SAT Observations 97.10.24

A news release from Cairo, Egypt, located at 30.3 North - 31.15 East,
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- Satellite and Transponder Observations in C- and Ku-Band,
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- Launch Information
- Ariane 502 launch
- APSTAR 2R info
- 1stNet expansion
- Hot Bird updates
- Bits & Pieces
- SAT-MidEast intern

LAUNCH INFORMATION, http://www.satcodx.com/launches.shtml
Some new dates for Arianespace launches:

30/10 V101 Ariane 502
07/11 V102 Sirius 2/Cakrawarta 1 (launchwindow opens at 23:48 CAT)
02/12 V103 JCSAT 5
22/12 V104 Intelsat 804

SME Comment: It has to be expected that the launch of V102 will be
further delayed by five to seven days, to around 12-14 November. This is
due to the delayed arrival of the Sirius 2 satellite in Kourou, on an
already very tight pre-launch integration schedule.

If this will be the case then it is almost sure that the Intelsat 804
will not make it to orbit this year, or a launch on New Years Eve should
be considered which I really doubt. Anyway it was a great year for

ARIANE 502, launch delayed by two days
The second launch of the new Ariane 5 rocket will take place on
Thursday, October 30, two days later as the latest announced statement.

The French and European Space Agencies, CNES and ESA, said in a joint
statement that "An anomaly has been identified on the Ariane launchers
for flights 503 and 504 currently undergoing integration at
Aerospatiale, Les Mureaux, France. The items concerned are the mountings
of the Vulcain engine supply lines. It has therefore been decided to
check the same items on the 502 launcher."

 Copyright 1997 by Sat-ND

The launch will take place from ELA 3, Kourou, French Guiana, in a
launch window from 15:00-18:00 CAT. The event will be live broadcasted
via several satellites; for the near Middle East via Eutelsat II-f2,
transponder 22, 11.163 GHz, H, in PAL, clear. English languaged audio on
7.20 MHz, French on 6.60 MHz.

The Arianespace transmissions starts around 45 minutes prior to the
opening of the launch window and will commence until 60 minutes after
succesful launch.

For a full run-down of the scheduled TV programming take a look at
Martin OA Ransom's go_Ariane site:
Martin is the English commentator on the Arianespace TV channel, also in
this exiting upcoming event.

Hughes Space and Communications International Inc. has been awarded its
first Russian contract for a telecommunications satellite,
launch-vehicle services and ground-station control equipment from

BONUM-1 is a subsidiary of Media Most, a major private Russian media
group, which is developing satellite television-broadcasting services in

The new satellite, which will bear the name of its owner, will be an HS
376 high-power model satellite. Over an expected period of eleven years,
it will provide digital direct-to-home television services to the
western part of Russia. The satellite is scheduled for delivery in-orbit
in November 1998 and will be launched on a Boeing Delta II launch

Hughes will also provide the BONUM-1 ground satellite-control equipment
for use at the control centre and will provide training to the satellite
controllers. BONUM-1, to be positioned at 36 East, will carry eight
active Ku-band transponders, capable of providing up to 50 digitally
compressed channels using 75-watt travelling wave-tube amplifiers.

As 36 East is also the position of GALS-1 and 2, providing Russia with
the NTV+ pay-TV package, it should be clear who's behind this move. NTV,
with close ties to the Russian government, has also leased an ageing
French DBS satellite, TDF-2, from Eutelsat to help out at that position.
Recently bought by Eutelsat, TDF-2 should by now have arrived at 36
East. [Red: Almost !] It was estimated that the satellite oldie would at
least add one or two operational transponders to that position.

However, that orbital slot belongs to Eutelsat which also plans to move
Eutelsat II-F2 there once their new Eutelsat-W1 has been launched,
replacing Eutelsat II-F2 at 10 East. Time will tell how things fall into

 Copyright 1997 by Sat-ND

SME Comment: The Eutelsat/NPO PM satellite SESAT is also planned to take
orbit, with another 18 Ku transponder at the 36 East slot, scheduled for
a Proton launch in January 1999.
The 36 East position becomes more and more the avised Eastern Europe Hot

THAICOM 3, 78.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/thai78.html
VTV 1/3 returned to this satellite, however on a lower frequency, in
order not to interfere anymore with transmissions of Viyar TV. The
present frequency of 3.572 GHz, H, requires actually the presence of an
extended C-Band LNB.

The latest models go down to 3.2 - 4.2 GHz, still with an LOF of 5.150
and an output frequency of 950-1750 MHz. Most of the present installed
models however will surely pick up the signal, however with a slight
reduced signal level.

