Phase 3D: A Satellite For All Radio Amateurs





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Published on Oct 25, 2008

Back in mid-1993, Frosty Oden N6ENV, myself and the late Roy Neal K6DUE, were asked by AMSAT to produce a short video to assist in the fund raing effort for the Phase 3D ham radio satellite scheduled to be launched in 1996. Roy approached the late U.S. Senator Barry M. Goldwater, K7UGA, who had a deep interest in aerospace as well as ham radio to see if he was interested in being a co-host. Senator Goldwater agreed and in late September of 1993 Roy and I flew to Phoenix Arizona where we met up with cameraman Jay MacSpadden and drove out to the famed "Goldwater Ranch" in Scottsdale and spent another great afternoon chatting and taping with Barry.

A few weeks later, Roy, Frosty and this scribe all met up at CBS Television City where Frosty used his video editing skill to create the show we titled: "Phase 3D: A Satellite For All Radio Amateurs."

The show was actually completed in late January of 1994, but as it was to be used as part of a coordinated fund raising campaign to launch the Phase 3 D Satellite, its release was delayed to coincide with the fund raising campaign. As such, I had the honor of hosting its first public showing before 800+ radio amateurs at the 1994 National Association of Broadcasters Convention "Ham Radio Reception" at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. oon after, copies on VHS tape were made available to AMSAT groups and ham radio clubs world-wide. For the next year it was almost impossible to attend ones favorite radio club and not see this video presentation shown.

Well, it took a few more years than expected, but Phase 3D did eventually make it into space and became AMSAT - OSCAR 40. The term "OSCAR" stands for "Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio."

AO-40 never achieved its full potential due to it not reaching its intended orbit and the failure of some of the on-board systems. It survived until late January 2004 when its battery failed and the satellite fell silent.

The complete history of AO-40 is on-line at various websites including The video you are now viewing was a part of the funding campaign that made its trip into space a reality for radio amateurs world wide to enjoy.


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