ISS digipeater

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by KE3LB, Dec 2, 2016.

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  1. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I worked an ISS pass last night just after 0000 UTC. Other than noise from neighboring house until the ISS was up to 20° or 25° that I have to deal with in my new neighborhood, I had no issues with the digipeater using my TH-D74 and Elk. I had to make sure I aligned the Elk so the D74 gets a clean copy of the downlink.

    Are there Christmas decorations up near you? Last year, the decorations caused some interference, but this time last year we were working ISS packet on 437.550 MHz. Maybe some of that stuff bothers 145.825 MHz, too.
  2. K3RLD

    K3RLD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am having difficulty getting into the digipeater over the last few days. Only thing that has changed on my end is I put a 239-to-bnc adapter on my D710, and made a new cable to connect to it.

    I seem to receive the ISS (and all other sats) just fine on 2m. I can also get into the local repeaters just fine with 5 watts. Still haven't tried AO-85 or AO-91 (maybe later today). Aside from that, I would argue that there definitely is something wrong with the digi on the ISS, as can be seen from my GQRX captures above, but it seems our radios can capture those crooked packets just fine.
  3. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Or are there more signals, from attended and/or unattended stations, trying to get through? Hopefully there isn't something radiating a carrier on the frequency, capturing the ISS receiver, but not sending any packet.
  4. K3RLD

    K3RLD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't detect anything local as far as noise. We do, of course, have the east coast packet spammers - but generally speaking they are usually pretty regular. Occasionally we will get some "beaconators", but that's more rare now. This has only been the last two attempts for me, and it got better last night, so it might be on my end.
  5. K4KDR

    K4KDR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't think so. There has been a lot of variation in passes the last few weeks, roughly. On some passes I don't hear anything until it's right on top of me and looking at, hardly anybody gets both digipeated and heard by an iGate. "Maybe" I'll get a digipeat w/ 50w to a directional gain antenna on the roof.

    But on other passes, sometimes even on the same day, will be loaded with different stations and I'll hear & decode digipeats from the entire eastern half of the U.S. My first digipeat success on passes like that will sometimes be at single-digit elevations.

    So, I don't have any ideas on why so much variation, but I've certainly witnessed it.

    -Scott, K4KDR
    K3RLD likes this.
  6. KD0KZE

    KD0KZE Ham Member QRZ Page

    My station has heard basically only heavy static-laced packets the past couple days or more, decoding none. I did manage to get a beacon digipeated on a pass this evening, but if you look at the folks on for North America, the ranks have thinned on recent passes. I did a brief visual inspection today on my VHF/UHF coax and saw no obvious issues, such as a squirrel biting into it (this adversely impacted my HF line last season). Not too many people in my immediate area with extensive Christmas light displays. I'll disconnect everything tomorrow morning inspect the connectors, but I really think something isn't quite right on the outbound ISS digipeat side.

    I was decoded by N0AGI (in my larger metro area, and I've met him personally), and I see K1WY also there. Both of these guys have some extensive setups, so they may not see downturns in the digipeater to the extent that others might.

    Terrestrial APRS is very active in my area and I decode plenty of crisp packets from earthlings.

    73, KD0KZE / Paul
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  7. K3RLD

    K3RLD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, at least there is some consistency.

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