The quality of the VTV transmission was extremely good and stable during
the last week, with transmission times from 01:00 - 19:00 CAT, with a
VTV test card in off air hours. Audio subcarriers could be found on 6.60
and 7.00 MHz.

APSTAR II-R, 76.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/launches.shtml
After last weeks succesfull launch and positioning in a geo-stationary
orbit, it seems this very powerfull satellite will be operational soon.

Here the nescesary details of the system, which should give you quality
reception from the middle/end of November. Already sixty percent of the
transponder are supposingly leased for periods up to 15 year.

The Apstar 2R features three beams: a single C-band beam, directed from
two reflectors, covering Asia, and large parts of Europe, Africa and

C-Band footprint: http://apstar.com/apstar2r_d.html  

(Cairo: 37 dBW, KSA: 38 dBW, UAE: 37 dbW, Europe: 36 dBW)

Two Ku-beams are covering China, incl. Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan
(not receivable in either the Middle East, Africa or Europe)

Beam #1 designed for V-SAT use: 43.6 - 53.6 dBW
Beam #2 designed for DTH usage: 42.8 - 56.8 dBW

Ku-Band footprint: http://apstar.com/apstar2r_e.html

Downlink Table C-Band (all tp 36 MHz wide, exept 1A: 30 MHz)
tp      pol     freq	channels horizontal polarized
1A      H       3.643	occupation not yet disclosed 
2A      H       3.680
3A      H       3.720
4A      H       3.760
5A      H       3.800
6A      H       3.840
7A      H       3.880
8A      H       3.920
9A      H       3.960
10A     H       4.000
11A     H       4.040
12A     H       4.080
13A     H       4.120
14A     H       4.160

tp      pol     freq	channels vertical polarized
1B      V       3.660	occupation not yet disclosed
2B      V       3.700
3B      V       3.740
4B      V       3.780
5B      V       3.820
6B      V       3.860
7B      V       3.900
8B      V       3.940
9B      V       3.980
10B     V       4.020
11B     V       4.060
12B     V       4.100
13B     V       4.140
14B     V       4.180

Downlink Table KU-Band (all tp 54 MHz wide, exept 1A: 36 MHz)
tp      pol     freq    comment: Ku not receivable in MidEast
1A      H       12.272  (switchable onto beam 1 OR 2)(36 MHz)
2A      H       12.324  (only on beam 1)
3A      H       12.385  (switchable onto beam 1 OR 2)
4A      H       12.446  (only on beam 1)
5A      H       12.507  (switchable onto beam 1 OR 2)
6A      H       12.568  (only on beam 1)
7A      H       12.629  (switchable onto beam 1 OR 2)
8A      H       12.690  (only on beam 1)

2B      V       12.3545 (only on beam 1)
4B      V       12.4765 (only on beam 1)
6B      V       12.5985 (only on beam 1)
8B      V       12.7205 (only on beam 1)

1B      V       12.2935 (only on beam 2)
3B      V       12.4155 (only on beam 2)
5B      V       12.5375 (only on beam 2)
7B      V       12.6595 (only on beam 2)

PANAMSAT 4, 68.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/pas4.html
Transponder 19, 11.524 GHz, H, and transponder 23, 11.649 GHz, H, have
ceased transmission of the 1stNET test card signals.

No new occupation of the transponder has been disclosed. SHOWTIME is
looking into expanding their DStv bouquet towards the end of the year.
One of the new channels will be the Hallmark Channel. Great ! ;-((

Unconfirmed reports say that Showtime will approve for two new IRD
models to officially receive the DStv programming. Both well known
digital receiver in between: the Galaxis and a Nokia Mediamaster model.

Last weeks reported free-to-air transmissions of M-Net and Showtime have
(SME, Anonymous)

INTELSAT 602, 62.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/i602.html
BAZTAB will be transmitting with 72 Mhz of bandwidth, in order to
establish a real broad beam, to be downlinked on transponder 51,
North-East Zone Beam, 3.7235 GHz, LC, from Friday to Sunday this

Reception reports on this specific transmission, stating observation
location and dishsize, are very welcome to my mailbox.

INTELSAT 703, 57 East, http://www.satcodx.com/i703.html
NTV on 11.475 GHz, H and transponder 79B, Khabar TV on 11.648 GHz, H,
have both increased signal levels in Cairo, now both with color video
and audable audio, but still with plenty of sparks and a noisy sound.

