AMSAT NEWS SERVICE
The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and information
service of AMSAT, The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation. ANS publishes
news related to Amateur Radio in Space including reports on the activities
of a worldwide group of Amateur Radio operators who share an active
interest in designing, building, launching and communicating through analog
and digital Amateur Radio satellites.
The news feed on http://www.amsat.org
publishes news of Amateur Radio in
Space as soon as our volunteers can post it.
Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to: ans-editor(a)amsat.org
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In this edition:
* AMSAT CubeSatSim First Official Release – v1.0
* AMSAT FoxTelem Version 1.11 Released
* AMSAT Pacsat Ground Station Version 0.43 Released
* FalconSat-3 Status
* Field Day Score Deadline - Friday, July 16th
* MIR-SAT1 Gold Award Winners
* Long Live PCSAT (NO-44) (and PCSAT-11)
* Changes to AMSAT TLE Distribution for July 8, 2021
* ARISS News
* Upcoming Satellite Operations
* Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
* Satellite Shorts From All Over
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 192.01
To: All RADIO AMATEURS
From: Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation
712 H Street NE Suite 1653
Washington, DC 20002
DATE 2021 Ju1 11
Join the 2021 President's Club!
Score your 2" 4-Color Accent Commemorative Coin with Polished Gold
Full Color Certificate and Embroidered "Remove Before Flight" Key Tag
By donating today at
You won't want to miss it!
AMSAT CubeSatSim First Official Release – v1.0
I am very pleased to announce the first software release of the CubeSatSim
software v1.0! Along with the first hardware release v1.0 last month, this
is an important milestone for this AMSAT educational project.
All the CubeSatSim software and hardware is fully open source. The v1.0
release info is available on GitHub here:
and the v1.0
hardware info including gerber files is available here:
Thanks to Bruce Paige, KK5DO, we have CubeSatSim blank PCB sets and
CubeSatSim Raspberry Pi SD cards available on the AMSAT Store. For the
moment, they are only available to ship to US addresses. In a post-COVID
future, we hope to offer worldwide shipping.
The CubeSatSim Raspberry Pi SD Card is a 16 GB micro SD card with
Raspberry Pi OS Lite and all the CubeSatSim software installed and
configured on it. It is available at the AMSAT Store for $20
can also download the image and flash it to your own SD card using these
is the readme file for the CubeSatSim software
With the 3 board sets of blank PCBs, you can order the parts and solder
your own CubeSatSim. They are available at the AMSAT Store for $35
I want to take this opportunity to thank the team that has been working on
the CubeSatSim Project including Pat Kilory, N8PK, Jim McLaughlin, KI6ZUM,
and David White, WD6DRI. In addition, Chris Thompson, G0KLA/AC2CZ has been
instrumental in helping me get the FSK/BPSK transmit code working and has
added support for the CubeSatSim to FoxTelem. Yesterday's release of
FoxTelem v1.11 has full CubeSatSim support.
And of course, thank you to the AMSAT Board of Directors and the AMSAT
membership who have supported this project for many years.
P.S. AMSAT has CubeSatSim Loaners available to ship to your event or
presentation or STEM outreach activity - just contact me if you have an
[ANS thanks Alan Johnston, KU2Y, AMSAT Vice President - Educational
Relations, for the above information]
AMSAT FoxTelem Version 1.11 Released
I am releasing version 1.11 of FoxTelem. This primarily supports new
features needed for GOLF-TEE development and the CubeSatSim. If you are
using FoxTelem in the lab or classroom then this release should be
installed. It also fixes several bugs that will help with live decoding of
AO-95. It is not a mandatory upgrade but it is recommended.
Specifically it addresses the following:
* Fixes a bug where Costas decoding can stop if audio is being monitored
* Supports all the latest features needed for the CubeSatSim
* Better warnings for tracking and Find Signal errors
* Supports all the latest GOLF-TEE layouts
* Fixes a bug where strong signals may not be tracked correctly
* Supports math expressions in telemetry conversions
* Better handles USB device errors
You can download FoxTelem here:
Feel free to reach out to me with questions or comments.
[ANS thanks Chris Thompson, G0KLA/AC2CZ, AMSAT FoxTelem Developer, for the
AMSAT Pacsat Ground Station Version 0.43 Released
I'm releasing an update to the Pacsat Ground Station. This version
- Parses the MO-112 FailSafe beacons and saves them for analysis.
- Fixes a bug where FalconSat-3 telemetry data could not be downloaded from
- Defaults FalconSat-3 to not check Pacsat File Header checksums. This was
annoying for partially downloaded files.
