Sounds from Space

 

Sounds from Amateur Radio Satellites 1961-1975

 

This section is dedicated to satellites built and operated by Radio Amateurs. Satellites built by AMSAT organizations around the world and were called AMSAT-OSCAR. Those built by Russian Hams and were mostly called Radiosputnik. In order to build and launch the satellites AMSAT needs members and friends to contribute and raise funds. If you are not yet a member of AMSAT please consider to join us and to support the activities. You can find several links to AMSAT on my links page.

My special thanks to Roy W0SL, Jim N4ST, Don KD4APP, Darrel AA7FV, Jim N5JDB, Clive G3CWV, Mike DK3WN, Reinhard DJ1KM +, Michael DG1CMZ, Oliver DG6BCE, Peter DF2JB, Volker DF7IT, Jean-Louis F6AGR, Thomas HB9SKA, Christoph HB9HAL, Claudio IK1SLD, Andreas OE1DMB, Michael PA3BHF, Henk PA3GUO, Darek SP9TTX, Ricardo PY3VHQ, Keith ZS6TW, Don N4UJW, Vladimir RA3DQT, Paulo CT1ETE, John KD2BD, Harald DH8HHA, Maik Hermenau, Ian ZL1AOX, Gerd DL8DR, Michael OH2AUE, Robert G8ATE, Wouter Jan Ubbels PE4WJ, Mark KF6KYI, Al W8KHP, Drew KO4MA, Rolf DK2ZF, Dave WB6LLO, Graham G3VZV, Joe K0VTY, Nils von Storch, Zeljko 9A2EY, Pierre ZS6BB, Roland PY4ZBZ, Bent OZ6BL, Mariano CT1XI, Al GM1SXX, Luc LU1FAM, Matt SQ7DQX, Lance K6GSJ, Chris VK3AML, Bob VE6BLD, Sergej RV3DR, Alex VK5ALX, Rudolf ZS6FX, Dick Daniels W4PUJ/SK , Bob Patterson K5DZE, Jean-Louis Rault F6AGR, Ivano Bonesana, Patrick Hajagos, Luc Leblanc VE2DWE, Mike N1JEZ, John K6YK, Tetsu-san JA0CAW, Marco Bauer, Carl Lindberg SM6NZV, Philip G0ISW, Kuge-san JE1CVL, Pat AA6EG, John M0UKD, Paul Marsh M0EYT, Federico Manzini, Jan PE0SAT, Domenico I8CVS +, Roland Zurmely PY4ZBZ, Rob Hardenberg PE1ITR, Michael Kirkhart KD8QBA, Davide D'Aliesio IW0HLG, Francisco EA7ADI, Kubota-san, Noguchi-san JA5BLZ, Kuge-san JE1CVL, Luciano PY5LF, Wakita-san JE9PEL, Peter ON4EZJ, Enrico IW2AGJ and Jean-Pierre F5YG for kindly contributing to this collection !

Picture

Satellite
#NORAD

Description

Launch Date

OSCAR 0
OSCAR Zero
Moon
#00001

Radio amateurs use the Moon as a passive repeater (reflector) and thus call him sometimes OSCAR Zero. The first radio amateurs who successfully received signals bounced off the moon were Ross Bateman (W4AO) and Bill Smith (W3GKP). They received the echo on 144 MHz in 1953.

Jul 20th 1969

Enclosed Moon Bounce SSB transmissions were done from KP4BPZ in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, using the 1000 foot diameter radio telescope dish. KP4BPZ was running about 500 watts on 432 MHz. This recording was made by Roy W0SL in Florissant, Missouri on July 3rd, 1965.

The moon can be used as a reflector also at Microwave frequencies as demonstrated in the next few recordings kindly provided by Michael OH2AUE. This recording is from the first Finish 10 GHz EME QSO (in CW) with WA7CJO. OH2AUE built the equipment and the 6.4 meter dish from OH2AXH was used.

The first Finnish 5.6 GHz EME QSO (in SSB) took place in 1995. You can hear the voice of OH2AXH as well as the echo of the reflected signal loud and clear. TRX from OH2AUE and 6.4m dish from OH2AXH. Recorded in 1998 by Michael OH2AUE.

