskegee Airman and as an Army Air Corps and Air Force Pilot. A short question and answer period will follow.

Born on December 7, 1919, McGee rose to the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts and, shortly after WWII broke out, joined the Army. He became a pilot in what was dubbed the Tuskegee Experiment, the first squadron of African American pilots, also known as the “Red Tails” from their red markings on the tails of their aircraft. Col McGee and his Tuskegee colleagues fought two wars—World War II and the war on segregation. This required them to develop an unprecedented level of discipline, excellence and fortitude to achieve success.

In World War II McGee flew numerous aircraft, including the famous P-51 Mustang as part of the 332 Fighter Group, one of three groups designated as the “Red Tails.” He provided fighter escort for the B-24 Liberator and B-17 Flying Fortress bombers over Germany, Austrian and the Balkans. He holds a US AirForce record of 409 fighter combat missions flown in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Col. McGee received numerous awards for his service, including the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, and Air Medal with 25 oak leaf clusters, amongst others. In 2007 Col McGee and the surviving Tuskegee Airmen were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President George W. Bush.

Col. McGee’s presentations are an inspiration to all. He demonstrates, through his life lessons, the need to persevere despite all obstacles and to do your best in all endeavors. Do not miss out on this opportunity to meet this remarkable living legend.

AMSAT Symposium http://www.amsat.org/?page_id=1555

Col. Charles E. McGee http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_McGee_%28pilot%29

Tuskegee Airmen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_Airmen

A number of Tuskegee Airmen also held amateur radio licenses. Among them was George Mitchell, K6ZE, an OMIK Amateur Radio Association member, who passed away September 4, 2014 http://www.arrl.org/news/tuskegee-airman-and-congressional-gold-medal-recipient-george-mitchell-k6ze-sk

HamRadioNow – OMIK with Jeff Drew N4JDU
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/september2012/hamradionow_omik.htm

Connecting across cultural lines with Ham Radio
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2014/september/connecting_across_cultural_lines_with_ham_radio.htm

OMIK Amateur Radio Association, Inc. http://www.omikradio.org/

IARU R1 Release VHF/UHF/Microwave Handbook

Vie, 09/19/2014 - 11:57

IARU Region 1 have released edition 6.14 of the free VHF Managers Handbook covering the VHF, UHF and Microwave amateur radio bands.

The handbook has chapters on Band Planning, Contests, Propagation Research, Operating Procedures and Satellites. On page 122 it even specifies a standard for the use of circular polarization defining which way helical beam antennas should be threaded.

Download the handbook – http://tinyurl.com/IARU-VHF-Handbook-6-14

SpaceX to launch SpinSat

Jue, 09/18/2014 - 21:02

SpinSat – Credit Naval Research Laboratory

On Sunday, September 21 at 0522 UT SpaceX plan to launch a Falcon 9 from Florida carrying the satellite SpinSat with its amateur radio payload to the International Space Station (ISS). UPDATE: Report on the successful launch at http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/013/140921launch/

On arrival at the ISS it will be put into storage until deployment, later in the Fall, from the airlock of the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM).

Developed by the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) SpinSat is a 56 cm sphere weighing 57 kg that has 12 Electronically-controlled Solid Propellant (ESP) thrusters spread in pairs throughout the surface of the satellite. They will be fired in pairs to spin the spacecraft. With just primary batteries and only 4.8 grams of fuel this phase may last between three to six months.

The spacecraft will be used to calibrate the space surveillance network. Lasers will be fired at SpinSat from the ground, the light reflected back will be measured to determine where in time and space the satellite is passing overhead. SpinSat will also model the density of the atmosphere.

The IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel report that SpinSat carries a 2 watt RF output 9600 bps AX.25 packet radio store and forward system on 437.230 MHz.

Read all about SpinSat at
http://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2014/with-spinsat-mission-nrl-will-spin-small-satellite-in-space-with-new-thruster-technology

Falcon 9 launch status
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/013/status.html

NASA – SpinSat
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1019.html

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel
http://amsat.org.uk/iaru

Postage stamp features amateur radio satellites

Mié, 09/17/2014 - 23:07

A new Lithuanian postage stamp features the amateur radio satellites LituanicaSAT-1 and LitSat-1.

The two CubeSats were launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on January 9, 2014 and deployed from the ISS on February 28. LituanicaSAT-1 carried a FM transponder and a camera while LitSat-1 had a linear (SSB/CW) transponder developed by by William Leijenaar PE1RAH.

LitSat-1 was the lighter satellite and re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere and burnt up on May 23, the heavier LituanicaSAT-1 remained in orbit until July 28.

