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GB1JSS Summer Solstice: Radio Hams to gather at Galleywood Common

Mié, 06/11/2014 - 21:36

GB1JSS will be active on June 21 from Galleywood Common, Chelmsford, CM2 8TR

Special event station GB1JSS will be active on the amateur radio satellites during the Summer Solstice on Saturday, June 21, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The event is open to all radio amateurs and listeners.

On that day the sun will rise at 04:43 BST (03:43 UT) and set at 21:21 BST giving 16 hours, 38 minutes and 19 seconds of daylight.

Members of the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) will be operating from Galleywood Common (Grid JO01FQ WAB TL70 Postcode CM2 8TR) for much of the day, subject to weather conditions, the station will be active as early as possible. Planned operating time 9am-6pm.

Steve Hedgecock M0SHQ, who recently gave a well received presentation on satellites at the CARS amateur radio skills workshop, with be bringing his amateur satellite station and hopes to operate as many satellite passes as possible.

They’ll also be a station operating 40m-10m plus 2m using SSB, CW, PSK and RTTY.  The day coincides with the first-half of the 50MHz Trophy Contest, so there may be some 6m activity if conditions are favourable.

Wind-permitting, Peter Bridgeman G3SUY hopes to fly his impressive Kite Aerial and put out a strong signal on 160m using full legal power.

Would you like to operate, help set-up the station or just come along for a visit?

This is a great opportunity to use some of your portable kit at an RF-friendly location or operate one of ours with perhaps more power than your M6/2E licence allows. For more details contact Charlie Davy M0PZT email: m0pzt <at>

The station will be in the car-park off Margaretting Road next to the Galleywood Heritage Centre.
If you’re coming from Wood Street, just turn right at the Eagle public house and then left at the “P” sign.

There are toilet facilities at the adjacent Galleywood Heritage Centre.

Directions from A12:

View Larger Map

Street Map

Essex Ham

M0PZT Twitter feed

The Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society run training courses for those wishing to get their amateur licence. To find out more speak to Clive G1EUC on
Tel: 01245-224577
Mob: 07860-418835
Email: training2014<at>

What is Amateur Radio ?

50 years ago this month nearby Galleywood was the setting for Peter Blair G3LTF’s historic amateur radio Moonbounce (Earth-Moon-Earth) contact, see

Queen shown radio ham’s Raspberry Pi balloon payload

Mié, 06/11/2014 - 16:24

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is shown M0RPI’s 434 MHz High Altitude Balloon Payload – Credit Raspberry Pi Foundation

On Monday, June 9, more than 350 of the UK’s most successful and most promising technologists were invited to Buckingham Palace by the Queen and the Duke of York for Tech at the Palace.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was shown the Raspberry Pi High Altitude Balloon payload developed by David Akerman M6RPI (now M0RPI) which transmitted Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) signals on 434 MHz from the first “Pi in the Sky“. She also saw the TARDIS that was flown by David and Anthony Stirk M0UPU @AnthonyStirk

David M0RPI @daveake tweeted:
The Queen, The Duke of York, and my TARDIS :-) #UKHAS #RaspberryPi

Giant leap for radio amateur M6RPI’s Pi-powered teddy bear

M6RPI Balloon PIE1 – Raspberry Pi Sends Live Images from Near Space

OSCAR number for LituanicaSAT-1

Mar, 06/10/2014 - 15:18

LituanicaSAT-1 Camera and FM Voice Transponder

AMSAT-NA has announced that the amateur radio satellite LituanicaSAT-1 has been awarded the designation OSCAR-78, or LO-78.

In a message to the LituanicaSAT-1 team, AMSAT-NA OSCAR Number Administrator Bill Tynan, W3XO announced:
“LituanicaSAT-1 has met all of the requirements for an OSCAR number. My findings from information provided to AMSAT-NA and IARU officials confirm this to be true. Accordingly, under the authority vested in me by the AMSAT-NA President, I do hereby assign LituanicaSAT-1 the designation LituanicaSAT OSCAR-78, or LO-78. I, and all of the amateur radio satellite community, wish LituanicaSAT OSCAR-78 a long and successful mission.”

