New Amateur Satellites – AggieSat and Bevo-2

Aggie Sat was launched from the ISSA package of two satellites carrying Amateur Radio payloads has been deployed into orbit from the International Space Station (ISS) as part of a collaborative Texas A&M and University of Texas at Austin research effort. Built by Texas A&M students, AggieSat4 (AGS4) will release UT’s Bevo-2 CubeSat in about a month, once it is far enough away from the ISS. Both schools received support from NASA’s Johnson Spaceflight Center (JSC) for the design, construction, testing, and launch phases. The goal of the overarching LONESTAR (Low Earth Orbiting Navigation Experiment for Spacecraft Testing Autonomous Rendezvous and Docking) program is for the two satellites to individually rendezvous with each other and perform docking and undocking maneuvers.

“The overall objective is to find ways for small spacecraft to join together autonomously in space,” Helen Reed, KD7GPX, professor of aerospace engineering and director of the AggieSat Lab at Texas A&M told NASA. “We need simple systems that will allow rendezvous and docking with little to no help from a human, which will become especially important as we venture farther out into space. Applications could include in-space assembly or reconfiguration of larger structures or systems as well as servicing and repair.”

The AggieSat team received its first beacon signal from the satellite at its Texas A&M Riverside Campus ground station. The AggieSat4 team is asking any Amateur Radio operators receiving the beacon signal to send any data to the AGS4 team. AggieSat4 will transmit 9.6 kbps FSK telemetry and 153.6 kbps FSK on 436.250 MHz. Once it’s placed into its own orbit, Bevo-2 will transmit on 437.325 on CW and 38.4 kbps FSK.

Both satellites were launched to the space station during a December 6, 2015, resupply mission. Earlier last week, Astronauts Tim Peake, KG5BVI, and Scott Kelly made preparations to deploy the sizeable LONESTAR phase 2 mission satellite package from the ISS, using the SSIKLOPS deployer. The satellite mission also will demonstrate communication cross links, data exchange, GPS-based navigation, and other tasks. AggieSat4 will capture images of the Bevo-2 release.

The satellites were independently developed by student teams at the two universities. Both teams were responsible for development plans for their satellite and had to meet established mission objectives.

The Bevo-2 Satellite was designed, built, and tested in the Texas Spacecraft Lab (TSL) at the University of Texas at Austin. “This whole experience is very exciting,” TSL Director Glenn Lightsey, KE5DDG, said last fall as undergraduate and graduate students were in the final stages of their project. “It’s great to have a research program where our students can build satellites that fly in space.” Reed and Lightsey are co-investigators for the LONESTAR 2 project.

FO-29 – Amateur Satellite

With the right gear this amateur satellite can be easy to work!

Name: Fuji-OSCAR-29 aka Fuji-3 and JAS-2
Callsign: 8J1JCS
NASA Catalog Number: 24278
Launched: August 17, 1996
Launch vehicle: Japanese H-II No. 4
Launch location: Tanegashima Space Center of NASDA, Tanegashima Island, Japan
Weight: 50 kg
Orbit: Polar LEO (Low Earth Orbit)
Size: 44 cm wide x 47 cm high
Period:112 minutes

BBS Message System (digital store-and-forward)
Analog Communications Transponder
Attitude Control
Testing of newly developed solar cells in space

Beacon (100 milliWatt) Telemetry Format

435.795 MHz – CW (12 wpm)
435.910 MHz – PSK digital – Digi-Talker

Digital Transponder – Mode JD (1 Watt)

Uplinks: AFSK (FM) 1200 bps, AX.25, Manchester Encoded
145.850 MHz
145.870 MHz (the only 9600 bps uplink frequency)
145.890 MHz
145.910 MHz

Downlink: BPSK 1200 bps or FSK 9600 bps
435.910 MHz (also Digi-Talker frequency)

Analog Transponder – Mode JA (1 Watt)

Uplink: 145.900 – 146.000 MHz – LSB/CW
Downlink: 435.800 – 435.900 MHz – USB/CW



SO-50 – Amateur Satellite

SO-50 satellite information

SO-50 carries several experiments, including a mode J FM amateur repeater experiment operating on 145.850 MHz uplink and 436.795 MHz downlink. The repeater is available to amateurs worldwide as power permits, using a 67.0 Hertz PL tone on the uplink, for on-demand activation. SO-50 also has a 10 minute timer that must be armed before use. Transmit a 2 second carrier with a PL tone of 74.4 to arm the timer.

