AO-51 Crashed

Andrew Glassbrenner, KO4MA writes on AMSAT-BB:

It appears that AO-51 is down as of ~800Z this morning. Please standby until we notify that operations have been restored.

Let’s hope the command team is able to recover it quickly.

Update 07/30/2009: She is back online and in V/U mode 145.920 up/435.300 down.

Update: Trans-Atlantic Balloon Delayed

PBH-10 is delayed:

The launch has been postponed. It appears that the best weather for launching is 0000-0300 UTC, 4 May 2009, though this may change with relatively short notice based on ground wind conditions at the launch site and the position of the jetstream relative to the launch area. To clarify: we do anticipate the best time to launch is 0000-0300 UTC; however, the exact launch day may move to the right or left from 4 May 2009.

As always, the latest updates are available via PBH3 Twitter account

Trans-Atlantic APRS Balloon Launch Wednesday Night!

The transatlantic APRS balloon attempt (PBH10) will use the callsign of KC2TUA-10 with an anticipated launch window 8-11 PM EDT Wednesday April 29th. The anticipated flight path from Oswego, NY is northeast through New England, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Greenland, and Iceland on to Europe.

The balloon will have both a an APRS beacon operating at 144.800 (To maximize the potential for reception in Europe the balloon will operate on the European frequency) and a 40 meter CW beacon on HF at 7.102.55MHz (+/-100Hz). To track the early part of the track, APRS operators throughout the flight path are asked to tune their receivers to the 144.800 frequency and to activate their stations as WIDE1-1 digipeaters or as IGates so that the packets are digipeated over onto the USA frequency while the balloon is over the USA and Canada in order to provide tracking.

Please see the PBH3 Twitter account for the latest information and email them with any questions at pbhdata-at-gmail-dot-com.

AO-27 Returns to Servce

There’s been a flurry of activity recently on the AMSAT-BB listserv about AO-27. Thanks to the efforts of the command team, the satellite has been restarted and is now operational again. The AO-27 webpage still lists the satellite as “On Orbit Checkout” which means the satellite may not fully operational yet, but there are people reporting to the mailing list that the repeater is active over North America.

AO-27 is an older satellite, being inserting into orbit in 1993. Because it is so old, the satellite is timed to only be in “repeater” mode while over North American latitudes, with it being in telemetry mode immediately before and after. To get more details on the schedule, check out the AO-27 webpage.

Many thanks to the AO-27 command team for their efforts in keeping the bird in service.

FCC Going After TV Stations Shutting Off Analog Early

The Federal Communications Commission has told 123 TV stations that were planning to stick to the Feb. 17 cutoff date for analog broadcasts that they will have to justify not extending their transmissions for four months. Providence, R.I. (6,10 and 12 and the UHF’s), are among the effected areas. I also have it on good authority that Salt Lake City (Corporate home of WLWC CW28 Freetown) is planning to shut ALL analog TV transmissions off. WE SHALL SEE!!! Check out the FULL article here Stay tuned. Things are just starting to HEAT UP!!! -Dave W1DJG