FoxTelem Release 1.04 Supports New Graphs, Better Performance, and the Upcoming Launches

From FoxTelem developer Chris Thompson, G0KLA / AC2CZ:

This is a quick note to say that FoxTelem Version 1.04 is being released. There is a lot in this version so I have written some blog posts to summarize new features.  See below.

You can download FoxTelem for your platform from one of these links:
http://amsat.us/FoxTelem/windows/foxtelem_1.04f_windows.zip
http://amsat.us/FoxTelem/linux/foxtelem_1.04f_linux.tar.gz
http://amsat.us/FoxTelem/mac/FoxTelem_1.04f_mac.zip

Broadly speaking the changes fit into the following categories:

1. Full support for Fox-1Cliff, Fox-1D and RadFXSat including better High Speed decoding and a better find signal algorithm.

2. Additional analytical capabilities so you can plot one telemetry variable against another.  I hope this will inspire more people to analyze the telemetry from the spacecraft and post comments on what they see.  I have put some of my own thoughts online here:
http://www.g0kla.com/workbench/2016-05-07.php

3. Enhanced tools to analyze your ground station with SkyPlots for satellite measurements like Signal to Noise ratio and graphs for pass measurements. Skyplots in particular need a bit of explanation, so I have written more details here: http://www.g0kla.com/foxtelem/skyplot.php

You can read a full list of the changes here on github:
https://github.com/ac2cz/FoxTelem/issues?q=is%3Aissue+milestone%3A%22Release+1.04%22+is%3Aclosed

73
Chris
G0KLA / AC2CZ

Top 10 Reasons to Come to Dayton Hamvention

10. Rub shoulders with 25,000 of your best friends at the largest hamfest in the United States, including all of the AMSAT Directors and senior officers.  See the latest equipment from Icom, Yaesu, Kenwood, Flex, Alinco, M2, Arrow, and many other manufacturers of
amateur radio equipment and accessories.  Take advantage of discounted pricing you won’t find anywhere else.

9. Find out how to organize a contact with the astronauts on the International Space Station for your local school or youth group from our Education and ARISS experts.

8. Pickup the latest AMSAT golf shirts, T-shirts, and hats.  Get your copy of the updated “Amateur Satellite Frequency Guide” (laminated frequency chart) and Gould Smith’s just revised “Getting Started with Amateur Satellites” (book).  We’ll also have assembled wide-band preamps and antennas that are great for portable operation.

7. See demonstrations of SatPC32 and MacDoppler satellite tracking software, and get your operational questions answered.  Meet Don Agro, author of MacDoppler (Friday & Saturday, 2-3 p.m.).  See a demonstration of the LVB Tracker, a computer interface to the Yaesu azimuth-elevation rotors.  Talk with Mike Young, who has built more LVB Trackers than anyone else.  Assembled LVB Trackers will be available.

6. Hear a team presentation at the joint AMSAT/TAPR dinner on the new AMSAT Ground Terminal (AGT).  AGT is using Five and Dime (5 GHz uplink, 10 GHz downlink) technology that is being developed for the Phase 3E (P3E) HEO satellite, the Phase 4B (P4B) geosynchronous satellite, and the Cube Quest Challenge (CQC) lunar mission.  While much of the P3E and P4B *satellite* development is classified, the AGT is all open source and public information.

5. Hear the latest on the *five* Fox satellites, P3E, P4B, CQC, the International Space Station, other current and future satellites, education news, and an AMSAT update at the AMSAT Forum Saturday, from 11:15 to 1:30.

4. Get one-on-one guidance on setting up your satellite station and making contacts at our “Beginner’s Corner”.  Witness live demonstrations of contacts through satellites AO-7, AO-73, AO-85, FO- 29, SO-50, XW-2A, XW-2C, and XW-2F using handheld antennas.

3. Meet and interact with some of the Engineering Team members working on the Fox-1 satellites and our new Five and Dime AMSAT ground terminal.  Learn all of the public information and get breaking news on the Virginia Tech plans for the Phase 3E and Phase
4B satellites.

2. Get satellite station and operating tips from some of the best satellite operators in the country, including John Papay K8YSE (1,575 grids confirmed), Doug Papay KD8CAO (1,159 grids), Drew Glasbrenner KO4MA (1,343 grids), Paul Stoetzer N8HM (450 grids), and Wyatt Dirks AC0RA (938 grids).