Transponder 79A, Kazakh TV, on 11.605 GHz, H, is still the weakest and
can hardly be seen improved. Very poor reception, however on the same

TURKSAT 1C, 42 East, http://www.satcodx.com/turk1c.html
The teletext service on ATV on 10.965 GHz, V, (West/Europa beam) has
ceased, and is now on ATV on 10.968 GHz, H, (East/Turkey beam) instead.

Transmissions on the East and Westbeam are increasingly differing in
content as well as in starting and closing times.

SME Comment: Does this points to an eventual ceasure of ATV on the West
beam ?

ARABSAT 2A, 26 East,  http://www.satcodx.com/arab2a.html
MBC has started on 12.685 GHz, H, as part of the, mostly Arabic, 1stNET
DStv package (SR 19638, FEC 7/8) and is presently free to air

Here the details and some more additions:
transponder 9    12.685  H       MBC     (clear) VPID 4206, APID 42C6 
transponder 9    12.685  H       FUT2    (empty)
transponder 3    12.562  H       FUT3    (empty)

EUTELSAT II-f3, 16 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f3.html
Eurosports Hungarian audio has left 11.596 GHz, H, 7.74 MHz on the Duna
TV transponder, and is now only on the Central Europe beam of Amos 1.

HOT BIRD 3, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb3.html
ERT International started a few hours ahead of the scheduled October
24th, 00:00 (midnight) launch on 12.284 GHz, H, PAL, clear, with audio
on 6.60 MHz.

SME Comment: It is curious to see that the analogue transmission, at the
present time, is a re-uplinks from the digital signal in the Multichoice
Hellas package from Hot Bird 2, transponder 55 (ERT Int) which b.t.w.
now also can be seen in clear. 

On Friday, October 24th, transponder 73, 12.169 Ghz, H, was activated on
the widebeam for Multichoice Hellas. With SR 27500 and FEC 3/4 following
channels could be loaded, (however without content at the time):
FilmNetB, SuperSportB, Test1B, Test2B, Test3B, Test4B, and Test5B.

The stored frequency in the Mediamaster is 11.070 GHz, which points to a
non-corresponding transponder. This will surely be adjusted in due time.

The first Italian hard-core channel, Satisfaction Club Television (SCT)
has announced that it will start a digital bouquet of channels from
The channel which has up till now been broadcasting via the Eutelsat
II-f2 satellite at 10 East, will continue to transmit in analogue mode,
but has also leased capacity on Hot Bird 3 transponder 72, 12.149 GHz,

SCT's new digital service will offer three encrypted "thematic"
channels, which will be on air 3 hours every night of the week.

For reception of the new channels any MPEG-2 compliant digital receiver
will do and subscribers will get an additional NS1 decoder which can be
plugged in the Scart socket of the digital box. 

A colourbar test card appeared October 18th on 12.476 GHz, H, in PAL,
clear on the widebeam. 

During the week tests were performed including transponder 89 and 88.
Tuning in to transponder 88 with the identical frequency of transponder
89, 11.476  GHz, only in the opposite polarization, showed signal levels
going up and down or sudden rises or drops in observed levels.
It produced in Cairo either a clear (sometimes sparkled) picture on
transponder 88 or a just shadows of interference.
Audio subcarriers are on both test cards on 6.60 and 7.20 MHz.

I assume Eutelsats uplink engineers want to find out how the 50 Mhz
bandwidth of the D+ (Telepiu) transponder copes with the up-and downlink
frequency of transponder 89.

Fashion TV as part of the french MCM bouquet on transponder 77, 12.245
GHz, H changed its audio settings so that it now is available in MONO on
both left and right channels. Previous one channel was left empty.

The Multimedia transponder 76 and 78, 12.226 GHz and 12.265 GHz, V,
respective, will be activated around the next weekend, or at least one
of them. They will be hosting the present transmissions of transponder
53, 11.785 on Hot Bird 2.
Nightly transmissions of Eurotica/Rendez Vous will however NOT be part
of the transfer.

Transponder 70, 12.111 GHz, H, was activated and a colorbar test card
was shown for a while on Thursday October 23rd.
HOT BIRD 2, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb2.html
Eurotica/Rendez-Vous will leave transponder 53, 11.785 GHz, H to the end
of this month. A new downlink frequency has not been published yet.
Transponder 53 will be used by another, yet-to-be-named, 24 hour TV
channel, as soon as from November 1st.
(SME, source: Eutelsat)

ERT, NET, and ET-3 are now clear on Multichoice Hellas, transponder 55,
11.823 GHz, H, on the ERT International channel (ex Test4).

