ANS-173 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for June 21st

The AMSAT News Service bulletins are a free, weekly news and information service of AMSAT, The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation. ANS publishes news related to Amateur Radio in Space including reports on the activities of a worldwide group of Amateur Radio operators who share an active interest in designing, building, launching and communicating through analog and digital Amateur Radio satellites.

The news feed on publishes news of Amateur Radio in Space as soon as our volunteers can post it.

Please send any amateur satellite news or reports to: [email protected]

You can sign up for free e-mail delivery of the AMSAT News Service Bulletins via the ANS List; to join this list see:

In this edition:

  • AMSAT Announces Candidates for 2020 Board of Directors Election
  • AMSAT Announces GridMaster Award
  • CAS-6 Online
  • Amicalsat – Aurora Pictures
  • Raspberry Pi FUNcube Satellite Telemetry Decoder Now Available
  • ORI Announces ARRL Foundation Grant Award
  • ORI Announces YASME Foundation Grant Award
  • 38th Annual AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting Moving to Virtual Event
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-173.01 ANS-173 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 173.01
DATE June 21, 2020
BID: $ANS-173.01

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office is closed
until further notice. For details, please visit

AMSAT Announces Candidates for 2020 Board of Directors Election

The nomination period for this year’s AMSAT Board of Directors election ended June 15. The following candidates have been found to have their membership in good standing and their nomination credentials in order:

  • Howard DeFelice, AB2S
  • Mark Hammond, N8MH
  • Jeff Johns, WE4B
  • Robert McGwier, N4HY
  • Bruce Paige, KK5DO
  • Paul Stoetzer, N8HM

This year, AMSAT will be electing three voting members of the Board of Directors. These will go to the three candidates receiving the highest number of votes. In addition, there will be two alternates chosen, based on the next highest number of votes received.

Further details regarding the mechanics of the election will appear in ANS in the near future. Ballots will be mailed to the AMSAT membership by July 15th based on a membership list that will be generated as early as July 1. Members are encouraged to use the AMSAT Membership Portal at to verify that their membership is in good standing and their mailing address is correct.

[ANS thanks Brennan Price, N4QX, AMSAT Secretary, for the above information]

AMSAT Announces GridMaster Award

Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director and Contest and Awards Manager, announced AMSAT is now the official sponsor of the GridMaster Award, effective June 15, 2020. This award was first introduced in 2014 by the Star Comm Group. AMSAT thanks Damon Runion, WA4HFN, and Rick Tillman, WA4NVM, for not only developing and sponsoring this award since its inception, but, also, entrusting AMSAT with the honor of carrying on this important award for the benefit of the entire AMSAT community.

The GridMaster Award is available to all amateurs worldwide who submit proof with written confirmation of contacts with each of the 488 maidenhead grids located within the 48 contiguous United States of America.

Two-way communication must be established via amateur satellite with each grid. There is no minimum signal report required.

Contacts must be made from the same location, or from locations no two of which are more than 200 kilometers apart. The applicant’s attestation in the award application serves as affirmation of abidance to the distance rule. There are no endorsements and no recognized tiers of progression; however, amateur operators may apply for and be granted multiple GridMaster awards, when operating from separate and unique 200-kilometer circles.

A numbered and dated certificate will be awarded to each person who qualifies for the award at no cost. In addition, awardees may purchase an engraved plaque to commemorate their achievement.

Since its introduction, ten amateur satellite operators have claimed the title of Grid Master:

  1. John Papay, K8YSE
  2. Doug Papay, KD8CAO
  3. Rick Tillman, WA4NVM
  4. Glenn Miller, AA5PK
  5. Clayton Coleman, W5PFG
  6. Alvaro De Leon R., XE2AT
  7. Fernando Ramirez, NP4JV
  8. Ron Oldham, N8RO
  9. Randy Kohlwey, WI7P
  10. Frank Westphal, K6FW

So, who will be awarded AMSAT’s GridMaster Certificate No. 11? Are you up for the challenge?

Please visit for further details.

[ANS thanks Bruce Paige, KK5DO, AMSAT Director of Contests and Awards for the above information]

CAS-6 Online

The CAS-6 V/UHF antenna has been deployed today. Due to some OBC failures, CW beacon and GMSK telemetry are not working properly. At present, only the carriers are transmitted on the two frequencies, the linear transponder has been put into operation. We will then try to diagnose and then determine whether the CW and telemetry data stream transmission can be recovered.

CW Telemetry Beacon:                      145.910MHz
AX.25 4.8kbps GMSK Telemetry:      145.890MHz
U/V Linear Transponder Downlink:    145.925MHz, 20kHz bandwidth, Inverted
U/V Linear Transponder Uplink:         435.280MHz


1 44881U 19093C   20170.81187924 -.00001118  00000-0 -13581-3 0  9991
2 44881  97.9575 246.8556 0015830  36.2280 323.9959 14.81412013 26893

[ANS thanks Alan Kung, BA1DU, for the above information]

AMSAT’s GOLF Program is about getting back to higher orbits, and it all begins with GOLF-TEE – a technology demonstrator for deployable solar panels, propulsion, and attitude control. Come along for the ride. The journey will be worth it!

