Hello The Net:
Recently highlighted in the ANS Weekly Bulletin:
*Achieving Science with CubeSats: Thinking Inside the Box*
A free download, as a .PDF, is available from the National Academies Press.
Check in as a guest and download. Should be an interesting read.
Stan, W1LE Cape Cod FN41sr
An International Space Station school contact has been planned with participants at Venta School, Carp, ON, Canada on 30 May. The event is scheduled to begin at approximately 19:01 UTC. It is recommended that you start listening approximately 10 minutes before this time.The duration of the contact is approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds. The contact will be a telebridge between OA4ISS and IK1SLD. The contact should be audible over Italy and adjacent areas. Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.80 MHz downlink. The contact is expected to be conducted in English.
Venta Preparatory School is a small co-ed day and boarding school from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 10, located just outside of Ottawa in Carp, Ontario. We foster and continually enhance an environment where each student can grow and achieve their highest potential.
Participants will ask as many of the following questions as time allows:
1) How do different cultural backgrounds of the astronauts impact space
2) What are the topics of conversation between the different astronauts
given they are from different countries?
3) What is the common language on board the space station? Is there a common
language that all must speak?
4) Do you use personal tablets or electronic devices on board - can an
IPhone work in space?
5) How do you feel both emotionally and physically on the space station?
6) Are your meals decided for you or do you have a choice - can you bring
favorite items with you from earth?
7) Do you envision a future space station with hundreds of people on board?
8) What specific work or research are you doing during your mission on the
9) How does the line of authority work on the space station - does the
commanding officer have final say on all decisions?
10) What are your favorite views of earth?
11) With fans/equipment running, is it noisy or quiet on board?
12) What are the temperatures and climate settings like.is it cool and who
PLEASE CHECK THE FOLLOWING FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ARISS UPDATES:
Visit ARISS on Facebook. We can be found at Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS).
To receive our Twitter updates, follow @ARISS_status
Next planned event(s):
1. Bouze Island Elementary and Junior High School, Homeji, Japan, direct
via 8N3B. The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
The scheduled astronaut is Timothy Peake KG5BVI
Contact is a go for: Sat 2016-06-04 08:31:09 UTC
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students in classrooms or informal education venues. With the help of experienced amateur radio volunteers, ISS crews speak directly with large audiences in a variety of public forums. Before and during these radio contacts, students, teachers, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio. For more information, see www.ariss.org, www.amsat.org, and www.arrl.org.
Thank you & 73,
David - AA4KN
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
Not sure what this means, if all of us are going to be on the radio
on a Saturday evening. :-) Regardless, the ISS pass should be a
really good pass for you, and NO-84 pretty good as well. Do you
use software like UISS, or just a simple terminal program, for packet?
On Sat, May 28, 2016 at 11:43 PM, Glenn Miller - AA5PK <aa5pk(a)suddenlink.net
> I'll give it a try on that pass. I'll have decent elevation.
> Perhaps Jack can join in also.
> Glenn AA5PK
> -----Original Message----- From: Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) Sent:
> Saturday, May 28, 2016 5:57 PM To: amsat-bb(a)amsat.org Subject: [amsat-bb]
> Anyone for ISS packet QSO, 0248-0258 UTC tonight?
> I will be lurking on the ISS pass over the continental USA and northern
> Mexico this evening at 0248-0258 UTC. This pass will be at a maximum
> elevation of 42 degrees here in central Arizona, and I'm hoping to find
> other operators at the keyboard to possibly make a QSO or three. I use
> my Kenwood TH-D72A and Elk log periodic, and I can make QSOs using APRS
AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and infor-
mation service of AMSAT North America, The Radio Amateur Satellite
Corporation. ANS publishes news related to Amateur Radio in Space
including reports on the activities of a worldwide group of Amateur
Radio operators who share an active interest in designing, building,
launching and communicating through analog and digital Amateur Radio
The news feed on http://www.amsat.org publishes news of Amateur
Radio in Space as soon as our volunteers can post it.
Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to:
ans-editor at amsat.org.
In this edition:
* Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D Launch No Earlier Than July 28, 2016
* 2016 AMSAT-NA Board of Directors Nominations Notice
* AMSAT's Bob Carpenter W3OTC Inducted into CQ Hall of Fame
* AMSAT Demonstration Station at the Dayton Hamvention Recap
* A Tiny Satellite of Your Very Own
* New VHF, UHF, uW Handbook Available for Download
* Amateur Satellite Launch from India
* UWE-3 Status Report
* Tomsk-TPU-120 CubeSat Video
* Es’Hail-2 Geostationary P4-A Transponder Frequencies
* ÑUSAT-1 SSB/CW Transponder Satellite
* ESA Announces Winning Radio Amateurs
* Symposium to Address Interference-free Satellite Services
* DCC Call for Papers
* AMSAT Events
* ARISS News
* Satellite Shorts From All Over
SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-150.01
ANS-150 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 150.01
>From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE May 29, 2016
To All RADIO AMATEURS
Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D Launch No Earlier Than July 28, 2016
This week AMSAT Vice-President Engineering, Jerry Buxton, N0JY, announced
at the Dayton Hamvention AMSAT Forum on Saturday that the launch for
Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D is now NET (No Earlier Than) July 28, 2016.
Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D will be integrated onto the Spaceflight Sherpa
platform for its maiden flight aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch from
Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Not a member of AMSAT yet?
You're invited to join on-line at:
Please consider making a donation to support the Fox-1 series of cubesats
using the links on the front page
[ANS thanks AMSAT Vice-President Engineering, Jerry Buxton, N0JY, for the
2016 AMSAT-NA Board of Directors Nominations Notice
It's time to submit nominations for the upcoming AMSAT-NA Board of
Directors election. Three director's terms expire this year: Tom
Clark, K3IO, JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM, and Lou McFadin, W5DID. In
addition, up to two Alternates may be elected for one year terms.
A valid nomination requires either one Member Society or five current
individual members in good standing to nominate an AMSAT-NA member for
Director. Written nominations, consisting of the nominee's name and
call, and the nominating individual's names, calls and individual
signatures should be mailed to: AMSAT-NA, 10605 Concord St, #304
Kensington, MD 20895-2526.
In addition to traditional submissions of written nominations, which
is the preferred method, the intent to nominate someone may be made by
electronic means. These include e-mail, Fax, or electronic image of a
petition. Electronic petitions should be sent to MARTHA at AMSAT.ORG
or Faxed to (301)822-4371.
