Fox Telemetry Decoder Software Available

Fox-1A Flight Unit

Fox-1A Flight Unit

Chris Thompson G0KLA reports on the AMSAT Bulletin Board that the telemetry decoder software for the Fox FM transponder CubeSats is now available for download. At the time of writing Fox-1A was scheduled to be launched on Ocober 8, 2015 with Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D slated for early 2016.

Version 1.0 of the FoxTelem software, the Fox Telemetry Decoder is being released to enable setup, testing, and debugging of your Fox-1A ground station prior to the launch of the satellite. FoxTelem is used to demodulate, store and analyze telemetry data from AMSAT’s Fox series of CubeSats.

Fox-1 satellites include two telemetry formats:

Fox1-Cliff-Logo+ Slow Speed, also called Data Under Voice (DUV) is 200 bps FSK data sent at the same time as the transponder audio. Whenever the transmitter is on, data is being sent. This happens during beacons and during live QSOs.

+ High Speed is 9600 bps FSK sent instead of the transponder. This is used for data intensive experiments such as the Virginia Tech Camera. This is only active when commanded from the ground. You can recognize High Speed because it sounds like an old school computer modem.

FoxTelem will receive and store both formats assuming you can feed it audio that does not have the frequencies below 200 Hz filtered.  For High Speed, the audio must also extend to include the full 9600bps bandwidth of the FM signal. For both modes this is best achieved from a Software Defined Radio or from the 9600 bps packet port of some radios. The FoxTelem User Guide provides more details.

Fox-1D-LogoFoxTelem is supplied as an archive file (.zip on windows, .dmg file on MacOs, .gzip on Linux). Links for downloading can be found at
You can unzip the contents and put it in the directory of your choice. Also, detailed in the User Guide, are instructions to select the sound source and set received audio levels on your computer.

Until Fox-1A is launched you can confirm everything is working by testing with test wav file which will be available from:
Access to the test file is accomplished by selecting “Load Wav File” from the FoxTelem File menu, then navigate to the directory where you saved the test wav file. Once you press the start button the file will play through the decoder.

The FoxTelem page can also be accessed from the main AMSAT web page: –> Fox Project –> FoxTelem Software for Windows, Mac, & Linux

The direct link to the page is:

Fox-Cam page

Pig in Space

Pinky and Perky - M0NRD

Pinky and Perky – M0NRD

Andrew Garratt M0NRD plans to launch Pinky Pig into near-space along with several 434 MHz transmitters on Saturday, September 26 from the National Hamfest at the Newark Showground.

The launch had been planned for Friday but the weather has forced the postponement. If the weather is suitable it is understood the launch might now occur on Saturday at around mid-day. For the latest news check

Andrew has two pigs, Pinky and Perky, but it is Pinky wearing his fetching headset who has been selected to be the passenger on the High Altitude Balloon flight. During the flight images of Pinky will be transmitted to radio amateurs back on Earth using the Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) system.

The SSDV payload, callsign PINKY, will transmit on 434.575 MHz USB RTTY 300 bps 880 Hz shift ASCII-8 no parity 2 stop bits. The backup telemetry tracker, callsign PIGLET, will transmit 434.150 MHz USB RTTY 50 bps 380 Hz shift ASCII-7 no parity 2 stop bits.

There may also be LoRa spread spectrum transmitter on 434.450 MHz, callsign PERKY, however, at the time of writing there was a fault with the module.

The signals from the balloon should be receivable across most of the UK. Those overseas can use the SUWS WebSDR to receive the 434 MHz USB signals.

Read Andrew’s Hamfest HAB – Pre Launch Update

National Hamfest Sep 25-26

High Altitude Balloon links for online tracking, SSDV, UKHAS mail list / chat room, WebSDR

New XW-2 satellites – linear transponders active

CAMSAT XW-2A formerly known as CAS-3A

CAMSAT XW-2A formerly known as CAS-3A

Nine XW-2/CAS-3 amateur radio satellites were successfully launched on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 23:01:14 UT on Beijing’s new Chang Zheng 6 (CZ-6) rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center (TSLC) in Shanxi.

