FoxTelem Version 1.08 Released

I am releasing Version 1.08 of FoxTelem.  This release provides several enhancements and needed changes for FOX-1E and HuskySat, a partnership with the University of Washington.

You will need to download this version to successfully decode data from 2 new spacecraft which will transmit BPSK telemetry on 70cm.  Oh, and now is a good time to put up a 70cm antenna if you do not have one 🙂

You can download it from:

Key Changes

  • Make PSK decoders easier to select
  • Automatically change the band from 2m to 70cm and the mode from FSK to PSK  if needed (and enabled).  Allow default mode to be set for each spacecraft
  • No longer overwrite the user settings (such as max/min frequency) when spacecraft files updated
  • Save the properties whenever they are changed (rather than just at exit)
  • Allow the user to change the display name for a spacecraft without changing the KEPS name
  • Prevent FOXDB from being corrupted when power restarted
  • Better memory management so that long running FoxTelem sessions do not end  up out of memory
  • Allow MAX and MIN records to be displayed in table on the telemetry tab.
  • Show the Capture Date for the record being displayed e.g. RT, MAX, MIN
  • Delete existing files when server data downloaded
  • Tie the STP date more accurately to the position of the SYNC word in the bit buffer to avoid stamping frames with the same date
  • Fixed many small bugs and crashes
  • And many other bug fixes.

Full list of changes here:

Feel free to email me any questions, suggestions or bug reports.




A quick addition to Chris’ announcement.  This version of FoxTelem has been tested on Fox-in-a-Box installations (that is, FoxTelem running on a Raspberry Pi).  Starting immediately, (serial number 110) V1.08r will be on the SD card that you order from the AMSAT store.

If you have a Fox-in-a-Box with an older version and you wish to upgrade it (highly recommended), just download to the Desktop using the browser on your FIAB and double click it to extract a directory (folder) named FoxTelem_1.08r_linux.  Now stop the running FoxTelem and edit the file on your desktop called StartFoxTelem (right click and choose Text Editor).  On about the third line from the bottom change”foxtelem_1.07_linux” to FoxTelem_1.08r_linux” (be sure to get the capital letters right). Exit from the editor and double click on StartFoxTelem and then chose “Execute”.  The new FoxTelem will start running, and as described in the manual you will start getting questions about whether you want to upgrade things.  Say yes to each question.  After FoxTelem has started successfully, you should be all set, and FoxTelem should start automatically every time your reboot.

If you have any issues, please let me know.  [email protected]




Flashback Friday: Satellite Tracking with QUIKTRAK for the Commodore 64 and Apple II

For Flashback Friday, AMSAT is releasing disk images of QUIKTRAK for both the Commodore 64 and Apple II. These disk images should work in any emulator for the platforms, such as VICE for the Commodore 64 and AppleWin or LinApple for the Apple II.  They can also be imaged to floppy disk or used with a floppy emulator on real vintage hardware. These disk images have AMSAT’s club call, W3ZM, and Washington, DC set as the default callsign and QTH. Current Keplerian elements for AO-7 (as of September 13, 2019) are included. These programs provide a fun look back at the state of the art in satellite tracking in the mid-1980s.


QUIKTRAK.D64 (Commodore 64/128)

QUIKTRAK was written by Bob McGwier, N4HY, utilizing tracking routines originally developed by Tom Clark, W3IWI (now K3IO). While the Commodore 64 version is in compiled BASIC (Blitz), the AppleSoft BASIC source code for the Apple II version is included on the disk image and can be LISTed.

Additionally, Paul Williamson, KB5MU, recently made the InstantTrack program for the IBM PCs and PC compatibles freely available on his website.

If anyone has any copies of additional historic tracking programs, please email n8hm at to arrange preserving this portion of AMSAT’s history.

Tracking AO-7 with MAPTRAK for the Commodore 64 in VICE.


Showing the next AO-7 passes in Washington, DC using QUIKTRAK for the Apple II in LinApple.

FoxTelem Version 1.06 Released

​I am releasing version 1.06 of FoxTelem today.  This release addresses several defects and instabilities in FoxTelem 1.05 and earlier.  It also introduces a new Earth Plot that allows any telemetry value to be plotted as a heat map against a map of the earth.  For more details about the Earth Plot and some example plots, you can read a quick tutorial that I have written here:

As always, let me know if you see any issues or log them on Github at

* EARTH PLOTS allow you to plot any telemetry value as a heat map on a map of the earth
* Allow graphs and telemetry results to be searched with UTC dates and for ranges of uptime/dates
* Allow stepping through the telemetry with up/down arrows
* Prevent hang when decoder starts if FCD returns an error
* Fixed bug where TLEs were not updated in the name is changed in the spacecraft settings window
* Fixed crashes introduced in 1.05 release
* Display all HERCI High Speed payloads when Raw Byte Payloads shown.
* Fix bug where missing TLE disables spacecraft from being tracked at all
* Fixes bug where DDE connection to SatPC32 fails with European decimal point format
* Add MPPT calibration values for Fox-1D
* Improved the RF signal measurements
* Improved the Find Signal algorithm
* Space graph labels more evenly
* Put the spacecraft tabs in FoxId order

And many other bug fixes. Full list of changes here:

You can download the latest version of the program from:

FoxTelem v1.05 Released

AMSAT’s preparations for the launch of RadFxSat (Fox-1B) on November 10th continue at a breakneck pace. FoxTelem developer Chris Thompson, G0KLA/AC2CZ, today announced the release of FoxTelem v1.05 on the AMSAT-BB. Among other improvements, upgrading to this release is required for the proper decoding of RadFxSat telemetry. FoxTelem versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux can be downloaded at

Below is the full text of Thompson’s post on the AMSAT-BB:

​I am pleased to announce a new version of FoxTelem, Version 1.05.  This will make you ready for the RadFxSat launch in 2 weeks time,  at 01:47 PST (09:47UTC) on November 10, 2017.   You will also take advantage of over 60 fixed defects and changes applied to the code base.




Accurately decode the data, display the results of the experiments and forward it to the AMSAT server for analysis by the experiment owners and other amateur scientists like yourself.  This version will also be able to download the RadFxSat data from the server.


You can use a new feature to calculate the position of the satellite. This is  enabled on the settings screen. The TLEs are automatically downloaded each
week and stored in EPOCH order.  This will be used to plot historical graphs in the future.  See the manual for more details.


You can set FoxTelem to only decode when the satellite is up.  This is designed to save CPU power when many copies of FoxTelem are run at the same time.


You can run FoxTelem in a new way.  If you pass a directory on the command line then it will use this as the location of the config file and the
log files. Previously you needed to create a batch file and run a special command. That will still work, but this should be easier.  See the manual for details.



* Implements changes needed to support RadFxSat (Fox-1B) which launches Nov 2017
* Simpler approach to run multiple copies of FoxTelem with different configuration settings
* Calculation of spacecraft position for users on Linux/Mac or those without SatPC32, including automatic TLE/KEP management
* Automatic start/stop of the decoder to save CPU when running many copies, based on FoxTelem calculation or SatPC32
* Runs on the Raspberry Pi 3
* Storage of the spacecraft .dat files in the logfiles directory to avoid issues where the install directory is not writable
* Plots 450 deg and 180 deg Az/EL correctly
* PSK decoder in readiness for RadFxSat-2 (Fox-1E)

And many other bug fixes. Full list of changes here:

You can email me with any bug reports or issues that you see.