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AO-85 Slow Scan TV Image Likely a Prank, Not a Test


A Slow Scan TV (SSTV) image that a Brazilian radio amateur reported receiving on December 13 from Fox-1A (AO-85) was most likely a prank, not any sort of official test of the satellite’s SSTV capabilities. AMSAT Vice President for Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, said the image, which depicted a cartoon fox and the legend “Testing Fox-1A/AO-85 AMSAT satellite,” was of terrestrial origin and transmitted via the AO-85 satellite’s transponder.

“I can tell you that in South America, they are having some fun, and that our analog-to-digital to analog IHU processing of the audio seems to work very well at SSTV frequencies!” Buxton told ARRL. “I don’t know who uplinked the signal, but it was a ground-satellite-ground contact, nothing that originated on AO-85.”

Buxton called the prank “just a very good demonstration of the capability of the FM repeater on the Fox-1 series satellites.”

The FM satellite uplink is at 435.170 MHz (67 Hz CTCSS tone required). The downlink is at 145.978 MHz. Both frequencies are subject to Doppler shift.