No matter what means is used, petitions MUST arrive no later than June
15th at the AMSAT-NA office. If the nomination is a traditional
written nomination, no other action is required. If it is other than
this, i.e. electronic, a verifying traditional written petition MUST
be received at the AMSAT-NA office at the above address within 7 days
following the close of nominations on June 15th.
ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS WITHOUT THIS SECOND, WRITTEN VERIFICATION ARE
NOT VALID UNDER THE EXISTING AMSAT-NA BYLAWS.
[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA Secretary, Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, for the above
AMSAT's Bob Carpenter W3OTC Inducted into CQ Hall of Fame
Bob Carpenter, W3OTC, a longtime devoted AMAST volunteer became a Silent Key
Friday, January 8th. Bill Tynan, W3XO, wrote a memorial item in ANS-024
AMSAT has received the news that Bob has been inducted into the CQ Hall of
CQ ANNOUNCES 2016 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES (Press Release, Date May 20th):
CQ magazine today announced its 2016 Hall of Fame inductees, including
only the second non-amateurs elected to the CQ DX Hall of Fame, two new
inductees to the CQ Contest Hall of Fame and 21 new members of the CQ
Amateur Radio Hall of Fame.
The CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame honors those individuals, whether
licensed hams or not, who have made significant contributions to amateur
radio; and those amateurs who have made significant contributions either
to amateur radio, to their professional careers or to some other aspect
of life on our planet. The 2016 inductees (listed alphabetically) are:
Bob Arnold, N2JEU (SK) - Co-developer (with Keith Lamonica, W7DXX,
see below) of the first internet-controlled remote base
Grant Bingeman, KM5RG (SK) - Developed "method of moments" antenna
modeling software for AM broadcast stations and 160-meter
Bob Carpenter, W3OTC (SK) - Pioneer of meteor scatter and FM stereo
broadcast technology; longtime AMSAT volunteer
David Dary, W5ZAX - Journalist, author, journalism educator - former
correspondent for CBS and NBC News, journalism professor
at University of Kansas and University of Oklahoma, author
of over 20 books on the American West
Matt Ettus, N2MJI - Software defined radio pioneer; developed first
Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) with GNU radio
Terry Fox, WB4FJI - Packet radio pioneer; primary developer of AX.25
amateur packet protocol
Elmer "Bud" Frohardt, Jr., W9DY (SK) -- The original "Elmer" for whom
ham radio mentors are named (courtesy of a 1971 QST "How's
DX?" column by Rod Newkirk, W9BRD/VA3ZBB)
Fred Gissoni, K4JLX (SK) - Adaptive technology pioneer; co-developer
of the Porta-Braille and Pocket-Braille note-taking devices
for the visually impaired, as well as many other devices
Ken Kellerman, K2AOE - Radioastronomer; pioneer of radio interferometry;
co-developer of very long baseline interferometry (VLBI),
which permits multiple telescopes to function as a single
Keith Lamonica, W7DXX - Co-developer (with the late Bob Arnold, N2JEU)
of the first internet-controlled remote base
George Mitchell, K6ZE (SK) - Member of the Tuskegee Airmen in World
War II and 2007 recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal
for his wartime service
Les Mitchell, G3BHK (SK) - Founder of Jamboree on the Air (JOTA), annual
event to introduce amateur radio to scouts and guides around
William Moerner, WN6I - Co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Prize in chemistry
for his work in high-resolution microscopy
Leigh Orf, KG4ULP - Co-developer of tornado simulator using computer
modeling to simulate conditions under which tornadoes form
Joe Rudi, NK7U - Former Major League baseball player; 3-time All-Star
Wes Schum, W9DYV (SK) - Co-founder of Central Electronics, developed
first commercially-manufactured amateur radio SSB transmitter
Garry Shandling, ex-KQ6KA/KD6OY (SK) - Well-known comedian, actor, writer
and television personality
Mason Southwirth, ex-W1VLH (SK) - Head of ARRL International Geophysical
Year (IGY) Propagation Research Project in 1958-59; conducted
additional propagation research at Stanford University
Boris Stepanov, RU3AX (ex-UW3AX) - Leading Russian amateur, deputy editor
of Russian Radio magazine; pioneer of computerized contest
logging and log-checking; developed prototype for World
Radiosport Team Championships (WRTC); first to propose "glass
cockpit" for ham transceiver, combining frequency readout
and spectrum scope on front panel display
Rufus Turner, W3LF (SK) - Believed to be the first African-American radio
amateur in the U.S.; helped develop 1N34A diode; wrote 1949
article in Radio-Electronics magazine on how to "Build a
Perry Williams, W1UED (SK) - Longtime ARRL Washington Coordinator and
League archivist; convinced Congress to approve vanity call-
sign program and not to impose a license application fee on
amateurs; persuaded FCC to retain large amateur microwave al-
locations and to create primary amateur allocation at 2.4 GHz
[ANS thanks CQ Magazine for the above information]
AMSAT Demonstration Station at the Dayton Hamvention Recap
This was my first year running the AMSAT demonstration station at the
Dayton Hamvention after Keith Pugh, W5IU, had run it for many years.
After volunteering at the demo station the past couple of years, I
knew what to expect: a poor horizon to the north (due to the arena),
high levels of RF (including lids running FM simplex inside the
satellite subband on 2m), and lots of fun demoing satellite operation
to curious newcomers as well as meeting many satellite operators I've
worked on the satellites in person.
