Posts by W5NYV

    Here is a visual walkthrough of the features on the TEBF0808 UltraITX+ Baseboard for Trenz Electronic TE080X UltraSOM+, presented by Paul KB5MU and Michelle W5NYV.

    These stations are available to the community from Open Research Institute’s Remote Labs. We currently have two sets of gear and are procuring two more.

    The Trenz platform allows for full access to the FPGA, power reduction work, and thermal modeling. All are extremely important for space applications.

    We also have the Xilinx development board for the Ultrascale, for preliminary work.

    The FPGA module goes in the lower left empty square with the high-density connectors.

    The FPGA module has a heat sink, called a heatspreader, that is a machined metal plate. It attaches to the FPGA module with screws. However, it needs an intermediate layer to conduct the heat from the FPGA to the metal plate. The plate is designed to fit many different modules, and there’s a gap between the metal plate and the top of the components on the FPGA module.

    This gap is usually filled with a specific gap-filling thermal paste.

    Which happens to be out of stock, all over the world.

    So, of the four stations we’re settting up, one will be fitted with a thermal adhesive film. This comes in sheets and can be cut to size. It can be used for space, so as we dial down the power consumption with code adjustments, we can measure the thermal results with something that is appropriate for the space mission.

    The other three will get gap-filling goo directly from Trenz. This is the only way to preserve the warranty on these expensive modules, so it’s not a bad choice. And, this gives us something to compare the sheet against. We’ll test both in thermal modeling and chamber.

    -Michelle W5NYV

    Greetings all!

    My background is baseband and algorithm development, but the RF side is where the signals meet and exceed the sky. I have only the deepest respect for those that are talented here and give generously of their time for amateur satellite project success. We owe a lot here to Kent Britain, Paul Wade, and many others.

    There are two designs for ORI's Phase 4 dual band feeds in the repository linked here. They are dual-band feeds, best used in dishes.…eering/Antennas_and_Feeds

    The first one I want to introduce you to is the 5 GHz up, 10 GHz down. This feed was designed by Paul Wade W1GHZ, has lab results, has been manufactured in amateur machine shops, and has been 3d printed/metallized. This feed has been demonstrated at amateur and IEEE conferences.

    The second is 10 GHz up, 24 GHz down. This feed is another design from Paul Wade W1GHZ. Preliminary lab results are in progress and published in the repository. More to come! ORI bought 15 of them and is interested in putting them into the hands of amateurs that will use them and report back. Three have been sent out so far, and we are looking to send out more.

    Please let me know if you are interested, and I'll get one to you.

    While the baseline Phase 4 design is “five and dime” or 5/10 GHz, the goal of ORI is to use any and all microwave bands that we can. I think we are all aware of how much pressure our microwave bands are under from commercial interests, all over the world.

    Since this open source system design is extensible to 10/24, so we needed a feed for this.

    Thank you to all that have helped make this possible!

    -Michelle W5NYV


    I am organizing the "World of AMSAT" booth at Ham Expo, a large amateur radio virtual event to be held 13-14 March 2021. We have a dedicated Space and Satellite speaking track.

    The website for Ham Expo is

    In addition to this presentation track, we have a fully-featured Expo Hall. This is a virtual Expo Hall with many booths. Each booth is a meeting place with unique presentations and content. The booth is open for the full 48 hours. There are "tables" that turn into video chats when you select a "chair" in your browser. AMSAT-DL can have its own table at the booth, for people to gather during the event.

    Your videos of AMSAT-DL's operations, experiments, promotions of upcoming events, technical demonstrations, outreach, and more are welcome! They will be played in the booth presentation track throughout the weekend.

    We have the ability to provide automatic download of PDF handouts to every booth visitor. AMSAT-DL brochures or updates can be included for each visitor to take, for free.

    I need videos and handouts for the booth by 1 March 2021.

    Here are some things that booth visitors will be curious about:

    1) How can someone join AMSAT-DL?

    2) How long has your AMSAT-DL been in operation?

    3) What satellites has AMSAT-DL supported in the past?

    4) What will you do next?

    5) What are you most in need of? How can Ham Expo visitors help your Society thrive?

    I look forward to helping out here however I can.

    -Michelle W5NYV

    There was substantial GNU Radio Companion localization progress at GNU Radio SETI Hackfest. The combined catalog of strings is present, translations for more German strings were made, and basic functionality is working. There's some more testing that I want to do before submitting a pull request, and at least one change to simplify the way the module is included in the top of each of the affected scripts.

    I'm sure you already know about this, but in case others are reading along and need a place to start:

    The quickest way to get up to speed with GNU Radio is to go through the "Guided Tutorials" at…utorials#Guided_Tutorials

    They are introduced as for beginners, but I and many other people familiar with GNU Radio use them to review and refresh!

