CubeSatSim Kits Available at Hamvention

For Hamvention 2024, I am very happy to announce a limited availability of Beta CubeSatSim Kits!  We will have some CubeSat Simulator kits at the AMSAT booth at Hamvention on Friday and Saturday, and will also make some available online on the AMSAT Store a few weeks later – look for ANS and social media for the date they will go on sale.  We will only ship AMSAT Store kit orders to U.S. addresses.  They are priced at $400 including shipping.

The Beta CubeSatSim Kits contain:

  • All three PCBs (STEM Payload, Solar, and Battery Boards) fully assembled and tested with all components soldered in
  • Raspberry Pi Zero WH with a fully programmed micro-SD card and a fully programmed Raspberry Pi Pico WH
  • AMSAT logo Remove Before Flight tag switch
  • Four-piece 3D printed frame and nylon screws and nuts, ready for you to assemble with included mini screwdriver
  • Pi Camera, ribbon cable, and nylon screws and nuts ready for you to plug into the Pi Zero WH and attach to the frame
  • Metal standoffs, stacking headers, and JST jumpers ready for you to stack the PCBs and the Pi Zero WH into the board stack
  • 10 solar panels, JST connectors, and double stick mounting tape, ready for you to solder the JST wires to the panels and mount them using the tape on the frame
  • BME280 pressure, temperature, altitude, and humidity sensor, and MPU6050 IMU/gyro ready for you to solder the male pin headers so you can plug them into the sockets on the STEM Payload Board
  • Two 6″ SMA coax cables and two SMA antennas for you to connect to the STEM Payload board and the frame
  • Instruction sheet with parts inventory and link to the online instructions.

    AMSAT Beta CubeSatSim Kit

The approximate time for you to complete the kit by soldering the solar panels and sensor pin headers, and assembling the board stack and frame is less than two hours.  You will need a soldering iron, solder, scissors, and an included mini Phillips screw driver.

The kit instructions are here:

The current Beta CubeSatSim has some improvements over the v1.2 version, including an FM transceiver, Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller, and RF command and control.  You can also modify it to fly as a 500mW high altitude balloon payload.

You can see all the updates here:

For those who like to solder the components and 3D print their own frame, we also have the Beta v1.3 blank PCB sets available at the AMSAT Store for $35: You will need to purchase the rest of the parts from Digikey and Amazon for approximately $300 using the Bill of Materials

During this beta period, we ask for your help in testing the new hardware and software and making sure that all the instructions and documentation are accurate.  As we have announced previously, past purchasers of the CubeSatSim v1 PCB board sets are eligible for a free beta v1.3 set of PCB boards.  Just email me ku2y [at]! I will verify the order and ship you a new set of 3 blank boards.  The boards will have the surface mount components already mounted.  The first one hundred who contact me in the first half of this year will be eligible to receive them.


Alan Johnston, PhD, KU2Y
AMSAT VP Educational Relations
ku2y [at]

Newly Revised 2020 Digital Edition of “Getting Started with Amateur Satellites” Now Available

The 2020 edition of AMSAT’s Getting Started with Amateur Satellites is now available on the AMSAT store. A perennial favorite, Getting  Started is updated every year with the latest amateur satellite information, and is the premier primer of satellite operation. This definitive reference is written for the new satellite operator, but includes discussions for the experienced operator who wishes to review the features of amateur satellite communications. The new operator will be introduced to the basic concepts and terminology unique to this mode. Additionally, there are many practical tips and tricks to ensure making contacts, and to sound like an experienced satellite operator in the process. The book is presented in DRM-free PDF format, in full color, and covers all aspects of making your first contacts on a ham radio satellite.

Joining the cover art for the first time this year is a depiction of the next generation of AMSAT satellites – AMSAT’s GOLF series of 3U CubeSats.

The digital download is available for $15 at 2020 Edition of Getting Started with Amateur Satellites – Digital Download

Free Digital Copy of “Getting Started With Amateur Satellites” Available with New or Renewed Membership

As part of the preparations for the launch of RadFxSat on November 10th, AMSAT is making our “Getting Started With Amateur Satellites” book available for a limited time as a download with any paid new or renewal membership purchased via the AMSAT Store. This offer is only available with purchases completed online, and for only a limited time. A perennial favorite, Getting Started is updated every year with the latest amateur satellite information, and is the premier primer of satellite operation. The 182 page book is presented in PDF format, in full color, and covers all aspects of making your first contacts on a ham radio satellite.

Please take advantage of this offer today by visiting the AMSAT store at and selecting any membership option. While there, check out our other items, including the M2 LEOpack antenna system, Arrow antennas, AMSAT shirts, and other swag. Be sure to view your cart before going to checkout. If you add a membership and then go directly to checkout, you’ll never see an option to add your free gift.

Thank you, and see you soon on RadFxSat!

New AMSAT Website, Online Store Available

AMSAT is pleased to announce that an updated website and online store are now available at In addition to cosmetic updates, this represents a significant upgrade of AMSAT’s online capabilities. The website and store are now fully integrated with the AMSAT membership database, allowing the eventual implementation of features such as members-only content and digital distribution of The AMSAT Journal. In addition, members may now change their mailing address for delivery of The AMSAT Journal and determine when their membership expires via their online accounts.

All current AMSAT members and former members whose membership expired within the past five years have accounts on the online website. These accounts are not linked to previous AMSAT store accounts, but are based on information in the AMSAT membership database. If you are a current member, or former member whose membership has expired within the past five years, please do not create a new account on the AMSAT website. Follow these steps to create a password:

1. Click the “My Account” button located on the upper right hand corner of any page on the website.
2. Click “Lost your password?” beneath the login button.
3. Enter your callsign and click reset password.
4. If your email address is correct in our database, you will receive an email with instructions to reset your password.

If your email address is not correct in our database, please email [email protected] with your callsign and preferred email address. An administrator will update your email address in the database and you will then be able to use the above procedure to reset your password.

Please note that we are still in the early stages of transitioning to this new system and there is still work to be done to reconcile the new and old membership databases. We appreciate your patience as we work through any “kinks” that may pop up. For example, many of you received emails on Thursday afternoon indicating that your passwords had been reset. Please ignore this message. No further action is necessary. Report any future problems to an administrator at [email protected].

Thanks to AMSAT’s IT Team Leader Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, and Milltown Web Design of Boston, MA for their efforts in developing the new AMSAT web presence and thanks to Bruce Paige, KK5DO, for working to update items in the online store. AMSAT is always looking for volunteers to develop and update content on the website and maintain the online store. Members interested in helping, especially those with WordPress and Woocommerce experience, are encouraged to email [email protected].