Amicalsat – Aurora Pictures

The Vega rocket (VV16) was scheduled to launch from Kourou on 19 June 2020 01:51:10 GMT with 53 satellites on board. Due to wind conditions this launch has been delayed until at least 21 June.

One of the satellites that will be leaving is the Amicalsat satellite built by the CSUG (Centre Spatial Universitaire Grenoblois). The measurements made by the satellite will be available to all. They will allow radio amateurs to use them for propagation predictions.

The project’s website (in English) has just been put online:

The Amsat-Francophone supported this project:

Software (Linux & Windows) is provided for decoding the telemetry and sending it to the database (SatNogs). The user manual is available (in English)

*Beacon* *Frequency* *Modes* *Callsign* UHF 436.1 MHz AFSK 1200 RS17S S band 2,415.3 MHz GFSK 1000 kb/s

Reports are welcome. Thank you for your help.

[ANS thanks Christophe Mercier, AMSAT-F Chairman for the above information]

Purchase AMSAT Gear on our Zazzle storefront. 25% of the purchase price of each product goes towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space

Raspberry Pi FUNcube Satellite Telemetry Decoder Now Available

The FUNcube Team has announced the availability of FUNcube CubeSat satellite telemetry decoder software for the popular Raspberry Pi computer board.

The original FUNcube telemetry decoder and Dashboard was designed to run on Windows devices and the FUNcube team did publish the telemetry format in accordance with the Amateur Satellite Service traditions and requirements. The Team had planned to opensource the Telemetry Decoder and provide an implementation on Linux, but several new missions after the original FUNcube-1 delayed their plans somewhat.

Late 2019, the Team had the opportunity to develop a low power/low impact ground station, based on Docker containers, for use at the Neumayer III Antarctic base at DP0GVN. This led us to evolve the code such that it would run on a Raspberry Pi.

The Linux implementation is suitable for use on Raspberry Pi versions from 2B+ to 4 and with a FUNcube dongle (Pro or Pro+). The software will tune a dongle to search for and track all three FUNcube compatible spacecraft currently operational. The Telemetry Decoder is configured with five active decoders operating concurrently so it can deal with situations where more than one of the spacecraft are overhead at the same time.

The decoder and warehouse uploader run as a Docker container for convenience shell scripts have been provided to launch the container in one of two modes:

  • “Interactive Mode” is when the Telemetry Decoder operates in the foreground , when FUNcube compatible telemetry is received, the corresponding hex data is displayed on the terminal screen.
  • “Background Mode” allows the telemetry decoder to run as a Docker image in the background where it operates much like any other background service on Linux. This mode allows for the automatic restarting of the telemetry decoder after a shutdown or reboot of the RaspberryPi, therefore making it suitable for a remote deployment situation.

*Both modes, when connected to the internet, will upload the received data to the FUNcube Data Warehouse and the totals displayed on the Ranking Page in the normal manner.

*Uploading to the warehouse requires online registration with the FUNcube Data Warehouse.

All the code for the telemetry decoder, and the scripts to build the Docker images, are now published online under a GPL Open Source License at the FUNcube-Dev GitHub account

Alternatively, it possible to buy a pre-formatted microSD card for the Pi from the AMSAT-UK shop at

Full instructions PDF can be downloaded from

FUNcube Data Warehouse

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]

ORI Announces ARRL Foundation Grant Award

ORI, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to open source research and development in amateur radio, has been awarded a $3,000 grant from the ARRL Foundation. This grant, the maximum amount, will be immediately applied to Phase 1 of the Digital Multiplex Transponder research and development program. This grant allows hardware prototypes for broad- band microwave digital payloads to proceed much more quickly.

Established in 1973 by the American Radio Relay League, Inc. (ARRL) as an independent and separate 501(c)(3) organization, the ARRL Foundation administers programs to support the Amateur Radio community.

Funded entirely by the generous contributions of radio amateurs and friends, ARRL Foundation administers programs for Amateur Radio award scholarships for higher education, award grants for Amateur Radio projects, and award special Amateur Radio program grants for The Victor C. Clark Youth Incentive Program and The Jesse A. Bieberman Meritorious Membership Program.

[ANS thanks Michelle Thompson, W5NVY, CEO and Director, ORI for the above information]

ORI Announces YASME Foundation Grant Award

ORI, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to open source research and development in amateur radio, has been awarded a $30,000 grant from the Yasme Foundation. This grant completes the Phase 1 fundraising campaign and allows ORI’s communications prototype work for geosynchronous and interplanetary amateur radio satellites to proceed.

