Thank you for shutting down QO-100!

  • First of all an apology for the title to the vast majority of users which follow the rules on using the QO-100 transponders. Your activity both as operators but also as hamradio experimenters, builders and ambassadors for our hobby is our fuel to continue working on future amateur radio satellites.

    The following lines are addressed to the few individuals (YOU) which constantly ignore the rules set up by AMSAT-DL. I am writing 'ignoring' on purpose. Not 'bending' or 'challenging' but 'ignoring'. After more than half a year the rules should be obvious to all users. Working QO-100 is by no means an easy feat and we can certainly rule out 'accidental' transmissions to the satellite. Still not a single week passes without me observing your mindless and selfish behavior on the transponder: transmitting outside its authorized frequency limits, exceeding the defined power levels limits and using excessive bandwidth (to mention only a few). Although I will not play the 'shame and blame' game (others are much better at this and I thank those for doing it for me!) you should note that your behavior is gravely endangering the future of amateur radio satellites and our status as 'hitchhiker-payload' in particular! The rules are in place for very good reasons and while you might not agree with them: here they are. I cannot and will not justify them individually (last but not least due to NDA restrictions) and I do not think AMSAT-DL has to. QO-100 is a very generous gift by the satellite operator and a few very supportive persons and we should treat this gift with decency and care. It is NOT a service and you have NO rights on using it. If you do not agree with the rules, I would recommend you to go somewhere else and let others enjoy the gift offered to us. As a reminder, amateur radio via satellites is a low-power mode and there is absolutely no justification to use more power than required to use the transponder. Your constant misbehavior sheds a very bad light on the amateur radio community. It will eventually lead to temporary or permanent stop of QO-100 operations and subsequently kill any future efforts to get similar payloads flying on future commercial satellites. Not only this is asocial behavior against all well behaving hamradio operators but it is a punch in the face of all volunteers of the Phase-4A project which have dedicated considerable time of their lives in the past years to make this happen.

    Thank you for that.

  • Colleague, everything you wrote is definitely right and right!

    But I have an assumption that most of those who work on the satellite from other countries, as well as those who work illegally, are not familiar with our forum and will not hear “a call to conscience!”

  • Indeed - but I do not agree with not naming and shaming, but only where there is proof. The individuals should be identified and subjected to whatever due process applies in their country.

  • Does the satellite have the ability to accurately determine the location of the source of the received signal? 100 m or at least about 1 km? Well, at least 10km?

    Without the ability to determine the location, all our screams and instructions for the pirates do not make sense, since they will not go anywhere, but will remain only in this forum. Well maybe on Twitter and Facebook ..

  • For a better understanding we should know how the NB transponder is working.

    The issue came up yesterday when a strong carrier was sent to QO-100 at 5:30 in the morning.

    At this time usually nobody is active, the transponder shows the beacons only.

    How can a single carrier at this time of a day ring the bells in es'hail2 office ?

    Does the NB transponder use any kind of AGC ?

    Is the TX power of the 10 GHz transmitter strong enough to cause any harm on es'hail-2 ?

    We know only very little about the functions of NB and WB transponders.

  • DH2VA from the bottom of our hearts.. thanks for speaking this out!

    The issue came up yesterday when a strong carrier was sent to QO-100 at 5:30 in the morning.

    This is not the first alarm over the last few month, it's only the tip of the iceberg !!

    An Alarm does not necessarily mean there is damage on the transponder, but drastically changes on the transponder settings might result in that. The damage is more as explained by Achim above and the Satellite Controllers are just getting nervous about it and wondering what we are doing...

    Peter Gülzow | DB2OS | AMSAT-DL member since 1983 | JO42VG

  • I think we should know a bit more about the technical background.
    There is no way to control uplinks from half of the world and I hope that there are more things which can be done to stop these alarms, i.e. reduce 10 GHz output power or anything else.

    But, G8UGD, you are right, maybe its better not to talk about it.

  • We can not defend ourselves against pirates and psychopaths, there remains only
    to switch off the transponder. But that can not be and we do not want that. So
    the pirates would have won her psycho game.

    If kids are not allowed to do something, we have to educate them. I always read
    again, "I have never heard LEILA". But with our SDR receiver we could see LEILA
    if LEILA were visible.

    My suggestion, modulate LEILA with e.g. Hellschreiber. It would look like this:


    and set it not over but next to a QRO-signal. I hope this helps.


  • HB9SKA nice idea.. but there must be someone to check if this is possible to implement and then to to this. all are voluntiers with only limited time. First we should reduce the LEILA level and see if this works or not. Then we can think about doing improvements.

  • HB9SKA nice idea.. but there must be someone to check if this is possible to implement and then to to this. all are voluntiers with only limited time. First we should reduce the LEILA level and see if this works or not. Then we can think about doing improvements.

    OK, Heiner, I agree. But it must be done something in the near future, otherwise we will lose credits in Qatar. Or am I impatient ?

  • R1CAU From my point of view 10 dbm over the CW-Bacon should be the maximum which is tolerated. At the moment LEILA is higher.

    If everbody keeps this in mind, there should be no ploblem at all.

  • Wenn wir uns die Messungen ansehen, werden wir feststellen, dass sich der SNR-Pegel der Beacons an meiner Antenne leicht ändert, irgendwo zwischen 27 und 35 dB. Mir ist auch aufgefallen, dass die leistungsstärksten Operatoren (Big Gun) diesen Pegel oft (nicht immer, aber oft) um mehr als 10 dB überschreiten. Ist das akzeptabel oder verstößt es gegen die Regeln?

    If we look at the measurements, we will notice that the SNR level of the beacons on my antenna changes slightly, somewhere between 27 and 35 dB. I have also noticed that the most powerful operators (Big Gun) often (not always, but often) exceed this level by more than 10 dB. Is that acceptable or does it violate the rules?

  • There is another important aspect of the appearance of interference outside the lighthouse. Quite a few operators use SDR-transceivers such as LimeSDR or HackRF or Pluto. I measured the spactres. LimeSDR turned out to be the worst in terms of interference in the near zone from the main signal. (See photo) It is not possible to clean the signal in the “near zone” qualitatively in principle. Therefore, most operators neglect interference, send a dirty signal to the power amplifier, and we have the following very unpleasant situation: (see. Screenshot)

    What to do in this case to the owners of sdr-transceivers?

  • Next time when the huge signals appears on transponder immediately turn off transponder for hour if possible?

    Then the pirates and other will see what will happen if there is no discipline....