Thursday, November 09, 2017

RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Launch Delayed; AMSAT Asks for Patience

SB SPACE ARL ARLS012
ARLS012 RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Launch Delayed; AMSAT Asks for Patience
During Commissioning

The launch of the Delta II vehicle carrying RadFxSat (Fox-1B) and other payloads has been delayed, due to a faulty battery on the booster, United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced on November 6. The launch now is scheduled for no earlier than Tuesday, November 14. RadFxSat is one of four CubeSats making up the NASA ELaNa XIV mission, riding as secondary payloads aboard the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS)-1 mission, which will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

RadFxSat is a partnership with Vanderbilt University's Institute for Space and Defense Electronics (ISDE) and hosts four payloads for the study of radiation effects on commercial off-the-shelf components. It will carry a Fox-1 style FM U/V repeater with an uplink on 435.250 MHz (67.0 Hz CTCSS) and a downlink on 145.960 MHz. Satellite and experiment telemetry will be downlinked via the DUV subaudible telemetry stream, which can be decoded using FoxTelem software
available from, https://www.amsat.org/foxtelem-software-for-windows-mac-linux/ .

AMSAT Vice-President Engineering, Jerry Buxton, N0JY, said RadFxSat/Fox-1B will automatically come up in beacon mode, transmitting a beacon and voice ID ("RadFxSat Safe Mode") every 2
minutes, starting about 50 minutes after deployment. He said AMSATcommand stations will want to see voltage and current data to determine that the spacecraft is healthy and to conduct various tests before opening it up for general use.

Telemetry should begin about 55 minutes after deployment. "[F]or the next 72-96 hours at least, as we look for successful startup, watch the general health and function as the satellite begins to acclimate to space, and perform the on orbit checkout," Buxton said. Ground stations are invited to continue uploading received telemetry for the life of the satellite.

Those using FoxTelem to capture telemetry are asked to check "Upload to Server" in the software's settings and make sure that ground station parameters are provided. "You can help AMSAT and everyone waiting to get on the air with RadFxSat tremendously, by capturing RadFxSat telemetry," Buxton said.

In the initial beacon mode, the transmitter is limited to 10 seconds "on" time, followed by a 2-minute "off" cycle. "If we are seeing good data from user telemetry data, it is likely when it comes over
the US for the first good pass, we will command it from beacon mode to normal safe mode, which then puts RadFxSat in full, but still safe mode, operation and transmits a full two frames of  telemetry," Buxton said.

Buxton called on the satellite community to be "polite and patient" as RadFxSat is commissioned.

"The on-orbit check-out procedure is similar to Fox-1A/AO-85 and could be completed in as little as a few days, if we have the cooperation of the users," he said. "It is very important - not to mention just plain good amateur operating practice - to refrain from using the transponder uplink, so we can do the on-orbit tests, including when we turn on transponder mode for testing. I can't stress enough, the importance of this cooperation, not just for us but for all users, simply having a little patience so we can conduct the tests as quickly and accurately as possible."

Buxton said AMSAT would "make it broadly known" when the transponder is available for general use. "If you hear someone on the transponder, please don't assume that it is open for general use,"
he said. "Check the AMSAT website, Facebook, Twitter, to be sure you're not accidentally jumping in and unwittingly interfering with the commissioning process."
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/EX

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Product Announcement - DXtreme Monitor Log 11™

DXtreme Software™ has released a new version of its popular logging program for radio monitoring enthusiasts: DXtreme Monitor Log 11.



Monitor Log 11 lets listeners and DXers log the stations they’ve heard using advanced features that can enhance their monitoring experience.

Finding Broadcast Stations to Monitor

The Schedule Checker™ lets users import schedules from Aoki, EiBi, and FCC AM web sites and display schedule data according to the filter criteria they specify. A list box lets users switch between schedule types, and depending on the schedule type selected, users can filter schedule information by band, frequency, station, country, city, state, time of day, language, antenna direction, and target area.

When the What’s On Now? function is activated, the schedule refreshes automatically at the top of each hour for Aoki and EiBi schedules.

For each schedule item, Schedule Checker queries the Monitor Log 11 database to let users know – through user-defined, foreground and background display colors – whether they need to monitor a station for a brand-new or verified country. Schedule Checker also displays bearing and distance, runs optional Afreet Ham CAP(1) propagation predictions, draws optional Afreet DX Atlas (2) azimuth plots, tunes supported radios to schedule frequencies when users double-click schedule items (3 4 5), and starts log entries for scheduled stations monitored.