On behalf of the LituanicaSAT-1 team, Simon Kareiva, LY2EN replied, “It is my honor and pleasure to accept this assignation. Our team is focused to keep LO-78 operational for the benefit of amateur radio as long, as it is possible for a small cubesat.
Thank you very much, Simon LY2EN.”

The LituanicaSAT-1 team has announced activation of the FM voice transponder. A general rule to find out if the transponder is working at the moment is to monitor the beacon frequency on 437.275 MHz. If you can hear the CW FM beacon it means that the transponder is off, if you cannot hear it -  the transponder is on. The transponder frequencies are approximately 435.1755 MHz (+/- 10 kHz Doppler shift) for the downlink and 145.950 MHz for the uplink with 67 Hz CTCSS.

FM transponder operating techniques

Information on obtaining an OSCAR number for your satellite can be found on the OSCAR Numbers Policy page at

USA Radio Hams at National Radio Centre

Lun, 06/09/2014 - 17:32

Brent Salmi KB1LQD and Bryce Salmi KB1LQC at the National Radio Centre in Bletchley Park

On Sunday, June 9, Brent Salmi KB1LQD and Bryce Salmi KB1LQC from Chelmsford MA met up with AMSAT-UK’s Graham Shirville G3VZV at the RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park.

Over a pint Graham G3VZV updated them on the current activities of AMSAT-UK.

Bryce KB1LQC commented “wish we had more time! Absolutely beautiful station/display at Bletchley Park”.

National Radio Centre Bletchley Park

50th anniversary of historic Chelmsford EME contact

Dom, 06/08/2014 - 12:00

G3LTF’s 15 foot (4.5m) Moonbounce dish at Galleywood, Chelmford in 1964 – Credit Peter Blair G3LTF

June 13 is the 50th anniversary of the first UK amateur radio moonbounce (EME) contact which was made by Peter Blair G3LTF from Chelmsford in Essex.

Arecibo 305m diameter dish antenna

The RSGB GB2RS News Service reports:

July 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the first time that amateur signals from the UK reached other parts of the world by bouncing off the moon, a technique now known as moonbounce or earth-moon-earth, EME. In the July 1964 edition of Radio Communications the RSGB announced that at 20.20 GMT on June 13, 1964, G3LTF at Galleywood, Chelmsford, and KP4BPZ in Puerto Rico, made contact on 430 Mc/s [MHz] by bouncing their signals off the moon. Signal reports were RST459 both ways.

A further contact took place one hour later. KP4BPZ was fortunate in having the 1000ft [305m] radio-telescope dish aerial at Arecibo, Puerto Rico at his disposal. G3LTF’s equipment included a 15ft [4.5m] dish aerial and an AF139 transistor preamplifier for reception. Power input to the PA was 150 watts. What is more remarkable is that Peter, G3LTF is still active on moonbounce and is one of the world’s leading pioneers.

The RSGB offers Peter, G3LTF our heartiest congratulations on this 50th anniversary of his achievement.

Source GB2RS News:

The Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) send their congratulations to Peter for his achievement 50 years ago and all the pioneering EME work he has carried out since.

Read an article by Peter G3LTF on the potential impact of the new Galileo GPS system

CARS run short amateur radio training courses. If you’d like to find out more about the hobby speak to Clive G1EUC.
Tel: 01245-224577
Mob: 07860-418835
Email: training2014 at

What is Amateur Radio ?

Influence of ham radio on astronaut

Sáb, 06/07/2014 - 11:19

Astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO

In this video ISS Astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO talks about how his grandfather, a radio ham, helped him bounce a signal off the moon (EME) when he was six and the influence amateur radio had on his career.

Watch Alexander Gerst KF5ONO Crew Profile

LituanicaSAT-1 FM Transponder Active

Vie, 06/06/2014 - 22:22

LituanicaSAT-1 Camera and FM Voice Transponder

The LituanicaSAT-1 team have announced activation of the FM transponder.

Dear radio amateurs,

The LituanicaSAT-1 transponder is currently on and should remain so. General rule to find out if the transponder is working at the moment is following: if you can hear CW FM beacon on 437.275 MHz it means that transponder is off, if you cannot hear it – transponder is on.