Six satellites (designated XW-2A to XW-2F) carry 435/145 MHz U/V linear transponders for SSB/CW communications, LilacSat-2 (CAS-3H) has a V/U FM voice transponder and APRS. The other two satellites DCBB (CAS-3G) and NUDT‐Phone‐Sat (CAS-3i) only have telemetry downlinks.

The satellites were deployed into a 528 km by 551 km 97.5 degree inclination orbit. The NASA Orbital Lifetime Software provides an indication as to how long the satellites might remain in orbit before reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere:
• XW-2A = 8.5 years
• XW-2B/2C/2D = 9.2 years
• XW-2E/2F = 8.5 years
• LilacSat-2 = 18.2 years

The frequencies used by the satellites are here. Some satellite frequencies fall outside the international amateur satellite bandplan, so please be aware of local terrestrial users.

David Bowman G0MRF reported “Good signals from CAS3-F at 07.00 UTC  over Europe. Managed QSOs with SP5ULN in KO02  and F1AFZ in JN17 using the special event station at GB0RWC (Rugby World Cup).”

XW-2 / CAS-3 Satellite Frequencies PDF

For the latest status reports join the AMSAT Bulletin Board at

Further information on the XW-2 (CAS-3) satellites is at


Online orbital predictor (select XW-2)

Satellite tracking information

Adding new satellites to SatPC32, Gpredict and Nova

SatPC32 doppler.sqf

NASA Orbital Lifetime Software

LilacSat-2 – Linux Live CD for Telemetry Decoding

Artists impression of LilacSat-2 in orbit

Artists impression of LilacSat-2 in orbit

LilacSat-2 (CAS-3H) was launched along with eight other XW-2/CAS-3 amateur radio satellites on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 23:01:14 UT on Beijing’s new Chang Zheng 6 (CZ-6) rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. The satellite, built by students at the Harbin Institute of Technology, has an APRS digipeater and a V/U FM voice transponder which can transmit telemetry data at the same time as voice by using sub-audible tones.



Note: The FM transponder and APRS downlink is 437.200 MHz not that given in the XW-2/CAS-3 Frequency Chart. There is also a telemetry downlink on 437.325 MHz. Further information is given on the LilacSat-2 website Radio Info page.

LilacSat-2 is scheduled to switch on the FM transponder at about 2200 UT each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Remember the Doppler shift on the downlink during a pass will be about +/- 10 kHz. If your radio has selectable FM filters use the wider filter designed for 5 kHz deviation FM, sometimes referred to as a 25 kHz channel spacing filter.

LilacSat-2 was deployed into a 528 km by 551 km 97.5 degree inclination orbit. The NASA Orbital Lifetime Software indicates the satellite might remain in orbit for 18 years before reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

First LilacSat-2 infrared image Sept 24, 2015

First LilacSat-2 infrared image Sept 24, 2015

Wei Mingchuan, BG2BHC provides this report on the first 16 hours in space:

During the first 16 hours in orbit, we have received nearly 1000 packets of LilacSat-2 from Harbin (BY2HIT), Shihezi (B0/BY2HIT), Nanjing (BI4ST), Xian (Northwestern Polytechnical University) and Singapore (9V1SV). Many thank to all!

Now we have a Linux LiveCD for telemetry decoding released.

We have support for FCDPP, USRP and RTL-SDR. Not hard to edit the GRC flowcharts to support other devices.

It can be burned into a USB stick to boot a computer directly, run from a virtual machine or installed into a hard disk. The User manual is also included.