First Finish 3.4 GHz EME QSO (in CW) with WB5LUA. TRX from OH2AUE and dish from OH2AXH. Recorded on January 5th 1998 by Michael OH2AUE.

During the first World Moon Bounce Day on June 27th 2009 Astronaut William Anders, who was part of the Apollo 8 crew, gave an interview to Joe K5SO which was bounced off the moon. William Andres voice was transmitted by W6SRI, the club station of SRI Amateur Radio Society. Recording kindly provided by Pat AA6EG.

On March 12th 2016 at 11:00h UTC the following EME signals were received around 1296 MHz. The used dish had a diameter of 2.3m, feed was a linear polarized multi band ring feed. Recorded by DD1US.

OSCAR I
OSCAR 1
#00214
(1961-034B)

This first Amateur Radio Satellite was built by a Californian group of Amateur Radio operators. They called their activities "Project OSCAR" (Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio). OSCAR-I was launched together with the reconnaissance satellite Discoverer-36 (seepicture of special letter enclosed) from Vandenberg, AFB aboard an Agena rocket. The primary payload was a spy satellite of the CORONA series. OSCAR-I had a polar orbit of 431km x 245km with an inclination of 81°. It had a weight of 4.5 kg and transmitted a simple "HI-HI" in morse code on 2m (144.983 MHz) with 140 mW power using a single monopole antenna. The speed of the HI-HI message was controlled by a temperature sensor inside the spacecraft. OSCAR-I operated 3 weeks until its batteries were discharged and decayed after 312 orbits on January 31st 1962.

Dec 12th 1961

Lance Ginner K6GSJ was very much involved in the build and launch of OSCAR-I to OSCAR-IV. He kindly provided some very interesting and rare pictures of OSCAR-I.

    

This recording of OSCAR I was kindly provided by W0SL.

This recording of OSCAR 1 is from vinyl no. 39 which was included in the Italian Enciclopaedia L’uomo e lo spazio (The man and the space) issued 1965 by Fratelli Fabbri. Digitized and kindly provided by Federico Manzini.

OSCAR II
OSCAR 2
#00305
(1962-022B)

OSCAR II was built by the same team and was very similar to OSCAR I with some slight modifications which were:
1.) changes to the surface thermal coatings to achieve a cooler internal spacecraft environment
2.) modifications of the sensing system so that the satellite temperature could be measured accurately as the batteries decayed
3.) reduction of the transmitter output power to 100 mW to extend the life of the onboard battery.
OSCAR-II was launched from Vandenberg, AFB aboard a Thor Agena B rocket with Discoverer-43 (picture of special letter on the right). Discoverer-43 was another payload of the CORONA series. It was inserted into a 292km x 110km polar orbit with 74° inclination. OSCAR-II lasted 18 days before it decayed on June 21
st 1962.

Jun 2nd 1962

This recording of OSCAR II was done at the observatory in Bochum/Germany. It is part of vinyl no. 50 which was included in the Italian Enciclopaedia L’uomo e lo spazio (The man and the space) issued 1965 by Fratelli Fabbri. Digitized and kindly provided by Federico Manzini.

OSCAR III
OSCAR 3
EGRS-3
#01293
(1965-016F)

OSCAR-III had a weight of 16.3kg and was launched from Vandenberg, AFB on a Thor Agena D rocket together with a classified satellite. It had a nearly circular orbit (892km x 865km, inclination 70°). AO-III was the first amateur satellite to operate from solar power and relay voice contacts in the 2 meter band (VHF) through a 1 W 50 kHz wide "translator" i.e. a linear transponder (146 MHz uplink and 144 MHz downlink). A total of 176 two-way contacts were reported through OSCAR-III during 247 orbits of active translator operation (18 days). Contacts were made by 98 participating stations, 67 from North America and the remaining 31 from Europe. It also had two radio beacons sending a continuous signal for tracking and propagation studies respectively telemetry data about temperatures and battery voltages.

Mar 9th 1965

Below please find some articles about OSCAR-III.
          