Laurynas Maciulis

Frequency are approximately 435.1755 MHz (+/- 10 kHz Doppler shift) for the downlink and 145.950 MHz for the uplink with 67 Hz CTCSS.

The tiny satellite is just 10x10x10 cm with a mass of 1.090 kg yet it has a VGA camera and a 145/435 MHz FM voice transponder, designed and built by Lithuanian radio amateurs.

The prototype of the FM repeater has been operating in the home of its designer Žilvinas Batisa LY3H in Elektrėnai, Lithuania. Further information at

FM transponder operating techniques

LituanicaSAT-1 CubeSat

Reports should be sent to: ly5n at

LituanicaSAT-1 was built by students from Vilnius University.

UK Engineers Ready UKube-1 for Launch

Vie, 06/06/2014 - 16:41

UKube-1 CubeSat installed in Deployment Pod

Engineers Steve Greenland ‏and Andy Strain are in Baikonur, Kazakhstan to prepare UKube-1 for its launch on June 28.

Andy Strain and Steve Greenland in Kazakhstan with UKube-1 and Deployment Pod

UKube-1 carries a set of AMSAT-UK FUNcube boards providing a 435/145 MHz linear transponder and educational telemetry beacon. On the same launch as UKube-1 is the UK research satellite TechDemoSat built at SSTL in Guildford.

UKube-1 communications subsystem:
• 145.840 MHz Telemetry downlink
• 145.915 MHz FUNcube subsystem beacon
• 400 mW inverting linear transponder for SSB and CW
- 435.080 -435.060 MHz Uplink
- 145.930 -145.950 MHz Downlink
• 2401.0 MHz S Band Downlink
• 437.425-437.525 MHz UKSEDS myPocketQub Downlink

The satellites on the Soyuz-2-1b Fregat-M launch are: Meteor-M 2, SkySat 2, TechDemoSat 1 (TDS 1), AISSat 2, Baumanets 2, Relek, DX 1, Venta 1, UKube 1.

Steve Greenland on Twiter

Andy Strain on Twitter

Clyde Space

UK Space Education Office – Free Conference in York

Mié, 06/04/2014 - 20:40

Major Tim Peake KG5BVI

UK Astronaut Tim Peake KG5BVI reports that on July 1, 2014, the UK Space Education Office (ESERO-UK) is holding a free conference at the National Science Learning Centre in York.

It is ideal for primary teachers and teaching assistants who are interested in using space as a exciting context for learning.

The conference will introduce Tim’s upcoming mission to the ISS and how space can be used to enhance children’s learning across the primary school curriculum.

Tim is currently training for his 6 month mission, Expedition 46/47, to the ISS which is scheduled for November 2015. The UK communications regulator Ofcom has agreed in principle to issue the permanent Special Callsign of GB1SS to the ISS and it is expected Tim will use that callsign when operating the amateur radio station in the ESA Columbus module.

More information at—the-primary-frontier

The UK’s first astronaut was Helen Sharman GB1MIR who launched into space 23 years ago on May 18, 1991, see

$50SAT / MO-76 six months in space and counting

Mié, 06/04/2014 - 09:11

Yaesu handheld and $50SAT 1.5U PocketQube

Wednesday, May 21, 2014, marked the six month anniversary of the launch of the tiny $50SAT / MO-76 PocketQube satellite which is just 5x5x7.5 cm and 210 grams.

Michael Kirkhart KD8QBA has released an update on this remarkable satellite:

We have finally completed the first pass cleanup of the telemetry data provided by all of you.  We cannot thank you enough for this data, as it will help us understand how $50SAT/MO-76 has been operating.  Keep it coming!

On the Dropbox, you will find a new directory (Telemetry-analysis/Battery-voltage-2014-06-04) containing our first set of processed data, which serves as an initial investigation into the performance of the on-board Li-ion battery.  Included in this directory is a spreadsheet with all the battery voltage data we have up to now, in both tabular and graphical form; it consists of 1097 individual telemetry observations.  For convenience sake, there is also a copy of the graph in PDF form.  Over the past 6 months, the daily average battery voltage has been dropping.  A best fit line through all the data has a slope of -0.670 mV per day.  The drop, however, has not always been gradual.  For instance, there is a large step change of about -60 mV sometime near February 20, 2014.  We are not sure what happened here.  Anybody out there know what might be going on?

