Thursday, April 29, 2010

Indian Small Satellite Systems Conference -1 - A Report

This is the brief report on the just concluded Indian Small Satellite Systems Conference organised by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) which was attended by Colleges and others participating in or involved with Small Satellite Systems. 

One such Small Satellite is scheduled to be launced by ISRO on the 9th May, 2010. 

Technical Director of AMSAT INDIA, OM Pratap - VU2POP who attended the conference has circulated this report on the conference by email and the same is reproduced here for larger viewership.

(reproduced with permission of OM Pratap)
Hi All

Amsat India was invited to attend the Indian Small Satellite Systems Conference -1 conducted yesterday at ISRO Bangalore.

Amsat India was represented by Ganesan (our Hamsat 2 designer) and myself VU2POP. ISSSC was a one day Programme from 9 am to 5.30 pm. It was very interesting and as many papers were presented & topics discussed the time was short it got over by 7 pm.

One day is too short and hopefully next year it will be 2 days. However we thank ISRO for kick starting a very interesting platform for interaction of ISRO with various educational institutions including Amsat India who are into ham satellite projects.

Important topics were on the current Small satellite developments and the future trends of small satellites including Mini, Micro, Pico sats etc. Hamsat VO-52 too falls into the small sats, to add many students all over the world have been building student sats as projects and in India too, nearly 26 Universities have got into building student sats with various payloads.

Most Ednl. institutions already have a ham club and some institutions are now setting up ham clubs in their institutions to help learn more of ham satellite operations and facilitate building ham band payloads. As of now most of them are both digital with only beacon downlink and no voice transponder. In the next couple of months you will find many cube sats etc with experimental payloads launched.

Amsat India has 2 linear tranponder is ready and we Amsat India are asking ISRO for a higher orbit to cover a larger foot print and longer pass duration. It’s no use having another LEO as HAMSAT 1

Hamsat 1 will be celebrating its 5th birthday on 2 May and ISTRAC has been monitoring its health and its utilisation, they report that Hamsat 1 is in good health and should serve the hams for many more years.

In this regard there was an email by VU2WMY Mani a few days ago asking for USER feedback like utilisation & experiences by hams all over the world with Hamsat.

Please send in your reports, utilisation and experiences with Hamsat by email and the same will be forwarded to ISRO. Looking forward to all your reports comments.

We would like to thank ISRO for the HAMSAT 1 and we look forward to HAMSAT 2.

Finally we thank Programme Dir and Project Director - Small Satellite & Upagrah Amateur Radio Club (VU2URC) for the kind invitation to participate in the ISSSC-1 and we look forward to many such platforms for the development of small satellite systems with the participation Educational Institutions & Amsat India.

Dir Technical
Amsat India

Hams who attended VU2WMY, VU2GDX, VU2RVJ, Ganesan, Chandrasekhar new hams &myself VU2POP

All those who work through VO-52 are requested again to send in their User Opinion and Experiences to or;

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My First DX QSL card for QSO through Satellite

I received my first DX QSL Card from OM Polkit - E29AJP

Eager to work many more and share the info on this blog

HO-68 Activation on FM - Schedule for this week.

Good news again for OSCAR Hunters.

Hope Oscar - HO-68 (XW-1) will be active on FM during this week. Check this link for full activation details.

Passes corresponding the VU are as under (Times and elevation angles are corresponding to Bangalore - Check exact times and elevations for your area)

29-Apr-10 @ 07:59:12 IST 4 Deg Elevation (Activation from 07:41 IST - Transponder will be on when the satellite comes into range)

Again On 29-Apr-10 @ 21:41:37 IST 76 Deg Elevation (Activation from 21:55 IST - Transponder will be swithced on 14 mins after the satellite comes into range - still time enough for a 3 minute access time)

We have no suitable passes corresponding to VU on the 30th.  Possible passes for 01st May and 2nd May will be updated by tomorrow.

This should be some fun.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Look out for some DX on AO-51

OM Guru - VU2GUR has received an email from OM Jim- ND9M that he will be QRV from Diego Garcia, in the Indian Ocean (Co-Ordinates - 7°18′48″S / 72°24′40″E) for the next couple of days with the call - VQ9JC

From the 29th April, 2010, he will be signing ND9M/MM from the international waters.

During this period he will be active on AO-51 - ECHO Satellite - especially when the satellite is coming up from the south.

