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FUNcube-1’s Birthday


Hi Folks,


It seems amazing to us that FUNcube-1 – AO73, was launched nearly one year ago, in fact at 07:10 UTC on 21 Nov 2013. The very first signals were received by ZS1LS in South Africa at 07:37 UTC and he was even able to upload the resulting data to the Warehouse so the results could be seen immediately.


We are extremely  happy to say that, since then, the satellite has been performing very satisfactorily, the battery voltage doesn’t drop below 8 volts, and becomes fully charged within about 7 – 10 minutes after re-entering sunlight from eclipse.


Thus, on 21 Nov 2014, we will be celebrating the satellite’s first birthday. To mark the occasion, we will be activating the transponder earlier than normal – late on Thursday 20 Nov 2014, so that it will be available for use during the whole of Friday. So please make as many contacts as possible through the transponder during Friday, FUNcube’s actual birthday. You are invited to make a note of any stations worked on this day, or any other comments on the FUNcube Forum. Please use the existing “FUNcube-1’s Birthday” topic, under the Welcome heading. The URL of the Forum is


Please also remember the ’73 on 73′ competition which is kindly being organised by Paul Stoetzer N8HM. See for more details.


We would like to take this opportunity of thanking all of our ‘users’, both those who download  telemetry and forwarding it to the warehouse, and of course, all users of the transponder. This telemetry data is invaluable, both as an educational resource and to enable us to see how the spacecraft systems are performing and surviving. So far we have collected almost 400MB of unique data via stations from all around the world.


Of course we are hoping that the satellite continues to function nominally for several  more  years to come even though we may never reach AO7’s record!



FUNcube Whole Orbit Data available for download


From the early planning stage of the project we decided that we would make telemetry information available
to end users.

Since deployment the warehouse has displayed the latest data:

Whole Orbit
High Precision
Fitter Messages

and of course the upload rankings.

Additionally we have made available small csv files for WOD and HiRes.

Starting today, we will be making all captured WOD available as weekly csv files.

Please see: for the link to the
downloads page.

It currently up to 26/6/2014 (32 files)

The files are on average:

9706 lines (expected 10080) ~ 96.3% capture
905 KB

We will play catch up over the next few days and then automate the process.

It it really intended for consumption by an analytical suite such as MatLab, or a DIY one, in a language of your
choosing. However, it can be simply graphed in Excel or Open Office Calc

Feedback would be appreciated.



Dave, G4DPZ


Many stations, who have their FUNcube Dongles setup to automatically receive telemetry signals from FUNcube-1, will have noticed that they are now also seeing the telemetry from the FUNcube-2 sub-system which is flying on-board the UKube-1 CubeSat.

The FUNcube telemetry transmitter has been enabled on 145.915MHz (+/- Doppler) as part of the commissioning programme for UKube-1 which is presently underway.

UKube-1 in flight configuration in the cleanroom at Clyde Space Ltd (photo courtesy of Steve Greenland)

UKube-1 in flight configuration in the cleanroom at Clyde Space Ltd  (photo courtesy of Steve Greenland)

Whilst the existing FUNcube-1 Dashboard does not correctly display the FUNcube-2 telemetry, it is forwarding the data correctly to the Warehouse and this is greatly appreciated by the team.

We are not yet able to release a FUNcube-2 specific Dashboard as, at present, our developer is on an extended holiday in New Zealand. We are, however, working to provide a fully functional FUNcube-2 page on the Warehouse as soon as possible.

In the meantime please continue to listen and, where you are able, to keep the data flowing to the warehouse – many thanks for your support

Enhanced FUNcube-1 Dashboard now available


colloquium2104aThis weekend saw the AMSAT-UK Colloquium take place and Jim G3WGM and Ciaran M0XTD together gave a presentation on the FUNcube-1 mission.

The presentation included the announcement of a new version of the FUNcube-1 Dashboard. This has greatly improved decoding performance for weak signals – especially for Dongle users. Additionally the Dashboard can now activate the Bias-T pre-amp power from the Dongle.