The core of the demo station was similar to past years. I brought my
pair of Yaesu FT-817s (known fondly among many satellite operators as
a Yaesu FT-1634) as well as a Windows 10 tablet and a FUNcube Dongle
Pro+. The antenna was an Arrow II 146/437-10BP and I also brought a
cheap Optera camera tripod. In addition, John Papay, K8YSE, brought
his Icom IC-910H, laptop, and Arrow antenna on a speaker stand with a
mount that allowed a smooth way to change polarity throughout the
pass. With this mix of equipment, we were able to demonstrate several
methods of satellite operating: computer controlled Doppler tuning of
a transceiver designed for satellite operating, manual Doppler tuning
with a pair of VHF/UHF all-mode transceivers, and use of an SDR
receiver with a VHF/UHF all-mode receiver for full-duplex operating on
The demo area was up and running by the time the outdoor areas of the
Hamvention opened at 8:00am on Friday morning. Our first pass was an
XW-2A pass at 8:17am, with K8YSE operating his IC-910H and KD8CAO
running the antenna. The demos were generally a two man operation with
one operator at the radio and one serving as the antenna rotor. After
this pass, we listened to the 70cm PSK31 signal from NO-84 and a few
packet bursts from the ISS using the FUNcube Dongle Pro+ and Windows
10 tablet before a pair of AO-85 passes and an XW-2F pass operated by
By special request, the AO-73 transponder was activated a day area and
was available for Friday morning's demos. I operated the 10:51am pass
with my pair of Yaesu FT-817s. A video of this pass is available on
the AMSAT North America Facebook page:
Later, I operated an SO-50 and FO-29 pass with that pair of FT-817s as
well, but had to fight strong desense. After those two passes, I
grabbed a diplexer I had brought and placed it on the 2m transmit side
(to filter out the third harmonic from the transmitter) and
experienced no further desense problems with my setup. PY5LF captured
part of the SO-50 pass on video:
K8YSE then operated the rest of the FO-29, AO-7, and SO-50 passes
On Saturday morning, we opened with listening (and decoding a bit) to
the PSK31 beacon on NO-84. Unfortunately, we did not have HF transmit
capability. The signal from NO-84's PSK31 transponder is very good and
I highly recommend anyone who can transmit on 10m at 25-50 watts and
receive a 70cm FM signal give it a try.
After working an XW-2F pass with the pair of FT-817s, I decided to
give the SDR receiver a try and made one QSO each on XW-2C and XW-2A
using the SDR as a downlink receiver. This was the first time I had
tried doing this and it was fun, though I definitely need some more
practice with it! I also tried the SDR receiver on AO-73 and FO-29 and
made a couple of QSOs.
Shortly after the ARRL Youth Forum ended around noon, a large crowd
began to arrive at the demo area. Nine-year old Hope Lea, KM4IPF, who
had given a talk at the Youth Forum operated a pass of SO-50 around
12:19pm and made many QSOs from coast-to-coast. A video of this pass
is available from the AMSAT North America Facebook page:
After the SO-50 pass, we made several QSOs on FO-29 and then listened
to the SPROUT digitalker. The SPROUT digitalker is generally active on
Saturday passes. A video of this pass is available here:
K8YSE then operated the Saturday afternoon passes of FO-29, AO-7, and
AO-85 with his Icom IC-910H setup. Highlights included several of us
passing around the microphone to work Paulo, PV8DX, in Brazil.
We got an early start on Sunday morning, operating a pass of AO-85 to
the northeast using my dual FT-817 setup just prior to 8:00am.
Although I was the only person in the demo area, I made three QSOs on
AO-85, holding the antenna myself and leaning over the table to
operate the radio. After this, I operated a pass of XW-2F around
8:30am. For the 8:44am XW-2A pass, ARRL Media & Public Relations
Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, took the microphone and made several QSOs
on that pass while I pointed the antenna. Although I did have a tripod
for the antenna, I was simply using the stock camera tripod mount and
had no way to adjust polarity. Since polarity is so critical while
operating satellites, the operators who pointed the antenna while
using my Arrow generally took the antenna off the tripod and held it
in their hand for quick polarity adjustments. K8YSE's speaker stand
mount demonstrated a good way to mount an Arrow antenna on a tripod
while retaining adequate control over polarity.
The next pass after this was a low western pass of XW-2C where I made
several QSOs. At 9:37am, we operated a pass of AO-85 and made QSOs
from coast-to-coast. A video of AMSAT VP of Operations Drew
Glasbrenner, KO4MA, at the microphone is available at:
I would note that we were using a pair of FT-817s, barefoot, on that
pass and were able to make several QSOs with just 5 watts, mostly full
quieting. Though AO-85 can often take a bit more power to get in to,
QSOs using 5 watts and an Arrow antenna are very possible.
Passes of SO-50, AO-73, and FO-29 rounded out the demos for the
Hamvention and we were QRT at 12:12pm on Sunday, but not before
working MI6GTY in Northern Ireland on FO-29. It was nice to get Europe
in the log from the Dayton Hamvention demo station and it was our last
QSO of the 2016 Hamvention.
The AMSAT demo station has been a fun place to spend a majority of the
last three Dayton Hamventions and I would encourage all satellite
operators and those curious about satellite operation to visit the
station outside of Ball Arena (near the ARRL and AMSAT booth areas)
next May. Volunteers and guest operators are always sought!
A few pictures are posted on the AMSAT North America Facebook page:
(The AMSAT North America Facebook group is very active - in fact,
traffic has likely surpassed the traffic on the AMSAT-BB. If you are
not a member, I would encourage you to check it out
Thanks to the following for volunteering at the demo station (and
apologies if I missed anyone):
Mark Hammond, N8MH
Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA
John Papay, K8YSE
Doug Papay, KD8CAO
Art Payne, VE3GNF
Wyatt Dirks, AC0RA
Michael Kirkhart, KD8QBA
John Brier, KG4AKV
Jeff Griffin, KB2M
Hope Lea, KM4IPF
Sean Kutzko, KX9X
Thanks to the following for providing equipment for the demo station:
Mike Young, WB8CXO (Batteries)
Keith Pugh, W5IU (DC power distribution)
P. S. I did not keep logs at the demo station, though I will remember
if I worked you! If you need a card or LoTW upload for EM79, please
let me know.
[ANS thanks to AMSAT-NA Secretary, Paul Stoetzer, N8HM and his team
for the above information]
A Tiny Satellite of Your Very Own
They're not just for rocket scientists anymore
Satellites used to be the exclusive playthings of rich governments and
corporations. But increasingly, as space becomes more democratized, these
sophisticated technologies are coming within reach of ordinary people. Just
like drones before them, miniature satellites are beginning to fundamentally
transform our conceptions of who gets to do what up above our heads.
As a recent report from the National Academy of Sciences highlights, these
satellites hold tremendous potential for making satellite-based science more
accessible than ever before. However, as the cost of getting your own
in orbit plummets, the risks of irresponsible use grow.
