How to hear the ISS #HamSunday #Space @AMSAT_UK

Did you know the amateur radio station on the ISS can be received using very simple equipment? AMSAT UK provides the details:

History

The first Amateur Radio equipment was delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) in September 2000 and an Amateur Radio station was established onboard for use by Astronauts who are licenced Radio Amateurs. Commander William Shepherd, KD5GS, made the first Amateur contacts in November of that year.

Most of the astronauts on the International Space Station are licenced Radio Amateurs and sometimes during their spare time they talk to other Radio Amateurs back on earth. There is a special thrill in talking to an astronaut out in space!

What equipment do you need to hear the ISS ?

Baofeng UV-3R

You can hear the ISS on a Baofeng UV-3R

Almost any 144 MHz FM rig will receive the ISS, you can even use a general coverage VHF scanner with an external antenna. As far as the antenna is concerned the simpler the better. A ¼ wave ground plane has a high angle of radiation and works well. Large 144 MHz colinears are not as good because the radiation pattern is concentrated at the horizon while the ISS is above 15 degrees elevation for most of a pass.

You can receive the ISS outdoors using a 144 MHz hand-held with its helical antenna but a 1/4 wave whip will give far better results.

In the UK we use narrow 2.5 kHz deviation FM but the ISS transmits using the wider 5 kHz deviation used in much of the world. Most rigs can be switched been wide and narrow deviation filters so select the wider deviation. Hand-held rigs all seem to have a single wide filter fitted as standard.

Listening Online

If you don’t have an amateur radio receiver you can still listen to the ISS by using an Online Radio, also known as a WebSDR. Select a Frequency of 145800.0 kHz and Mode FM:
• Farnham WebSDR when ISS is in range of London http://farnham-sdr.com/
• R4UAB WebSDR when ISS is over Russia 
Check the N2YO site to see when the ISS is in range https://n2yo.com/?s=25544&df=1

Read more about what you’ll hear on the blog post here.


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