The new version can be downloaded from here and the guidance notes have been updated to provide full information about it.

All users are encouraged to install this new version to improve their system performance and further increase the amount of data we are capturing in the Warehouse.

Reports will be very welcome on the forum

UKube-1 Update


UKube-1 was successfully launched, as planned, on Tuesday 8th July 2014.

Signals were heard from the spacecraft during the first pass over the UK from both the main telemetry transmitter on 145.840MHz and the FUNcube 2 transmitter on 145.915MHz.

Presently, commissioning of the spacecraft is continuing, and there may be future occasions when the FUNcube  telemetry transmitter will be activated during this period.

Although we have not yet released a FUNcube 2 version of the Dashboard, the existing version 820 will correctly decode the data and forward it to the FUNcube Data Warehouse. If you do receive some data frames please forward them to the Warehouse in the usual way.

The current UKube/FUNcube-2 Rankings can be seen here

UKube-1 Launch Information and telemetry equations

UKube-1 in flight configuration in the cleanroom at Clyde Space Ltd (photo courtesy of Steve Greenland)

UKube-1 in flight configuration in the cleanroom at           Clyde Space Ltd  (photo courtesy of Steve Greenland)

UKube-1 is scheduled to launch from Pad 31/6 at Baikonur on Tuesday afternoon. July 8th 2014 @ 15:58:28 UTC and to be deployed from the final stage of the Soyuz-2-1B/Fregat-M launch vehicle at 18:32:42 UTC.

The UKube-1 Operations Team has just issued this 1st edition of their Launch Briefing.

Launch Briefing ISSUE 1

And this is accompanied a worksheet showing the telemetry equations.

Briefing Workbook 20140702

Here are some prelaunch keps;

1 99999U 14999A 14189.66559000 .000005230 00000-0 05230-4 0 0019
2 99999 98.41000 240.000 0013100 54.7000 335.0000 14.76729233000011

UKube-1 carries a number of experiments and payloads and also the FUNcube-2 transponder and  telemetry sub-system. This is intended to support the current, very successful operations of FUNcube-1 and to provide an even better operational capability for schools and colleges to use for hands on educational outreach around the world. Further details of the educational outreach opportunities are available here

When the FUNcube-2 sub-system is activated, the 1k2 BPSK telemetry will be downlinked on 145.915 MHz in the same way as already happens with FUNcube-1.

A new FUNcube-2 Dashboard UI will be released shortly. This will integrate directly with the existing FUNcube Central Data Warehouse and existing usernames and authorisation codes can be re-used.

When the transponder is activated, the downlink passband will be 145.930 to 145.950 MHz and the uplink passband  will be 435.080 to 435.060 MHz.

It is anticipated that the FUNcube sub-system may be tested for short periods during the next few weeks depending upon how the LEOP plan progresses.

AMSAT UK and their colleagues at AMSAT-NL are delighted that UKube-1 is carrying this FUNcube sub-system and wish every success to the UKube Operations Team and to all the many contributors to the project.

One millionth packet milestone!

FUNcube Dashboard

The FUNcube Dashboard

 Many stations have been receiving the telemetry transmitted by FUNcube-1, which has now been in orbit for 221 days. The spacecraft, which has been operating nominally since launch, is providing on-board health and science data for the many schools and colleges who are already participating in the project around the world.

Since launch, data has been received by more than 650 stations around the world and today our online Data Warehouse received its one millionth packet of information.
The Warehouse is now storing more than 256MB of telemetry which is available for educational and research use.

We have been successful in capturing almost 25% of all the telemetry transmitted including almost all of the Whole Orbit Data. This success is a great tribute to our designers of the Flight software, the Dashboard programme and the matching Data Warehouse.

We are also immensely grateful to all the schools, colleges, radio amateurs and other listeners who are providing this data and want to encourage everyone to continue to listen to FUNcube-1 and to upload the data to the Warehouse. This will help enable the project to continue to provide a complete and current data set for analysis.

