Thursday, November 23, 2017

AO-91 Commissioned - Declared Open for Amateur Use!



SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-327.01
ANS-327 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletins - AO-91 Commissioned
Declared Open for Amateur Use

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 327.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
Month Day, 2017
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-327.01

AO-91 Commissioned - Declared Open for Amateur Use!

At 06:50 UTC November 23, 2017 @AMSAT Engineering officially
commissioned AO-91 (RadFxSat/Fox-1B) Satellite. AMSAT VP of
Engineering, Jery Buxton N0JY turned over operation to Mark Hammond
N8MH and AMSAT Operations in a QSO on the AO-91 repeater during the
pass over the Eastern U.S.

N8MH responded and declared AO-91 open for amateur use!

[ANS thanks AO-91 Ops Team for the above information]

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Milcom Files - MT Editions - Are Now Available on Amazon


Mention the words "Monitoring the Military," and most radio hobbyists will immediately think of military air shows, sporting event Military Aircraft Flybys or a whole host of other military activities they would like to hear on their radios. There is a big radio frequency spectrum out there to monitor, and if you know where to listen, you can eavesdrop on some of the coolest radio communications you will ever hear on a scanner or shortwave radio. Military communications monitoring is the one segment of the radio hobby that has exploded in growth in recent years and is getting more popular among the listening community every day.

Larry Van Horn N5FPW, spent 15 years documenting activity in the military radio spectrum in his monthly Milcom column in the pages of Monitoring Times magazine. And now for the first time ever, he is publishing and making available all those columns here at Amazon in the Kindle E-Book format.

Teak Publishing is pleased to announce the release of their latest Kindle e-books -- the first edition of the Milcom Files – Monitoring Times edition by Amazon Bestselling author Larry Van Horn, N5FPW.

The Milcom Files edition one covers the 15 years of Military Communications (Milcom) columns that Larry wrote for the now defunct-Monitoring Times magazine from 1998-2013.

Volume one (ASIN: B077NN7RQ5) of the Milcom Files covers columns published between 1998 to 2006. The column was bimonthly from September 1998 to November 2002, and monthly from January 2003 to December 2006. Volume two (ASIN: B077NQXH3C) covers columns published between 2007 to 2013. These columns were published monthly during this period. A complete index to all the columns is available on the Milcom MP blog at http://mt-milcom.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html.

The MT Milcom columns documented the U.S. military conversion to narrowband LMR systems, the move from conventional to trunk radio systems, the 225-400 MHz band plan shift, including the new 380-400 MHz sub-band, and HF military frequencies, both foreign and US. This two-volume set of e-books has over 327,000 plus words, and nearly 1,000 pages of frequencies, call signs, and how-to style articles.

Even though these columns were originally published from 1998-2013, you will find a lot of material that is still valid even today. All US military services, HF. VHF. UHF, military satellites, FAA Air Route Traffic Control Center frequencies, base profiles, foreign military frequencies, airshow frequencies, equipment, and a lot more are included. Each column will be presented as it was published in MT in this e-book except for photographs.

If you are interested in monitoring the military, own a scanner and/or shortwave radio, then the Milcom Files two volume set is a must reference on your radio shack shelf.

Teak Publishing’s The Milcom Files Monitoring Times edition is now available for purchase worldwide from Amazon.com.
Volume one is on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077NN7RQ5.
Volume two is on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077NQXH3C.

The price for each e-Book edition is US$7.99. This book is being released internationally. Amazon customers in the United Kingdom, Germany, France Spain, Italy, Japan, India, Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Australia can order the e-Book from Amazon websites directly servicing these countries. All other countries can use the regular Amazon.com website.

You do not need to own a Kindle reader to read Amazon e-book publications. You can read any Kindle book with Amazon’s free reading apps. There are free Kindle reading apps for the Kindle Cloud Reader, Smartphones (iPhone, iTouch, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry); computer platforms (Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 and Mac); Tablets (iPad, Android and Windows 8), and, of course, all the Kindle family of readers including the Kindle Fire series. A Kindle e-book allows you to buy your book once and read it anywhere. You can find additional details on these apps at this link on the Amazon website at www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771.

For additional information on this and other Teak Publishing radio hobby books, monitor the company sponsored Internet blogs – The Military Monitoring Post (http://mt-milcom.blogspot.com/), The Btown Monitor Post (http://monitor-post.blogspot.com/) and The Shortwave Central (http://mt-shortwave.blogspot.com/) for availability of additional e-books that are currently in production.


