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June GEO Newsletter available for free download

søn, 10/06/2018 - 21:14

GEO Newsletter 58 Front CoverThe June PDF of the weather satellite publication GEO Newsletter produced by the Group for Earth Observation is now available for free download.

The Group for Earth Observation’s aim is to enable amateur reception of weather and earth imaging satellites that are in orbit or planned for launch in the near future. Membership of GEO is free.

Among the items in this newsletter Francis Bell G7CND writes about the GEO display at the Kempton Park Amateur Radio Rally, Les Hamilton provides an update on the Meteor M2 satellite and of course there are the impressive weather satellite images received by members.

Download the June 2018 GEO Newsletter from

Group for Earth Observation

Ofcom Consultation: World Radiocommunication Conference 2019

tor, 07/06/2018 - 14:11

Ofcom has published a consultation on the UK’s preparations for the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) of the International Telecommunication Union.

WRCs are held approximately every four years, and take decisions concerning the identification and international harmonisation of spectrum bands. Ofcom represents the UK at WRCs.

The next conference will take place between October 28 and November 22, 2019. It will consider a wide range of issues across a number of sector interests including mobile broadband, maritime, aeronautical, satellite and scientific use of spectrum.

The public consultation closes on September 13, 2018, details at

Oscar News – Your input will be very welcome

tor, 07/06/2018 - 13:43

OSCAR News 221 Spring 2018 Front CoverThe editors of the quarterly OSCAR NEWS magazine are now starting their hard work to put together the next edition. This will be published around the end of June.

Your news, views and articles for Oscar News are always very welcome. These really are the most exciting times to be involved win the amateur satellite world with so many unique new projects underway. The magazine continues to provide interesting details about these various space missions and the groundstations needed to communicate with them.

We are able to accept your input in almost any of the usual formats but please keep the images separate or put them at the end of the document.

Please contact us at ON-editor@amsat.org with your information or if you have any questions.

Thanks and 73 Graham – G3VZV

Russian SiriusSat CubeSats to be deployed during spacewalk

fre, 01/06/2018 - 14:09
SiriusSat-1 RS13S and SiriusSat-2 RS14S CubeSats

SiriusSat-1 (RS13S) and SiriusSat-2 (RS14S) CubeSats

It is planned that two Russian CubeSats will be deployed from the International Space Station in August during a spacewalk (EVA).

SiriusSat-1 (SXC1-181) call sign RS13S beacon 435.570 MHz
SiriusSat-2 (SXC1-182) call sign RS14S beacon 435.670 MHz

The satellites are at RSC Energia, where they are undergoing additional checks before being sent to the International Space Station. A launch is planned for July 10 on a Progress cargo vehicle to the ISS with deployment in August during a spacewalk.

Sputnix Facebook post https://www.facebook.com/Sputnixru/posts/1589717307807600

Amateur radio satellites in TX Factor Show episode 21

ons, 30/05/2018 - 21:11

In episode 21 of the TX Factor show Bob McCreadie G0FGX and Mike Marsh G1IAR discuss the linear (SSB/CW) amateur radio satellites and give a demonstration with the CAMSAT XW-2F satellite.

They also review the new Icom IC-7610 transceiver, and look at programming your SDR handie and running a SharkRF openSPOT digital radio IP gateway.

As always, in their free-to-enter draw, there’s a chance to win two great amateur radio-related items – a Prism dust cover for your rig, and a copy of the book “Amsats and HamSats”.

Bob and Mike discuss satellites near the start of the show and towards the end at 48:08 they give a live demonstration of the CAMSAT XW-2F SSB transponder satellite.

Watch TX Factor – Episode 21 (TXF021)

CAMSAT XW-2 Satellites https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/communications/camsat-xw-2/

AMSAT-UK: https://amsat-uk.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmsatUK
Facebook: https://facebook.com/AmsatUK
YouTube: https://youtube.com/AmsatUK

Bulgarian CubeSat EnduroSat on ISS awaiting deployment

ons, 30/05/2018 - 14:57
EnduroSat One

EnduroSat One

Bulgaria’s first CubeSat, EnduroSat One, was launched to the International Space Station on the cargo resupply OA-9 mission on May 21, 2018 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia, USA. On May 24 the Cygnus capsule docked to the Station and the satellite was taken onboard the ISS.

The satellite will be deployed from the ISS in the coming weeks.

The mission aims to popularize the Radio Amateur activities in Bulgaria and it will include cooperation with Bulgarian Federation of Radio Amateurs (BFRA), including workshops and additional educational activities.

The spacecraft has been completely build in Bulgaria. This first educational mission aims to inspire young Bulgarians and give them the chance to participate in a real space program!