In the years of OSCAR-III tracking a satellite was not as easy as running a colorful application on a PC. In 1965 Joe K0VTY built a tool for satellite pass predictions. Enclosed please find a picture of his "Half Globe". Here is how it works: The half globe was a surplus school world globe. It comes apart rather easily at the equator. You put the northern hemisphere of the globe on a wooden base with some wood blocks at the edges of the globe to allow it to rotate and remain centered. Select a place on the wood base to be the reference to measurements. This is the starting point for a piano wire that passes over the globe as if it were at a LEO distance above the earth (globe). The piano wire terminates on the other side of the globe in a place that is equal to the passage of the satellite over the earth. Along the wire are string knots representing a distance of ten minutes. Missing on the pictures is a thin poly sheet, 6 inches in diameter, that had a inner hole 2 inches in diameter to represent an omni-directional radiation pattern centered on his location. Thus he could see his satellite horizon for the bird depending on the location of the wire.

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OSCAR IV
OSCAR 4
#01902
(1965-108C)

OSCAR-IV was launched from Cape Canaveral onboard a Titan 3C piggyback with three United States Air Force satellites and had a target orbit which was geosynchronous. However due to a malfunction of the 3rd stage of the Titan rocket it was inserted into a highly elliptical orbit (29120km x 168km, inclination 26°). This 18.1kg satellite was a project of the TRW radio club in Los Angeles and included a 10 kHz wide linear transponder (144.1 MHz uplink and 431.94 MHz downlink) with 3W output power. While its beacon remained on intermittently for several months, only 7 two-way contacts were made. Overall OSCAR-4 operated 85 days and decayed on April 12th 1976.

Dec 21st 1965

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Australis OSCAR 5
#04321
(1970-008B)

AO-5 was built at Melbourne University and was the first amateur satellite to be remotely controlled. Development was sponsored by AMSAT and commenced in 1966. Its weight was 17.7 kg and the dimensions were 0.30m x 0.43m x 0.15m. It was launched from Vandenberg, AFB aboard a Thor Delta rocket. Its circular orbit (1477km x 1434km) was inclined 102°. It employed bar-magnet stabilization to prevent tumbling. The battery (9 kg) powered transmitter sent telemetry on 2 meter (144.050 MHz at 50 mW) and 10 meter (29.450 MHz at 250 mW) bands. The 2m beacon remained operational for 23 days, the 10m beacon for 46 days respectively.

Jan 23rd 1970

The 10m beacon transmitted on 29.450 MHz a telemetry tone and was interrupted by the "HI" CW keying. Recorded at the day of the launch on January 23rd 1970. Kindly provided by Chris VK3AML.

The 2m beacon transmitted on 144.050 MHz a telemetry tone and was interrupted by the "HI" CW keying. Recorded at the day of the launch on January 23rd 1970. Kindly provided by Chris VK3AML.

The Wireless Institute of Australia transmitted the launch and acquisition of AO-5 on the day of its launch. This transmission on 1825 kHz of AX3WI in Victoria Parade, East Melbourne, was recorded and kindly provided by Chris VK3AML in Melbourne, Australia. Please note that this 54 minute recording which includes many interesting comments and live recordings of AO-5 is 13 MByte large !

AMSAT OSCAR 6
Phase-2A
#06236
(1972-082B)

AO-6 was launched from Vandenberg, AFB aboard a Delta 2310. Its circular orbit (1455km x 1449km) was inclined 102°. Equipped with solar panels powering NiCd batteries this satellite had a weight of 16.0kg and lasted 4.5 years. It was the first amateur radio satellite with a complex control system using discrete logic. It featured a 2m/10m transponder (145.950 MHz / 29.5 MHz) as well as baecons on 29.45 MHz and 435.1 MHz. In addition the novel Codestore unit was broadcasting short messages including keplerian elements and transponder schedules in CW and RTTY. The transmit power was 1.3 Watts. The first satellite-to-satellite relay communication was based on AO-6 and AO-7.

Oct 15th 1972

On September 22nd 1973 Prof. Dr. Walter Eichenauer DJ2RE gave a presentation in German language at UKW-Tagung (an annual convention in Weinheim/Germany) . He described the orbit and operation via AMSAT OSCAR 6. The first audio file (400kB) is a short part of the total presentation (23MB). Many thanks to Rolf Niefind DK2ZF for kindly borrowing me the old tapes with the recorded presentation.