Ignoring the two outliers on the graph, the current low battery voltage is 3521 mV.  This has been observed at least 5 times, including twice by yours truly.  This, of course, occurs when $50SAT/MO-76 happens to be at its lowest temperature, which has been -28 degrees C until yesterday evening, where I observed a temperature of -29 degrees C.  While our depth of discharge on the battery is relatively low (our initial calculations were about 22 mA-hr), it is going through about a -28 degree C to 26 degree C (or possibly higher – this is our highest recorded temperature) and back down to -28 degrees C 14.5 times per day.  Does this violate the conditions of the warranty?

As to whether or not the orbit is decaying, a comparison of the current TLEs with a set from early December 2013 show it is, although by a small amount.

Here are the TLEs from December 4, 2013 (element set 7):
1 39436U 13066W   13337.88841924  .00010097  00000-0  12132-2 0    70
2 39436  97.8019  50.2525 0031655 170.6351 189.5525 14.83797851  1855

Here are the TLEs from June 2, 2014 (element set 223):
1 39436U 13066W   14152.25170112  .00007510  00000-0  78254-3 0  2235
2 39436  97.7787 226.1156 0024706 303.1274  56.7439 14.89857855 28503

$50SAT Boards

The second to last element on line 2 is the mean motion, in units of orbits per day.  From this number, the semi-major axis of the orbit can be computed.  On December 4, 2013, it was 6,995.50 km, and on June 2, 2014, it was 6,976.51 km.  This means the orbit has decayed by about 19 km during this time period.  The orbit has also become slightly less elliptical.  The forth element on line 2 is the eccentricity, which has an implied decimal point in front of it.  On December 4, 2013, it was 0.0031655, and on June 2, 2014, it was 0.0024706.  From this and the computed semi-major axis, the apogee and perigee altitudes are as follows:
December 4, 2013:  apogee = 639.64 km, perigee = 595.36 km
June 2, 2014: apogee = 615.75 km, perigee = 581.27 km

The technical challenge we posed to the amateur community to successfully uplink to $50SAT/MO-76 has yet to be met.  We have since realized some of the documentation, specifically the Silicon Labs Si4432 data sheet, was not clear on at least one of the needed details.  To encourage the amateur radio community to answer our challenge, we will post some information that should be helpful in uplinking to $50SAT/MO-76; look for this sometime in the next few days.

$50SAT/MO-76 has made it onto YouTube!  See a video of the excellent talk on $50SAT/MO-76 given by Howie DeFelice, AB2S, and a video of yours truly operating the AMSAT demo station during a $50SAT/MO-76 pass at the Dayton Hamvention.


Michael Kirkhart
$50SAT/MO-76 team

Talk by Howie DeFelice AB2S at the May 14, 2014, PocketQube workshop
(thanks to Gustavo, LW2DTZ, for taking and posting this video)

$50SAT was a collaborative education project between Professor Bob Twiggs, KE6QMD, Morehead State University and three other radio amateurs, Howie DeFelice, AB2S, Michael Kirkhart, KD8QBA, and Stuart Robinson, GW7HPW. The transmitter power is just 100 mW on 437.505 MHz (+/-9 kHz Doppler shift) FM CW/RTTY. $50SAT uses the low cost Hope RFM22B single chip radio and PICAXE 40X2 processor.

Michael Kirkhart KD8QBA operates AMSAT demo station during $50SAT/MO-76 pass Friday, May 16
(thanks to Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK, AMSAT-NA Vice President for Field Operations, for this video)

$50SAT PocketQube Amateur Radio Challenge

Further information in the $50SAT Dropbox

$50SAT – Eagle2 – Communications – Release Version V1_2.pdf

Hope RFM22B single chip radio

There is a discussion group for $50SAT


Educational STEM 434.3 MHz Balloon Launch Tuesday 2:30pm

Lun, 06/02/2014 - 23:05

Chris Stubbs M6EDF with 434 MHz trackers

Continuing his Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) work with schools, Chris Stubbs M6EDF, will launch a balloon STEWARDS-1/CHEAPO-12 for Stewards Academy, Harlow.

