Relatively low pass, from AOS to ~20 deg. elevation for this picture.
- 3-el Yagi (hand-held)
- QSSTV on Fedora Linux
After initial delay, ARISS SSTV commemorative event continues being well received across the globe. These picures were recorded on 12th April 2016 at about 20:15 UTC in IO91:
Note this pass wasn't very favourable for my location, at its highest elevation (and, conversely, the strongest signal) a 3 minute off period (when no signal is transmitted from the ISS in order to allow the gear to cool off) kicked in. Therefore in this pass I could only record the end of one image and this one in which the signal slowly drifted into white noise as the ISS was reaching my radio-horizon. Still, I'm pretty pleased with this picture.
Tonight's ISS contact was a success, despite some initial delay (it had taken about 4 minutes from the beginning of the pass to good communication on both sides).
In just under 9 minutes the participants managed to ask all planned questions (read the Southgate ARC article for more details, note also only downlink is audible in this recording due to my location being too far away from Fleurance):
This recording was made using:
I enjoy taking part in ASISS SSTV events. To receive a signal from the International Space Station no advanced azimuth-elevation rotators or low-noise preamplifiers are required, although they certainly do help those who have them.
In January 2015 I finally felt brave enough to try to receive one such broadcast for the first time ever. Frequency... checked. Recording... checked. Tracking software... checked... I can literally feel my heart starting to beat faster. White noise... Nothing... Maximum elevation, still nothing. I'm checking the RX frequency again, it should be fine. Suddenly I can hear a warbling signal. That's it, my first ham signal from space!
As it turned out, the time of maximum elevation at my QTH corresponded with the 3-minute break the ISS guys make in-between two pictures, so I managed to receive only something at the end of my pass. Still, an image from space!
Even with this modest setup (just a simple fixed dipole in the loft + FT857D) I managed to receive my first image from space. Partial decode and noisy but a signal from space nevertheless.
And this was enough to get me hooked. I soon realised the ability to track a satellite was more important than the receiver specs. My next attempt, in February 2015, was done using just a Yaesu VX-7R handheld, while sitting in my car and enjoying my lunch break. This time I got really lucky: 2 full decodes!
But my by far most exciting experience so far happened this April. Using a handheld 2m dipole and my FT857d this time around I managed to hear the end of one image and just as I started cursing my luck suddenly a male voice with Russian accent called other stations. I couldn't believe my ears, I was actually hearing a real astronaut! Hear for yourself (fast forward to about 4:20 minutes if it doesn't happen automatically).
In all this excitement by the time I managed to google the ISS uplink frequencies the pass was already over. But this got me even more motivated to be there for RS0ISS next time around.