    The PSK demodulation lesson doesn't just teach the ins and outs of GNU Radio. It is also a really good tutorial on the practice (not just theory) of receiving PSK.

    Greetings all,

    I'm starting a project to internationalize and localize GNU Radio Companion for Japanese. This is being done to support JAMSAT. They have an active and growing GNU Radio community, and native language support would make using GNU Radio Companion a lot easier for them. This became very clear at the 2019 JAMSAT Symposium, during their GNU Radio Workshop.

    I'm not an expert in adding language support, but I have learned how to do it! It's not hard. It's mainly tedious. And it requires a set of really good translations.

    Bear with me if you already know this.

    Adding language support to a program starts out with preparing the source code for multiple languages. This step is usually called "internationalization". It means that all the strings in the source code are marked. After that, a program is run to collect all these strings into a catalog. The catalog has the original strings plus placeholders for translations. This catalog is given to someone that can add the translations.

    Now, this next step I'm somewhat fuzzy on, but you place the file in a location the program can find, add a class that supports translation, and re-build the project.

    We (Open Research Institute) are starting work in coordination with GNU Radio Project, Free Software Foundation, and JAMSAT, on internationalization starting Tuesday 16 April 2019.

    We talked amongst ourselves, and we'd like to know if AMSAT-DL would be interested in helping localize for German?

    The lead architect of GNU Radio Project is German, and is very supportive. I speak intermediate German, and can help here too! But we will need more eyeballs to check the translations, and as GNU Radio continues to rapidly evolve, we will need to keep an "eye" on things and make sure that the translations stay up to date. Maintenance!

    If you would like to be a part of this, or if you just want to express support (that's basically how we're paid! :)) then please send me a DM.

    It's entirely fair to say that AMSAT-NA is opposed to Phase 4. The AMSAT-NA President and members of the board of directors deliberately "de-emphasized" Phase 4 Ground, Phase 4B, and Phase 4 Space (open source GEO, with guidance from Libre Space).

    These projects were repeatedly mischaracterized, our mailing lists deleted without warning, the ASCENT mailing list we were using for conference calls deleted on the day of an important conference call, our views on Phase 4 related videos on the AMSAT-NA YouTube account mysteriously reset, accounts on social media blocked, our news failed to be reported, and our volunteers threatened - by our own board members! - over email and in person at events. Some of these interactions were recorded.

    Yes, the engineering study went well. Since then it has not been the greatest volunteer experience. Not a single board member bothered to visit our demo, with several huge steps forward shown live and fully documented, at the 2017 Symposium. No board members asked any questions, or expressed any interest or curiosity. By December, Joe Spier was calling this demonstration "illegal", and demanding that I delete *everything*. What nonsense. It's embarrassing.

    The volunteers and students that did the truly excellent work for the engineering study for Phase 4B are the same ones AMSAT-NA has squandered or driven off. The inaction, secrecy, and personal attacks on the authors of quality open source work for AMSAT-NA have repercussions.

    On the question of ignoring QO-100 in the -NA Journal. I have some insight here. I edited a 50-60 page amateur radio monthly newsletter for 12 years. There is no freaking way I would let the issue after a long-scheduled and widely-known-about launch of a GEO amateur payload whoosh by with absolutely no mention. Are you kidding? Then AMSAT-NA board members decide to come up in here and neg on AMSAT-DL forum members to write those articles? "Maybe it can be you"? C'mon that's arrogant at best. I can't believe I read that here. You should take it down. They don't owe you articles about a significant achievement. We should be covering it from our perspective without sour grapes or delay.

    Maybe I'm just old-fashioned here, but wouldn't this have been a great opportunity to at least plan a reprint or reprise of what Peter presented at the US Symposium? This is really very easy editing. Obviously the staff at the Journal is capable, and they had access to materials ready-made.

    Change is coming, and I believe AMSAT-NA will improve. The members and the mission deserve at least basic fairness. Members should be getting the best of the open source satellite world. They currently are NOT, and it is due to policies and decisions made by the current board.

    Fortunately, there is a growing number of us dedicated to bringing this about, and I'm optimistic we will succeed.

    It sounds like you have a wealth of experience!

    Join directly by signing up here:

    For the Slack account, email me your preferred address and I'll add you. I'm

    I don't know why AMSAT-NA Journal has nothing about QO-100. There's certainly been a lot of activity and experimentation going on. It's been really wonderful.

    It could simply be that no one has submitted anything about QO-100 yet. It could be something is planned or someone has reserved it as their "turf" and next issue will have a big feature.