The launch will take place at 2:30pm (13:30 GMT) on Tuesday, June 3. Chris will be using a “mini” tracker with 1 AA battery on a 36″ foil balloon and aims to get the balloon to float for a long duration.

It will transmit 50 bps 7n2 RTTY on 434.300 MHz with about 450 Hz FSK and may have a range of up to 500 km depending on altitude.

Chris took the amateur radio Foundation training course run by the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) in January 2013. He is keen on both electronic construction and software development and combines the two interests in High Altitude Ballooning (HAB). Chris has built many tracker payloads for his balloon launches which usually take place from Danbury Common near Chelmsford.

Details of his high-altitude ballooning hardware and experiments are online at

See online real time tracks and frequencies of this and other 434 MHz balloons at

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi

The role of these 434 MHz balloon launches in teaching maths and science was recently recognised by the Department for Education (DfE) see

Listen to balloons online (when in range of south-east UK) from anywhere in the world with the SUWS 434 MHz WebSDR (select USB)

Check the #highaltitude IRC channel for launch chat. A web client is available at

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address:

Chelmsford 434 MHz STEM Balloon Launch

The Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society run training courses for those wishing to get their amateur licence. To find out more speak to Clive G1EUC on
Tel: 01245-224577
Mob: 07860-418835
Email: training2014 at

What is Amateur Radio ?

Post flight update: The balloon floated at an altitude of under 6,000 metres for just over 2 hours.

Flight path of M6EDF’s balloon STEWARDS on June 3. 2014

ARTSAT1:INVADER Reception Reports Needed

Lun, 06/02/2014 - 20:33


Masahiro Sanada JI1IZR reports the amateur radio CubeSat ARTSAT1:INVADER (CO-77) is in trouble and asks radio hams to listen for the satellite and report any reception.


ARTSAT1:INVADER, one of the CubeSats, is in trouble that the satellite does not reply after the command by the command station.

The members are trying to find out how to recover.

We have no reply from the satellite, nor the CW [437.325 MHz] becomes not to be heard after the command.

When you have a chance to listen to the satellite, please send your report via the form at:

Your report will be great help for the members.

We appreciate your help very much.
Thank you.

Masahiro Sanada
de ji1izr

INVADER is an amateur radio “Art Satellite” developed by students at the Tama Art University as a part of the “ARTSAT: Art and Satellite Project” which aims at a practical use of a satellite for art and design.

The 1U CubeSat was launched from the Yoshinobu Launch Complex at the Tanegashima Space Center on Thursday, February 27 at 1837 UT. It carries a CW (A1A) beacon on 437.325 MHz (+/- 10 kHz Doppler shift), a 1200 bps FM AX.25 Packet Radio and FM Digitalker on 437.200 MHz and a low-resolution camera.





ARTSAT students at the Tama Art University

ISEE-3 Spacecraft Reboot Project Update

Lun, 06/02/2014 - 19:36

ISEE-3 – ICE Spacecraft – Image credit NASA

Dennis Wingo KD4ETA has released an update on the attempts by volunteers, including radio amateurs, to gain control of the NASA ISEE-3 spacecraft.

The International Sun-Earth Explorer (ISEE-3), a spacecraft that was launched in 1978 to study Earth’s magnetosphere and repurposed in 1983 to study two comets. Renamed the International Cometary Explorer (ICE), it has been in a heliocentric orbit since then, traveling just slightly faster than Earth. It’s finally catching up to us from behind, and will be closest to Earth in August, 2014.

In his report Dennis says that the spacecraft was successfully commanded into engineering telemetry mode and he mentions the work of radio amateurs Achim Vollhardt DH2VA (AMSAT-DL Bochum) and Phil Karn KA9Q.