The question here is no longer “Can we?” but “Should we?” What are the
potential downsides of having a slice of space densely populated by
built by people not traditionally labeled as “professionals”? And what would
the responsible and beneficial development and use of this technology
Some of the answers may come from a nonprofit organization that has been
building and launching amateur satellites for nearly 50 years.
Just a few inches across and ready for orbit.
The technology we’re talking about
Having your own personal satellite launched into orbit might sound like an
idea straight out of science fiction. But over the past few decades a unique
class of satellites has been created that fits the bill: CubeSats.
The “Cube” here simply refers to the satellite’s shape. The most common
CubeSat (the so-called “1U” satellite) is a 10 cm (roughly 4 inches)
small that a single CubeSat could easily be mistaken for a paperweight
desk. These mini, modular satellites can fit in a launch vehicle’s formerly
“wasted space.” Multiples can be deployed in combination for more complex
missions than could be achieved by one CubeSat alone.
Within their compact bodies these minute satellites are able to house
and communications receivers/transmitters that enable operators to study the
Earth from space, as well as space around the Earth.
They’re primarily designed for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) – an easily accessible
region of space from around 200 to 800 miles above the Earth, where human-
tended missions like the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space
Station (ISS) hang out. But they can attain more distant orbits; NASA
most of its future Earth-escaping payloads (to the moon and Mars
Because they’re so small and light, it costs much less to get a CubeSat into
Earth orbit than a traditional communication or GPS satellite. For
research group here at Arizona State University recently claimed their
developmental “femtosats” (especially small CubeSats) could cost as
US$3,000 to put in orbit. This decrease in cost is allowing researchers,
hobbyists and even elementary school groups to put simple instruments
by piggybacking onto rocket launches, or even having them deployed from
The first CubeSat was created in the early 2000s, as a way of enabling
and Stanford graduate students to design, build, test and operate a
with similar capabilities to the USSR’s Sputnik.
Since then, NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office and even Boeing
launched and operated CubeSats. There are more than 130 currently
in orbit. The NASA Educational Launch of Nano Satellite (ELaNa) program,
offers free launches for educational groups and science missions, is now
to U.S. nonprofit corporations as well.
Clearly, satellites are not just for rocket scientists anymore.
Thinking inside the box
The National Academy of Sciences report emphasizes CubeSats' importance in
scientific discovery and the training of future space scientists and
Yet it also acknowledges that widespread deployment of LEO CubeSats
The greatest concern the authors raise is space debris – pieces of
orbit the earth, with the potential to cause serious damage if they collide
with operational units, including the ISS.
Currently, there aren’t many CubeSats and they’re tracked closely. Yet
opens up to more amateur satellites, they may pose an increasing threat.
report authors point out, even near-misses might lead to the “creation of an
onerous regulatory framework and affect the future disposition of science
More broadly, the report authors focus on factors that might impede greater
use of CubeSat technologies. These include regulations around
communications, possible impacts of International Traffic in Arms
(which govern import and export of defense-related articles and services
U.S.), and potential issues around extra-terrestrial contamination.
But what about the rest of us? How can we be sure that hobbyists and others
aren’t launching their own “spy” satellites, or (intentionally or not)
polluting technologies into LEO, or even deploying low-cost CubeSat networks
that could be hijacked and used nefariously?
As CubeSat researchers are quick to point out, these are far-fetched
scenarios. But they suggest that now’s the time to ponder unexpected and
unintended possible consequences of more people than ever having access to
their own small slice of space. In an era when you can simply buy a
off the shelf, how can we trust the satellites over our heads were developed
with good intentions by people who knew what they were doing?
Some “expert amateurs” in the satellite game could provide some inspiration
for how to proceed responsibly.
Guidance from experienced amateurs
In 1969, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) was created in
to foster ham radio enthusiasts' participation in space research and
communication. It continued the efforts, begun in 1961, by Project OSCAR – a
U.S.-based group that built and launched the very first nongovernmental
satellite just four years after Sputnik.
As an organization of volunteers, AMSAT was putting “amateur” satellites in
orbit decades before the current CubeSat craze. And over time, its
learned a thing or two about responsibility.
Here, open-source development has been a central principle. Within the
organization, AMSAT has a philosophy of open sourcing everything – making
technical data on all aspects of their satellites fully available to
in the organization, and when possible, the public. According to a member of
the team responsible for FOX 1-A, AMSAT’s first CubeSat:
This means that it would be incredibly difficult to sneak something by us …
there’s no way to smuggle explosives or an energy emitter into an amateur
satellite when everyone has access to the designs and implementation.
However, they’re more cautious about sharing info with nonmembers, as the
organization guards against others developing the ability to hijack and take
control of their satellites.
This form of “self-governance” is possible within long-standing amateur
organizations that, over time, are able to build a sense of
community members, as well as society more generally.
How does responsible development evolve?
But what happens when new players emerge, who don’t have deep roots
Hobbyist and student “new kids on the block” are gaining access to
technologies without being part of a longstanding amateur establishment.
are still constrained by funders, launch providers and a tapestry of
regulations – all of which rein in what CubeSat developers can and
But there is a danger they’re ill-equipped to think through potential
What these unintended consequences might be is admittedly far from clear.
Certainly, CubeSat developers would argue it’s hard to imagine these tiny
satellites causing substantial physical harm. Yet we know innovators can be
remarkably creative with taking technologies in unexpected directions.
something as seemingly benign as the cellphone – we have microfinance
based social networking at one end of the spectrum, improvised explosive
devices at the other.
This is where a culture of social responsibility around CubeSats becomes
important – not simply for ensuring that physical risks are minimized
practices are adhered to), but also to engage with a much larger
anticipating and managing less obvious consequences of the technology.
This is not an easy task. Yet the evidence from AMSAT and other areas of
technology development suggest that responsible amateur communities can
emerge around novel technologies.
For instance, see the diy-bio community, where hobbyists work in advanced
community biotech labs. Their growing community commitment to safety and
responsibility is highlighting how amateurs can embrace responsibility in
research and innovation. A similar commitment is seen within open-source
software and hardware communities, such as the members of the Linux
The challenge here, of course, is ensuring that what an amateur community
considers to be responsible, actually is. Here’s where there needs to be
wider public conversation that extends beyond government agencies and
scientific communities to include students, hobbyists, and anyone who may
potentially stand to be affected by the use of CubeSat technology.