This should be interesting - All the best guys - because on weekdays, AO-51 pass is usually before 1800 IST (1230 UTC)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Satellite activity for 24th April, 10

Day time activity was affected by frequent power cut.

AO-51 is on a different Mode - VHF uplink and S-Band Downlink - until tomorrow.  It will be back on VHF/UHF mode from 26th Apr.

Tried the VO-52 at 2103 IST and was able to work VU3STJ - 59 and VU2DPE - 59. 

It was an interesting night.  This pass was immediately followed by the SO-50 pass along with the HO-68 (ofcourse no FM activiation)

This is the screen shopt for the Orbitron Satellite tracking software showing the Passes.

Should try HO-68 @ 0902IST on 25th April for the FM activiation.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

HAMSAT Transponder Performance and Utilization

May 5th 2010 is a red letter day for Indian Ham Radio Operators, especially those who are working through OSCARs - the 5th Anniversay of the Indian OSCAR - HAMSAT - VO52.

In this regard the Operations Director of HAMSAT is seeking details on the useage, utility and experiences of HAMS using the HAMSAT.  The email request is reproduced below.  Please share your experiences with all of us - so that we can compile a database of the users of VO-52 and their personal experiences.  This should go a long way in an early launch of HAMSAT-II.

Respond directly to VU2WMY or to this blog so that we can compile the responses at an early date and forward to the HAMSAT team.

(Email Reproduced with permission of VU2WMY)
Dear friends,

On behalf of the Programme Director, Mission Director, Operations Director and the entire "HAMSAT" project team, I convey their message to the Global Amateur Radio Satellite enthusiasts & users through my mail.

It gives us a great pleasure to inform the World Amateur Radio community that, on 4th May 2010, HAMSAT (VO-52) is completing 5 years of successful existence in Space rendering useful and fruitful services to the Amateur radio community.

We as well take this opportunity with great pleasure to inform the Global Amateur Radio community, that the overall system health and performance of "Hamsat" - "The gift from INDIA/ISRO to World of Ham Radio" is good and satisfactory.

To commemorate this mile stone achievement, we have intended to bring out a 'Comprehensive Performance & Utilization Report' of the payload (Transponder) based on the user feed backs from across the Globe. In this regard, we request all the Amateur Satellite Enthusiasts and users to kindly send us their feed backs about the performance and utilization of the transponder. A detailed report expressing their views, suggestions, comments, ratings and preferably a comparison note made with other linear transponders, those already been flown and currently available one's would be greatly appreciated.

The feed backs may kindly be copied to my mail ID as well.

I have herewith attached the mail received from Operation Director, HAMSAT.

Looking forward to hear from you all.

Thanking you

73 de

Mani, VU2WMY
Secretary & Station-In-Charge
Upagrah Amateur Radio Club VU2URC
ISRO Satellite Centre
Airport Road, Bangalore-560 017.
Phone:(O)91- 80-2508 2054/2192/2537
Mobile: 91-80-98803 41456
E-mail ID: in

----- Forwarded message from tprangan@istrac. org -----
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2010 10:00:58 +0530
From: tprangan@istrac. org
Reply-To: tprangan@istrac. org
Subject: HAMSAT Transponder Performance and Utilization - Reg.
To: in
Cc: tprangan@istrac. org


This is to bring to your kind attention that HAMSAT is COMPLETING 5 YEARS of successful existence in space. I am sure, HAMSAT continues to be the DARLING of the HAM Community.

To commemorate this event, ISTRAC is bringing out a "5-YEARS OF HAMSAT PERFORMANCE" Report. To make the report a comprehensive one, we would like to add the FOLLOWING INFORMATION.

1 PERFORMANCE of the HAMSAT TRANSPONDER as _perceived by the users_
2 COMPARISON of the HAMSAT Transponder with her CONTEMPORARIES
4 Approximate NUMBER OF USERS of HAMSAT in _India / over the globe_
5 GROWTH of HAMSAT USERS, since launch
6 Approximate HAMSAT TRANSPONDER UTILISATION (transponder interaction period) over the globe (transponder is ON always)


With Best Regards,
Operations Director

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

HO -68 FM transponder Activiation

The AMSAT - China (CAMSAT) website giving details of the various activations (Click Here) for HOPE OSCAR (HO)-68 indicates the until the 25th April, 2010,  the activiations will be mostly on SSB/CW. 