Last Wednesday a digital channel with the titel "codeDownload" was added
to the line-up of the Multichoice Hellas package on transponder 55,
11.823 GHz, H.

This channel could be used to download software for the PANASAT 630
IRD's, which had difficulties to put some transponder of D+ (Telepiu)
and other packages into memory. Transmissions have ceased in between.
(SME, PiCard)

The second channel of Multichoice Hellas bouquet on transponder 55,
11.823 GHz, H, was renamed on Friday, October 24th, to " SS   K-TV".

TPS Transponder 61, 11.938 GHz, H, was switched on October 21st onto the
WIDEBEAM for a couple of hours in the afternoon. All channels from this
transponder were (for the first time in the Middle East) easily
loadable, including the clear radio Mosqueteiros. The channels couldn't
be seen by me due to the VIACCESS encryption, where I do not have access
to and were most probably not in clear.

The reason for this test (they have switched back in between) is not
known, however I could observe during the last week an increase in
signal level on ALL TPS transponder.

Coming Monday will see the launch of the cultural RaiSat 1 channel, on
transponder 54, 11.804 GHz, V, as part of the RAI digital bouquet.

More RaiSat channels: RaiSat 4 (News), RaiSat 5 (Sports) and RaiSat 6
(Multi-ethnic Service) are in the planning for transponder 52, 11.766
GHz, V, but not before Hot Bird 4 becomes operational in March 1998.

On the grapevine it rumours that Polonia 1 is to cease it's analogue
transmissions on 11.977 GHz, H, actually the only visible superbeam
channel in the near MidEast. It is said to move to Hot Bird 3,
transponder 81/83 at 12.322/12.360 GHz, H, respective, as part of a new
Polish MPEG-2 bouquet.

HOT BIRD 1, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb1.html
D+ (Telepiu) re-started (and ceased) on 11.283 GHz, V, in MPEG-2, SR
27500, FEC 3/4.

4200	428A	T14 or T+/B (Telepiu Bianco) or presently named 16:9
4201	4294	T15 or T+/N (Telepiu Nero) (frequently with test card)
4202	429E	T16 or T+/G (Telepiu Grigio)
4203	42A8	T17 or R4 (Rete 4)(frequently used for various tests)
4204	42B2	T18 or C5 (Canale 5)

On T15 is a testcard and T17 is frequently (but not always) encrypted. 
On T17/R4 on October 20th the message: IPPV Test - IPPV Event 22 on Oct
20 - has been observed. Italian Pay Per View ?

Furthermore several radios came in, however still with one single
programm on all channels: RITA, RDON, R105, RMC, RAD1, RAD2, RAD3, RAD4.

The Discovery Channel has started a SCPC feed on 11.288 GHz, H, MPEG-2,
SR 5632, FEC 3/4, VPID 4488, APID 4460.

The SCPC feed of Worldnet/CSPAN on 11.422 GHz, H, SR 5632, FEC 3/4,
changed to VPID 44EC and APID 44C4.

SME Comment: To get the above SCPC feed channels in the Near Middle East
you have to have a quite perfect system set-up, otherwise the digital
signal is coming in too weak.

EUTELSAT II-f2, 10 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f2.html
On 20 October, ERT has changed the content of their channels:
ET 1 became ERT 1, with less information and more entertainment.
ET 2 became NET (New hEllenic TV), with news, information, magazines,
talk shows, etc.

ET 3 is still named ET 3 and appears irregularely on the ERT
International channel on Hot Bird 3.

According the the greek newspaper "Elefteros typos", dated 16 October a
new greek music channel "Mad TV" will start on Hot Bird 3, in a second
digital package from Multichoice Hellas on transponder 73, 12.169 GHz,

No launchdate of the channel was mentioned.

ERT Satellite, which is now duplicated on Hot Bird 3, will leave
transponder 33, 11.596 GHz, H on 31 October.

PANAMSAT 1, 45 West, http://www.satcodx.com/pas1.html
Galavision in PAL will leave 11.515 GHz, H, when "the Via Digital
package grow successfullly". No date is yet decided. 

SME Comment: That's good news for all of us...

SAT-MidEast Intern, http://www.sat-net.com/sat-mideast/
Upon request of various readers the latest issues of the SAT
Observations in HTML format will remain available on the SAT-MidEast
website as long as they are not have been integrated in the individual
satellite archive pages.

That's all folks, just be nice !

Henk C. Room / SAT-MidEast / Cairo - Egypt
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