1. Receive special premiums when you join or renew your AMSAT membership at Dayton, including an updated “Amateur Satellite Frequency Guide” (laminated frequency chart), and special pricing on the SatPC32 satellite tracking software.

[ANS thanks Steve N9IP for the above information]

Dayton Hamvention AMSAT Demonstration Plans

AMSAT will again have a demo station at the Dayton Hamvention this year. The station will be located outside the main entrance to Ball Arena, near the AMSAT booth.

This year, the focus of many of the demonstrations will be on the use of inexpensive software defined radio (SDR) equipment as a downlink receiver. Using an SDR like a FUNcube Dongle Pro+, SDRPlay, or AirSpy allows owners of common all-mode transceivers with VHF/UHF functionality (such as the Yaesu FT-817, Yaesu FT-857, Icom
IC-706MKIIG, or Icom IC-7100) to add full duplex satellite capability for use with linear transponder satellites at minimal cost. The receiver used will consist of a FUNcube Dongle Pro+ with a low cost 10.1″ Windows 10 tablet.

We may also use other radio combinations during the weekend.

Demos will take place during satellite passes from 8:00am (12:00 UTC) until 5:00pm (21:00 UTC) on Friday and Saturday and from 8:00am until 12:00pm (16:00 UTC) on Sunday. Please keep in mind that the RF environment at the Hamvention is challenging and the arena blocks low elevations to the north and northwest. Due to these factors, we will only be attempting passes with a peak elevation greater than 10 degrees. Please stop by for any satellite pass or at any other time if you have questions about satellite operating.

A special demonstration on SO-50 will take place during the 12:19pm (16:19 UTC) pass on Saturday May 21st. Nine year old Hope Lea, KM4IPF, will operate that pass after completing her talk at the ARRL Youth Forum.

If you are not attending the Hamvention, please call us if you hear the AMSAT demo station on the air!

Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, and Keith Pugh, W5IU, at the AMSAT Dayton Demo Station in 2014

Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, and Keith Pugh, W5IU, at the AMSAT Dayton Demo Station in 2014

AMSAT DAYTON HAMVENTION DEMOS – 2016

TZ = UTC

N 39.820328 W 84.255224 ELEV. 296 M

MIN PEAK ELEV. = 10 DEG

GRID = EM79ut

* = Listen Only Pass – Telemetry, Doppler, Ant. Perf, etc.

WinAos QTH: -84.3/39.8 T#: 14019 Sat.: 12 [Standard]
———————————————————-
Day Objects AOS (U) LOS Period maxEl AZ
———————————————————-
20.05.2016 XW-2A 12:17 12:26 09 62 016 – 187
20.05.2016 ISS * 12:28 12:37 09 40 300 – 143
20.05.2016 NO-84 * 12:28 12:38 10 21 294 – 168
20.05.2016 AO-85 12:45 12:59 14 62 200 – 036
20.05.2016 XW-2F 12:52 13:01 09 19 351 – 224
20.05.2016 AO-85 14:26 14:40 14 23 249 – 025
20.05.2016 AO-73 14:51 15:02 11 56 018 – 185
20.05.2016 EO-79 * 15:04 15:14 10 14 119 – 004
20.05.2016 SO-50 15:53 16:06 13 50 332 – 137
20.05.2016 FO-29 16:01 16:17 16 18 111 – 358
20.05.2016 AO-73 16:28 16:36 08 11 343 – 242
20.05.2016 EO-79 * 16:39 16:50 11 49 180 – 343
20.05.2016 SPROUT * 16:50 16:59 09 14 039 – 152
20.05.2016 UKUBE-1 * 16:57 17:08 11 30 025 – 171
20.05.2016 SO-50 17:34 17:45 11 17 309 – 187
20.05.2016 FO-29 17:43 18:02 19 88 163 – 348
20.05.2016 AO-07 18:12 18:28 16 15 099 – 356
20.05.2016 SPROUT * 18:25 18:36 11 44 004 – 209
20.05.2016 UKUBE-1 * 18:33 18:44 11 22 357 – 225
20.05.2016 FO-29 19:31 19:46 15 16 219 – 331
20.05.2016 AO-07 20:01 20:22 21 67 150 – 346

