Amateur Radio &
International Space Station
The best time to make contact with the ISS or to see it
Are you interested in making contact
with the ISS?
ISS packet digipeater back on 145.825 MHz
pleased to announce that packet radio from the
International Space Station is back on 145.825 MHz FM
A few months back, the ARISS Team did the foot work and
paperwork to launch the final copy of the Ericsson VHF
handheld radio to the ISS. This work was began in
October after the unit onboard the ISS failed. ARISS
has been using the Ericssons for 16 years. In the last
days of February, the launch vehicle, SpaceX 10's
Dragon, flew to the ISS. Then the ISS crew had the
odious job of unloading and unpacking 5,500 pounds of
cargo along with the Ericsson HT.
ARISS got word this morning that we now have VHF
capability back in the Columbus module. Followers of
ISS Fan Club have already posted that they've heard and
used packet, and are thrilled.
In 2015, ARISS began its first fundraising campaigns.
It relies on NASA, ARRL, AMSAT and individual donors,
along with ARISS volunteers to pay the day-to-day
operations expenses and everything related to the
hardware, testing, and certification. Donors can go to www.amsat.org and www.ariss.org to
support the program.
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.
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.
How to work the ISS using APRS Packet
I have (Luke VK2LGW) been able to make contact with the ISS (voice contact) three times, with a baofeng handheld
4W and the 8W handheld. and once a voice contact with 25w.
To make a voice contact you have to set
your transceiver to receive at: 145.800Mhz.
To transmit you have to set your transceiver at:
Sometimes but not always they use also 145,800Mhz for
To receive the APRS signal:
Sample of APRS