Watch a presentation on LituanicaSAT-1 given by Gintautas Sulskus to the 2014 AMSAT-UK Colloquium in Guildford http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/presentation-videos/

LituanicaSAT-1 http://amsat-uk.org/2014/03/26/president-tests-lituanicasat-1-fm-transponder/

LitSat-1 http://amsat-uk.org/2014/03/09/litsat-1-transponder-test-successful/

Essex school contact with International Space Station

Mié, 09/17/2014 - 18:11

Astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO

Dave G4UVJ reports that on September 23 there will be an ARISS contact between students at Winter Gardens Primary School, Canvey, Essex and astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO on the International Space Station (ISS).

Just confirming that our ARISS contact has been scheduled with Alexander Gerst KF5ONO, the ESA Astronaut on board the ISS for Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 1037 UT which is 1137 BST.

For information, the ISS will actually be over Australia at the time and we will be making use of one of the amateur radio Australian Telebridge Ground Stations to actually make the link to the Space Station.

As you all know we have been in progress of organizing another Contact with the International Space Station as we did in 2005, this time its Winter Gardens Primary School , Canvey Island the day now been confirmed it will be the September 23, 2014 contact time is 11:37 BST. We will start 1 hour before contact time and finish 30mins after , changes may still occur if there are any emergencies on the station.

73 Dave G4UVJ

South Essex Amateur Radio Club (SEARS) http://www.southessex-ars.co.uk/

OSCAR News Issue 207

Mar, 09/16/2014 - 10:33

Issue 207 of the AMSAT-UK amateur radio satellite publication OSCAR News was released on September 11. E-members can download it here.

The paper edition is usually posted 2-3 weeks after publication of the electronic issue.

In this issue:
• Goonhilly Earth Station receives FUNcube-1 Equipment
• FUNcube-3/EO79
• FUNcube-1 demonstrated in the Faraday Lecture Theatre
• FUNcube-1 Spin Rate
• Sad News about HAMSAT VO-52
• IARU Region 1 General Conference Papers 20-27 Sep 2014
• ISS SSTV Active Again
• Report from the Region 1 Satellite Coordinator
• FUNcube-2 on UKube-1
• FUNcube-1 operations
• Active Satellites by Mile DK3WN
• AMSAT-UK accounts and AGM Minutes
• AMSAT-UK Colloquium 2014
• FUNcube-4 on ESEO

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

There are two rates for the paper edition to cover the extra postage costs:
UK
Rest of the World (Overseas)

PDF sample copy of “Oscar News” here.

Join AMSAT-UK using PayPal, Debit or Credit card at
http://shop.amsat.org.uk/shop/category_9/Join-Amsat-UK.html

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

ESTCube-1 Solar Sail Experiment

Mar, 09/16/2014 - 08:00

ESTCube-1 at press conference in Tallinn before shipping January 21, 2013 – Image credit University of Tartu

I’m glad to announce that after more than a year of preparations on Tuesday, September 16, 2014, the team are starting to deploy the electric solar sail tether on-board ESTCube-1.

The process of burning the tether end-mass and spool locks and reeling out the first few centimeters of tether will start during the 09.06 – 09.19Z pass over Estonia.  This is a high pass and should be visible over most of the Europe.

The next good passes listed below (all in UTC) will be used to download images the telemetry logs and the images:
10.43 – 10.56
18.39 – 18.51
20.15 – 20.28

ESTCube-1 image of Estonia and its neighbours

During the locks release process and after reeling the tether out some centimeters, images will be taken.

The other shorter passes during the day will be used to download the experiment data as quickly as possible (in Estonia, all daily passes are visible, but lowest ones are just couple of degrees above the northern horizon).

If everything is OK with the tether, additional unreeling will take place in coming days.

If you are interested in receiving ESTCube-1 during those exciting passes, the UZ7HO 9600 bps packet softmodem and an Online Telemetry Decoder by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN can be used. But basically any 9600 bps G3RUH TNC or decoder can be used to receive ESTCube-1.

We are looking forward to receiving your reports on the address es5e AT estcube DOT eu, and we would really appreciate if you would also send received data in live, using Mike’s decoder.

With best wishes,
Tõnis Eenmäe
de ES5TF

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/estcube

ESTCube-1 Online Telemetry Decoder by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN
http://www.dk3wn.info/files/estcube_online.zip

Send your message “from the Moon”

Jue, 09/11/2014 - 22:00

4M payload under test

The LuxSpace 4M amateur radio payload is expected to fly around the Moon at the end of October and you can upload a message to the 4M website that will be transmitted on 145.980 MHz using JT65B during the flight.