See the Houston Chronicle website for further readings:
[ANS thanks Elizabeth Garbee and Andrew Maynard from Arizona State
for the above information
New VHF, UHF, uW Handbook Available for Download
Version 7.5 of the IARU Region 1 VHF Handbook is now available for
The key Amateur Satellite section is on pages 123-131. There are also
chapters on Band Planning, Contests, Propagation Research, Operating
Procedures. Page 116 defines which way to thread a helical beam antenna.
[ANS thanks Trevor, M5AKA for the above information]
Amateur Satellite Launch from India
Mineo Wakita JE9PEL reports on the Indian ISRO PSLV-C34 amateur radio
satellite launch planned for June 10, 2016 at 0355 UT into a 500 km
98 degree inclination orbit.
Main Payload, Cartosat-2C, Earth Observing
PSLV-XL(C-34), Satish Dharwan Space Centre, Sriharikota, India
Satellite Uplink Downlink Beacon Mode
------------ ------- -------- ------- ---------------
BEESAT-4 . 435.950 435.950 4800bps GMSK,CW
BIROS . 437.525 . 4800bps GMSK
LAPAN-A3 . . . Non-Amateur
Max Valier . 145.860 145.960 CW
Sathyabamasat . 145.980 . 2400bps BPSK
Swayam COEP . 437.025 437.025 1200bps BPSK,CW
Venta-1 . . 437.325 CW
------------ ------- -------- ------- ---------------
Among the satellites being launched is Swayam-1 developed by students at
College of Engineering Pune (COEP). It will provide a text messaging
facility using the COEPSAT protocol.
UPDATE: Yono YD0NXX reports the Indonesian built LAPAN-A3
does not have an amateur radio payload.
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]
UWE-3 Status Report
On May 21, 2016 the CubeSat UWE-3 celebrated 2.5 years in space without any
Batteries, EPS, OBC and ADCS are fine, nevertheless we were confronted
minor problem with one of the radios UWE-3 autonomously recovered from.
then UWE-3 is in a very stable condition again.
Some weeks ago we have re-initiated operations with UWE-3 on an interim
basis. The goal is to test new magnetic control algorithms in space.
Therefore we operate the satellite on the 436.395200 MHz frequency and
data downloads from time to time. In the figure below the satellite’s
rate w is shown for one of the experiments. The goal was to establish a
rotation about the satellite’s X-axis at 10 deg/s while the Y/Z-axes
should be at 0 deg/s. In general the desired rotation rate could be achieved
but with major deviations from the setpoint. With the intention of
the relevant control laws we will continue with these experiments within the
next days and weeks.
During our experiments we received an outstanding support from the radio
community from all over the world we are very thankful for. The received
packets were instantaneous injected into our algorithms and delivered an
important contribution to our research work. We would like to express our
special thanks to DK3WN, PE0SAT, DL8MCO, EU1XX, ON4HF, Rainer, JA5BLZ,
CU2JX, LU4EOU, JA1GDE, SP7THR, G7GQW, YC3BVG, JF1EUY, JE9PEL, JE1CVL,
ZL4JL, EA7ADI, K4KDR, JA0CAW, JH4XSY, PA2EON, SM0TGU. THANK YOU!
UWE-3 was launched with FUNcube-1 on November 21, 2013. Latest UWE-3 news at
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]
Tomsk-TPU-120 CubeSat Video
The Russian space agency Roscosmos has released a video of the Tomsk-TPU-120
CubeSat commemorative transmission from the International Space Station.
The satellite was developed by students at the Tomsk Polytechnic
test new space materials technology and is the world’s first space
a 3D-printed structure. It was launched from Baikonur to the ISS on
2016 in a Progress-MS-2 cargo vessel. It will be deployed by hand during a
future Russian spacewalk (EVA), which is why unlike other CubeSats this
a handle. The call sign of the satellite is RS4S.
Tomsk-TPU-120 CubeSat Callsign RS4SIn May 2016 the Tomsk Polytechnic
University celebrated its 120th anniversary. As part of the celebrations
10/11 the Tomsk-TPU-120 was activated in the ISS and transmitted a
Earth inhabitants, recorded by students of the university in 10 languages:
Russian, English, German, French, Chinese, Arabic, Tatar, Indian, Kazakh and
The greeting message was transmitted once a minute on 437.025 MHz FM. One of
the Kenwood transceivers on the ISS provided a cross-band relay, re-
transmitting the signal on 145.800 MHz FM.
The video, recorded in the Russian ISS Service Module, shows the CubeSat and
the amateur radio station. The video is in Russian.
The next Russian spacewalk appears to be EVA-43 which is expected to take
place in early 2017
World’s First 3D-printed Satellite
Dmitry R4UAB operates a WebSDR which you can use to receive the
when the ISS is over Russia
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]
Es’Hail-2 Geostationary P4-A Transponder Frequencies
The launch of the Es’Hail-2 satellite into a geostationary orbit at 25.5
degrees East is planned for December 2016. The coverage area of the amateur
radio Narrowband (NB) and Wideband (WB) transponders should extend from
Es’hail 2 will carry two “Phase 4” amateur radio non-inverting transponders
operating in the 2400 MHz and 10450 MHz bands. A 250 kHz bandwidth linear
transponder intended for conventional analogue operations and an 8 MHz
bandwidth transponder for experimental digital modulation schemes and DVB
Narrowband Linear transponder
2400.050 - 2400.300 MHz Uplink
10489.550 - 10489.800 MHz Downlink
Wideband digital transponder
2401.500 - 2409.500 MHz Uplink
10491.000 - 10499.000 MHz Downlink
X-Band 10 GHz Downlink:
– 89 cm dishes in rainy areas at EOC like Brazil or Thailand
– 60 cm around coverage peak
– 75 cm dishes at peak -2dB
– NB: linear vertical polarisation
– WB: linear horizontal polarisation
S-Band 2.4 GHz NB-Uplink:
– narrow band modes like SSB, CW
– 5W nominal Uplink power (22.5 dBi antenna gain, 75cm dish)
– RHCP polarisation
S-Band 2.4 GHz WB-Uplink (DATV):
– wide band modes, DVB-S2
– peak EIRP of 53 dBW (2.4m dish and 100W) required
– RHCP polarisation
Presentation on Es’hail by Peter Guelzow DB2OS, President of AMSAT-DL,
2013 AMSAT-UK Colloquium
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-DL for the above information]
ÑUSAT-1 SSB/CW Transponder Satellite
The launch of ÑUSAT-1, the second AMSAT ARGENTINA amateur satellite on
will mark an extraordinary event for our Institution and fostering of
As we quoted when the announcement of the launching of this experiment,
Argentina has been working for several years to keep alive the dream of many
Argentine amateurs to get back into Space with their own satellite as a
on of the legendary 1990’s LUSAT-1, reaping the benefits of Technological
advancement of our days.
