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:

FoxTelem Notes:
• Please make sure “upload to server” is enabled in settings
• Goto INPUT tab, STOP the input, then FILE – DELETE PAYLOAD FILES, then START input again Just once, to clear test data.

Fox-Cam page

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

Fox-1C Update Video

AMSAT FOXAMSAT-NA Vice President-Engineering Jerry Buxton N0JY has released a video update on the AMSAT Fox-1C engineering model testing.

The Fox-1C CubeSat is planned to fly on the SHERPA deployer

The FundRazr for AMSAT Fox-1C is at

Fox CubeSats

Watch Fox1C EM

Fox-1 launch 2015 and Geosynchronous Sat on 5 and 10 GHz 2017

Millennium Space Systems AQUILA M8 Series Satellite Structure

Millennium Space Systems AQUILA M8 Series Satellite Structure

ARRL Publications Manager and QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, reports on Amateur Satellite news from the Dayton Hamvention.

AMSAT FOXThe ARRL website reports the launch of the Fox-1 CubeSat has been delayed until October 8, 2015. Fox-1 will carry a 435/145 MHz FM Voice Transponder, see

The ARRL story continues: AMSAT Vice President-Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, said that a geosynchronous satellite, planned to launch in 2017, will offer uplinks on 5 GHz and downlinks on 10 GHz.

Buxton explained that the geosynchronous footprint will not be absolutely fixed; some variation may require some up/down movement of the user’s dish at certain times — although not continuously. He said AMSAT is working on this issue in terms of what to recommend for ground stations, but that even in the worst case, a user with a fixed antenna would still be able to enjoy several hours of access each day.

The transponder for the new satellite will be software defined and capable of supporting many different modes, including analog SSB.

AMSAT announced in late April that, if all goes according to plan, an Amateur Radio payload will go into space on a geosynchronous satellite that’s planned for launch in 2017. The satellite’s potential footprint could extend over the US from the Mid-Pacific to Africa. AMSAT has accepted the opportunity to be a “hosted payload” on a spacecraft that Millennium Space Systems (MSS) of El Segundo, California, is under contract to design, launch, and operate for the US government. The Amateur Radio payload must be delivered for testing and integration by next spring.


A graphic showing an example of a typical Geosynchronous orbit can be seen at

 The 2.325 GHz signals from the Sirius satellites in Geosynchronous orbit over North America have been received in the UK.

Iowa CubeSat students get ham radio licenses

AMSAT FOXThe University of Iowa reports its students will conduct a Van Allen radiation belt experiment with the AMSAT Fox CubeSat

Thanks to a proposal by the UI Department of Physics and Astronomy, a group of senior electrical and computer engineering students will reenact James Van Allen’s original experiment — this time with updated technology. Group members Kevin Klosterman KD9CPF, Bryan Senchuk KD9CPD, Tyler Dunkel KE0CHR, and Patrick Maloney KD9CPD took on the task as a part of their senior design project for the College of Engineering.

The group is trying to figure out how much energy is emanating from the Van Allen belts at a specific altitude. To measure that, they’ve built a radiation sensor attached to a circuit board that will launch into space on a small satellite. There, the radiation sensor will detect energetic particles  from the Van Allen belts. The satellite will sit in a low-Earth orbit and circle the globe every 90 minutes, some data will be transmitted in real time, but all of it is stored for later transmission.

“I feel like we’ve learned something new every day,” Klosterman says.

Not only did the students have to come up with a design concept, write the code to run the device, and build the circuit board by hand, they also had to learn and become licensed ham radio operators as well.

The satellite that the students are using to launch into space is part of the CubeSat program — an initiative supported by NASA to help give students more hands-on experience with space research — and is being constructed by AMSAT, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, whose mission is to foster amateur radio participation in space technology. The data from a full day of operating the experiment will be transmitted from the satellite as it makes a single pass over the CubeSat tracking station on top of Van Allen Hall.

The final result will be a full mapping of the radiation levels at a low Earth orbit.

It is hoped the Fox CubeSat with an FM voice transponder will be launched later this year.

Read the full story at

Each year 100’s of students are introduced to amateur radio through University CubeSat satellite programs with many going on to get their amateur license.


Yahoo Group

Anthony “Tony” J. Monteiro, AA2TX (SK)

Tony Monteiro AA2TX and Mark Hammond N4MH being interviewed by Gary Pearce KN4AQ on Ham Radio Now

Tony Monteiro AA2TX and Mark Hammond N4MH being interviewed by Gary Pearce KN4AQ on Ham Radio Now

AMSAT VP-Engineering and Board Member Anthony J. Monteiro, AA2TX of  North Andover, MA died on Wednesday morning, March 26, 2014 while hospitalized in Boston, MA from cancer. He was 55.  He is survived by his wife, Mary Lou and daughter, Veronica, a college freshman.

