Postage stamp features amateur radio satellites

LituanicaSAT-1 and LitSat-1 postage stamp

A new Lithuanian postage stamp features the amateur radio satellites LituanicaSAT-1 and LitSat-1.

The two CubeSats were launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on January 9, 2014 and deployed from the ISS on February 28. LituanicaSAT-1 carried a FM transponder and a camera while LitSat-1 had a linear (SSB/CW) transponder developed by by William Leijenaar PE1RAH.

LitSat-1 was the lighter satellite and re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere and burnt up on May 23, the heavier LituanicaSAT-1 remained in orbit until July 28.

Watch a presentation on LituanicaSAT-1 given by Gintautas Sulskus to the 2014 AMSAT-UK Colloquium in Guildford



ESTCube-1 Solar Sail Experiment

ESTCube-1 at press conference in Tallinn before shipping January 21, 2013 - Image credit University of Tartu

ESTCube-1 at press conference in Tallinn before shipping January 21, 2013 – Image credit University of Tartu

I’m glad to announce that after more than a year of preparations on Tuesday, September 16, 2014, the team are starting to deploy the electric solar sail tether on-board ESTCube-1.

The process of burning the tether end-mass and spool locks and reeling out the first few centimeters of tether will start during the 09.06 – 09.19Z pass over Estonia.  This is a high pass and should be visible over most of the Europe.

The next good passes listed below (all in UTC) will be used to download images the telemetry logs and the images:
10.43 – 10.56
18.39 – 18.51
20.15 – 20.28

ESTCube-1 image of Estonia and its neighbours

ESTCube-1 image of Estonia and its neighbours

During the locks release process and after reeling the tether out some centimeters, images will be taken.

The other shorter passes during the day will be used to download the experiment data as quickly as possible (in Estonia, all daily passes are visible, but lowest ones are just couple of degrees above the northern horizon).

If everything is OK with the tether, additional unreeling will take place in coming days.

If you are interested in receiving ESTCube-1 during those exciting passes, the UZ7HO 9600 bps packet softmodem and an Online Telemetry Decoder by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN can be used. But basically any 9600 bps G3RUH TNC or decoder can be used to receive ESTCube-1.

We are looking forward to receiving your reports on the address es5e AT estcube DOT eu, and we would really appreciate if you would also send received data in live, using Mike’s decoder.

With best wishes,
Tõnis Eenmäe
de ES5TF


ESTCube-1 Online Telemetry Decoder by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN

73 on 73 Award Update

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

Paul Stoetzer N8HM provides an update on the 73 on 73 Award for contacts made via the amateur radio satellite AO-73 (FUNcube-1).

Just a reminder that the award period for the 73 on 73 Award begins at 0000Z on September 1st, so begin keeping track of the unique callsigns that you work on AO-73. When you reach 73 unique callsigns in your log, email me at with a list of calls, date, and time worked (in GMT) and your mailing address. I hope to have a website up soon with an example of what the award will look like.

Some tips for working AO-73:

- Keep in mind the frequency drift on the transponder. The offset needed on your transmit frequency is usually from +10 kHz to +16 kHz. This can vary throughout the pass, requiring frequency adjustments if using computer control. Many find manually tuning the uplink to maintain a constant downlink to work better than computer control.

- I usually start a pass by trying to find myself come into the top edge of the passband (145.970 MHz). To do this, I usually start transmitting around 435.135 MHz and tuning up slowly until I can hear myself enter the passband. Then I can move around the transponder easily. Remember to tune your uplink to maintain an constant downlink frequency (the opposite of FO-29).

- Keep power output down. The transponder has a very sensitive receiver and a very active AGC circuit. Excessive uplink power will not make your signal louder – it will only reduce that available for others on the transponder. With a clear view of the horizon, 5 watts to an Arrow or Elk is plenty for horizon to horizon coverage. Very slightly more might be necessary if you are beaming through trees or other obstructions, but try to keep power to 25-40 watts ERP.

Good luck! Who will claim the 73 on 73 Award #1?

73, Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
Washington, DC, USA (FM18lv)

73 on 73 Award Announcement



NEXUS CubeSat Will Have Mode-J Transponder

JAMSAT stand at the Tokyo Ham Radio Fair August 2014

JAMSAT stand at the Tokyo Ham Radio Fair August 2014

The Japan AMSAT Association (JAMSAT) and students at the Nippon University are jointly developing a CubeSat called NEXUS which will have a 145 to 435 MHz (Mode-J) transponder and a 38 kbps data downlink.

JAMSAT CubeSat Board

JAMSAT CubeSat Board

Nippon University students have previously developed the SEEDS and SPROUT satellites. NEXUS is an achronym of “Next Education X (cross) Unique Satellite”, it will be 1U CubeSat with a mass of between 1 and 1.5 kg.