You can download it here:
[ANS thanks Chris Thompson, G0KLA/AC2CZ, AMSAT Pacsat Ground Station
Developer, for the above information]
I had sufficient WiFi to check out FalconSat-3 thisvaround 1200 UTC 8 July
2021. Thankfully, only the TX had gone off and a reload right now isn't
necessary.vIf I can make the time, I'll look over the telemetry logs and
see if we had a low voltage trip or something, but not sure.
Users---until further notice, please limit the size of your uploaded files
to around 10k or less. Just before the bird went silent, numerous large
files were being uploaded and downloaded. I cannot say for sure if this is
related to the recent issue, but let's call it a hunch.
In the meantime, FalconSat-3 is again open for BBS and digipeater use -
please limit file upload size to 10K or less.
[ANS thanks Mark Hammond, N8MH, AMSAT Director and Command Station, for the
Need new satellite antennas? Purchase Arrows, Alaskan Arrows,
and M2 LEO-Packs from the AMSAT Store. When you purchase through
AMSAT, a portion of the proceeds goes towards
Keeping Amateur Radio in Space.
Field Day Score Deadline - Friday, July 16th
The deadline for submission of AMSAT Field Day scores is 11:59 P.M. Central
Time on Friday, July 16, 2021. I am going to be out of town the week of
July 12th. I will still try to acknowledge when I get your score in my
It would be nice to get some pictures and a short note about how your Field
Day was. I always like to share the stories in the AMSAT Journal article.
The submission form is located at https://www.amsat.org/field-day/
[ANS thanks Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director of Contests and Awards, for
the above information]
MIR-SAT1 Gold Award Winners
On behalf of the Mauritius Amateur Radio Society (MARS) I am pleased to
inform you that the MIR-SAT1 Gold Award winners are:
SatNOGS# 2134 / WesternMA Yagi
1062-CCERES Ground Station
SP7THR-UHF / 2012
Congratulations to them all.
Now there are 30 Silver Awards at stake, to remind the rules: one must have
uploaded at least one full valid MO-112 frame to Satnogs and apply for the
award by submitting their participation to MARS (link:
Good luck to all for the Silver Award.
Thanking all for sending to Satnogs the TLM’s which is really appreciated
and really useful to us.
[ANS thanks Jean-Marc Momple, 3B8DU, MIR-SAT1 (MO-112) Team, for the above
Long Live PCSAT (NO-44) (and PCSAT-11)
Some (current) APRS Amateur Satellite history:
CONSTRUCTION: For what it is worth, After 20 years, both PCSAT side A and
B transponders (digipeaters) remain semi-operational as the longest running
student project satellites in space. Further they were built desk-top style
using simple off-the-shelf Kantronics KPC-9612 TNC's and Hamtroncs kit
TX/RX boards. All parts are COTS and chips are in sockets. Batteries are AA
NiCd's. There are no CPU's on board. All command/control/telemetry is just
what is inherent in the TNC's. Only thing we did was replace all
electrolytic caps with tantalums. Having no clean room, we just used kem
wipes and alcohol to wipe off all the fingerprints and dust before bagging
NOTE: No one should be so cavalier if their mission is REAL and costing
great amounts of expectations and money. Back then it was just a free ride
with no expectations other than student involvement.
SAFE MODE (NOT): The only thing wrong was stupid thinking on the power
budget. As our first satellite, we put on dual A/B systems AND additional
9600 baud DUAL UHF backup link receivers so that we had QUAD backup command
RX capabilities in case of failures. The problem was we decided that all
systems must come up on power-up in order to have access to all the
redundant backup reset and command capabilities if needed and (DUH!), if
all was OK, we would turn off the unnecessary backup-UHF receivers and
un-crossconnect the transmitters.
TOO-COMPLEX LOGON: That is what kills it (on every orbit). If the reason
it reset is because of low battery, then the last thing you want is for
EVERYTHING to be ON when you are coming into the sun and trying to charge
back up. There is not yet enough power to get the command in to command off
the unnecessary systems! Further, the commands required a full two-way
AX.25 connection requiring 5 packets to exchange the password challenge and
password response. All of which fully loaded the cross-connected XMTRs
while trying to recover power.
NO CPU or OPERATING SYSTEM: PCSAT had no programmable CPU. Just
two-dual-port TNCs and 2 VHF XMTrs and 2 VHF RCVRS, and 2 UHF 9600 baud
RCVRS. There was nothing in which to put SMART-safe-mode power-up thinking.
Hence the fatal flaw to just power up everything and command later...