The Space Challenges and EnduroSat teams have invested considerable resources, time and effort in preparing the Bulgarian CubeSat. In order to support the Radio Amateur community, the satellite emits in frequencies which are readily available for receiving by anyone with basic communication skills and radio equipment.

It is hoped the mission will help more young Bulgarians learn the basics of satellite communications through practical exercises empowered by the orbiting satellite.

Radio amateurs from around the Globe will be able to listen to the satellite beacon and to receive telemetry data from the satellite on a regular basis. They will be able to connect to the satellite, receive detailed telemetry information and receive a confirmation from the satellite for every established connection which will serve as QSL card.

Beacon: 437.050 MHz CW and 9600 bps GMSK AX.25

See the EnduroSat site for further information http://one.endurosat.com/

Bulgarian Federation of Radio Amateurs (BFRA) http://bfra.bg/
Google English site translation http://tinyurl.com/BulgariaBFRA

IARU R1 highlights threat to higher ham radio bands

man, 28/05/2018 - 12:35

In issue 77 of the free IARU Region 1 VHF newsletter the Chair of VHF-UHF-uW committee Jacques Verleijen ON4AVJ highlights the threats to vital amateur radio spectrum at VHF, UHF and Microwaves.

In less than a year we will have our interim meeting about the use of the spectrum above 30 MHz. We have to face some challenges. I want to invite all Member Societies to think about how to promote, defend and use our frequencies.

They are wanted by others, both government and commercial, users. So this is a wake-up call to be aware that if we not are using those bands we will lose them. Such a setback will not be the responsibility of IARU(R1), if we lose them, but from the amateur community who often have more commitment to HF, than VHF&up.

I know that this statement will shock some of you, but it is true. Our survey on the use of VHF&up made this clear. So I want to invite all Member Societies to think creatively (out of the box, as we say now) to think how to improve activity on our dear bands.

Like some have said: “use them or lose them” and “HF is not the only bands for ham radio, but they are the easiest to use”.

Download the May 2018 newsletter from http://www.iaru-r1.org/index.php/vhfuhsshf/newsletters

DSLWP amateur radio satellites to launch to Lunar orbit

søn, 20/05/2018 - 00:02
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

DSLWP is a lunar formation flying mission led by Harbin Institute of Technology for low frequency radio astronomy, amateur radio and education. It consists of a pair of 47 kg microsatellites, to be launched into a lunar transfer orbit Sunday evening GMT, and finally enter a 300 x 9000km lunar elliptical orbit. Onboard each satellite, there are two VHF/UHF SDR transceivers to provide beacon, telemetry, telecommand, digital image downlink and a GMSK-JT4 repeater. Onboard transmitting power is about 2 W.

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 the first launch window will open at about 21:30 GMT Sunday, May 20. The transmitters will be activated soon after separation. Satellite A will transmit 500 baud GMSK with 1/4 turbo code on 435.425 MHz and 250 baud GMSK with 1/2 turbo code and precoder on 436.425 MHz, and satellite B will transmit 500 baud GMSK with 1/4 turbo code on 435.400 MHz and 250 baud GMSK with 1/2 turbo code and precoder on 436.400 MHz, in every 5 minutes by default. Each transmission will last about 16 seconds. Radio amateurs in South America will have the earliest chance to receive the signals from the satellites, then North America, Oceania, Asia, Europe and Africa.

Harbin Institute of Technology Amateur Radio Club expects radio amateurs to join in this mission. We will prepare different QSL cards for different flight phase for amateurs successfully made QSO or received telemetry. Awards will also be given to the first 10 amateurs in each continent who successfully decoded the signals from the satellites, received the most number of packets, or received an image. Your participation will also help the team to get a better knowledge of the status of the satellites.

An open source decoding software based on GNU Radio to work with RTL-SDR and USRP is provided. Not difficult to change the grc files to support other SDR receivers. A small proxy software will send the decoded data to a server for real-time display.

IARU frequency coordination page:

Link budgets: http://lilacsat.hit.edu.cn/wp/?page_id=676

Decoder (GNU Radio OOT module): https://github.com/bg2bhc/gr-dslwp

Decoder (Linux Live CD): https://1drv.ms/u/s!Av6J6WjI3UbMhHm8gwMr4Z_keqWH

TLE: http://lilacsat.hit.edu.cn/tle/dslwp.txt

DSLWP-A Telemetry Display: http://lilacsat.hit.edu.cn/dashboard/pages_en/telemetry-a.html

DSLWP-B Telemetry Display: http://lilacsat.hit.edu.cn/dashboard/pages_en/telemetry-b.html

DSLWP Lunar Satellite

DSLWP Lunar Satellite

CAMSAT amateur radio transponder satellites to launch this year

man, 14/05/2018 - 16:49

CAMSAT has released details of three new amateur radio satellites, CAS-5A, CAS-5B and CAS-6, that are hoped to launch in September 2018. Two of the satellites CAS-5A and CAS-6 will carry transponders.