We believe technical activities and developments of experiments in near
share the same goals: preserving the human group, enhancing their
as well as disseminate and guiding the education and development of the
activity, meanwhile contributing to Space available resources.
Our agreement with Satellogic Enterprises, which already launched three low
orbit satellites: Captain Beto, Manolito y Tita, two of which transmit
telemetry and data currently in UHF identifying themselves with callsign
allowed us to ride a linear analog amateur radio transponder and
antenna aboard one of their next satellite, ÑUSAT-1
AMSAT-LU provides simultaneously, support for this mission and the ÑUSAT-2
mission, by operating one of the control stations at Tortuguitas, Prov. Of
The experiment Amsat-LU developed, evolved from original design of our
colleague and partner William, PE1RAH, while electronic adaptation,
and software was made by the LU Satellite Experiment group, mounted on a
10 centimeters radiating plate, in which components of the power supply
as a duplexer and dual band antenna where also incorporated.
This set was installed on the Ñusat-1 bus, which supplies power and becomes
part of several other experiments this satellite will make.
The transponder receives UHF which is broadcasted in VHF, has a bandwidth of
30 kHz. with an output power of 250 mW.
435.935 ~ 435.965 are LSB/CW uplink passband
145.965 ~ 145.935 are USB/CW downlink passband
145.900 Basic CW Telemetry
The launch will be from a Chinese launcher in a polar orbit at 500 km.
with inclination of 97 degrees from Equator.
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-Argentia for the above information]
ESA Announces Winning Radio Amateurs
On April 21, 2016, ESA’s Education Office set a challenge for the worldwide
radio amateur community to start listening out for three new orbiting
The results have now been released.
ESA’s Education Office published the transmission frequencies of the
built satellites that were about to be launched as part of the Fly Your
Satellite! Program, and invited the radio amateur community to listen
The first three radio amateurs to send a recorded signal from AAUSAT4,
II or OUFTI-1 would receive a prize from ESA’s Education Office. Hundreds of
radio amateurs from around the world joined in the friendly competition.
The CubeSats started sending signals after their release from the Soyuz
rocket and the triggering of their automatic activation sequence.
from Russia, USA, Poland, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Brazil, Italy,
and more tuned their receivers and listened.
Thanks to skill and patience on the ground, the winners come from
United States of America, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Contact with the first CubeSat came at 00:53:51 UT on April 26, 2016, within
an hour of its separation from the launcher. Dmitri Paschkow R4UAB, Russia,
heard the signal from OUFTI-1 using two receiving stations, in Kemerovo and
Ruzaevka. Upon hearing OUFTI-1, he communicated the news immediately. “I
understand that the students are worried [to hear from their satellite] and
decided to please them!” says Paschkow.
Just over an hour after the first signal from OUFTI-1 was recorded, the next
CubeSat checked in.
AAUSAT-4 was heard over California, US, by Justin Foley KI6EPH of California
Polytechnic State University. He had a personal interest in the mission
some of his colleagues had developed the P-POD deployer that was used to
the CubeSats into orbit.
He was ready at the receiver from the moment of deployment but heard nothing
on that first pass, probably because the activation sequence had not yet
completed. The signal came through on the second pass, arriving at 02:02 UT.
“It was extremely exciting to see signals from the newly launched satellite,
and witness the beginning of a space mission”, says Foley.
Then the wait began for [email protected] At 05:40:58 UT, something dimly lit the
screen of Mike Rupprecht DK3WN in Germany. But something was not quite
It certainly looked like a signal from the last remaining CubeSat, but
the message so faint? It galvanized the amateur radio community to look
Jan van Gils PE0SAT had to wait until May 2 at 16:38:05 UT to receive a
from [email protected] that was strong enough to be decoded. Why [email protected] was only
transmitting weak signals is under investigation, but the most important
is that all three CubeSats are functioning and transmitting, and their
can be decoded.
A special mention goes to a young radio amateur who scored a personal best.
Twelve year-old space enthusiast Matteo Micheletti from Belgium caught the
OUFTI-1 signal with a portable log periodic antenna and a portable receiver.
His triumph occurred on May 1, 2016 between 17:34 and 17:39 UT.
To mark their success, the radio amateur winners will each receive a Fly
Satellite! Poster, a goodie bag and a scale 1:1 3D printed model of a
from ESA’s Education Office.
Read the full ESA story at http://www.esa.int/Education/CubeSats_-
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK and ESA for the above information]
Symposium to Address Interference-free Satellite Services
Experts are planning to meet in Geneva, 13-14 June for a Symposium to
address interference-free satellite services.
Geneva, 4 May 2016 - The ITU International Satellite Communication Symposium
to be held in Geneva, 13-14 June, will explore measures to prevent and
combat interference in satellite communications. International experts will
examine the current situation and the latest technologies to detect,
identify, locate and mitigate harmful interference, which may severely
impact satellite services, including safety operations.
Discussions will also focus on International space law, protecting space
science services, radio astronomy, global navigation satellite services, and
cybersecurity as well as ensuring interference-free satellite broadcast
A special session will be dedicated to innovation in satellite systems,
focusing on technical characteristics and benefits arising from new
generations of non-geostationary satellite orbit (non-GSO) constellations
and High Throughput Satellites (HTS).
What: ITU International Satellite Communication Symposium 2016
When: 13-14 June 2016
Where: ITU Tower Building, Popov Room
Why: To provide an overview of ongoing progress on regulations,
technologies and measures to prevent and combat interference in satellite
communications and to share experiences on the latest developments and
Who: Experts from the satellite industry, operators, regulators and
broadcasters from around the world.
