Guide to using FT4 on satellites

Setup for FT4 on the RS-44 satelliteAMSAT-SM have published a guide to using the popular digital mode FT4 via the amateur radio satellites using SDR-Console software, a SDR receiver and the Icom IC-705 as the transmitter.  We have also had information from Jef ON8NT of the setup that he and Thierry ON2ACO used.

The AMSAT-SM guide covers:

• Step 1 – Setup SDR-Console and IC-705 with correct frequency

• Step 2 – Config WSJT-X

• Step 3 – Start Satellite External Radio in SDR-Console

• Step 4 – Select correct RX frequency in SDR-Console

• Step 5 – Find yourself on the satellite transponder

• Step 6 – Start calling CQ

• How to use a 2nd instance of WSJT-X for RX of your own FT4 signal

Read the guide at

This is a short video of FT-4 communication via satellite AO-73 with SDR-Console V3.1 and Icom IC-705. It is a part of a guide that will be published later on AMSAT-SM web

In the first part you will see the first screen with SDR-Console with Airspy Mini as receiver, audio is piped to WSJT-X. You will also see SDR-Console handle the TX Doppler correction for the IC-705 via “External radio”.

In the second part you will see the second screen with WSJT-X connected to IC-705. The output was only one (1) to two (2) watts! You can see that WSJT-X is reading the Doppler corrected frequency. You will also see SDR-Console satellite tracking and PstRotator controlling the SPID RAS rotor.

Watch FT4 via AO-73 with SDR-Console and Icom IC-705

Thierry ON2ACO and Jef ON8NT use the ICOM IC-9700 for FT4 on the satellites.

They used the video from NU1U on YouTube which gives a good step by step ‘how-to’.

Watch IC-9700 using SatPC32 and WSJT-X

Instead of SatPC32 they used the S.A.T. controller from

For configuring the RX instance from WSJT-X, also the article from GM4FVM on using multiple instance was very helpful in setting up the soundcard properly in WSJT-X !

Happy Birthday FUNcube-1 (AO73)

Telemetry received from FUNcube-1 at National Radio Centre Bletchley Park, Nov 21, 2013

Telemetry received from FUNcube-1 at National Radio Centre Bletchley Park, Nov 21, 2013

November 21st 2019, marked the sixth birthday of our very first CubeSat mission, FUNcube-1.

A very short time after the launch from Yasny in Russia and within a few minutes from deployment, the very first frame of data from the low power transmitter on board, was detected and decoded by ZS1LS in South Africa. He was able to relay the data over the internet from his Dashboard to the Data Warehouse and the numbers, appeared, as if by magic, at the launch party being held at the RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park.

FUNcube ISL03 Mission Patch

ISL03 Mission Patch

After a very brief check out, the FUNcube team were able to switch the transmitter to full power, again at the very first attempt, and were quite amazed at the strength of the signal from the 300mW transmitter on 145.935 MHz. The transponder was then switched on and successfully tested.

The team finished the day with a request to AMSAT-NA for an Oscar number and were delighted to receive the AO73 Oscar 73 designation!

Since then, FUNcube-1, with a launch mass of less than 1kg, has operated continuously with only a very few interruptions. In excess of 32000 orbits, 750 million miles travelled, and with more than 7 million data packets downloaded and stored in the Data Warehouse.

The spacecraft is presently in continuous sunlight and to convert as much of the sun’s thermal energy into RF (to help keep it cool), it remains in continuous high power telemetry mode. We anticipate this situation will continue until early May next after which the team expect to have 3 months with some eclipse periods.

Of course, EO88 – Nayif 1 continues to operate autonomously with the transponder active when in eclipse and JO99 – JY1Sat, which includes image downloads, and which was launched just under a year ago, also remain active on a 24/7 basis.

The FUNcube team still receive many requests for Fitter message uploads for school events…please contact us by email to giving us at least two weeks notice.

The FUNcube team continue to be very grateful to all the many stations around the world that continue to upload the telemetry that they receive to our Data Warehouse. They really need this data to provide a continuous resource for educational outreach.

With that in mind, here is a link to a previous update which shows the correct current Data Warehouse address and the Dashboard software that can be used for each spacecraft

FUNcube email group

FUNcube Forum

FUNcube Website

Final gluing of FUNcube-1 bolt by Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG – Image credit Gerard Aalbers

Final gluing of FUNcube-1 bolt by Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG – Image credit Gerard Aalbers

FUNcube-1 / AO73 celebrates 3 years in space

FUNcube Team Monitor Launch

FUNcube Team Monitor Launch

Monday, November 21, 2016, marked the third birthday in space for the 985 gram spacecraft FUNcube-1 / AO73.

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

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

FUNcube-1 was launched at 07:10 UT on November 21, 2013 and its first signals were received immediately after deployment over the Indian Ocean by amateurs in South Africa. Since then it has been operating continuously in either its education mode or, with the transponder active, in amateur mode when in eclipse and at weekends.

The FUNcube team are very grateful to everyone who has been contributing their telemetry records to the Data Warehouse and also to those who are using FUNcube-1 for educational outreach to schools and colleges around the world. This important part of our mission is intended to encourage young people to develop an interest and passion in all STEM subjects for their future.

FUNcube-1 Launch Day Mug

FUNcube-1 Launch Day Mug

The spacecraft is operating nominally – the telemetry indicates that all the sub-systems are fine. The battery voltages, solar panel charge currents and on board temperatures are virtually unchanged since launch.

In addition to FUNcube-1, there are now similar FUNcube transponders operating in low earth orbit on the UKube-1 and EO79/QB50p1 CubeSats.

The team has recently contributed to the development of Nayif-1, which is presently awaiting launch, and is currently working on a number of further CubeSat and microsat projects.

Happy Birthday AO73!

Get your 73 on 73 Award, details at

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) website

FUNcube Yahoo Group

Howard Long G6LVB working AO-73 while Ciaran Morgan M0XTD captures the downlink passband data using a FUNcube Dongle Pro+ and Microsoft Surface Tablet

Howard Long G6LVB working AO-73 while Ciaran Morgan M0XTD captures the downlink passband data using a FUNcube Dongle Pro+ and Microsoft Surface Tablet