Project OSCAR started in 1960 and was responsible for the construction of the first Amateur Radio Satellite OSCAR-1, that was successfully launched from Vandenberg AFB in California . OSCAR-1 orbited the earth for 22 days, transmitting the “HI” greeting you see in Morse Code above. Project OSCAR then went on to launch OSCAR-2 and OSCAR-3 and helped an Australian team launch OSCAR-4.
Today, over forty years later, our mission is “To initiate and support activities that promote the Satellite Amateur Radio Hobby”. Our primary goal is to reach out and provide logistical support, training and in some cases equipment to amateur radio associations, schools and the public at large.
OSCAR-I , which had a battery powered 140mw transmitter operating in the 2 meter band, went on to transmit it’s message of “HI” for three weeks and re-entered the atmosphere on January 31, 1962 after making 312 orbits. The greeting “HI” is used in almost all beacons, including AO-40’s telemetry beacon, built and launched by the Amateur Satellite service.
Project Oscar Inc. was originally formed to investigate the possibility of putting an amateur satellite in orbit. Project Oscar built and launched the first amateur satellite “Oscar I” . Project Oscar was also responsible for launching Oscar-II, Oscar-III, and Oscar-IV.
Since that beginning, the group has focused on supporting and promoting amateur radio satellite related projects. Some current members take part in university satellite programs as advisors. The Project Oscar club has become more active since the start of the AMSAT Eagle project, with a renewed effort to build hardware and educate hams on the advantages of satellite operation. We actively support AMSAT in the effort to build and launch new amateur satellites.
Project Oscar Today
The Project Oscar club is a resurrection of the original Project Oscar Inc. and is intent on carrying on in recognition of those original members who did so much to make amateur radio satellites a reality.
The current Project Oscar club members recognize and support AMSAT as the North American amateur satellite building organization. We want to add to the AMSAT effort in any way we can, to further amateur satellite communications and to increase the number of amateurs involved in amateur satellites. As our logo says one of our primary goals is to “Have Fun with Ham radio”.
The club is located in the San Jose area and is open to invited membership of those interested in pursuing the club’s goals and working to improve the amateur satellite experience for other hams.
While we have been meeting monthly, there is no fixed rule on meetings and we try to keep the meetings open to discussion of current activities of the members and only a minimum of business. The club is incorporated and is run by a board-of-directors. This keeps the general meeting open for discussion from any member or guest. The club also has a private site for discussion of club business and members are invited to join the group and contribute to the online discussion.
While the current Board and most of the members are active satellite users, the club is interested in all forms of amateur communications and welcomes those who are active on other bands and modes. We are very interested in assisting any ham with becoming active on any amateur satellite and invite you to contact Project Oscar with any questions.
We are considering loaner satellite equipment to allow a new user to monitor some of the satellites and to decide how best to become involved. We are available to present satellite talks to local groups and are providing a satellite station and presentation for Pacificon (Northern California Ham Convention). Other projects are always open for discussion and will be considered as resources allow.
Recently we have been working with the San Jose State University amateur radio and satellite club, but providing consulting, design review and ground station equipment. We hope this relationship continues and grows into something fantastic!
Become Involved In Project Oscar
If you are interested in getting involved or have some suggestions that we might be able to bring to our members please contact us through the web site.
We hope you enjoy your visit to the Project OSCAR website!