If you follow DX news at all, you've probably heard that the same group that
put K5D on the air from Desecheo has been granted approval for Navassa.
AMSAT provided a radio and antenna for the K5D operation and many ops got a
brand new one on satellite. I've offered to the group to again provide gear
and training for satellite operations, including linear transponders this
time. I received an immediate response indicating they would inquire with
the team for any interested ops.
I've gotten several inquiries about this, and just wanted to share that we
did indeed reach out to them with an offer of gear and assistance.
73, Drew KO4MA
AMSAT VP Operations
From the ARRL website:
Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads Among Those Lost in Launch
The GOMX-2 and RACE CubeSats were among more than 2 dozen satellites that were lost after an unmanned Orbital Space Sciences (OSC) Antares 130 vehicle
exploded spectacularly shortly after launch at 2222 UTC on Tuesday, October 28, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island on Virginia’s
Eastern Shore. Both satellite packages carried payloads that operated on Amateur Radio frequencies. The Antares is a new medium-class launch vehicle
developed by OSC.
The rocket exploded about 6 seconds after launch, sending a huge ball of fire hurtling toward the ground, which set a massive fire at the NASA launch
“A mishap has occurred at pad 0A,” a launch conductor said during the live broadcast on NASA TV. “There is no indication there is personnel in danger,
although we do have significant property damage and significant vehicle damage.”
The 2U GMX-2 CubeSat was intended to test a de-orbit system designed by Aalborg University in Denmark. Karl Klaus Laursen, OZ2KK, is listed as the
“responsible operator” on International Amateur Radio Union frequency coordination documents. The Amateur Radio payload proposed using a 9.6 k MSK
data downlink on 437.250 MHz. Also on board was an optical communications experiment from the National University of Singapore. The mission also hoped to
flight qualify a new high-speed UHF transceiver and SDR receiver built by an Aalborg University team.
The Radiometer Atmospheric Cubesat Experiment (RACE) CubeSat was a joint project between The Texas Spacecraft Laboratory (TSL) at the University of
Texas-Austin and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). It carried a 183 GHz radiometer, a new science instrument designed by JPL. The primary
objective of the RACE mission was to collect atmospheric water vapor measurements. The spacecraft was equipped to transmit using GMSK at 38.4 k and
CW telemetry on a downlink frequency of 437.525MHz, as coordinated with the IARU. TSL’s Edgar Glenn Lightsey, KE5DDG, was listed in the IARU
coordination documents as the responsible operator.
The Antares 130 launcher was on a resupply mission, carrying some 5000 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station. GOMX-2 and the other satellites
onboard the rocket were to be launched into orbit from the International Space Station.
The Antares 130 also was carrying the Flock-1d array of 26 satellites as well as Arkyd-3, Cygnus CRS-3, and the RACE CubeSat
9600 baud differences in the D700 vs D7?
We are testing a cubesat with 9600 baud AX.25 uplink on VHF and it works
fine with the D7 as the transmitting radio, but the satellite ignores the
same commands transmitted from the D700 radio. Anyone else noticed this?
I guess we will have to put it on a scope and see if we can see the
But maybe we are doing something stupid. The D700 (and D7) receive the
cubesat just fine.
I knew there was a slight difference on 1200 baud with regard to
pre-and-de-emphasis between the two radios, but that should not apply at
9600 which is baseband modulated.
-----------------------Antares Launch Postponed to Oct. 28
Posted on October 27, 2014 at 6:47 pm
The next launch attempt for Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket carrying its
Cygnus cargo spacecraft is scheduled for 6:22 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Oct. 28
from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight
Facility in Virginia. There is a 10 minute launch window. Live coverage on
NASA TV will begin at 5:30 p.m. EDT.
Monday’s launch attempt was scrubbed because of a boat down range in the
trajectory Antares would have flown had it lifted off.
At last report, the weather forecast for Oct. 28 was 95-percent favorable.
Arrival of the Cygnus spacecraft at the International Space Station would
occur Nov. 2.
› How to View the CRS-3 Launch:
>Maps of viewing locations:
> NASA's Orbital Website:
Should be quite a show from those of us in the mid-Atlantic area.
It was nice to hear K4SQC making his first contact on AO-73 last night
Since the inception of the 73 on 73 award, over 100 unique call signs
have been copied by AC0RA over North America. Paulo, PV8DX has been
the only South American station I have personally heard and worked.
Others in the US have reported working him.
I've seen several emails implying it is somewhat esoteric to make
contacts via AO-73.
AO-73 remains the easiest bird to hear after the loss of VO-52. It
doesn't not require much power or high gain antennas to use
effectively. If you are not hearing it, you should not increase your
power. Many stations are successfully using Elk and Arrow-style
portable antennas with low-power QRP-style transceivers such as the
Pick a clear downlink frequency in the transponder's pass band.
Adjust your uplink frequency until you hear your own signal. It's
that simple. Make adjustments to the uplink frequency as necessary so
that you do not "drift" across the pass band.
Manual tuning is probably best for most stations. Follow the rule of
tuning/adjusting your higher frequency (the UHF uplink.) You can you
use computer control via SatPC32 if you keep your fingers on the +/-
buttons and pay close attention to the frequency.
It's exciting to see some new stations getting on the SSB birds and
using AO-73 in their rover plans!!!