WinAos QTH: -84.3/39.8 T#: 14020 Sat.: 12 [Standard]
———————————————————-
Day Objects AOS (U) LOS Period maxEl AZ
———————————————————-
21.05.2016 NO-84 * 12:04 12:14 10 22 295 – 167
21.05.2016 XW-2F 12:39 12:49 10 26 358 – 217
21.05.2016 AO-85 13:11 13:25 14 59 222 – 030
21.05.2016 XW-2C 13:12 13:20 08 11 345 – 238
21.05.2016 XW-2A 13:17 13:26 09 19 353 – 223
21.05.2016 SO-50 14:38 14:50 12 17 340 – 108
21.05.2016 AO-85 14:54 15:05 11 12 274 – 021
21.05.2016 AO-73 15:10 15:21 11 80 011 – 196
21.05.2016 EO-79 * 15:16 15:26 10 18 127 – 004
21.05.2016 SO-50 16:19 16:31 12 61 324 – 157
21.05.2016 FO-29 16:49 17:08 19 39 137 – 353
21.05.2016 EO-79 * 16:51 17:02 11 36 187 – 339
21.05.2016 SPROUT * 17:04 17:15 11 21 029 – 163
21.05.2016 UKUBE-1 * 17:14 17:26 12 45 020 – 182
21.05.2016 FO-29 18:34 18:53 19 42 189 – 342
21.05.2016 SPROUT * 18:40 18:51 11 30 360 – 217
21.05.2016 UKUBE-1 * 18:51 19:00 09 15 349 – 237
21.05.2016 AO-07 19:03 19:22 19 31 122 – 351
21.05.2016 AO-85 20:04 20:14 10 15 345 – 100
21.05.2016 AO-07 20:54 21:15 21 61 173 – 341

WinAos QTH: -84.3/39.8 T#: 14021 Sat.: 12 [Standard]
———————————————————-
Day Objects AOS (U) LOS Period maxEl AZ
———————————————————-
22.05.2016 ISS * 12:19 12:27 08 17 288 – 162
22.05.2016 XW-2F 12:27 12:37 10 36 001 – 210
22.05.2016 XW-2A 12:44 12:54 10 47 006 – 203
22.05.2016 XW-2C 13:00 13:09 09 16 350 – 229
22.05.2016 AO-85 13:37 13:51 14 29 242 – 026
22.05.2016 AO-73 13:53 14:02 09 12 037 – 147
22.05.2016 SO-50 15:04 15:16 12 35 337 – 128
22.05.2016 EO-79 * 15:28 15:39 11 24 135 – 359
22.05.2016 AO-73 15:29 15:40 11 48 005 – 206
22.05.2016 FO-29 15:56 16:12 16 17 110 – 359

Phase 4 Weekly Report – April 20th

From Michelle Thompson, W5NYV:

Greetings all! Here’s our post-Spring-Break Phase 4 Ground engineering report.

First, we have a dual-band feed design update from Paul Wade W1GHZ.

He reports that what he’s come up with looks like it would work pretty well for an offset dish like the DSS dishes, with good efficiency at both bands. Simulation says the isolation from 5.8 GHz to the 10 GHz port is about 80 dB.

Performance plots are attached. He is going to work up a sketch for 3D printing.

He recommends a filter (like the ones in his QEX articles) that can easily provide 60 dB of second harmonic rejection. He believes that the second harmonic from any decent amplifier is 20 or 30 dB down, so that’s at least 80 dB down. Unless the signal is actually inband, a signal that far down won’t hurt.

He added that as for push-pull amps, we may be underestimating the difficulty of keeping them balanced at microwaves. Using a push-pull amplifier as part of the dual-band solution may not provide the performance we need.

Second, there’s plenty of action in the transmitter RF chain with results from measurements at the VHF super conference. Thank you to Eric Nichols, Mike W4UOO, John Petrich, W7FU, John Toscano, Mike Seguin and several others for stepping up to volunteer on this part of the project. We’ll be increasing our use of google forms to coordinate parts of the project, maintaining a list of all the forms on github, and possibly setting up a webpage to increase project findability.

Third, San Diego Microwave Group demonstrated the results of a project that Drew and Kerry Banke have been working on these last couple of weeks. It is the combination of a $4.24 Arduino processor board with a $29 ADF4350 PLL board to provide a programmable fixed LO in the 137-4400 MHz range. Once programmed, this set of off-the-shelf boards comes up on frequency at power up. The programming software utilizes the Analog Devices ADF4350 evaluation software to calculate the PLL data. This is entered by hand in to an Arduino program(sketch) written by Drew. This then is uploaded to the Arduino and that’s it. Kerry reports that the software is easy to use and free. Check out this video report from Paul KB5MU.