Ham Talk Live! Episode 228 - The New Radio on the Space Station

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by WB9VPG, Sep 16, 2020.

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  1. N6SPP

    N6SPP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Patrick! Heard you on the dnL, 11Sept @ 2103pdt..For portable tracking I use "GoSatWatch, SatTrackerPlus(w/doppler), and ProSat (w/doppler) on the iPhone.. 73, Eric
    M1WML and WD9EWK like this.
  2. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page


    I was using my IC-2730 and an Elk antenna from my back yard that evening. I had been using various HTs on the passes that were closer to midnight or 1AM PDT, and getting through with 2 to 5 watts. When you heard me, I was using 15W to get through.

    Hoping the repeater comes back on soon, or maybe we will hear the new radio working as a digipeater...

    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
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  3. W8AAZ

    W8AAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    At this point I don't have any sort of gain beam or anything for 440 anymore. But I went out with my HT and quarter wave with the squelch open as it passed pretty high angle over Ohio this evening, quite visibly. I was hoping to hear something weak on the downlink but all I heard was some kind of incidents of maybe quieting in the background noise, no sound. Maybe no one was up on it. But I heard nothing on the Fri night pass either. Surely there is enough room on ISS for a small UHF duplexer to allow single band repeater? (I did rotate my radio around to see if I could hear it due to variation of polarity, too)
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  4. KU4GW

    KU4GW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the info Rick! I just signed up at ny20.com I've been hearing the ISS repeater very well, but there are so many people are on it I don't think I've keyed it using the only 2 meter antenna I currently have up, a Cushcraft A148-10S 10 element yagi. I wonder if a azimuthal rotor would help or if a omnidirectional antenna would work better? By the way, I love your QRZ profile page! Lots of great info! I've copied a few of the SSTV pics you have on your page, the 5 below using the same antenna and a old Radio Shack HTX-242 FM mobile. I'm using a Yaesu FT-991A now that Uncle Sam paid for with the economic stimulus payment. I'm loving it, but getting one that worked to start with was a royal PITA as told by this post to my blog. FYI, President Trump just signed the bill for economic stimulus payment # 2 on Wednesday, September 16th! Should have waited and maybe I could have gotten a FTdx-101D, but I still would have needed another $649.95 to go with $2400.00 in stimulus money for enough to buy a FTdx-101D at Gigaparts. The FTdx-101D is now the top rated receiver on Sherwood Engineering's receiver test data! I have very limited resources since multiple myeloma plasma cell cancer got into my spinal bone marrow 14 years ago and disabled me after 30 years in the workforce. Thank God for my amateur radio hobby giving me something to do else I would have gone completely off the deep end by now!

    Thanks again for the ISS tracking info! Very much appreciated!
    "Very 73 de Cliff, KU4GW"




    Lots of noise on the one below and somehow I missed part of it.


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  5. W6KKO

    W6KKO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello Cliff,

    I have used various radios and antennas over the years with the ISS digipeater and other satellites, which doesn't take much to get in. The issue now is everyone wants to play with the new toy on the ISS and they are more than likely using quite a bit of wattage to ensure they get in. I am not a fan of using more than 10 watts with a handheld antenna, so I am content to wait. If you want to get in now I would say the best chance would be a near overhead pass in the middle of the night or before sunrise. I have heard two operators make a quick contact on a satellite late at night and then clear for others, but no one else chimes in so they enjoy a quick chat for a minute or two.

    As to your antenna, it is single band with 10 elements. It has much more directivity than say four elements and your Yagi is probably pointed toward the horizon. You could spend plenty of money on a rotor system that would track satellites/ISS as they pass, or spend much less and give your vertical omni a try as you suspected would be better, or spend a little and use a handheld log periodic that handles VHF and UHF.

    As you can see from my captured SSTV images, my gear improved over time. I initially used my phone to record a pass and now it records directly to a microSD card in the radio. The Elk Log Periodic provides directivity and gain that is significantly better than an omni for satellite work. A VHF/UHF directional Yagi would also provide improved results for SSTV as well as the ISS crossband repeater. Still, I am fine with waiting versus pushing plenty of watts into a handheld antenna.

    Well, I just scrolled up and read Patrick's note which confirmed my thoughts about getting in late at night. WD9EWK easily surpasses my experience working satellites, so follow his lead.
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  6. KA4KOE

    KA4KOE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I worked Col. Wheelock when he was in orbit from my truck with a dual band, roof mounted antenna. Has ARISS stopped doing point-to-point FM comms with any ham during passes?
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  7. KA9UCE

    KA9UCE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I ws using N2YO.com for a while, but had to rebuild the work PC, so I just forgot about going back and making that a site I could reference.
    I will look into other apps as well.
    Thank you to all thosew that assisted in my change of direction..
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  8. KA9UCE

    KA9UCE Ham Member QRZ Page

    In Mesa, where I am, I hear WD9EWK better direct, than through the I.S.S...
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  9. KA9UCE

    KA9UCE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Currently, a Larsen 270 NMO mount mobile antenna.
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