For more information, please contact:
Chief, Media Relations & Public Information, ITU
telephone +41 22 730 5046
tel +41 79 249 4861
ITU Radio Communication Bureau
telephone +41 22 730 5810
tel +41 79 599 1428
[ANS thanks the ITU for the above information]
DCC Call for Papers
Technical papers are solicited for presentation at the 35th Annual
ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference, to be held September 16-18 in
St Petersburg, Florida. Papers will also be published in the Conference
Proceedings. Authors do not need to attend the conference to have their
papers included in the Proceedings. The submission deadline is July 31,
The ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference is an international forum
for technically minded radio amateurs to meet and present new ideas and
techniques. Paper/presentation topic areas include -- but are not limited
to -- software defined radio (SDR), digital voice, digital satellite
communication, digital signal processing (DSP), HF digital modes, adapting
IEEE 802.11 systems for Amateur Radio, Global Positioning System (GPS),
Automatic Position Reporting System (APRS), Linux in Amateur Radio, AX.25
updates and Internet operability with Amateur Radio networks.
Submit papers to via e-mail to maty(a)arrl.org<mailto:[email protected]>, or via
postal mail to: Maty Weinberg, KB1EIB, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT
06111. Papers will be published exactly as submitted, and authors will
retain all rights. Please do not email zip files as these will be rejected
by our servers.
73 . . . Steve Ford, WB8IMY
QST Editor in Chief and Publications Manager
ARRL -- the National Association for Amateur Radio
[ANS thanks the ARRL, TAPR, and Steve Ford, WB8IMY for the above
Information about AMSAT activities at other important events around
the country. Examples of these events are radio club meetings where
AMSAT Area Coordinators give presentations, demonstrations of working
amateur satellites, and hamfests with an AMSAT presence (a table with
AMSAT literature and merchandise, sometimes also with presentations,
forums, and/or demonstrations).
*Saturday, 4 June 2016 – White Mountain Hamfest in Show Low AZ
*Friday, Saturday, & Sunday 10-12 June 2016 – Ham-Com in Irving, TX
*Saturday, 11 June 2016 – Prescott Hamfest in Prescott AZ
*Wednesday, 6 July 2016 – Chehalis Valley Amateur Radio Society meeting
in Chehalis WA
*Saturday, 13 August 2016 – KL7KC Hamfest in Fairbanks AK
[ANS thanks AMSAT-NA for the above information]
Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center, Garden City, New York,
telebridge via W6SRJ
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
The scheduled astronaut is Jeff Williams KD5TVQ
Contact was successful: Mon 2016-05-23 12:57:05 UTC 43 deg
The ARISS contact with Jeff Williams by the students at Westbury Magnet
Academy at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, New York
was successful. Jeff answered 19 questions before loss of signal.
Dan Dalby did a great job of operating at W6SR. The telebridge contact with
students at Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center, Garden City,
New York, USA was successful Mon 2016-05-23 12:57:05 UTC 43 deg.
Astronaut Jeff Williams KD5TVQ answered 19 questions for the students at
Westbury Magnet Academy who were on site at the Museum.
A local news channel filed this report: Students Take Call from
Astronaut on ISS
see NBC New York
The Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center, located in Garden City,
New York, opened in 2002. The mission of the museum is to inspire students
with the spirit of discovery through the exploration of air and space
technologies, and to encourage them to consider careers in science,
technology, engineering and math. The museum is home to the Westbury Magnet
Academy at the Cradle of Aviation, the first magnet school to open on Long
Island. The Museum and Academy offer two summer STEM enrichment programs
students entering the seventh and ninth grades. The ARISS event will be an
invaluable tool to supplement classroom instruction and research.
* Venta School, Carp, ON, Canada, telebridge via IK1SLD
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be OR4ISS
The scheduled astronaut is Jeff Williams KD5TVQ
Contact is a go for: Mon 2016-05-30 19:01:25 UTC 32 deg
Venta Preparatory School is a small co-ed day and boarding school from
Junior Kindergarten to Grade 10, located just outside of Ottawa in Carp,
Ontario. We foster and continually enhance an environment where each
student can grow and achieve their highest potential.
* Bouze Island Elementary and Junior High School, Homeji, Japan,
direct via 8N3B
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
The scheduled astronaut is Timothy Peake KG5BVI
Contact is a go for: Sat 2016-06-04 08:31:09 UTC 74 deg
Bouze Island is one of the Ieshima small Islands which are located in the
Seto Inland sea of Hyogo Prefecture in Japan. There are about 1400 people
on the island and are part of the marine products industry. They live with
simplicity and are friendly. But the students of this Island have not had
a chance for scientific experience as part of their school education
because of their remote location. There are 140 persons in the elementary
school and 100 persons in the junior high school.
for information about upcoming contacts as they are scheduled.
[ANS thanks ARISS, Dave, AA4KN, and Charlie, AJ9N for the above information]
Satellite Shorts From All Over
St. Paul Island Satellite Ops Word Getting Around
The DXer pages are picking up on the news of satellite operation from CY9C
St. Paul Island. This something of a blog and the May 23 update mentions
[ANS thanks JoAnne, K9JKM for the above information]
GK4LOH Received Over 3467km on 144 MHz by Reflection off ISS
A reflection from the structure of the International Space Station enabled a
144.175 MHz signal from Tim GK4LOH in Cornwall to cross the Atlantic.
The YouTube description reads: 02:40 UTC May 24th 2016 ISS Flypast.
Signal heard 2 minutes 45 into the recording and continues for over a
The CW transmitted message was “GK4LOH GK4LOH T T T T T T T T T T”
As soon as ISS set in GN37 I stepped outside the shack and watched as
fly right over here:-) Recorded by Frank VO1HP using the remote receiver
The RSGB VHF Manager John Regnault G4SWX has received a Canadian station on
144 MHz which on investigation was also found to be by ISS reflection, see
[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]
In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership in the
President's Club. Members of the President's Club, as sustaining
donors to AMSAT Project Funds, will be eligible to receive addi-
tional benefits. Application forms are available from the AMSAT
Primary and secondary school students are eligible for membership
at one-half the standard yearly rate. Post-secondary school students
enrolled in at least half time status shall be eligible for the stu-
dent rate for a maximum of 6 post-secondary years in this status.