It can be downloaded from:

LilacSat-2 Live CD also has a magnet link with the help of M6SIG:

More details:

Wei Mingchuan, BG2BHC

Telemetry decoder software on GitHub

Harbin Institute Of Technology Amateur Radio Club BY2HIT
Web in Google English:

Information on the XW-2 (CAS-3) satellites is at

Online orbital predictor (select LilacSat-2)

Satellite tracking information

Adding new satellites to SatPC32, Gpredict and Nova

How to Work FM Satellites

SERPENS CubeSat Deployed from ISS

Deployment of the SERPENS CubeSat from the ISS on September 17, 2015 - Credit JAXA

Deployment of the SERPENS CubeSat from the ISS on September 17, 2015 – Credit JAXA

On September 17, 2015 the Brazilian SERPENS CubeSat carrying an amateur radio payload, call sign PY0ESA, was deployed from the International Space Station (ISS).

SERPENS LogoSERPENS is a 3U CubeSat which was developed by students at the University of Brasilia and focuses on meteorological data collection.

The SERPENS Amateur Radio Page shows these downlink frequencies:

•  145.980 MHz using GFSK modulation at 9600 bps and AX.25 protocol transmiting two different beacons. The first occurs every 10 seconds with the message “SERPENS A”. This is implemented for easy identification of the satellite when searching for it. The second beacon is transmitted every 30 seconds and contains the main housekeeping data of the satellite. In addition to the beacons, a simple Store and Forward experiment has been implemented.

437.365 MHz using CW/MSK modulation at 1200 bps and CSP protocol.



There is a Store and Forward messaging system compatible with HUMSAT sensors on the frequency of 437.525 MHz, using GMSK modulation at 1200 bps. The HUMSAT transponder will collect data (e.g. wind, humidity, water levels, etc) from Earth based sensors operating on 437.525 MHz, store the data on-board and then transmit it to university ground stations. For more information visit

SERPENS carries a Pulsed Plasma Thruster for CUbesat Propulsion (PPTCUP) unit developed by UK companies Mars Space Ltd and Clyde Space Ltd in collaboration with the University of Southampton.

PPTCUP Board - Credit Mars Space Ltd

PPTCUP Board – Credit Mars Space Ltd

The PPTCUP consists of a thruster board and discharge chamber. Overall, the thruster assembly weighs 180 grams including 7g of Teflon fuel and delivers a thrust of 40 micronewtons at a power consumption of 2 Watts. The entire thruster assembly fits into a 90 by 90 by 27-millimeter envelope.The thruster operates at a specific impulse of 608 seconds and in its original version is certified for 1.5 million shots. For durability, the system uses copper-tungsten electrodes. All thruster functions are controlled by a PIC16 microcontroller.

Also deployed with SERPENS from the ISS was the CubeSat S-CUBE designed to observe the Ultraviolet (UV) spectrum during the Orionid meteor shower in October. It does not operate in the Amateur Satellite Service.

SERPENS Amateur Radio Page

SERPENS information in HTV-5 Cargo Overview

Artists impression of Kibo Robot Arm CubeSat Deployment

Artists impression of Kibo Robot Arm CubeSat Deployment

CAMSAT XW-2 Satellites – Launch Information

Chang Zheng 6 CZ-6 rocket

Chang Zheng 6 CZ-6 rocket

UPDATE: Launch was postponed by one day due to technical reasons now Saturday, September 19 at 2300 UT.

Alan Kung BA1DU has posted this launch information for the XW-2 (CAS-3) satellites:

Launch time: 23:00:00 UT on 2015-09-19
The satellites should separate from rocket at 23:15:14 UT on 2015-09-19

The first pass over the mid-USA is expected at 00:05 UT on Sunday, September 20 and they should be in range of the UK at 05:21 UT – Frequencies Here – It is expected that initially only the telemetry beacons will be active. For the latest information check the AMSAT Bulletin Board.

The satellites will be launched on Beijing’s new Chang Zheng 6 (CZ-6) rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center.