[Achim Vollhardt DH2VA and Mario Lorenz DL5MLO plan to attend the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford July 26-27 to give a presentation of their work. The event is open to all]

Regarding the possibility of Lunar impact Dennis says “If we can maneuver the spacecraft by June 17th we get the very small delta V number for the maneuver above. However, this starts to climb rapidly as the spacecraft gets closer to the moon. Also we cannot at this time rule out a lunar impact. It is imperative that we get a ranging pass as soon as possible. We also need time to not only evaluate the health of the spacecraft, but to test the systems, the catalyst bed heaters for the propulsion system, the valve heaters, analyze the rest of the propulsion, power, and attitude control system as rapidly as possible. This will be a lot of commanding so we have to move into high gear next week. This is a very fluid situation and we have made amazing progress, thanks to the support of those who believed in us in our crowd funding and the support of our NASA sponsors at NASA Ames and NASA headquarters. More to come soon!!”

Read the report at

Watch ISEE-3 Reboot Project – Recovering a 30 year old space probe

ISEE-3 / ICE Telecommunications Summary

Dennis Wingo KD4ETA blog

Can radio amateurs command the ISEE-3 / ICE spacecraft ?

Radio amateurs receive NASA ISEE-3 / ICE Spacecraft

Radio hams help attempts to command NASA spacecraft

ISEE-3/ICE on Facebook

UK Takes Aim at Commercial Spaceflight

Lun, 06/02/2014 - 00:22

Skylon – Credit Reaction Engines Ltd

A article reports a spaceport in the United Kingdom may be possible by 2018.

Pending a regulatory report to be published this July and a technical feasibility study that is underway with the country’s National Space Technology Programme (NSTP), it is possible that the country could host a spaceport within the next five years.

A new National Space Flight Coordination Group, chaired by the U.K. Space Agency, will oversee these reports and the future work for this U.K. spaceport. Government officials hope this will be the start of commercial spaceflight for the country.

Rob Coppinger reports the United Kingdom’s first Spaceport could be at Lossiemouth, which is already home to one of the largest Royal Air Force (RAF) bases in the country.

At 57.7°N Lossiemouth would be the most northerly Commercial Spaceport in the World. Lossiemouth is slightly further North than the Kodiak spaceport in Alaska which is at 57.4°N.

Read the article at

LituanicaSAT-1 FM Transponder Active until June 4

Sáb, 05/31/2014 - 22:28

LituanicaSAT-1 Camera and FM Voice Transponder

The LituanicaSAT-1 team have announced the FM transponder should be active until June 4, 2014.

Dear radio amateurs,

Due to favorable orbit conditions LituanicaSAT-1 is now operating under 100% sunlight until about 4th of June. Thus we have decided to turn the transponder on during this period. The CW fm beacon and packet telemetry are also on right now. 

Laurynas Maciulis

Frequency are approximately 435.1755 MHz (+/- 10 kHz Doppler shift) for the downlink and 145.950 MHz for the uplink with 67 Hz CTCSS.

The tiny satellite is just 10x10x10 cm with a mass of 1.090 kg yet it has a VGA camera and a 145/435 MHz FM voice transponder, designed and built by Lithuanian radio amateurs.

The prototype of the FM repeater has been operating in the home of its designer Žilvinas Batisa LY3H in Elektrėnai, Lithuania. Further information at

FM transponder operating techniques

LituanicaSAT-1 CubeSat

Reports should be sent to: ly5n  at

LituanicaSAT-1 was built by students from Vilnius University.

FUNcube Satellite Update Video

Sáb, 05/31/2014 - 16:45

Howard Long, G6LVB and member of the FUNcube Satellite Team, describes the launch and use of the FUNcube-1 satellite, and timeframes for the next three FUNcube sats.

Watch FUNcube Satellite Update by Howard G6LVB, 2014 Dayton Hamvention

FUNcube Yahoo Group

FUNcube Forum

FUNcube website


Satellites on the Horizon

Sáb, 05/31/2014 - 16:17

In this brief presentation from the AMSAT Forum at the 2014 Dayton Hamvention, Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA and AMSAT VP Operations, summarizes six operational amateur satellites and another dozen satellites that will become available or will launch soon.

NOTE: LituanicaSAT-1 mentioned in the presentation was in fact built by engineers from Vilnius University.