Information on other publications by the author is available on the author’s page at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00G1QMO4C.


Monday, November 20, 2017

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Launched, Designated AMSAT-OSCAR 91 (AO-91)




AMSAT News Service Bulletin 323.01
From AMSAT HQ KENSINGTON, MD.
DATE November 19, 2017
To All RADIO AMATEURS
BID: $ANS-323.01

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Launched, Designated AMSAT-OSCAR 91 (AO-91)

The Delta II rocket carrying RadFxSat (Fox-1B) launched at 09:47:36 UTC on November 18, 2017 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

Following a picture-perfect launch, RadFxSat was deployed at 11:09 UTC. Then the wait began. At 12:12 UTC, the AMSAT Engineering team, watching ZR6AIC's WebSDR waterfall, saw the characteristic "Fox Tail" of the Fox-1 series FM transmitter, confirming that the satellite was
alive and transmitting over South Africa. Shortly after 12:34 UTC, the first telemetry was received and uploaded to AMSAT servers by Maurizio Balducci, IV3RYQ, in Cervignano del Friuli, Italy. Initial telemetry confirmed that the satellite was healthy.

After confirmation of signal reception, OSCAR Number Administrator Bill Tynan, W3XO, sent an email to the AMSAT Board of Directors designating the satellite AMSAT-OSCAR 91 (AO-91). Bill's email stated:

"RadFxSat (Fox-1B) was launched successfully at 09:47 UTC today November 18, 2017 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and has been received by several amateur stations.

RadFxSat (Fox-1B), a 1U CubeSat, is a joint mission of AMSAT and the Institute for Space and Defense Electronics at Vanderbilt University. The Vanderbilt package is intended to measure the  effects of radiation on electronic components, including demonstration of an on-orbit platform for space qualification of components as well as to validate and improve computer models for predicting radiation tolerance of semiconductors.

AMSAT constructed the remainder of the satellite including the spaceframe, on-board computer and power system. The amateur radio package is similar to that currently on orbit on AO-85 with an uplink on 435.250 MHz (67.0 Hz CTCSS) and a downlink on 145.960 MHz. Experiment telemetry will be downlinked via the DUV subaudible telemetry stream, which can be decoded using the FoxTelem software.

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) was sent aloft as a secondary payload on the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket that transported the JPSS-1 satellite to orbit. RadFxSat (Fox-1B) is one of five CubeSats making up this NASA Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) XIV mission, riding as secondary payloads aboard the JPSS-1 mission.

Since RadFxSat (Fox-1B) has met all of the qualifications necessary to receive an OSCAR number, I, by the authority vested in me by the AMSAT President, do hereby confer on this satellite the designation AMSAT-OSCAR 91 or AO-91. I join amateur radio operators in the U.S. and around the world in wishing AO-91 a long and successful life in both its amateur and scientific missions.

I, along with the rest of the amateur community, congratulate all of the volunteers who worked so diligently to construct, test and prepare for launch the newest amateur radio satellite.

William A. (Bill) Tynan, W3XO
AMSAT-NA OSCAR Number Administrator"

AMSAT Engineering reminds stations that the satellite will not be available for general use until the on-orbit checkouts are complete.Please continue to submit telemetry to assist the Engineering team in
completing the commissioning process.

[ANS thanks Paul, N8HM, for the above information]



Thursday, November 09, 2017

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Launch Delayed; AMSAT Asks for Patience

SB SPACE ARL ARLS012
ARLS012 RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Launch Delayed; AMSAT Asks for Patience
During Commissioning

The launch of the Delta II vehicle carrying RadFxSat (Fox-1B) and other payloads has been delayed, due to a faulty battery on the booster, United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced on November 6. The launch now is scheduled for no earlier than Tuesday, November 14. RadFxSat is one of four CubeSats making up the NASA ELaNa XIV mission, riding as secondary payloads aboard the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS)-1 mission, which will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

RadFxSat is a partnership with Vanderbilt University's Institute for Space and Defense Electronics (ISDE) and hosts four payloads for the study of radiation effects on commercial off-the-shelf components. It will carry a Fox-1 style FM U/V repeater with an uplink on 435.250 MHz (67.0 Hz CTCSS) and a downlink on 145.960 MHz. Satellite and experiment telemetry will be downlinked via the DUV subaudible telemetry stream, which can be decoded using FoxTelem software
available from, https://www.amsat.org/foxtelem-software-for-windows-mac-linux/ .