Finding Amateur Radio Stations to Monitor

Monitor Log 11 integrates with optional Afreet Band Master (6) to let users see, on its graphical interface, where hams are operating. Monitor Log 11 supplies Band Master with an Entity Needed List based on the user’s Monitor Log database, making it possible for Band Master to indicate the stations whose entities (countries) users need to monitor. When invoking Band Master, users can select an Entity Needed List for all bands or individually for the 160- through 6-Meter bands.

Finding Utility Stations to Monitor
A Links menu provides convenient access to user-specified blogs and web sites that can inform users as to where utility and other stations may be operating.

Logging Stations
Monitor Log 11 lets users log all kinds of stations — radio stations, television stations, broadcast stations, Amateur Radio stations, utility stations, military stations, and more! And it lets them log stations across the radio spectrum — from long wave, to medium wave, to short wave, and beyond.

The Last Log Entries Grid on the Monitor Log window shows up to 5000 of the most recent log entries added. Its records can be sorted, and double-clicking records displays detailed data on the Monitor Log window. Users can resize the grid columns and scroll horizontally to columns that do not appear initially. And because the names of stations and NASWA countries can be quite long, users can also display a larger, resizable Last Log Entries window. A Properties window lets users change the order of columns, the number of log entries to display, and the font and color attributes of grids and other program components, such as the Content Editor for describing the content monitored, the Script Editor for creating and editing scripts, the Direct Tune interface for tuning radios, and the Comments tab for typing ad hoc comments.

Reporting Reception
Users can create customized paper and e-mail reception reports for sending to stations plus club report entries for reporting catches to clubs and magazines.

When users add or display a log entry, Monitor Log 11 prepares a post announcing their DX catch and displays it on the Social Media Post tab. From there, users can drag the post to their favorite social media web sites to share their catch with others.

Using the Script Editor window, users can create and edit scripts that format reception reports, eReports, and social media posts to their liking. The software prompts users to select the script they want to use. Dozens of scripts come with Monitor Log 11.

Users can also print SWL and Address labels on industry-standard label stock, and send eQSL requests to hams automatically through the popular www.eQSL.cc site.

Imaging
Improv Imaging™ lets users associate ad hoc images with log entries using Capture, Scan, and Clipboard functions. Captures of stations received on digital applications, waterfall displays, facsimile and Amateur TV pictures are popular. The Improv Imaging tab and Application let users view images anytime, and an Improv Image Explorer lets them peruse their entire collection and display associated log entries.

QSL Imaging™ functions the same as Improv Imaging, but specializes in associating QSL cards and eQSLs with log entries.

Other Features
Rig Control — Retrieves the frequency and mode from supported radios and permits tuning from the Schedule Checker and Direct Tune interface. Rig control is provided through integration with Afreet Omni-Rig and the SDR applications listed on our web site, currently HDSDR (4) (High Definition Software Defined Radio) and SDR Console (5).

Audio Archiving — An embedded Audio facility lets users maintain an audio archive of stations heard.

Reporting — Produces Performance, Stations, and Log Entry reports that track the performance and progress of the user’s monitoring station. The software lets users FTP those reports to user-provided Web space for remote access. Some reports integrate with Afreet DX Atlas to generate pin maps.

Documentation — Context-sensitive Procedural Help, Field Help, and Microhelp are accessible per window to provide instructions quickly. A web-based Information Center is accessible from the Help menu for late-breaking assistance, and Installation Instructions and a Getting Started Guide are delivered in PDF format with the software.

Operating Systems, Pricing, Contact Information
DXtreme Monitor Log 11 runs in 32- and 64-bit versions of Microsoft® Windows® 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista®, and XP. It retails for $89.99 USD worldwide for electronic distribution. Pricing for CD versions and upgrading users is available on our Web site. All prices include product support by Internet e-mail. For more information, visit www.dxtreme.com or contact Bob Raymond at bobraymond@dxtreme.com.

1 — Licenses for Afreet Ham CAP and Omni-Rig are required to use Ham CAP.
2 — A license for Afreet DX Atlas is required to perform plots and create pin reports.
3 — A license for Afreet Omni-Rig is required to use rig control with radios supported by Omni-Rig.
4 — Can be used for rig control. HDSDR is owned by Mario Taeubel. Refer to http://www.hdsdr.de/index.html for more information.
5 — Can be used for rig control. SDR Console is owned by Simon Brown, G4ELI. Refer to http://www.sdr-radio.com for more information.
6 — A license for Afreet Band Master is required to use Band Master.