In  this recording you can hear the CW signal from Mariano CT1XI on the AO-6 downlink. He was calling CQ. Recorded in 1972 by CT1XI.

These 2 recordings of transmissions of the QST Amsat bulletin via AO-6 were recorded in summer 1973. The bulletin transmitted by the official AMSAT station VE2BYG includes the schedule of AO-06, the announcements of a special operation of WA4JIB/mm and the invitation to the annual meeting on September 15th 1973 in Western Virginia. The recordings were kindly provided by Dick Daniels W4PUJ/SK.

This recording is another QST AMSAT bulletin via AO-06. The recording was kindly provided by Dick Daniels W4PUJ/SK.

CW telemetry transmission of AO-06. The telemetry is 295 233 360 371 369 339 441 436. The recording was kindly provided by Dick Daniels W4PUJ/SK.

This audio file documents the QST bulletin transmitted by Amsat bulletin station K1HTV via AO-06. The recording was kindly provided by Dick Daniels W4PUJ/SK.

In October 2009 I received the attached audio recordings from Zeljko Ulip 9A2EY. It includes 7 contacts he made on August 16th 1973 via AO-6. On the end of the recording you can hear his voice. The translation from Croatian to English language is as follows: „This is a recording of the 3.820 th orbit of amateur satellite OSCAR-6 on 16.08.1973 from 18.04 to 18.16 GMT. I made seven contacts with G6RH, DJ1QT, G3GKI, DM2BLI, G3CXM, OH2RK and DJ9KJ“. At the time Zelijko made the contacts his callsign was YU2REY.

In 1974 CT1XI had a CW contact with FY7AS in French Guiana. Recording kindly provided by CT1XI.

Enclosed recording of AO-6 from April 22nd 1973 at 20:40 UTC was kindly provided by K5DZE. He was located in Ruston, Lousiana and used a Drake R4B receiver and a 10m rotary dipole.

Enclosed recording of AO-6 from April 29th 1973 at 20:30 UTC was kindly provided by K5DZE. He used the same setup as above.

AMSAT OSCAR 7
AO-7
Phase-2B
#07530
(1974-089B)

AO-7 was built by a multinational team under the direction of AMSAT North America. AO-7 carries two linear transponders: Mode A (145.850-950 MHz uplink; 29.400-500 MHz downlink) and Mode B (432.180-120 MHz uplink; 145.920-980 MHz downlink). It also contains two working beacons on 29.502 and 145.972 MHz. A third beacon on 435.1 MHz has been reportedly heard sporadically and a fourth beacon on 2304.1MHz was never activated. In 1981, after 7 years of successful operation, AO-7 ceased transmissions due to battery failures. However another 21 years later, in mid 2002, it started to become operational again. Until today, 35 years after its lauch, its transmitter is active as long as the satellite is not in eclipse i.e. its solar panels are lit by the sun. After emerging from an eclipse AO-7 may turn on in any of the modes explained above.

Nov 15th 1974

On September 22nd 1973 Prof. Dr. Karl Meinzer DJ4ZC gave a presentation on the planned next satellites AMSAT OSCAR 7 and 8 in German language at UKW-Tagung (an annual convention in Weinheim/Germany) . He orbit The first audio file (270kB) is a short part of the total presentation (18MB). Many thanks to Rolf Niefind DK2ZF for kindly borrowing me the old tapes with the recorded presentation.

These downlink signals are from one of the first orbits of AO-7. They include SSB signals from I8CVS + calling CQ and F6CVN answering. Recorded November 17th 1974, 11:09 UTC by F6AGR.

The beacon of AO-7 transmitting on 145.975 MHz was received by Rolf DK2ZF. Please note that at that time there were still terrestrial beacons in the same frequency band. You can recognize one in the background of this recording as it is negatively keyed.

CT1XI was the first Portuguese Radio Amateur working in SSB via AO-7. This recording from 1974 documents his contact with W2BXA. Recording kindly provided by CT1XI.

This recording includes multiple SSB contacts by US stations including W1AU, K1LK, W1NU, W2GM and W4MLP. The recording which was probably done end of 1974 or early 1975 was kindly provided by Dick Daniels W4PUJ/SK.