AMSAT Vice-President Engineering, Jerry Buxton, N0JY, said RadFxSat/Fox-1B will automatically come up in beacon mode, transmitting a beacon and voice ID ("RadFxSat Safe Mode") every 2
minutes, starting about 50 minutes after deployment. He said AMSATcommand stations will want to see voltage and current data to determine that the spacecraft is healthy and to conduct various tests before opening it up for general use.

Telemetry should begin about 55 minutes after deployment. "[F]or the next 72-96 hours at least, as we look for successful startup, watch the general health and function as the satellite begins to acclimate to space, and perform the on orbit checkout," Buxton said. Ground stations are invited to continue uploading received telemetry for the life of the satellite.

Those using FoxTelem to capture telemetry are asked to check "Upload to Server" in the software's settings and make sure that ground station parameters are provided. "You can help AMSAT and everyone waiting to get on the air with RadFxSat tremendously, by capturing RadFxSat telemetry," Buxton said.

In the initial beacon mode, the transmitter is limited to 10 seconds "on" time, followed by a 2-minute "off" cycle. "If we are seeing good data from user telemetry data, it is likely when it comes over
the US for the first good pass, we will command it from beacon mode to normal safe mode, which then puts RadFxSat in full, but still safe mode, operation and transmits a full two frames of  telemetry," Buxton said.

Buxton called on the satellite community to be "polite and patient" as RadFxSat is commissioned.

"The on-orbit check-out procedure is similar to Fox-1A/AO-85 and could be completed in as little as a few days, if we have the cooperation of the users," he said. "It is very important - not to mention just plain good amateur operating practice - to refrain from using the transponder uplink, so we can do the on-orbit tests, including when we turn on transponder mode for testing. I can't stress enough, the importance of this cooperation, not just for us but for all users, simply having a little patience so we can conduct the tests as quickly and accurately as possible."

Buxton said AMSAT would "make it broadly known" when the transponder is available for general use. "If you hear someone on the transponder, please don't assume that it is open for general use,"
he said. "Check the AMSAT website, Facebook, Twitter, to be sure you're not accidentally jumping in and unwittingly interfering with the commissioning process."
NNNN
/EX

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Product Announcement - DXtreme Monitor Log 11™

DXtreme Software™ has released a new version of its popular logging program for radio monitoring enthusiasts: DXtreme Monitor Log 11.



Monitor Log 11 lets listeners and DXers log the stations they’ve heard using advanced features that can enhance their monitoring experience.

Finding Broadcast Stations to Monitor

The Schedule Checker™ lets users import schedules from Aoki, EiBi, and FCC AM web sites and display schedule data according to the filter criteria they specify. A list box lets users switch between schedule types, and depending on the schedule type selected, users can filter schedule information by band, frequency, station, country, city, state, time of day, language, antenna direction, and target area.

When the What’s On Now? function is activated, the schedule refreshes automatically at the top of each hour for Aoki and EiBi schedules.

For each schedule item, Schedule Checker queries the Monitor Log 11 database to let users know – through user-defined, foreground and background display colors – whether they need to monitor a station for a brand-new or verified country. Schedule Checker also displays bearing and distance, runs optional Afreet Ham CAP(1) propagation predictions, draws optional Afreet DX Atlas (2) azimuth plots, tunes supported radios to schedule frequencies when users double-click schedule items (3 4 5), and starts log entries for scheduled stations monitored.

Finding Amateur Radio Stations to Monitor

Monitor Log 11 integrates with optional Afreet Band Master (6) to let users see, on its graphical interface, where hams are operating. Monitor Log 11 supplies Band Master with an Entity Needed List based on the user’s Monitor Log database, making it possible for Band Master to indicate the stations whose entities (countries) users need to monitor. When invoking Band Master, users can select an Entity Needed List for all bands or individually for the 160- through 6-Meter bands.

Finding Utility Stations to Monitor
A Links menu provides convenient access to user-specified blogs and web sites that can inform users as to where utility and other stations may be operating.

Logging Stations
Monitor Log 11 lets users log all kinds of stations — radio stations, television stations, broadcast stations, Amateur Radio stations, utility stations, military stations, and more! And it lets them log stations across the radio spectrum — from long wave, to medium wave, to short wave, and beyond.