The NEXUS team hope to:
● Provide amateur radio communications via the 145/435 MHz transponder and SSTV
● Download pictures from the 640×480 pixel camera
● Operate the data downlink at 38400 bps QPSK
● Compare the performance of the data downlink when using AFSK, GMSK and QPSK modes

A launch opportunity has not yet been identified.

NEXUS website in Google English


JAMSAT in Google English

Lambda-Sat CubeSat – ISS Deployment

Some of the Lambda-Sat Team (right to left) Dr. Periklis Papadopoulos, Kostas Alexandrou, Eriana Panopoulou, Vaggelis Christodoulou, Maria Dimitrakopoulou, Charalabos Koulouris and Simos Kanis

Some of the Lambda-Sat Team (right to left) Dr. Periklis Papadopoulos, Kostas Alexandrou, Eriana Panopoulou, Vaggelis Christodoulou, Maria Dimitrakopoulou, Charalabos Koulouris and Simos Kanis

Lambda-Sat was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on July 13, 2014, in an Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket CRS-2/ORB-2. It is unclear when deployment will take place but it may be after September 15.



The Lambda team encourages amateur radio operators around the world to listen for and report the Lambda-Sat signal.

Frequency: 437.462 MHz
Downlink: AX.25 Unnumbered Information (UI) packets at 1200 bps AFSK
Transmission Power : 1W
Call Sign KK6DFZ

The Secretary of the Cyprus Amateur Radio Society (CARS) Nestor  has written an article on Lambda-Sat, he says:

The naming of the Λ-sat satellite came from the Greek letter L (Λ – lambda) a reminder of Hellas, Helios, the Greek word Thalassa for sea, the Greek word Lithos which directly translates to stone (meaning “Land of Light”).

The Λ-sat was constructed entirely of Greek volunteers who worked feverishly, selflessly and without any personal gain. Members of Λ-sat contributed to the construction of the satellite system each with their knowledge in robotics, electronics, software development and telecommunications. The group consists of young people from Greece who traveled to Silicon Valley in California to participate in this project.

“I want to motivate the youth in Greece to continue to dream,” says the original initiator of the project, Periklis Papadopoulos, Professor of Aerospace Engineering of the Federal University of California San Jose, which has been awarded from NASA for his contribution with the prize Turning Goals Into Reality (TGIR). As the professor states, “My goal is to demonstrate the capabilities of young people in Greece.” The professor believes that our country could be active in this area and this is not an economic issue, but a question of will alone (!).

Submit reception reports of Lambda-Sat at


Article on Lambda-Sat by

Schedule for RSGB Convention Released

Ofcom's Ash Gohil and Paul Jarvis G8RMM at 2013 RSGB Convention

Ofcom’s Ash Gohil and Paul Jarvis G8RMM at 2013 RSGB Convention

Ofcom staff will be among those giving presentations at the RSGB Convention which takes place October 10-12.

The Ofcom public consultation on Amateur Radio has been eagerly awaited for many months now and will hopefully have been released before the Convention.

The Society say there will be lots of space and a five lecture stream programme in the new Convention venue at the Kents Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes, MK7 6BZ.

Among the presentations are
- UKHASNET, technology and methodology by James Coxon M6JCX
- SDR Techniques by Simon Brown G4ELI
- Digital modes start up by Mike Richards G4WNC
- FUNcube CubeSat by AMSAT-UK
- Amateur radio software developers forum by Michael Wells G7VJR
- 146-147MHz: A New Frontier of Amateur Innovation? by John Regnault G4SWX
- World War 1 Communications by Dr Elizabeth Bruton

RSGB Convention


73 on 73 Award Announcement

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

Paul Stoetzer N8HM has announced a new award for contacts made via the AO-73 (FUNcube-1) amateur radio satellite

I am pleased to announce that I will be sponsoring a new award to promote activity on AO-73 (FUNcube-1). The requirements for this award are simple:

1. Work 73 unique stations on AO-73.
2. Contacts must be made on or after September 1, 2014.
3. There are no geographic restrictions on your operating location.

There will be no cost for this award (donations to AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NA’s Fox program are encouraged though). No QSLs are required. When you complete the requirements, email your log extract including the callsign of each station worked, time GMT, and date to as well as the address where you’d like the award certificate sent.

Enjoy AO-73’s transponder!

73 Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
Washington, DC

Chasqui-1 deployment from ISS

Oleg Artemyev releases the Chasqui-1 CubeSat

Oleg Artemyev releases the Chasqui-1 CubeSat

On August 18, 2014 at 14:00 UT the Russia Cosmonauts on the International Space Station (ISS), Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev, opened the hatches of the Pirs docking module and to start Extra Vehicular Activities (EVA).