Full Moon 2010 – Credit Gregory H Revera

There is room for 2500 messages each up to 13 characters long. Your message could be your name/callsign or “73 de M5AKA”.

During the lunar flyby, the spacecraft will be about 399,636 km from Earth. The LuxSpace team wish to encourage radio amateurs around the world to receive the transmissions and send in data. There will be a number of Experiments and Contests with prizes to the winners in each experiment and category. Details are given on page 19 of 4M Mission: a Lunar FlyBy experiment.

4M stands for Manfred Memorial Moon Mission in memory of Professor Manfred Fuchs, founder and chairman of OHB group, Bremen who passed away on April 27, 2014.

Register and Upload your message at http://moon.luxspace.lu/messages/

4M Mission: a Lunar FlyBy experiment
https://ukamsat.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/lxs-4m-eme2014-a4-v3.pdf

Further information on this project is at http://amsat-uk.org/2014/09/01/4m-lunar-payload/

Ofcom Amateur Radio Licence Consultation Announced

Mar, 09/09/2014 - 16:23

Ofcom has published a public consultation setting out proposals for updating the terms and conditions of the amateur radio licence – Essex Ham summary here.

Ofcom say: These proposals include changes which would provide amateurs with access to some frequency bands previously available only through the variation of individual licences.

The consultation follows changes announced in our April statement on Public Sector Spectrum Release, where we set out our decision to remove access for amateur radio operators to certain frequencies in the 2300 MHz and 3400 MHz ranges in order to support the release of these bands by the Ministry of Defence.

This consultation, which is likely to be of interest to those in the amateur radio community, closes on October 20, 2014.

Ofcom Amateur Radio Licence Consultation
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/amateur-radio-licence/

PDF at http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/amateur-radio-licence/summary/condoc.pdf

Information on how you can respond to the consultation is at
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/amateur-radio-licence/howtorespond/

Read a summary of the changes at http://www.essexham.co.uk/news/licence-changes-ofcom-consultation.html

A RSGB discussion forum should be opened soon at http://rsgb.org/licencereview

ISS SSTV received on SUWS WebSDR

Sáb, 09/06/2014 - 11:46

ISS SSTV image received by Paulo PV8DX

On Saturday, September 6, at 1000 GMT Paulo PV8DX emailed the news that the International Space Station (ISS) Slow Scan Television (SSTV) on 145.800 MHz FM had been active again.

At the end of the passage (ISS) in northern Brazil where I live. I heard the sound of early SSTV. So I went to the WEBSDR in your area [the SUWS WebSDR near London, UK] and I got two images.

The ISS has been transmitting photographs devoted to the life and work of the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. They were sent in the PD180 SSTV mode with additional voice commentary.

On August 27, 2014 a test of the ISS Slow Scan Television (SSTV) experiment MAI-75 using the Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver and a new cable took place. Although a carrier was successfully transmitted on 145.800 MHz no SSTV audio tones were heard. It appears that the earlier problem has now been rectified. http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/23/iss-sstv-august-27/

ISS SSTV received by Jan van Gils PE0SAT Sept 26. 2014 at 1402 GMT

The Kenwood TM-D710 was delivered to the ISS in the summer of 2012. The original TM-D700 in the Russian ISS Service Module had been experiencing problems with the PA after giving many years service in space, see ARISS minutes for March 2013. It is thought the Kenwood TM-D710 is set to run at just 5 watts output because convection cooling doesn’t work in zero gravity. http://www.ariss.org/meeting-minutes/archives/03-2013

David Barber G8OQW received some good images in Chelmsford, Essex which can be seen on the AMSAT-UK Facebook page.

Listen to the ISS and amateur radio satellites online using the SUWS VHF/UHF/Microwave WebSDR http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

ISS Fan Club provides status and tracking information http://issfanclub.com/

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

Paul Turner G4IJE, co-developer of the SSTV PD modes, says regarding the PD180 mode: “Don’t forget to either enable “Always show RX viewer” or use the “Picture viewer” (magnifying glass icon) to show the picture at its real resolution of 640 x 496. If you just view as normal you will only see 320 x 248 resolution, which kind of defeats the object of using a high resolution mode.”

Tony Falla VK3KKP commented “I received a good picture from ISS on my iPad mid-Saturday evening [AEDT] on 145.800 MHz just using the microphone next to the rig.”

The APRS digipeater in the European Space Agency ISS Columbus module continued to be in operation on 145.825 MHz during the SSTV transmissions.

