(L-R) AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW, ARRL CEO Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, and AMSAT Vice President Engineering Tony Monteiro, AA2TX with the Fox-1 engineering model at the 2013 Dayton Hamvention. (KB1SF photo) Click on image to enlarge.
The weekly broadcast of the Amateur Radio Newsline interviewed AMSAT President Barry Baines, WD4ASW at the Dayton Hamvention about the Fox-1 cubesat and the current situation in working with ITAR regulations. This is included in Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1868, dated May 31 2013 and carried on-the-air during many nets and amateur radio news reports. Here is a transcript of the interview with Barry, titled, “HAMVENTION 2013: PART 2 – WRAPPING IT UP”, by Amateur Radio Newsline’s Stephan Kinford, N8WB:
“While most tend to report on the Dayton Hamvention based on number of attendees and new equipment released or at least previewed, there is a lot more to this annual gathering. This is also a place where breaking news is first reported and according to AMSAT North America President Barry Baines, WD4ASW, hams involved in space communications had at least two things to smile about. The first was the announcement of a launch commitment for one of the group’s newest birds.
Through the dedicated work of Stefan Wagener, VE4NSA, AMSAT-NA will debut its new 1:1 scale cardboard model of the Fox-1 CubeSat at Hamvention 2013. We will have a complete display at the AMSAT booth. It is life size, and based on the latest Fox-1 engineering drawings for highest fidelity in design and appearance. The model is printed in color on heavy stock paper, includes all components and the instructions are carefully prepared to allow for easy assembly requiring scissors, glue etc. Depending on experience, assembly will take approximately 10+ hours. The complete model will be a perfect addition to any satellite operator’s shack, and a chance to show visitors what is being done by AMSAT today. We will have finished models at the AMSAT booth for display and printed models for sale.
They will be available at the AMSAT booth for a recommended donation of $25. All proceeds will go to supporting the Fox Project.
AMSAT has sold the popular G6LVB Tracker for several years. This year we will have a new version which replaces the amber LCD display with an OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display. The new display offers a high visibility contrast with a wide angle of view. It will be available in blue, green and amber. LVB Trackers will be available with the recommended serial (RS-232) I/O. The recommended minimum donation will remain $200. An FTDI USB/Serial module is available as an option for an additional $25.
Comparison of new OLED (top) and old LCD (bottom) displays
Current LVB Tracker owners may update their own units. The OLED displays used are manufactured by Newhaven, NHD-0216KZW series, and are available from Mouser and other online parts suppliers. The OLED displays have less depth so the PEM fasteners need to be shortened for correct fit and viewing thru the front of the case. The LVB Tracker firmware will also require updating. Current owners may send their LVB Tracker to WB8CXO for retrofit if they don’t wish to do the modifications themselves. Upgrading existing trackers will be $50 + shipping. Contact WB8CXO for upgrade details.
AMSAT would like to acknowledge the many contributors to this effort. Mike Young, WB8CXO for his vision and initiative to develop this update. John Drago, W8FAA modified the LVB Tracker firmware to support the OLED display. Ken Baker from Ridge Machine manufactured the PEM fastener cutting jig. Steve Belter, N9IP, Mark Hammond, N8MH and John Papay, K8YSE did beta testing. And finally Gould Smith, WA4SXM, LVB Tracker project manager for his continuous guidance and support.
Details on the Tracker may be found at www.lvbtracker.com.