FoxTelem Version 1.03 Released

FoxTelem Version 1.03 has been released

This version of FoxTelem uses a new datafile format. While we store our
data on the server in an SQL database, we use a flat file database for FoxTelem. A
flat file format is nearly optimal for a program that mostly adds new data to
the end of a growing list. With that said, we need to be able to load sections of
the data into memory for efficient analysis.  The new data file format allows
that. If you have been downloading data from the server for analysis, you will
see that this format is much faster.

One major change is the ability to automatically switch between low speed
and high speed. This will help unattended stations gather as much telemetry as
possible. The “auto” mode actually runs both decoders at the same time, so
make sure your computer has enough CPU power to cope.

Graphing has been updated to support better analysis of the spacecraft by
the AMSAT Operations team and amateur scientists everywhere.

This version also contains new features that will be required for
Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D.

You can download it here:

Version 1.03 Changes
* Support larger volumes of data with much better speed in a segmented
* Auto detect high speed vs low speed telemetry
* Allow the user to swap IQ channels in IQ mode
* Allow graphs to be plotted as points (without lines)
* Plot more labels on horizontal axis when many resets plotted and fixed
some graph formatting issues
* Graph formatting parameters are saved to config and reloaded when
FoxTelem is restarted
* When reset button pressed on graphs the average period is reset too
* Swapped min/max values for solar panel temp on 1A
* Fox-1A Solar panel voltage was (incorrectly) using the MPPT conversion
* Fixed bug where HighSpeed Frames were unnecessarily held in the queue
until the pass was finished
* Cap max RSSI in the lookup table at -140dB to avoid spurious readings
* Interpolate the middle of two samples for first difference calculation,
for more accurate TCA calculation
* Add SAFE mode bit to the Computer panel so that it can be graphed
* Fixed bug where Radiation Graphs did not open at start up
* Fixed bug where T0 file could be corrupted if URL returned bogus data
* Fixed bug where FoxTelem gave many error messages but did not quit if
the log dir was not writable
* Skip NULL values for some measurements.  Don’t plot continuous labels to
left of vertical axis.
* MEMS diagnostic values are now in dps (vs Volts)
* Fixed bug where radiation data could not be saved to CSV files
* Fixed bug where FindSignal failed to lock if Track Doppler was not

It also provides Support for Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D:
* Display HERCI High Speed frames on the Herci Tab
* Display HERCI Housekeeping frames
* Support the Fox-1D low res camera format
* Implemented MPPT panel temperature conversion using Cubic fit
* Sort camera images by reset and uptime not picture counter
* Save position of the HERCI HS tab horizontal divider
* Allow the user to specify the number of thumb nails to display on the
camera tab
* Display converted HERCI Housekeeping data

Murphy, meet Fox-1Cliff

Nothing is easy in getting to space and just in case you thought it was, an amateur radio cohort named Murphy will surely remind you that you are in fact working with an AMATEUR RADIO satellite.

Fox-1Cliff, just one day before being taken to Orlando, revealed a problem that would lead to five 16 hour days of hotel room work and a big decision on changes and the course of action needed in order to accomplish delivery and her mission.  With environmental testing already proceeding on Fox-1D, Fox-1Cliff had to have the problem diagnosed and investigated and a meeting was then held for a determination of the options for remedy and their risks.  The whole process had to be done in record time in order to get Fox-1Cliff into the environmental testing to catch up to Fox-1D for thermal vacuum bakeout to begin on Tuesday, February 9.

If you’ve been here, you know what it’s like.  If you haven’t, the picture below gives a little peek into the fun that went on with the three of us seeing very little outside the hotel room other than a few meal breaks.

Burns Fisher W2BFJ and Jerry Buxton N0JY work on Fox-1Cliff late Wednesday night. Photo by Bob Davis, KF4KSS.

Burns Fisher W2BFJ and Jerry Buxton N0JY work on Fox-1Cliff late Wednesday night. Photo by Bob Davis, KF4KSS.

Yes, we brought enough checked bags full of equipment to need a minivan for our rental car, but there was still a need for donated equipment from locals Lou McFadin W5DID and Ed Krome K9EK as well as a trip to Walmart!

Fox-1Cliff & Fox-1D in Pre-launch Environmental Testing

Slated for launch in 2016 on the inaugural Spaceflight SHERPA mission aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9, Fox-1Cliff and -1D carry university experiments from Pennsylvania State-Erie, Vanderbilt, University of Iowa, cameras provided by Virginia Tech, as well as amateur radio voice repeaters capable of U/V or L/V operation.

Fox-1Cliff_Boards These are the boards of Fox 1 Cliff (Fox 1 C renamed as a memorial dedicated to Cliff Buttschardt who turned Cal Poly into Cubesat central and caused the explosion of cubesats onto the world). In the upper left, you can see the darker board has a VT on it. This is the Virginia Tech camera which is functional, has been integrated into the flight software and into the stack. Continue reading

Update on AMSAT Phase 4 Ground Terminal Development

AMSAT’s Phase 4 Ground Terminal team was established in April 2015, and has grown rapidly since October 2015. We have a lot of new people, and a lot of new things to think about, provide, and consider going forward.

Who are we and what are we doing?

Phase 4 Ground is an AMSAT sponsored all-volunteer team providing an ensemble of ground terminal solutions for the “five and dime” band plan. For background information watch AMSAT’s Phase IV Project Presentation at the Palomar Amateur Radio Club November 2015 meeting. (YouTube)
Continue reading