WITH LUCK: But luckily, the orbit occasionally has short eclipses and
longer sun side (about 1 hour) which gives it enough time to sometimes
have enough power to do a few user digipeats. Though after only a few, that
usually kills the battery for the rest of the orbit. We long since gave up
trying to go through the entire secret logon process to try to turn off the
extra UHF receivers, only to have it last another' 10 minutes or so until
the next eclipse and so that is why it just does its thing and sometimes
people are successful, or not.
MISSION: Side A of PCSAT (AKA W3ADO-1) remains operational on 145.825
digipeating when power permits. Same for side B which has a digipeater with
a 144.39 MHz downlink for use over North America which at the time was
thought would be useful for communicating *TO* normal 144.39 travelers who
may be traveling outside of range of the terrestrial network for a while.
TODAY (June 8, 2021), one of our sysops tested the side "B" and confirmed
it remains operational. That is why you might occasionally see PCSAT-11 in
the APRS logs. Although within the rules at the time of launch, in the last
decade, the IARU has officially made notice that operation of satellite
downlinks in the old 144.30-144.40 range are no longer authorized. Besides,
we never came up with a good use of the side B anyway. (Broadcast an APRS
message to all North American mobiles, or special traffic to a specific
Of course, we learned those lessons and had 6 successful followon APRS
satellites with only the last two (PSAT and PSAT2) had programmable CPUs
(BASIC Stamps). See http://aprs.org/sats.html
[ANS thanks Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, for the above information]
Changes to AMSAT TLE Distribution for July 8, 2021
The following satellite has been added to this week's AMSAT TLE
TUBIN - NORAD Cat ID 48900 (Thanks to Nico Janssen, PA0DLO for the
The following satellite has been deleted from this week's AMSAT TLE
STAR-Me Mother - NORAD Cat ID 43640 (Decayed June 26, 2021)
Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA (OSCAR Number Administrator) announced July 3, 2021
in AMSAT News Service Bulletin ANS-185 that MIR-SAT1 has been designated
MIRSAT-OSCAR 112 or MO-112.
Thus, MIRSAT1 (NORAD Cat ID 48868) is now shown as MO-112 in this week's
[ANS thanks Ray Hoad, WA5QGD, AMSAT Orbital Elements Manager, for the above
AMSAT's GOLF Program is about getting back to higher orbits, and it all
begins with GOLF-TEE – a technology demonstrator for deployable solar
panels, propulsion, and attitude control, now manifested for launch on
NASA's ELaNa 46 mission. Come along for the ride. The journey will be
TBD, Russia, direct via TBD
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be RSØISS
The downlink frequency is presently scheduled to be 145.800 MHz
The scheduled astronaut is Pyotr Dubrov
Contact is a go for 2021-07-14 20:10 UTC
Watch for possible operation mode change sometime after ARRL Field Day.
Exact date and time TBD but it will probably be after the week of
2021-07-12 to 2021-07-18.
Current Status of ISS Stations
IORS (Kenwood D710GA) – STATUS - ACTIVE. supporting cross band repeater
operation (145.990 up [67 Hz tone] /437.800 down MHz). Next mode change to
packet operations targeting after Field Day.
Supporting USOS scheduled voice contacts, packet and voice repeater ops.
Service Module radios:
Kenwood D710E – STATUS - Radio usually off.
Supporting ROS scheduled voice contacts and SSTV.
The latest information on the operation mode can be found at
The latest list of frequencies in use can be found at
[ANS thanks Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, one of the ARISS operation team mentors,
for the above information]
Want to fly the colors on your own grid expedition?
Get your AMSAT car flag and other neat stuff
from our Zazzle store!
25% of the purchase price of each product goes
towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space
Upcoming Satellite Operations
VP2V/K3TRM: I will be operating from Tortola, BVI as VP2V/K3TRM on July
4-17, 2021. Activity will be on 40-6M SSB & digital, and satellite.
EN57/67: @SeanKutzko KX9X and @Nancy_N9NCY will celebrate Sean’s birthday
in the Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula July 15-19. Look for them on FM and
SSB satellites, with the possibility of some Parks On The Air activity as
well. They will also hit EN57/67 on 7/14&19 on the Yooper Rove.
K0JM, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (July 12-14) I’ll be on the north shore of
Lake Superior. I hope to get in at least one pass in each of the grids:
EN36, EN46, EN47, EN48, EN57 and EN58. But this will be holiday style, so
no guarantees. Mostly linears, but some FM perhaps.
