The FASTRAC satellites have been in operation for more than a year and the team has been able to get a lot of data from them, in great part due to the amazing support from the amateur radio community. Over the last month the team noticed that one of FASTRAC-1’s on board microcontrollers which controls one of the experiments has not been booting up correctly. The team has done everything possible to correct this issue apart from turning it off which can only happen if the batteries fall below an specific charge level. Since the satellites have been power positive throughout this whole year the only way this can happen is if the satellites transmit more often. Given that one of FASTRAC goals has always been to eventually provide a platform for amateur radio enthusiasts to use after the primary mission was over, the team has decided to open up FASTRAC-1 to the amateur radio community with the hope as more people use it to digipeat through the satellite, the battery levels will diminish and cause a hard reset of the microcontrollers on board. The satellite will be configured so that amateur radio operators can use it beginning on Friday Dec 2 at 10:00 AM CST. Starting on this date people will be able to digipeat through the satellites. The call sign and frequencies of the satellite are summarized below and an example of digipeating through the satellite is also shown in below. To increase the chances of causing a hard reset, it is requested that as many amateur radio enthusiasts try to digipeat through the satellite on the weekend of Dec 10. If you are successful at digipeating through the satellites or have any problems doing so please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org, through our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/fastracsats) or through the forums on our website(http://fastrac.ae.utexas.edu/for_radio_operators/users/phpBB3/index.php).
Frequency Information for FASTRAC-1
FASTRAC-1 “Sara Lily” Downlink Frequency: 437.345 MHz
FASTRAC-1 “Sara Lily” Uplink Frequency (1200 or 9600 baud): 145.825 MHz
FASTRAC-1 “Sara Lily” Satellite Call Sign: FAST1
Example of Digipeating through FAST1
cmd: c CALLSIGN via fast1
cmd: KE5DTW>CALLSIGN,FAST1/1: <>:
CONNECTED to CALLSIGN VIA FAST1
Here the example shows KE5DTW (UT Austin Ground Station) digipeating through FAST1 to connect to CALLSIGN. CALLSIGN represents an arbitrary callsign and should be replaced with the callsign of the station with whom a connection is being attempted. The above example is based on a Kantronics KPC9612+ TNC.
For a PDF version of the announcement please go to the following link: http://fastrac.ae.utexas.edu/FASTRAC_Digipeating_Announcement.pdf
Thanks a lot,
THE FASTRAC TEAM
TLE Data Fastrac:
FAST1 1 90025U 0 11335.45306295 +.00001032 +00000-0 +15451-3 0 00393 2 90025 071.9715 030.4150 0018019 325.1311 034.8724 14.76812202006755 FAST2 1 90026U 0 11335.42573440 +.00001017 +00000-0 +15318-3 0 00428 2 90026 071.9748 030.7858 0018597 322.4343 037.5518 14.76570860006646