Watch a video of ISS SSTV reception by Dmitry Pashkov R4UAB

All you need to do to receive SSTV pictures direct from the space station is to connect the audio output of a scanner or amateur radio transceiver via a simple interface to the soundcard on a Windows PC or an Apple iOS device, and tune in to 145.800 MHz FM. You can even receive pictures by holding an iPhone next to the radio’s loudspeaker.

ISS SSTV received by Fabiano Moser CT7ABD on Sept 6, 2014 at 0910 GMT

The ISS puts out a strong signal on 145.800 MHz FM and a 2m handheld with a 1/4 wave antenna will be enough to receive it. The FM transmission uses the 5 kHz deviation which is standard in much of the world.

Many FM rigs in the UK can be switched been wide and narrow deviation FM filters. For best results you should select the wider deviation filters. Handhelds all seem to have a single wide filter fitted as standard.

On Windows PC’s the free application MMSSTV can be used to decode the signal, on Apple iOS devices you can use the SSTV app. The ISS Fan Club website will show you when the space station is in range.

For more on Slow Scan Television SSTV, see this article SSTV – The Basics
http://www.essexham.co.uk/sstv-the-basics

How to be successful with the ISS Slow Scan Television (SSTV) imaging system
http://www.marexmg.org/fileshtml/howtoisssstv.html

Free MMSSTV Slow Scan TV software http://hamsoft.ca/pages/mmsstv.php

iOS SSTV App https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/sstv/id387910013

IZ8BLY Vox Recoder, enables you to record the signals from the ISS on 145.800 MHz while you’re away at work http://antoninoporcino.xoom.it/VoxRecorder/

ARISS Slow Scan TV (SSTV) Blog and Gallery http://ariss-sstv.blogspot.co.uk/

Information on the MAI-75 SSTV experiment
http://www.energia.ru/eng/iss/researches/education-26.html

Sarah Brightman to start space flight training in January

Jue, 09/04/2014 - 13:51

Private Spacefarer Sarah Brightman Undergoes Medical Tests

Sarah Brightman hopes to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) for a 10 day mission in September 2015. If the launch were to take place as expected she would become the UK’s second astronaut, the first was Helen Sharman GB1MIR on May 18, 1991. Tim Peake KG5BVI is expected to launch in November 2015.

TASS reports the soprano singer Sarah Brightman would begin pre-flight training for her journey to the International Space Station (ISS) as a private spacefarer early next year, instead of this autumn, Yuri Lonchakov, the head of the Russia’s Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, said on Wednesday. “She will begin training in the Star City in January of 2015 and therefore we are all waiting for her,” Lonchakov said adding that he believed “her training will be a success.”

She is paying $52 million for the flight considerably more than the $20 million that Iranian-American engineer Anousheh Ansari paid for her mission to the ISS in 2006, highlighting the dramatic escalation in launch charges in recent years.

Sarah started her singing career in the 1970’s and had hits such as “I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper” and “Love in a UFO”. She is now a classical crossover artist.

In 2012 in conjunction with Virgin Galactic, The Brightman STEM Scholarship program (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) was launched to help young women in the US pursue STEM education across their four year college careers.

Her album, “Dreamchaser” was released on January 22, 2013. She said “I don’t think of myself as a dreamer. Rather, I am a dream chaser, I hope that I can encourage others to take inspiration from my journey both to chase down their own dreams and to help fulfill the important UNESCO mandate to promote peace and sustainable development on Earth and from space. I am determined that this journey can reach out to be a force for good, a catalyst for some of the dreams and aims of others that resonate with me.” She intends to become the first professional musician to sing from space.

It is not yet known if she will make any amateur radio contacts while on the ISS. In 1991 the first UK astronaut Helen Sharman was issued with a special callsign GB1MIR by the Radiocommunications Division of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). She was then able to contact radio amateurs on Earth during her stay on the MIR space station.

Read the TASS story at http://en.itar-tass.com/non-political/747859

You can sign up to receive updates on Sarah’s mission at  http://www.sarahbrightman.com/

Wiki – Sarah Brightman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Brightman

Space Adventures http://www.spaceadventures.com/

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

BBC reports EMF 2014 about “Getting kids involved”

Mar, 09/02/2014 - 19:09

30 metre mast for EMF 2014 Internet

BBC News reports on last weekend’s successful Electromagnetic Field EMF 2014 event held near Bletchley, Milton Keynes.

The three day event attracted nearly three times as many people as the previous event held in 2012. Of those attending 75 were children under 16. “Getting kids involved has been crucial,” says Jonty Wareing @Jonty one of the event’s volunteer organisers.