It is understood the CZ-6 is carrying at least nine satellites with payloads operating in amateur bands. They include six satellites (designated XW-2A to XW-2F) with 435/145 MHz linear transponders for SSB/CW communications, and one satellite, LilacSat-2 (CAS-3H) with an FM voice transponder and APRS. The frequencies to be used by the satellites are here. Some satellite frequencies fall outside the international amateur satellite bandplan, so please be aware of local terrestrial users.

XW-2A should operate in a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of about 450 km, with the other satellites at an altitude of about 530 km.

Please send reception reports to the AMSAT Bulletin Board (sign up at or #amsat on Twitter.

Predicted Two-Line Element (TLE) for tracking:

1 99999U          15262.96885748  .00004985  00000-0  28395-3 0 00005
2 99999 097.4712 270.8252 0010383 266.0522 270.6644 15.12847565000015

WEI Mingchuan BG2BHC says:  LilacSat-2 website and telemetry decoder based on GNU Radio are now available. A Live CD is coming soon.

Further information on the XW-2 satellites is at

Online orbital predictor (select XW-2)

Satellite tracking information

Adding new satellites to SatPC32, Gpredict and Nova

SatPC32 doppler.sqf

15-year-old radio ham receives ISS Apollo-Soyuz SSTV Award

ISS SSTV Apollo-Soyuz Award #0289 received by Sakshi Vagadia VU3EXP

ISS SSTV Apollo-Soyuz Award #0289 received by Sakshi Vagadia VU3EXP

Rajesh Vagadia VU2EXP reports that he and his15 year old daughter, Sakshi Vagadia VU3EXP, have each received ISS Apollo-Soyuz SSTV Awards for their reception of Slow Scan Television images transmitted using amateur radio from the International Space Station (ISS).

Sakshi Vagadia VU3EXP

Sakshi Vagadia VU3EXP

These special transmissions from the ISS during July 18-19, 2015 were made to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz mission, which was the first joint collaboration in space between the United States and the Soviet Union. The ARISS organisation has issued a special limited edition diploma to award those who received one of the SSTV images.

Rajesh writes: After getting ticket [amateur radio licence] few months back, It was first successful attempt by Sakshi VU3EXP to receive SSTV Image from International Space Station and get such memorable & precious Wallpaper (award). She received ISS SSTV image on July 18, 2015 @ 19:36:44 (UTC).

My ISS SSTV Image was received on July 19 @ 05:24:27 (UTC). It was my 5th successful attempt.

I highly appreciate ARISS International, Russian Cosmonauts, various Radio Clubs and ARISS SSTV Award Managers (incl. SQ3OOK) joint efforts to give such wonderful opportunity to we Ham community.

Rajesh P. Vagadia
Rajkot – Gujarat

Image received by Sakshi Vagadia VU3EXP on July 18, 2015 at 1936 GMT

Image received by Sakshi Vagadia VU3EXP on July 18, 2015 at 1936 GMT

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) – Contact the ISS

ISS Slow Scan TV

Youngest radio ham in Gujarat state

What is Amateur Radio ?

OSCAR News Issue 211

oscar-news-211-front-coverIssue 211 of the AMSAT-UK amateur radio satellite publication OSCAR News was released on September 15, 2015. E-members can download it here.

The paper edition is usually posted 2-3 weeks after publication of the electronic issue.

In this issue:
• Metallurgy for the Radio Amateur Dave Malley, K1NYK
• ARISS International Annual Meeting 2015 – Tokyo, Japan
• Colloquium Report – G3WGM
• AMSAT-NA, AMSAT-DL, and Virginia Tech Announce Potential Phase-3E Opportunity
• A FUNcube STEM Activity David Bowman G0MRF
• FUNcube Certificate of Achievement
• FUNcube-1 spin period
• Getting ready for Phase 4 David Bowman G0MRF
• AGM Minutes
• Science Museum London announce a new exhibition
• The UK Space Agency CUBESAT Review
• Nayif-1 Progress report
• Some FUNcube STEM reports

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch

Membership of AMSAT-UK is open to anyone who has an interest in amateur radio satellites or space activities, including the International Space Station (ISS).

