Murphy, meet Fox-1Cliff

Nothing is easy in getting to space and just in case you thought it was, an amateur radio cohort named Murphy will surely remind you that you are in fact working with an AMATEUR RADIO satellite.

Fox-1Cliff, just one day before being taken to Orlando, revealed a problem that would lead to five 16 hour days of hotel room work and a big decision on changes and the course of action needed in order to accomplish delivery and her mission.  With environmental testing already proceeding on Fox-1D, Fox-1Cliff had to have the problem diagnosed and investigated and a meeting was then held for a determination of the options for remedy and their risks.  The whole process had to be done in record time in order to get Fox-1Cliff into the environmental testing to catch up to Fox-1D for thermal vacuum bakeout to begin on Tuesday, February 9.

If you’ve been here, you know what it’s like.  If you haven’t, the picture below gives a little peek into the fun that went on with the three of us seeing very little outside the hotel room other than a few meal breaks.

Burns Fisher W2BFJ and Jerry Buxton N0JY work on Fox-1Cliff late Wednesday night. Photo by Bob Davis, KF4KSS.

Burns Fisher W2BFJ and Jerry Buxton N0JY work on Fox-1Cliff late Wednesday night. Photo by Bob Davis, KF4KSS.

Yes, we brought enough checked bags full of equipment to need a minivan for our rental car, but there was still a need for donated equipment from locals Lou McFadin W5DID and Ed Krome K9EK as well as a trip to Walmart!

Fox-1Cliff & Fox-1D in Pre-launch Environmental Testing

Slated for launch in 2016 on the inaugural Spaceflight SHERPA mission aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9, Fox-1Cliff and -1D carry university experiments from Pennsylvania State-Erie, Vanderbilt, University of Iowa, cameras provided by Virginia Tech, as well as amateur radio voice repeaters capable of U/V or L/V operation.

Fox-1Cliff_Boards These are the boards of Fox 1 Cliff (Fox 1 C renamed as a memorial dedicated to Cliff Buttschardt who turned Cal Poly into Cubesat central and caused the explosion of cubesats onto the world). In the upper left, you can see the darker board has a VT on it. This is the Virginia Tech camera which is functional, has been integrated into the flight software and into the stack. Continue reading

Update on AMSAT Phase 4 Ground Terminal Development

AMSAT’s Phase 4 Ground Terminal team was established in April 2015, and has grown rapidly since October 2015. We have a lot of new people, and a lot of new things to think about, provide, and consider going forward.

Who are we and what are we doing?

Phase 4 Ground is an AMSAT sponsored all-volunteer team providing an ensemble of ground terminal solutions for the “five and dime” band plan. For background information watch AMSAT’s Phase IV Project Presentation at the Palomar Amateur Radio Club November 2015 meeting. (YouTube)
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AMSAT Straight Key Night on OSCAR

Straight Key Night Winners Announced – Plus Changes for Next Year

 

SKNRay, W2RS thanks all who participated in AMSAT’s Straight Key Night 2016, held in memory of Ben Stevenson, W2BXA.

The following participants each received at least one Best Fist nomination: AA5PK,. WA5KBH, WA8SME, W3TMZ, W4CVV, W5PFG.  Special kudos to Glenn Miller, AA5PK, who received three.

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