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]

ANS-130 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

TAPR/AMSAT Hamvention Banquet Ticket Deadline is Friday, May, 12, 2023, Dr. Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, is Guest Speaker

The deadline for ordering tickets for the 2023 TAPR/AMSAT Hamvention Banquet is only two days away – the deadline for purchasing banquet ticket is Friday, May 12th! Remember, there will be no banquet ticket sales at the AMSAT booth or at the banquet door.

The 14th annual TAPR/AMSAT Banquet will be held at the Kohler Presidential Banquet Center on Friday, May 19th at 18:30 EDT. This dinner is always a highlight of the TAPR (Tucson Amateur Packet Radio) and AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corp.) activities during the Dayton Hamvention.

This year’s banquet speaker is Dr. Nathaniel A. Frissell, W2NAF, who will talk about the upcoming solar eclipses and the exciting ways hams are contributing to the scientific research around these events.

The Kohler Presidential Banquet Center is located at 4548 Presidential Way, Kettering, Ohio – about 20 minutes away from the Greene County Fairgrounds.

Tickets ($60 each) may be purchased from the AMSAT store. The banquet ticket purchase deadline is Friday, May 12th. Banquet tickets must be purchased in advance and will not be sold at the AMSAT booth. There will be no tickets to pick up at the AMSAT booth. Tickets purchased on-line will be maintained on a list with check-in at the door at the banquet center. Seating is limited to the number of meals reserved with the Kohler caterers based on the number of tickets sold by the deadline.

Order your tickets online at:

Dr. Nathaniel A. Frissell, W2NAF, will be the guest speaker at the 2023 TAPR/AMSAT Hamvention Banquet. He will talk about the upcoming solar eclipses and the exciting ways hams are contributing to the scientific research around these events.

Dr. Frissell is a Space Physicist and Electrical Engineer at the University of Scranton’s Physics and Engineering Department. Dr. Frissell has a passion for radio science and remote sensing of the ionosphere. He was introduced to space physics and space weather in middle and high school through the hobby of amateur (ham) radio, where he was fascinated by long-distance radio propagation and the variability imposed on it by the geospace system.

In addition to leading him to pursue a Ph.D. in this field, it enabled him to found and lead the Ham radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI,, a citizen science collective that aims to bring together the professional research and the amateur radio communities. This has led to the Solar Eclipse QSO Party, a nationwide ham radio experiment to study the August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse (, and an ongoing collaboration with the amateur radio electrical engineering organization TAPR ( to develop a Personal Space Weather Station ( For his efforts, the amateur radio community has awarded him the prestigious 2017 Yasme Foundation Excellence award and the 2019 Dayton Amateur Radio Association Amateur of the Year Award.

In 2019, Frissell received a $1.3 million National Science Foundation grant to fund a 3-year initiative to measure modulations produced in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. The grant supports a collaborative team to develop the HamSCI Personal Space Weather Station, a modular, multi-instrument, ground-based space science observation platform used to study variability in the coupled geospace system and to better understand HF radio propagation.

In 2021, he was awarded a $481,260 grant through the NASA Space Weather Applications Operations Phase II Research Program. Frissell served as principal investigator for a research project entitled, “Enabling Space Weather Research with Global Scale Amateur Radio Datasets.” He collaborated with Philip Erickson, W1PJE, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Haystack Observatory and Bill Engelke, AB4EJ, at the University of Alabama.

“This grant includes significant funding for participation of Scranton undergraduate students in this research, as well as support for new computation resources,” Frissell said. He explained that the grant will fund “the development of an empirical model for the prediction of traveling ionospheric disturbances (TIDs) in high-frequency radio communications while investigating the geophysical drivers of these disturbances.” The grant covers two years of work.

Frissell said that the predictive, empirical TID models being developed uses data collected by the Reverse Beacon Network, WSPR, and PSKreporter — automated, global-scale radio communication observation networks operated by the amateur radio community. Undergraduate students help the faculty researchers to create algorithms used for the model development.

This NASA award complements a 5-year National Science Foundation grant of more than $616,000 that Frissell received in 2020. That investigation aims to understand the source of TIDs observed in amateur radio and other scientific datasets.

In addition, Dr. Frissell has a long-time passion for teaching and education. He earned his B.S. in Physics and Music Education from Montclair State University (2007). He voluntarily coordinated and taught amateur radio license classes and radio and astronomy merit badge classes. An Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor Member, Dr. Frissell taught science and technology for six summers at Forestburg Scout Reservation in New York, and taught amateur radio with the K2BSA group at multiple Boy Scout National Scout Jamborees.

ARISS-US Kicks Off Major Fundraising Initiative with Challenge Coin Door Prize at 2016 Dayton Hamvention

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Team has donated two of its handsome ARISS Challenge Coins to the Dayton Amateur Radio Association as a 2016 Hamvention door prize.  The two keepsake coins are positioned side by side in a beautiful display box so that each side of the coin is seen from either direction.

2016 ARISS Dayton Hamvention Door Prize
2016 ARISS Dayton Hamvention Door Prize

The commemorative ARISS Challenge Coin is the premium received by donors who give $100 or more to ARISS.  Dayton Hamvention General Chairman Jim Tiderman, N8IDS, agreed to feature the ARISS keepsake coin by holding a special prize drawing immediately following the introduction of the winners of the 2016 Dayton Hamvention national awards at 2 pm on Sunday.

The ARISS Team kicks off its 2016 fund-raising campaign at the Dayton Hamvention to raise money for the very high cost of replacing its aging radio system on the ISS and to help defray the cost of continuing ARISS operations. This special Hamvention prize drawing is the first step of the campaign.

ARISS International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, noted the importance of this fundraising campaign: “ARISS is in need of critical upgrades of our on-orbit equipment.  The radio system in the Columbus module is over 17 years old and underpowered. We need a 21st Century next generation solution. This fundraising campaign will enable these upgrades and, as a result, significantly improve ARISS operations and provide the funding necessary to better support our stakeholders and the amateur radio community.”

Those wanting to support the ARISS fundraising campaign can donate to ARISS online via the AMSAT Website, (select the “ARISS Donate” button) or the ARISS web page, (select the “Donate” tab).  ARISS representatives will also be at the AMSAT Booth during the Hamvention with Challenge Coins ready for people ready to donate $100 or more.

Be sure to go to the Hara Arena at the Dayton Hamvention on Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 2 pm for the major door prize drawings … and good luck!

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students in classrooms or informal education venues.  With the help of experienced amateur radio volunteers, ISS crews speak directly with large audiences in a variety of public forums.  Before and during these radio contacts, students, teachers, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio. For more information, go to: , and .

Also, join us on Facebook:  Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) / Follow us on Twitter:  ARISS_status

David Jordan, AA4KN
[email protected]

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]