E-members of AMSAT-UK are able to download OSCAR News as a convenient PDF that can be read on laptops, tablets or smartphones anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Join as an E-member at Electronic (PDF) E-membership

There are two rates for the paper edition to cover the extra postage costs:
Rest of the World (Overseas)

PDF sample copy of “Oscar News” here.

Join AMSAT-UK using PayPal, Debit or Credit card at

E-members can download their copies of OSCAR News here.

Fox-1C and Fox-1D FM transponder CubeSats will fly on SHERPA

SHERPA in Orbit - Credit Spaceflight Inc

SHERPA in Orbit – Credit Spaceflight Inc

In response to a breaking opportunity, AMSAT and Spaceflight, Inc. have arranged for Fox-1D to accompany Fox-1C on the maiden flight of the SHERPA system on a SpaceX Falcon 9.

AMSAT FOXAs a Fox-1 series, Fox-1D is identical to Fox-1C, but with different frequencies and carrying the University of Iowa HERCI (High Energy Radiation CubeSat Instrument) radiation mapping experiment as a hosted payload. Fox-1D will provide additional selectable U/V or L/V repeater capabilities once in orbit, and will be capable of downlinking Earth images from the Virginia Tech camera experiment.

Launch is currently planned for the first quarter of 2016. Additional donor support is needed to offset the costs associated with the launch of Fox-1D in addition to Fox-1C. Please visit to donate support this launch, and help keep amateur radio in space.

Fox-1C has been renamed Fox-1Cliff in honor of Cliff Buttschardt, K7RR, who was a benefactor and long time supporter
for AMSAT as well as an adviser/mentor for students building CubeSats at Cal Poly.

Meet the Fox Project

Fox-1C Update Video

US launch schedule discussion forum

KLETSKOUS CubeSat Update

KLETSkous LogoThe KLETSKOUS satellite team is making good progress. SA AMSAT reports that the KLETSKOUS team made some major progress during the past few weeks.

Currently the team is researching a new type of battery. It was planned to use Lithium Ion but one of the negatives about Lithium Ion is that it may suffer thermal runaway, which increases the risk of fire. Companies, like NEC, have developed a Lithium-Iron battery using lithium Iron phosphate (LiFePO4) as the cathode material. Generally, anodes of most batteries are made of carbon. As safety and reliability is the first concern for any battery being used on a satellite, it should not get overheated or catch fire in case of overcharging. The Lithium-Iron battery has superior chemical and thermal stability.

The team is in the process of acquiring Lithium Iron batteries to run tests. If the decision is to switch to Lithium Iron Phosphate, some modifications will have to be made to the charging circuit in the power unit but Fritz Sutherland, ZS6FSJ, says that it is not a major problem and will not delay the construction of the next prototype of the power unit.

Frik Wolff, ZS6FZ, has finalised the layout of the solar panels and Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, will now proceed to mount the solar cells on a test board, which has to be carried out in a vacuum chamber. Work has also commenced on the magnetic stabilisation of Kletskous, which will be achieved by the use of orthogonal rod magnets. ZS6FZ is current working on this and reported good progress with a prototype ready for testing.

Work on the On Board Controller (OBC) is also progressing well. The first two prototypes have been completed. Brain McKenzie, ZS6BNM, is now working closely with team members to establish their telemetry point requirements and interfaces.

Nico van Rensburg,  ZS6QL, has  been working on the specifications and configuration management  and has put a first draft on the table. The team meets via Skype on a fortnightly basis to discuss progress and plan the next steps.

Funding remains a major challenge. Radio Amateurs are urged to support the local CubeSat programme by donating to the SA AMSAT CubeSat building fund. Donors are acknowledged on the SA AMSAT web at

Source South African Radio League (SARL)

KLETSKOUS Linear Transponder Demonstration