This audio file is a recording of the CW telemetry of AO-07. The decoded CW signal is:
??5 239 272 ??? 320 339 340 436 427 441 439 533 511 541 552 635 670 600 650
hi hi 100 101 145 158 29? ??? ??? ??9 378 321 341 340 439 427 441 439 536 510 543 55? 630 -missing-
156 172 190 122 -missing- 370 331 308 339 434 ??6 448 442 537 510 5?1 552 6?6 601 601 650
hi hi 100 181 135 180 ?82 272 27? 251 374 323 340 334 436 426 444 441.
The recording was kindly provided by Dick Daniels W4PUJ/SK.

Enclosed recording of AO-7 from 1977 was kindly provided by K5DZE (DA1EZ at that time). He was located in Pattonville Housing area in Ludwigsburg/Germany and used a Kenwood R599D receiver and a 10m dipole antenna. The recording includes DA2EM calling CQ and making SSB contacts via satellite and various CW signals including YO2BO, PA0BN, G2CIW, OZ1WNO.

This is another recording including the telemetry downlink signal of AO-7 kindly provided by K5DZE. At the time of recording around 1977 Bob used the callsign DA1EZ as he was located in Pattonville Housing area in Ludwigsburg/Germany. He used a Kenwood R599D receiver and a 10m dipole antenna.

Around August 30th 1979 Dave Guimont WB6LLO received the 2m telemetry downlink of AO-7. He kindly provided the enclosed recordings.

Around August 30th 1979 W7FF called CQ via AO-7 in SSB. The 2m downlink signal was recorded and kindly provided by Dave Guimont WB6LLO.

Around August 30th 1979 W6RFX called CQ via AO-7 in CW. The 2m downlink signal was recorded and kindly provided by Dave Guimont WB6LLO.

2m (145.972 MHz) beacon recorded June 24th 2002 1435 UTC by DK3WN

70cm (435.102 MHz) beacon recorded July 14th 2002 1140 UTC by DK3WN

KD4APP calling CQ on June 23rd 2002

QSO on June 23rd 2002, recorded by KD4APP

QSO in Mode B (70cm up, 2m down) on April 2nd 2005 of PA3GUO and DK3SE, recorded by PA3GUO

35 years after its launch, in spring 2009, the RTTY telemetry beacon of AO-7 was active again using the following parameters: 45 Baud, 85 Hz shift, 5 bits per character, no parity bit, 1.5 stop bits . Enclosed audio file was recorded by Mike DK3WN on March 2nd 2009 at 17:05 UTC on 435.105 MHz + - doppler using an FT-736R receiver in CW mode. Mike kindly provides a freeware sound card decoder (you find it on his homepage which is listed in my "links" section).

AO-7 allows intercontinental contacts due to his orbit. On August 13th 2009 at 20:37h UTC PY4ZBZ (in GH70UN Brazil) and ZS2BK (in KF26SB South Africa) had a successful SSB contact. They were 6990 km apart when they used AO-7 in Mode B with a downlink frequency of 145.955 MHz (USB). Recording made and kindly provided by Roland PY4ZBZ.

Also in 2010 AO-7 was active. Enclosed signal of SV1EE calling CQ in SSB was received and recorded by Patrick Hajagos on September 11th 2010 at 15:27h UTC. Kindly provided by Patrick Hajagos.

On December 30th 2014 at 20:00 UTC Roland PY4ZBZ and Luciano PY5LF managed to have a contact in CW via a cross-satellite link via FO-29 and AO-7. PY5LF transmitted on 432.150 MHz to AO-7 in CW mode. AO-7 retransmitted the CW signal on 145.950 MHz which was received by FO-29. Finally FO-29 retransmitted the signal on 435.850 MHz which was received by PY4ZBZ.Please note that Doppler shift was minimum as the satellite transponders are inversed and thus compensated nicely.Audio recording and spectrogram screenshot kindly provided by Roland PY4ZBZ.

On August 23rd 2013 at 11:20 UTC SQ7DQX called CQ via AO-7. His downlink signal was received, recorded and kindly provided by Francisco EA7ADI.

Picture

Satellite
#NORAD

Description

Launch Date

If you have further recordings from space objects please let me know. I will be happy to add them to my homepage. Many thanks in advance.

Vy 55 & 73 de Matthias DD1US               


 
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