The repeater consists of a miniature VHF receiver with sensitivity of -124dBm, having an IF bandwidth of 15 KHz. The receive antenna is a 1/4 wave vertical mounted in the top corner of the spacecraft. The receive audio is filtered and conditioned then gated in the control electronics prior to feeding it to the 250mW UHF transmitter. The downlink antenna is a 1/4 wave mounted in the bottom corner of the spacecraft and canted at 45 degrees inward.

God is awesome!

God is awesome

God is awesome
1 Kings 8:61 – Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.

Just as Jesus was telling us that if we plant faith within our hearts, and nourish it and develop it, and allow it to grow like a mustard seed-then and only then can we speak to a mountain and tell it to move from here to there, and it will move! God is awesome and keeps moving mountains in my life! I cannot thank his greatness enough in my prayers!

Careful who you trust…

Trust in God with all your heart!

Trust in God with all your heart!Sometimes it’s hard to find trust in such an untrustworthy, disloyal world. It’s important to not get hurt, but you also must learn to trust in God. Trusting the Lord should be easy. But it is also important to trust in those you love. Your family and your friends are not perfect, but it makes you a better person to believe in trust.

You should always be careful with who you trust, but you shouldn’t live your life in fear. Thankfully, though, you can trust your Heavenly Father without a second thought. He is the only one who you can truly trust, no matter what. And the more you trust Him, the closer to him you can become.

O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusts in you.- Psalms 84:12

But now thus said the LORD that created you, O Jacob, and he that formed you, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you are mine. – Isaiah 43:1

Behold, you trust in lying words, that cannot profit. – Jeremiah 7:8

Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. – Isaiah 12:2

Give thanks to God, our provider!

Living a grateful life will help you to life a happy life. We cannot take for granted all that is around us.

1 Chronicles 16:35 – Cry out, “Save us, O God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, that we may glory in your praise.”

1 Chronicles 29:13 – Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.

Daniel 2:23  – “I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king.”

Psalm 95:2 – Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

Psalm 100:4 – Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

It is so wonderful that we have the Biblical promise that God will provide all of our needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:19)

Give thanks to he who shelters us from evil

In times of adversity we must hold fast to the faith in he who provides for our every need. We live in abundance and favor as long as we stay the faith in God our father. Do not trade the false words of another man and let them fool you when the truth has already been written in stone. Nothing can change the truth and for that you must remain thankful and praise he who guides us down the path of righteousness.

Psalms 27:5,6 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD.

Isaiah 26:3,4 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.

Zechariah 8:16 These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace;

Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.

Indoor Hydroponic Tomatoes

My hydroponic tomatoes

As the Colorado winter was arriving I decided to take a couple cuttings from a very productive outdoor tomato plant that my mother was growing.  I chose to cut them about 4 inches tall and slid the cuttings into rockwool cubes.  They rooted fairly quickly and I have since moved them into a bubble bucket.  Check them out!

My hydroponic tomatoes

Hydroponic Kale

Indoor Hydroponic Kale

Indoor hydroponics is not as easy undertaking and is not for the faint of heart.  It takes time and you will fail at some point and lose something that you spent a lot of time helping through life.  I recently moved back to Colorado and in doing so, am back in an environment that freezes and has snow during the winter months. No surprise to this awesome fact. I do love to snowboard, ski and enjoy making a snow-men and snow-women with my kids.  We have established that it gets cold here so that brings us to the indoor hydroponic garden and my baby kale that I started using heirloom seeds in rockwool grow cubes.  They are doing awesome and I moved them into bubble buckets and have them growing in the basement.  They are growing faster each day as their leaf surface area increases and the roots drive further into the buckets.  The kale I am growing will be used for juicing and cooking.  I am 100% organic in the nutrients and I use reverse-osmosis water for all the water used in the garden.  I am happy to share that the garden is doing well.  I hope you enjoy the pictures below.

Cute Hydroponic Kale


Hydroponic kale grown in a bubble bucket


Up Close hydroponic kale picture


Indoor Hydroponic Kale - My hydroponic garden


More to come on these hydroponic kale plants. If you have grown or are growing hydroponic kale, send me your tricks or secrets for super awesome kale!
Thank you!

Cherish your integrity

Cherish your integrity for at some point, someone will try to steal it!

Romans 12:17

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men.

Integrity is the key to happiness.  Continue to do good when all seems evil around you!  Those that are evil have already been judged by God and they have the responsibility to repent or live with the consequences of their actions.

Proverbs 4:23-27

Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put devious lips far from you. Let your eyes look directly ahead, And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet, And all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.