Tony Monteiro AA2TX and Fox-1 model

Tony Monteiro AA2TX and Fox-1 model

Tony was first licensed in 1973 as a Novice and subsequently held an Extra Class Amateur Radio License. An avid operator, he described his first contact in an AMSAT BoD Candidate’s Statement in 2011: “I earned my novice ticket in 1973 and made my first ham radio contact with a transmitter made from parts out of an old TV set. A Heathkit HR-10B receiver and a 65-foot piece of wire strung out of a window for an antenna made up the rest of my station, which was pretty modest even by 1973 standards! Even so, I will never forget the thrill of my very first contact.”

His interest in amateur radio and electronics led him to earn a BS in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University and a MS in Computer Science from Stanford University. His professional career started at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey developing network management systems and then consumer products. After working at several startup companies, Tony landed at Cisco Systems where he managed the development of ADSL, voice over packet, and content networking products. He retired from industry in 2002 and focused his efforts working on satellite projects.

Tony joined AMSAT in 1994 and started working the satellites. He earned ARRL VHF/UHF Century Club-Satellite #58 and worked 49 states (only Hawaii was not logged) as well. Tony worked a number of stations while he commuted along the I-495 corridor outside Boston. Many will remember working him through AO-40 as he utilized his “cardboard box horn antenna.”  Tony led a workshop at the 2003 AMSAT Space Symposium where students built similar antennas, demonstrating the ease in which one could build a 2.4 GHz S-band antenna to receive the AO-40 downlink.

70cms Parasitic Lindenbald designed by Tony Monteiro AA2TX

70 cms Parasitic Lindenbald designed by Tony Monteiro AA2TX

Additional technical contributions to the amateur satellite community that Tony made included “InstantTune Automatic Radio Tuning” software, “A Simple Desense Filter for Echo”, and several extremely low cost projects such as “A $5 Mode V/S Adapter using a Sub-Harmonic Mixer”. AMSAT-UK used to offer a 70 cm Parasitic Lindenblad antenna based upon his design.

Tony also played a significant role in space-based hardware development. He collaborated on the NO-60 satellite. As AMSAT’s VP-Engineering, he served as the software designer for the SDX (Software Defined Transponder) on ARISSat-1/Kedr that was deployed from the International Space Station by Russian Cosmonauts during a space walk in August 2011. Tony led the Fox-1 Engineering Team from inception in 2009 and led AMSAT’s efforts to apply for acceptance of Fox-1 in the NASA Education Launch of NanoSat (ELaNA) in 2011 and Fox-1B in 2012. He established relationships with several universities to secure scientific payloads for Fox-1 and Fox-1B, including student experiments.

Penn State Behrend students working on supercapacitor satellite battery - Image John Fontecchio

Penn State Behrend students working on an AMSAT supercapacitor satellite battery – Image John Fontecchio

A strong proponent of student involvement in satellite projects, Tony served as coordinator of AMSAT Engineering relationships with SUNY-Binghamton, Penn State-Erie, Virginia Tech, and Rochester Institute of Technology where students developed new technologies to be applied in future AMSAT spacecraft as “Capstone” projects. These projects, such as the development of storage capacitors to replace batteries developed by SUNY-Binghamton, provided student experiences that will ultimately be flown in space. The AMSAT JOURNAL in recent years featured several articles concerning these projects.

Tony was elected to the AMSAT Board of Directors in 2011 following service for one year as a BoD alternate. Him wise counsel and focus on finding ways to make it affordable for AMSAT to fly amateur radio systems in space resulted in several innovative approaches. It was Tony that convinced the NASA ELaNA program to modify their qualification criteria to add “not for profits” to those that could apply for launch grants. It was Tony that met with universities that were looking for ways to fly their payloads but didn’t have the experience to build satellites, encouraging collaboration that would benefit both AMSAT and the university.

Tony Monteiro AA2TX - SETI League

Tony Monteiro AA2TX – SETI League

Tony’s approach to participation in the AMSAT Leadership Team reflected his approach to life. Whenever he had a thought to share with the entire AMSAT Board of Directors and/or Senior Officers via e-mail, he always started with “Dear Friends”.

As AMSAT VP-Operations Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA noted, “I always admired how he reminded me we were all friends despite whatever argument was raging.”

Arrangements for a service for Tony will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Radio Amateur Satellite Corp. (AMSAT), 850 Sligo Avenue, Suite 600, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

Barry A. Baines, WD4ASW
President-Radio Amateur Satellite Corp. (AMSAT)

[AMSAT-UK thanks ANS and AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW for the above information]

Watch Tony Monteiro AA2TX in the HamRadioNow Fox-1 interview recorded May 19, 2013