Count of data uploads since launch.

Count of data uploads since launch.

We would, of course, also love to have additional receiving stations in the FUNcube Ground Station Network. This applies especially to anyone near the poles or who is located on an island in the middle of ocean. Their involvement would help us improve our rate of data capture still further.

Our records show that there were three stations who actually managed to upload the same one millionth packet to the Warehouse today. They are G0EID, OM3BC and DL3SER. If they could contact “operations at” we will arrange them to send them a small prize to honour their contribution to the project.

FUNcube-3 Payload successfully launched


At 19.11 UTC  19th June 2014, the DNEPR launch vehicle left the pad at Yasny and successfully delivered more than 30 objects into the expected orbit about 600km above the surface of the earth.

Amongst those objects were the two QB50 precursor spacecraft and good signals were heard from both in less than ten minutes from their deployment by ZS2BK, ZS5SB and ZS1HD in South Africa.

Both of these spacecraft carry amateur radio payloads:

QB50p1 has a 145.815 MHz BPSK telemetry downlink and carries the FUNcube-3 400 mW inverting linear 435/145 MHz transponder provided by AMSAT-NL with support from AMSAT-UK.
– 435.035-435.065 MHz Uplink LSB
– 145.935-145.965 MHz Downlink USB

QB50p2 has a 145.880 MHz BPSK telemetry downlink and carries a 435/145 MHz FM transponder and FX25 data transmitter from AMSAT-F.
• 145.840 MHz 9600 bps FSK FX25

It is expected that the AMSAT payloads will be activated after a few months of operation of the science payloads.

Our thanks go to the stations in South Africa who received the first signals and also to the ISIS teams both at the launch site and at their HQ in Delft. A job very well done!

FUNcube-3 payload launch information


We anticipate that the DNEPR launch of this payload on the QB50p1 CubeSat will take place as previously stated. This Thursday is the day!

READY FRONT PAGE COLLAGE PICqb50p1-and-qb50p2-image-credit-isis

QB50p1 and QB50p2 side by side in the cleanroom (photo credit ISIS bv)

To be precise, lift off is expected to take place from Yasny on 19/06/2014 @ 19:11:11 UTC and the deployment of the various payloads will take place over the Indian Ocean in a similar fashion to the launch of FUNcube-1 last November. Pre-launch TLEs have not yet been made available but the details of the initial 145MHz CW  transmission format for both QB50p1, and its near twin QB50p2, can now be seen here: QB50p1 carries a linear UV transponder provided by AMSAT-NL, with support from AMSAT-UK, which I s similar to that on FUNcube-1. QB50p2 carries an UV FM transponder and FX25 data transmitter from AMSAT-F. It is expected that these payloads will be activated after the science missions have been completed. AMSAT-UK will be monitoring the launch event and watching for signal reports on the IRC #cubesat channel throughout the evening.

Future FUNcube missions – 2014 launch dates – FURTHER UPDATE


 The latest news we have is:

We have received confirmation that UKube-1, which is hosting the FUNcube-2 payload, is now scheduled for a Soyuz launch on Saturday June 28th with the following day as a back-up.  The launch time has been quoted as 15:58:28 UT with separation some 9253 seconds later.  We still understand that, immediately after deployment and activation, UKube-1 will commence transmitting a CW beacon and that this will be later followed by an AX25, 1k2 BPSK beacon. Both beacons will be on 145.840MHz. The FUNcube-2 payload, with its telemetry downlink for educational outreach, is expected to be tested later.

FUNcube-3 is the transponder only payload on the QB50 precursor CubeSat “QB50P1″. This mission is now scheduled to launch on June 19th on a Dnepr LV from Yasny. The launch time has been quoted as19:11:11 UTC but this has not yet been confirmed.  The initial beacon signals, from the main transceiver, are also expected to be AX25, 1k2 BPSK packets on 145.815MHz.

Again more information will be provided as soon as it becomes available!