Dr Elpida Makrygianni, from UCL’s Engineering Sciences faculty is charged with engaging young people with science, she thinks the festival is an important place to be.

“It’s the social context, the fact that it is in the countryside, a million miles from the stereotype of a sterile lab.”

That preconception is one of the first obstacles that has to be overcome when trying to engage young people in science, she says, especially young women.

AMSAT-UK reported on a tweet that those responsible for organising technical events should bear in mind. Rosie Campbell @RosieCampbell tweeted: The gender balance of speakers at #emfcamp has been great. So many awesome women! Take note, other tech event organisers!

Although not reported by the BBC the Amateur Radio Foundation was held at the event and radio amateurs launched several balloons carry 434 MHz transmitters and flew a Quadcopter which carried a Repeater.

Unlike other countries the UK amateur radio licence currently bans experimentation on aeronautical platforms fortunately amateurs still can use licence exempt bands such as 434 MHz and 868 MHz for aeronautical work instead.

Read the BBC report – Electromagnetic Field: Can geeks get kids into science?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-29011889

UK Editor of Motherboard Victoria Turk @VickiTurk interviewed Steve Netting M0SPN in the Amateur Radio Village at EMF 2014. Her article contains a good picture of the special event station GB2EMF.
Read Not Your ‘Traditional Hacker Camp': Inside Electromagnetic Field Festival
http://motherboard.vice.com/read/inside-uks-electromagnetic-field-festival

Watch Aerial video of the Electromagnetic Field site on Saturday

Additional info on EMF 2014 at
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/29/live-webcast-of-electromagnetic-field-emf-2014-event/

 See pictures of EMF 2014 at https://www.flickr.com/search/?q=emfcamp

4M-LXS Lunar amateur radio payload

Mar, 09/02/2014 - 00:48

4M payload under test- Credit LuxSpace

Beijing plans to launch a Lunar spacecraft on a journey lasting 196 hours that should take it around the Moon before returning and re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. It will carry a 14 kg payload known as 4M-LXS which was developed at LuxSpace. The launch is expected to take place on October 23, 2014 at 1800 UT.

4M stands for Manfred Memorial Moon Mission in memory of Professor Manfred Fuchs, founder and chairman of OHB group, Bremen who passed away on April 27, 2014.

Full Moon 2010 – Credit Gregory H Revera

The 4M-LXS amateur radio payload will transmit on 145.980 MHz +/- 2.9kHz (-40°C to +125°C), Doppler max: -2200Hz, +1000Hz. The continuous transmissions will start 4670s (77.8 minutes) after launch (-0, +600s). Five successive 1 minute sequences are sent during the 5 minutes cycle. The digital mode JT65B will be used, this can be decoded by radio amateurs using the free WJST software, there will also be ‘human readable’ tone transmissions. See the transmit sequence description on page 14 of 4M Mission: a Lunar FlyBy experiment.

During the lunar flyby, the range will be 399,636 km at the most and the distance to the Moon will be between 12,000 and 24,000 km depending on the final injection vector. The transmitter produces 1.5 watts to a simple Monopole antenna which should give a Signal to Noise ratio ( S/N) comparable to amateur moon bounce (EME) signals at the Earth’s surface.

LuxSpace wish to encourage radio amateurs around the world to receive the transmissions and send in data. There will be a number of Experiments and Contests with prizes to the winners in each experiment and category. Details are given on page 19 of 4M Mission: a Lunar FlyBy experiment.

A Java client will be made available to automatically send the WSJT ALL.TXT and the decoded.txt files to a central database.

Delivery convoy – Image credit Xinhua

The orbiter is one of the test models for Beijing’s new lunar probe Chang’e-5, which will be tasked with landing on the moon, collecting samples and returning to Earth. The launch is aimed at testing the technologies that are vital for the success of Chang’e-5. The orbiter will be launched into Lunar Transfer Orbit (LTO) then will perform a flyby around the Moon and re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere after 196 hours (9 days).

The orbiter arrived by air in Xichang, Sichuan on Sunday, August 10 and was then transported to the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

Read the paper 4M Mission: a Lunar FlyBy experiment

EME 2014 slides: 4M, A Moon Flyby Mission

LuxSpace Sarl on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LuxSpaceSarl

Beijing to test recoverable moon orbiter
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-08/10/c_133546027.htm

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Pages http://amsat.org.uk/iaru

Free WSJT Software http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/

OHB mourning the loss of its founder Manfred Fuchs
http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2014/04/28/630464/0/en/DGAP-News-OHB-AG-OHB-mourning-the-loss-of-its-founder-Manfred-Fuchs.html

4M Payload – Credit LuxSpace