But there is an activation favorable to Indian Satellite enthusiasts having only FM setup, on  April, 25 2010 at 09.02 IST (0332 UTC) when there is an activation on FM.

It is a favourable elevation of 33 Deg (with respect to Bangalore) coming from North to South in the Eastern Horizon.

Hope to work some DX during that pass.

Monday, April 19, 2010

OSCAR QSO update for 18/04/2010

The sunday morning is generally reserved for my satellite QSOs. It was a good day to being with, there were three satellite passes starting from 9:06am (IST).

HO-68: copied E21EJC 5/6, however could not complete the QSO with the station.; self voice received through satellite.
SO-50: copied VU2SWG; self voice received through satellite.
VO-52: no stations copied but the self voice received through satellite

Curious day as despite of a 50+ degrees pass at Navi Mumbai, did not copy any VU stations.

Friday, April 16, 2010

HO-68 Possible Passes with FM Activiation

HO -68 (XW-1) will be active on FM with the following sked (Peak Elevation w.r.t. Bangalore)

16.04.10 - 08:02  IST - Peak Elev 05 Deg
17.04.10 - 07:48  IST - Peak Elev 01 Deg
18.04.10 - 09:12  IST - Peak Elev 41 Deg

These passes are all on the Eastern side of VU-land.  Therefore, stations on the eastern side of Bangalore will have a better elevation angle.

The 18th April Pass seems to be very good as the footprint of the satellite is very wide.  There is possiblility of stations from south, south east and even Far East to come thorough.  Let us give it a GO.

as a reminder - the frequencies to us
TX on 145.825 - 67 Hz CTCSS tone
RX on 435.675 +/- doppler shift (scan on the lower side to begin with and go up as the satellite moves)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

TIsat - 1, HB9DE

Click Here for details of the New Satellite with UHF Downlink Beacon - to be launced shortly from Sriharikota Launch Station.

AO-51 Schedule for the Month of April

April 2010 AO-51 Schedule

April 5 - April 11

PL testing April 10-11. Please use 67 Hz. See Amsat-BB for details.

FM Repeater, V/U
Uplink: 145.920 MHz FM
Downlink: 435.300 MHz FM

April 12 - April 18

FM Repeater, V/U
Uplink: 145.920 MHz FM
Downlink: 435.300 MHz FM

FM Repeater, V/U to support the Boy Scout 100th    anniversary
Uplink: 145.880 MHz FM
Downlink: 435.150 MHz FM

April 19 - April 25

FM Repeater, V/S
Uplink: 145.880 MHz FM
Downlink: 2401.200 MHz FM

April 26 - May 2

FM Repeater, V/U
Uplink: 145.920 MHz FM
Downlink: 435.300 MHz FM

FM Repeater, L/U (Subject to frequent interruption for telemetry collection)
Uplink: 1268.700 MHz FM
Downlink: 435.150 MHz FM

73, Drew KO4MA
AMSAT-NA VP Operations 


Thursday, April 8, 2010

WOUXUN - KG-UVD1P - Dual Band Handheld

There has been a lot of interest lately about the China Made - Dual Band handheld transceiver range from WOUXUN.

My personal experience with WOUXUN - KG-UVD1P - is 5 star. As already mentioned elsewhere, the rx sensitivity is really good. Of course the S- Meter is really generous - more of guess meter than a S meter - but as we hams always say - "your report is ___by the EAR" - not a problem at all.

The accompanying manual is the usual "Chinese English" - It takes a little time before you comprehend what exactly it means - but do we hams really use/need the Operating Manual ???????

The antenna connector is a little tricky - SMA Male is on the rig - you need a SMA female connector if you are connecting an external antenna - easily available in SP Road, Bangalore for around Rs. 350.

The speaker mic that is available as an accessory is really FB - excellent audio report - also compatible with Kenwood handies.

The other accessory - the ear phone mic - on similar lines with the mobile phone ear-set - is equally sensitive and has a good voice pickup range - listeners have not complained about the audio level even when I accidentally talk from behind the mic.

The Battery adapter design is the only drawback - the wire comes from under the pack - a stand has to be used or designed to take care of that.

Just a few comments - But I find it worth every Rupee spent on the rig - Am having a BALL using this for my Satellite QSOs. Those of you who decide on this equipment - WELCOME ABOARD