The Last Log Entries Grid on the Monitor Log window shows up to 5000 of the most recent log entries added. Its records can be sorted, and double-clicking records displays detailed data on the Monitor Log window. Users can resize the grid columns and scroll horizontally to columns that do not appear initially. And because the names of stations and NASWA countries can be quite long, users can also display a larger, resizable Last Log Entries window. A Properties window lets users change the order of columns, the number of log entries to display, and the font and color attributes of grids and other program components, such as the Content Editor for describing the content monitored, the Script Editor for creating and editing scripts, the Direct Tune interface for tuning radios, and the Comments tab for typing ad hoc comments.

Reporting Reception
Users can create customized paper and e-mail reception reports for sending to stations plus club report entries for reporting catches to clubs and magazines.

When users add or display a log entry, Monitor Log 11 prepares a post announcing their DX catch and displays it on the Social Media Post tab. From there, users can drag the post to their favorite social media web sites to share their catch with others.

Using the Script Editor window, users can create and edit scripts that format reception reports, eReports, and social media posts to their liking. The software prompts users to select the script they want to use. Dozens of scripts come with Monitor Log 11.

Users can also print SWL and Address labels on industry-standard label stock, and send eQSL requests to hams automatically through the popular www.eQSL.cc site.

Imaging
Improv Imaging™ lets users associate ad hoc images with log entries using Capture, Scan, and Clipboard functions. Captures of stations received on digital applications, waterfall displays, facsimile and Amateur TV pictures are popular. The Improv Imaging tab and Application let users view images anytime, and an Improv Image Explorer lets them peruse their entire collection and display associated log entries.

QSL Imaging™ functions the same as Improv Imaging, but specializes in associating QSL cards and eQSLs with log entries.

Other Features
Rig Control — Retrieves the frequency and mode from supported radios and permits tuning from the Schedule Checker and Direct Tune interface. Rig control is provided through integration with Afreet Omni-Rig and the SDR applications listed on our web site, currently HDSDR (4) (High Definition Software Defined Radio) and SDR Console (5).

Audio Archiving — An embedded Audio facility lets users maintain an audio archive of stations heard.

Reporting — Produces Performance, Stations, and Log Entry reports that track the performance and progress of the user’s monitoring station. The software lets users FTP those reports to user-provided Web space for remote access. Some reports integrate with Afreet DX Atlas to generate pin maps.

Documentation — Context-sensitive Procedural Help, Field Help, and Microhelp are accessible per window to provide instructions quickly. A web-based Information Center is accessible from the Help menu for late-breaking assistance, and Installation Instructions and a Getting Started Guide are delivered in PDF format with the software.

Operating Systems, Pricing, Contact Information
DXtreme Monitor Log 11 runs in 32- and 64-bit versions of Microsoft® Windows® 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista®, and XP. It retails for $89.99 USD worldwide for electronic distribution. Pricing for CD versions and upgrading users is available on our Web site. All prices include product support by Internet e-mail. For more information, visit www.dxtreme.com or contact Bob Raymond at bobraymond@dxtreme.com.

1 — Licenses for Afreet Ham CAP and Omni-Rig are required to use Ham CAP.
2 — A license for Afreet DX Atlas is required to perform plots and create pin reports.
3 — A license for Afreet Omni-Rig is required to use rig control with radios supported by Omni-Rig.
4 — Can be used for rig control. HDSDR is owned by Mario Taeubel. Refer to http://www.hdsdr.de/index.html for more information.
5 — Can be used for rig control. SDR Console is owned by Simon Brown, G4ELI. Refer to http://www.sdr-radio.com for more information.
6 — A license for Afreet Band Master is required to use Band Master.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

FalconSAT-3 Now Open for Amateur Radio Use

The Air Force Academy satellite FalconSAT-3 is now open for Amateur Radio use as a digital store-and-forward system. Built in 2005 and 2006 by cadets and faculty in the Space Systems Research Center at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, FalconSAT-3 was launched in 2007.

The satellite has completed its scientific and training missions, and the Academy now is making it available for Amateur Radio use. The Packet Bulletin Board System operates at 9600 baud with a
145.840 MHz uplink/435.103 MHz downlink. Output power is 1 W, and the downlink is continuously on. Digipeating is enabled for live QSOs, but unattended digipeating operation is not authorized at this time.

Additional information is available on the AMSAT website at, https://www.amsat.org/falconsat-3/ .
NNNN
/EX