Watch Satellites on the Horizon, by Drew KO4MA – 2014 Dayton Hamvention

SPROUT Slow Scan TV and Digitalker Active

Sáb, 05/31/2014 - 15:26

SSTV image received from SPROUT by Mario LU4EOU on May 31, 2014 at 0408 UT

Slow Scan TV (SSTV) images in Scottie 1 format have been successfully received from the amateur radio satellite SPROUT on 437.600 MHz FM (+/- 9 kHz Doppler shift). The Digitalker has also been active.

SPROUT, a 20 x 20 x 22 cm amateur radio nano-satellite with a mass of 7.1 kg, launched successfully with the L-band (1236.5 MHz/1257.5 MHz/1278.5 MHz) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite ALOS-2 on May 24, 2014 at 0305 UT. SPROUT is now in a 654 km, 97.9 degree inclination Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).

SPROUT (Space Research On Unique Technology) was built by students from Nihon University and its objectives are:

SPROUT Satellite – Credit Nihon-Univ. Miyazaki Laboratory

1. Operation of satellite by radio amateurs.

A FM Digitalker will enable the satellite to speak to amateurs around the world.

The Voice Message Box will record transmissions from radio amateurs and play them back.

Pre-loaded images from the Message Gallery can be transmitted using Slow Scan TV (SSTV).

Pictures of the Earth can be transmitted by SSTV and radio amateurs can receive it using free software such as MMSSTV. As part of the Earth mapping project the team ask radio amateurs to contribute pictures they have received from the satellite for display on the SPROUT website.

The satellite also has a packet radio Digipeater and Text Message Box function.

2. Demonstration of the deployment of the combined membrane structure and verification of the design method of the structure SPROUT has a triangular membrane supported by two tubes like framework. They are folded and stored in the satellite before the launch. After the launch, the nitrogen gas is injected into the tubes in space, and they extend, so that the membrane deploys (called “combined membrane structure”).

3. Demonstration of attitude determination and control of a nanosatellite using the sun sensors, gyros, geomagnetic sensor and magnetic torquers.

Callsign: JQ1ZJQ
Size: 214x210x220 mm
Weight: 7.1 kg
Mode: 1200bps AFSK, 9600bps GMSK
CW downlink 437.525 MHz
FM packet downlink 437.525 MHz
Digipeater uplink 437.600 MHz
Digitalker downlink 437.600 MHz
SSTV downlink 437.600 MHz

SPROUT Amateur Radio SSTV Satellite

SPROUT English website

SPROUT Japanese website

Nihon-Univ. Miyazaki Laboratory on Facebook

Telemetry Software

Telemetry format

SPROUT launch data page’s from the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) are also available at

Adding new satellites to SatPC32, Gpredict and Nova

Free Slow Scan TV (SSTV) software MMSSTV

The JE9PEL website has information on other satellites on this launch

Read the Overview of the L-band SAR Onboard ALOS-2 here.

SPROUT satellite students at Nihon-University Miyazaki Laboratory

KLETSkous Linear Transponder Demonstration

Jue, 05/29/2014 - 16:35

This video shows a demonstration, given on May 24, 2014, of the KLETSkous 1U Cubesat amateur radio transponder.

A 435/145 Linear transponder is planned with a bandwidth of 20 kHz.

Currently the team are considering frequencies in the 435.100 to 435.140 MHz range for the uplink and 145.860 to 145.980 MHz for the downlink.

The scientific payload will be an experiment analysing “Worm Holes”. This experiment will try and find the portholes between Sun and Earth.

Further information at
and at

Watch KLETSkous 1U CubeSat Satellite Transponder Demo

GEO 2014 Symposium Videos Released

Mar, 05/27/2014 - 23:37

National Space Centre Leicester

A video collection of the presentations given at the Group for Earth Observation (GEO) Symposium on Saturday, April 26, 2014 has been released.

GEO is a group of enthusiasts interested in the amateur reception of weather and earth imaging satellites. They produce a first-rate quarterly magazine, samples can be seen at

Watch the GEO 2014 Symposium videos recorded at the National Space Centre in Leicester at

The GEO Yahoo Group can be found at

Group for Earth Observation (GEO)