Contact Martha at the AMSAT Office for additional student membership
This week's ANS Editor,
Joe Spier, K6WAO
k6wao at amsat dot org
I will be lurking on the ISS pass over the continental USA and northern
Mexico this evening at 0248-0258 UTC. This pass will be at a maximum
elevation of 42 degrees here in central Arizona, and I'm hoping to find
other operators at the keyboard to possibly make a QSO or three. I use
my Kenwood TH-D72A and Elk log periodic, and I can make QSOs using APRS
If you don't use a similar radio or software like UISS, you can still
send an APRS message from a simple terminal program. To do this for a
message to the WD9EWK-9 call I normally use for packet/APRS, type:
:WD9EWK-9 :Here is a message
A colon goes before my call, a space followed by a colon goes after my
call, and then the short message goes after the space and colon. That
is all you need to do. The Kenwood APRS-ready radios won't display
free-form text typed in a terminal program, but can handle APRS messages
from other stations with no problems. I will respond with an APRS
message, typed on the HT's keypad.
Last night during an overhead ISS pass, I worked 3 different stations -
KG6FIY and KK6QMS in southern California early in the pass, followed by
KE8AKW in Ohio later in the pass. The QSO with KE8AKW was the furthest I
have ever worked a station using the ISS (digipeater, or cross-band voice
repeater), at 2755km. I posted a longer writeup about this, complete with
screenshots, in a thread on the QRZ.com satellite forum at:
Nick was ready for me when the ISS came up for him, and we wasted no time
in completing a QSO. Since it appears that the theoretical maximum distance
for a QSO through the ISS digipeater is in the neighborhood of 4400km, there
is still some room to stretch the footprint. Both operators would need to be
ready to do this, of course, given the limited amount of time there would be
if the QSO distance approaches that theoretical maximum.
What does the error message "E/A-Fehler 32" mean when trying to store
Radio Setup info?
Model, baud rate, address (it's an IC 910), usb port have been set. The
USB port is valid - it shows up in Device manager. CI-V is connected to
the PC and radio.
With RS-12, when 10m was open, the satellite could be hard to hear at lower
elevations. However, you could sometimes hear it (and use it) while it was
on the other side of the planet.
Here's a good write-up from DXCC #1 on RS-12:
73, Drew KO4MA
For anyone with access to QST archives (online for ARRL members), this article and a good sidebar are available in PDF ofrmat from the August 1995 QST pp 85-86 as well as another article he references therein on a 'how to primer' for RS-12/13 from the February 1994 QST p 58.
Go here and search 'RS-12' in the given months and years: http://www.arrl.org/arrl-periodicals-archive-search
73 Kevin N4UFO
With RS-12, when 10m was open, the satellite could be hard to hear at lower
elevations. However, you could sometimes hear it (and use it) while it was
on the other side of the planet.
RS-12 was my first satellite... I whooped and hollered far more after my first Mode K sat QSO than I did as a Novice and my very first contact. I was able to manage 48 states worked (47 confirmed) and 150 grids confirmed (under my old call AC5DK) to give me an RS-12/13 only VUCC-Sat award. But probably my second biggest thrill was having my CQ answered by OK1DIG while the bird was over North America. I would not call is 'commonplace', but yes, OTH contacts were possible through RS-12/13 in Mode K anytime both 15m & 10m were open between you and the bird. I believe that is what was alluded to when referring to 'stretching the footprint'... HF propagation enhanced, not direct path.
Addressing other comments, no, full duplex was not only not required, but pretty much unheard of on that bird. You found a clear spot on 15m, left your transmit alone and tuned your receive. This meant you had to tune on 'the other guy' and you didn't hear yourself after the QSO began. The primary reason was if you changed your transmit, you could wander on top of an ongoing terrestrial QSO, which was a no-no. And also brings up another big caveat to considering such a bird today, many DX stations on 15m would come through the passband and 'eat up' the transponder power, having no idea that they were, nor should they... it was/is not an exclusive satellite band.
I did acquire a 25 watt 2m transceiver and try mode A for a while, but to be honest Mode K was much easier and I sold the 2m in short order. In my opinion, RS-12/13 was sort of considered like a step child by a lot of satellite purists, in that it was not a 'real' satellite because it utilized HF bands. (Not unlike the 'linear vs FM' or 'HEO vs LEO' debates of more recent times...) And yes, some have pointed out that back then HF was the entry pathway to ham radio, but it was not the radio availability that was the issue as much as the lack of need for directional antennas!!! RS-12/13 was loud enough and heard well enough that I worked it the vast majority of the time with my 100 watt HF rig and a Hustler BTV vertical! (Although I did eventually pick up a used 10m preamp from K5OE that helped a lot with lower elevations... thanks, Jerry!)
And by the way, not only did my rig not do full duplex... it didn't even do split band. I turned a manual band switch knob on EVERY OVER.... for YEARS. (luckily my Heathkit HW-5400 was tough enough to take it) It's also worth mentioning that CW was much more prevalent then and I would dare say the primary mode for that bird... As a matter of fact, the bird even had a 'Robot' that would answer you in CW. You would tune just outside the normal transponder and listen somewhere near the beacon (if memory serves) and give your callsign in CW. If it copied you, it would respond with your callsign and issue you a unique QSO number. (It was not the easiest thing to do, but I know I managed it at least once or twice.) The idea was that you could then submit for a special QSL card. Since I hosted a website and forum for RS-12/13 ops and reported regular news updates on RS-12/13 to AMSAT News Service, I used to get a lot of requests in the mail for those QSLs. (Some even from outside the US!) Unfortunately, the correct QSL address was the infamous 'Box 88 Moscow', and I had to send them all back marked, 'sorry, not the QSL manager'.
Would I enjoy another Mode K satellite? You bet your sweet bippy!!! Would it make for a good entry level bird like RS-12/13 did? Given today's situation (both HF and satellite) and the likely restrictions on a cubesat form, highly doubtful. Do I think it's the best use of resources in today's satellite climate? Probably not. If one wants a beginner satellite these days, it should be something worked with simple antennas and cheap (low power) gear. But looking at an HF only opportunity with limited power budget (and therefore limited bandwidth), I might suggest something along the line of a simple single channel experiment... like the ROBOT, but a voice response instead of CW or a parrot talker maybe. (I can see school kids getting excited that a robot voice talked back to them.) Again, maybe not the best idea, as something digital might be far easier to implement, but just throwing a spit ball here.
Just my opinion and you know what 'they' say about those things... treat accordingly. And while I'm at it, your mileage may vary, batteries not included, no animals were harmed during the forming of this opinion. And thanks for asking the group, Bob... nice walk down memory lane. =^) 73, Kevin N4UFO