The Yasme Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation organized to support scientific and educational projects related to amateur radio, including DXing (long distance communication) and the introduction and promotion of amateur radio in developing countries. Yasme supports various projects relating to amateur radio, with an emphasis on developing amateur radio in emerging countries and encouraging youth participation in amateur radio.

The Yasme Foundation makes supporting grants to individuals and organizations providing or creating useful services for the amateur radio community. Regardless of originality or novelty, Yasme supports these programs in order to further the development of amateur radio around the world.

[ANS thanks Michelle Thompson, W5NVY, CEO and Director, ORI for the above information]

38th Annual AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting Moving to Virtual Event

The 38th Annual AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting in-person event scheduled to be held in Bloomington, Minnesota has been canceled. The event will be shifted to a virtual, online platform. This comes after a decision made between AMSAT’s Senior Leadership and Board of Directors in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While AMSAT recognizes the national challenges related to recent events in Minneapolis, they have no bearing on the Symposium decision whatsoever. We anticipate holding the 2021 Annual Space Symposium at the previously announced 2020 venue.

The in-person event was scheduled to occur Friday, October 16 through Sunday, October 18. As the 2020 virtual event plans are developed, they will be announced via the usual AMSAT channels.

[ANS thanks the AMSAT Office for the above information]

Need new satellite antennas? Purchase Arrows, Alaskan Arrows, and M2 LEO-Packs from the AMSAT Store. When you purchase through AMSAT, a portion of the proceeds goes towards Keeping Amateur Radio in Space.

Upcoming Satellite Operations

+ Quick Hits DN65/66 (Sunday 6/22/2020) N7EGY

+ Major Roves: DL88: Ron (@AD0DX) and Doug (@N6UA) are making another run at the elusive DL88 in Big Bend National Park, TX. As we know they tried this grid back in March, and due to the mud couldn’t get to the grid, so never ones to quit, off they go again. Today the tentative date is Monday July 6, 2020. They will be using the K5Z call sign. More information is available at the K5Z QRZ Page.

Please submit any additions or corrections to ke4al (at)

[ANS thanks Paul Overn, KE0PBR, for the above information]

AMSAT, along with our ARISS partners, is developing an amateur radio package, including two-way communication capability, to be carried on-board Gateway in lunar orbit.

Support AMSAT’s projects today at


ARISS lets students worldwide experience the excitement of talking directly with crew members of the International Space Station, inspiring them to pursue interests in careers in science, technology, engineering and math, and engaging them with radio science technology through amateur radio.

No upcoming events reported

The ARISS team continues to test and firm up a plan to transform ARISS contacts and how ARISS interacts with youth and education institutions. ARISS will provide distance learning with every student and staff member in their own homes (even quarantined).

[ANS thanks ARISS for the above information]

Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events

Want to see AMSAT in action or learn more about amateur radio in space? AMSAT Ambassadors provide presentations, demonstrate communicating through amateur satellites, and host information tables at club meetings, hamfests, conventions, maker faires, and other events.

Due to COVID-19, many hamfest and events around the United States have been canceled or postponed. While we make every effort to ensure the information contained below is correct, there may be some that we missed. We wish all of you safekeeping and hope to be at a hamfest near you soon.

*No events currently scheduled

A copy of the AMSAT hamfest brochure is available for download from: This color brochure is designed to be printed double-sided and folded into a tri-fold handout.

To include your upcoming AMSAT presentation and/or demonstration, please send an email to ambassadors (at) amsat (dot) org.

[ANS thanks Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT VP-User Services, for the above information]

Satellite Shorts From All Over

+ Diwata-2 (PO-101) has been active daily to provide emergency access during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check for the daily activation schedule [ANS thanks DIWATA-2 Ground Team for the above information]

+ The following satellite has decayed from orbit and has been removed From this week’s AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution: 1KUNS-PF – NORAD Cat ID 43466 (Decayed from orbit June 11, 2020 per Space-Track).

+ A new organization, the National Radio Society of Ireland (NRSI) has has been newly founded this year, 2020. Membership is open to all amateur radio operators and shortwave listeners who are either full- time residents or who have, in the past, spent a minimum of two months in Ireland as a visitor. NRSI became member association of the European Radio Amateurs’ Organization (EURAO) on June 11. For details, see [ANS thanks EURAO for the above information]


In addition to regular membership, AMSAT offers membership in the President’s Club. Members of the President’s Club, as sustaining donors to AMSAT Project Funds, will be eligible to receive additional benefits. Application forms are available from the AMSAT Office.

Primary and secondary school students are eligible for membership at one-half the standard yearly rate. Post-secondary school students enrolled in at least half time status shall be eligible for the student rate for a maximum of 6 post-secondary years in this status. Contact Martha at the AMSAT Office for additional student membership information.

73 and Remember to help keep amateur radio in space,

This week’s ANS Editor,

Casey Tucker, KI7UNJ ki7unj at amsat dot org