July 11 DN25 daytime passes
July 12 DN27 with a guest Gridmaster hopefully
July 13-16 DN28 holiday style
July 17 DN38 holiday style
July 18 DN47/48 daytime passes
July 21-23 DN54 holiday style
July 25-27 DN64 holiday style
July 30-31 DN63 holiday style
July 11 & 18 will all be planned trips just for Sat passes FM and SSB. I
will try to publish passes ahead of time on Twitter and QRZ. The remainder
of the trip will be camping in remote areas with little to no internet or
Twitter. I will get info out as I can, but I won’t be able to setup skeds
ahead of time. Lots of POTA activations on Sats and HF as well.
Please submit any additions or corrections to Ke0pbr (at) gmail.com
[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT rover page manager, for the above
Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
AMSAT is pleased to announce that the 39th Annual AMSAT Space Symposium and
Annual General Meeting will be held in late October at the Crowne Plaza
Suites: MSP Airport - Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. The Crowne
Plaza Suites is conveniently located adjacent to the American Blvd station
on the Metro Blue Line, providing easy access to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul
International Airport, downtown Minneapolis, and the Mall of America. The
AMSAT Board of Directors will meet prior to the Symposium. Further details,
including final dates, hotel reservation details, tours, and other events
will be shared in the coming months.
Want to see AMSAT in action or learn more about amateur radio in space?
AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through
amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests,
conventions, maker faires, and other events.
AMSAT Ambassador and ARRL registered instructor Clint Bradford, K6LCS, is
certainly keeping busy! He reports a long list of completed online
presentations. Think a 90-minute lively, informative, and fun “How to Work
the Easy Satellites” Zoom presentation would be appropriate for your
convention or club? Always includes are overviews of the ARRL, AMSAT, and
ARISS … and pre-presentation questions are solicited and welcome. Send
Clint an email or call!
Clint Bradford K6LCS
Tom Schuessler, N5HYP, has put out a call for assistance for an upcoming
In person events are back! The Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, TX is
this year returning to their in-person “Moon Day” space themed STEM event
on July 24th. I have signed up for AMSAT and Amateur Radio in Space as an
exhibito, as we have in past years. I will have the AMAT Cubesat Simulator
and the Fox Engineering model to show off to the kids attending and will
use iPad apps and SatPC32 to show orbits/footprints and such. There even
are a couple AO-91 passes during the event.
I have already a few volunteers for the event but if you live in the DFW
area and enjoy communicating with young people, I would love to hear from
Location: Frontiers of Flight Museum, Love Field, Dallas, TX
Time: Setup 7:30-9:45AM, Event 10:00AM through 3PM, teardown to follow.
Drop me an email, and I will give you more details.
Tom Schuessler, N5HYP at amsat.org
[ANS thanks the AMSAT Symposium Committee, Tom Schuessler, N5HYP, and Paul
Overn, KE0PBR, AMSAT Events Page Manager, for the above information]
Satellite Shorts From All Over
+ Congratulations to Mike McCoy, KC9ELU, on completing the AMSAT GridMaster
Award for working and confirming QSOs with all 488 grid squares in the
continental United States. Mike is the 32nd recipient of AMSAT's GridMaster
Award. More details about the GridMaster Award can be found at
[Thanks to Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT
Director of Contests and Awards]
+ Several new products are available on the AMSAT Zazzle store, including a
set of coasters, a watch, a t-shirt featuring the AMSAT round logo, and
more. Check out the new items! 25% of the purchase price goes towards
Keeping Amateur Radio in Space. https://www.zazzle.com/amsat_gear
+ All issues of The AMSAT Journal dating back to 2014 are now available to
AMSAT members on AMSAT’s new membership portal. The 1969-2013 archive will
be added at a later date. All editions of AMSAT’s Symposium Proceedings are
also available for members. If you’re a current AMSAT member, get logged on
today. If you are not yet a member, consider joining today at
+ The 2020 edition of AMSAT’s Getting Started with Amateur Satellites is
available on the AMSAT store. A perennial favorite, Getting Started is
updated every year with the latest amateur satellite information, and is
the premier primer of satellite operation. The book is presented in
DRM-free PDF format, in full color, and covers all aspects of making your
first contacts on a ham radio satellite. The digital download is available
for $15 at https://tinyurl.com/2020GettingStarted
. The print edition is $30
plus shipping and is available at https://tinyurl.com/GS2020Print
In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership in the
President’s Club. Members of the President’s Club, as sustaining donors to
AMSAT Project Funds, will be eligible to receive additional benefits.
President’s Club donations may be made at
Primary and secondary school students are eligible for membership at
one-half the standard yearly rate. Post-secondary school students enrolled
in at least half time status shall be eligible for the student rate for a
maximum of 6 post-secondary years in this status.
Join AMSAT today at https://launch.amsat.org/
73 and remember to help Keep Amateur Radio in Space,
This week’s ANS Editor,
Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
n8hm at amsat dot org