Ham Satellite news

Greencube operation tips from K8DP and 3B8DU

This is a re-post from ANS-324

As of Nov. 18, a total of 135 stations digipeated via the Italian GreenCube satellite. These stations represent 31 DXCC entities. Stations now report using various combinations of software to operated through the satellite. One constant is using SatPC32ISS for antenna tracking and doppler correction.

The S5Lab GreenCube team software is a bit more complicated and at the beginning that was all that was available. It used three programs, including GNURadio, GreenCubeTNC and GreenCubeDigi.

However, UZ7HO quickly created the digi app and custom soundmodem after the S5Lab release, most everyone has migrated to UZ7HO now. Note: UZ7HO has updated the program from time to time, so download it again once in a while to get the updates. It is available at: (There are both FM and SSB soundmodems included in the package, but the FM one can ignored, as all are using USB-D for both uplink and downlink.) Note matching the rig bandpass filter with the Soundmodem one (900-2100 Hz) helps to have a better S/N particularly if you have local QRM.

The radio will interface with soundmodem via a soundcard or virtual audio cable. Soundmodem.exe is located in the \greentnc\usb directory, and is a separate program. This program needs to be configured to connect with your radio’s audio interface. The digipeater software is in the client directory, called GreenCubeDigi.exe. GreenCubeDigi automatically connects to soundmodem via TCP. So you should have two programs running, one the TNC and the other the digi “terminal.”

Ops may add GetKISS+ software, by Mike Rupprecht, DK3WN, in order to upload received packets to SatNOGS. This isn’t necessary, but it does help add coverage for telemetry. This software is a bit tricky to get working, but once you have one of Mike’s programs running other programs will work without any issues. Mike’s software can be found here:

Doug Papay, K8DP, recommends installing GetKISS+ v1.4.1 (he could not get v1.4.2 to work). It requires VB6 runtime, which should already be installed, and the ActiveX OCX controls need to be registered. See: for instructions on how to do this. Make sure to run the command prompt as Administrator when performing the regsrv32.exe commands. Also, do not delete or move the OCX files after registering them. (The OCX files should be placed in C:\Libraries\OCX folder)

Mike also has a GreenCube Telemetry Decoder that you can download—it is a nice program that graphically displays the telemetry. He has also added a digipeater message display and list of unique callsigns heard—a nice feature.

The config.ini files will need to be updated to reflect your station details. These files are located in the folder where you keep GetKISS+ and GreenCube Telemetry Decoder.

GetKISS+ and GreenCube Telemetry Decoder connect via TCP to the soundmodem all using the same IP (localhost) and port number.

Some have been confused by the lack of an ACK message after transmitting a packet to the satellite. It is sent only if the Tx delay is used. However, it is better to use Tx delay 0 for real-time QSOs to avoid unnecessary transmission by the bird (saving on-board power). With Tx delay 0 you will receive your own message as an acknowledgement.

[ANS thanks Doup Papay, K8DP, and Jean Marc Momple, 3B8DU, for the above information]


Webmaster and member of the AMSAT-SM steering group.

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