CAS-5A a 6U CubeSat which will include the following capabilities:
• HF/HF – H/T Mode Linear Transponder
• HF/UHF – H/U Mode Linear Transponder
• HF – CW Telemetry Beacon
• VHF/UHF – V/U Mode Linear Transponder
• VHF/UHF – V/U Mode FM Transponder
• UHF – CW Telemetry Beacon
• UHF – AX.25 4.8k/9.6k Baud GMSK Telemetry.

The transponders will have 30 kHz bandwidths except the H/U one which will be 15 kHz. Planning a launch in September 2018 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center into a 539×533 km 97.5 degree orbit.

CAS-5B a femto-satellite architecture 90Lx80Wx50H mm with a mass of 0.5kg Proposing a UHF CW beacon and to be deployed from CAS-5A when in space.

CAS-6 a 50 kg micro satellite approx 490 x 499 x 430 mm. It will include:
• VHF CW Telemetry Beacon
• U/V Mode 20 kHz Linear Transponder
• AX.25 4.8k baud GMSK telemetry downlink
• Deployable Antennas
• Solar Panels, Lithium ion battery and power controller
• Integrated Housekeeping Unit
• Three-axis stabilization system
• Atmospheric Wind detector
• S-band TT&C system (non-amateur radio band)
• X-band Data link system (non-amateur radio band)

Planning a Sea Launch Pad from the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology in September 2018 into a 579 x 579 km 45 degree orbit.

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

Amateur satellite operation from Isle of Islay

søn, 13/05/2018 - 21:21

Camb-Hams 2018 Isle of IslayThe AMSAT News Service reports members of Camb-Hams operating GS3PYE/P will be active on the amateur radio satellites from the Isle of Islay between May 13-18.

The Camb-Hams have been activating the Scottish Isles each year since 2008. As in the past, ten or more operators will be active on all bands and many modes from 4m to 80m, 2m & 70cm for Satellites and 2m & 23cm for EME.

The HF bands will be covered by four simultaneous stations while the 6m & 4m stations will have a great take-off towards the UK and Europe. All stations will be able to run at the full UK power limit. EME operations will use 150W to 55 elements on 23cm and 400W to 17 elements on 2m, primarily on JT65, but also available for CW skeds – if your station is big enough. Satellite operations on 2m & 70cm will use X-Quad antennas and a fully automatic Az/El tracking system.

Activity is planned on AO-7 (mode B), VO-52, FO-29, SO-50 & AO-73.

Most importantly, this is a group of good friends doing what they enjoy, so please give them a call and enjoy the trip with them. They will be active on the major social networks before, during and after the trip, you can check on their progress and interact with the operators via their blog or through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube [see links below]. Please check their Web page for details on how to arrange skeds on the more challenging bands, modes, VHF and EME.

QSL via OQRS (info on QRZ.com) or M0VFC direct or via bureau.


Linear transponder CubeSat to deploy from ISS

tor, 10/05/2018 - 21:12

Masa JN1GKZ reports JAXA has announced three CubeSats, Irazu (Costa Rica), 1KUNS-PF (Kenya) and UBAKUSAT (Turkey)  will deploy from the International Space Station on Friday, May 11 between 1030-1040 GMT.

Two of them are known to carry amateur radio payloads, 1KUNS-PF has a telemetry beacon while UBAKUSAT carries a linear transponder for amateur radio SSB and CW communications in additional to a telemetry beacon.

The deployment will be broadcast live YouTube on YouTube, watch from 1000 GMT Friday, May 11.

3U CubeSat
Digital downlink 9600bps 437.300 MHz

3U CubeSat
Beacon 437.225 MHz
Telemetry 437.325 MHz
Linear Transponder
– 435.200-435.250 MHz downlink
– 145.940-145.990 MHz uplink

Source Masa JN1GKZ Tokyo Japan

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

Additional Spectrum in EI – Clarification from IRTS

lør, 05/05/2018 - 15:49
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

Amateur radio regulatory changes in Eire

Ada Lace book features amateur radio and space communications

tor, 03/05/2018 - 16:16
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 http://amzn.to/2DbKt9L

Emily Calandrelli KD8PKR

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/

Free online amateur radio Foundation course https://www.essexham.co.uk/train/foundation-online/

Protected: Unicorn-2a PocketQube Satellite

tir, 01/05/2018 - 20:17

This post is password protected. You must visit the website and enter the password to continue reading.

Amateur radio regulatory changes in Eire

tir, 01/05/2018 - 16:30

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