Engineer Ing. Margarita Mondragon and Chasqui-1

Engineer Ing. Margarita Mondragon and Chasqui-1

One of their tasks was the deployment of the Peruvian satellite Chasqui-1, a research satellite designed to standard CubeSat dimension by the Peruvian National University of Engineering (Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria (UNI)) in collaboration with the Southwestern State University (SWSU) in Kursk.

Chasqui-1’s batteries were charged by the Russian Cosmonuats inside the ISS during August 14/15.The satellite was successfully deployed by Oleg Artemyev near the start of the EVA at 14:23 UT.

Chasqui-1 was developed with the intention of improving their satellite technology through the design and testing of a small satellite. Its facilities include two cameras, one in visible and the other in infra-red. Other facilities include communication in the amateur radio band and control systems for its power, thermal and embedded management of its components.

Peruvian CubeSat Chasqui-1

Peruvian CubeSat Chasqui-1

Chasqui-1 will provide a number of functions that include taking pictures of the Earth. From an academic perspective it will facilitate collaborations among various faculties and research centres of the university to train students and teachers with real world experience in satellites. It will also generate opportunities to work with other universities in the world which in turn will lead to technological advances in the aerospace industry of Peru.

The 437.025 MHz beacon (+/- 10 kHz Doppler shift) can transmit either 1200 bps AFSK AX.25 or 9600 bps GMSK. As of August 23 no signal from the beacon had been heard.

Chasqui-1 as a small dot against the Earth, seconds after Oleg Artemyev sent it spinning - Screenshot Jonathan McDowell

Chasqui-1 as a small dot against the Earth, seconds after Oleg Artemyev sent it spinning – Screenshot Jonathan McDowell

On August 19-20 there may be a relay of the Chasqui-1 signal transmitted from the ISS on 145.800 MHz FM using the callsign RS02S. This relay should provide a strong signal with reduced Doppler receivable even on handheld radios.

Listen for Chasqui-1 and the ISS online using the SUWS WebSDR, further details at

Find out when you can hear the ISS and Chasqui-1 which is currently in close proximity at



Twitter @chasqui1

R4UAB Chasqui-1

Watch Hand deployment from ISS of Peruvian satellite Chasqui-1

Reception of UKube-1 FUNcube-2 Beacon

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Software Defined Radio

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Software Defined Radio

Many stations, who have their FUNcube Dongle Software Defined Radio (SDR) setup to automatically receive telemetry signals from FUNcube-1, will have noticed that they are now also seeing the telemetry from the FUNcube-2 sub-system which is flying on-board the UKube-1 CubeSat.

UKube-1 CubeSat (with FUNcube-2 sub-system) - Image credit Clyde Space

UKube-1 CubeSat (with FUNcube-2 sub-system) – Image credit Clyde Space

The FUNcube telemetry transmitter has been enabled on 145.915 MHz (+/- Doppler) as part of the commissioning program for UKube-1 which is presently underway.

Whilst the existing FUNcube-1 Dashboard does not correctly display the FUNcube-2 telemetry, it is forwarding the data correctly to the Warehouse and this is greatly appreciated by the team.

The FUNcube team are not yet able to release a FUNcube-2 specific Dashboard App, they are, however, working to provide a fully functional FUNcube-2 page on the Data Warehouse as soon as possible.

In the meantime please continue to listen and, where you are able, to keep the data flowing to the Data Warehouse – many thanks for your support.

Dashboard App – Telemetry Decoder

Data Warehouse – Telemetry Archive

FUNcube Dongle LF/MF/HF/VHF/UHF Software Defined Radio

UK Space Agency UKube-1 update August 26, 2014

Satellite Today, August 26, 2014: Communications Anomaly Hampers UK SmallSat

AMSAT to use FundRazr Crowdfunding

AMSAT FOXAMSAT have announced that they are using the FundRazr crowdfunding platform to raise donations for the Fox-1C CubeSat.

AMSAT is excited to announce a launch opportunity for the Fox-1C Cubesat. AMSAT has teamed with Spaceflight Inc. for integration and launch utilizing Spaceflight’s SHERPA system to a sun-synchronous orbit in the third quarter of 2015.

Fox-1C is the third of four Fox-1 series satellites under development, with Fox-1A and RadFXsat/Fox-1B launching through the NASA ELANA program. Fox-1C will carry an FM repeater system for amateur radio use by radio hams and listeners worldwide. Further details on the satellite and launch will be made available as soon as released.

AMSAT has an immediate need to raise funds to cover both the launch contract and additional materials for construction and testing for Fox-1C. Please help us to continue to keep amateur radio in space.

Fox-1C Fundraiser