ISS SSTV event

Not done very well at all with the current ISS SSTV event that runs from the 21st June, or with the previous event a few weeks before. So far, I have not one single decent image to show for it. Not sure why exactly, nothing has changed here. All I can think is the station transmits earlier, completing as it approaches the west coast of Ireland and so it does not start the next one until it is south-east from me. But I can’t remember how it went last time so not sure if that is even a thing. Anyway, I submitted the ‘best of the worst’ image, which at least has a complete top and tail, but only a fuzz for the actual image of whatever it should have been.

I could crack out the Arrow and go dancing in the garden. Maybe next time…

Satellites

I finally got myself a handheld satellite antenna – an Arrow II. It packs away quite small and is easy to put together, albeit you need to remember the size of the 2m elements when waving it about if constructing indoors like I did first time. I got the one without the diplexer because I plan to use two handhelds for full duplex rather than acquire a full duplex radio.

Of course, the first order of the day was to try to bounce APRS off the ISS, in which I failed while waving said antenna about the shack. I received APRS easily enough but it was just too hard to try to track the ISS from the shack. I missed the good pass because the FT2D was refusing to see the GPS and I had not stored local coordinates – I have now.

So, day 2 and I assembled just the 2m elements outdoors. Turned the FT2D on and it found the GPS almost immediately. I wonder just how much lead paint is on the shack walls! After figuring out where the ISS was on what was quite a low pass for us I picked it up and, finally got a call in. The following are screenshots from ariss.net:

The actual ‘raw’ data as reported on ariss.net was “20210414100126 : M0RVB-7]USUPTS,NA1SS*,WIDE2-1,qAU,DB0NU-10:`w?pl [/`Hello from IO93_(“

Next time I will try to reply to APRS ‘calls’ but this time was just a trial run to see how many arms you actually need. I can well imagine the complexity of tracking and calling through a LEO satellite, and logging as well. Anyway, this harness, which came via Amazon and was only just over £8 may work… not properly adjusted yet but seems to fit the bill:

More ISS SSTV

I managed a couple of rather poor grabs from the ISS SSTV event of the 28th and 29th January. Nothing to write home about, my setup is not suitable being simply a loft mounted colinear. However, this one fragment was interesting because when received the ISS was over the middle of Poland.

Not too bad for around 800 miles or so. In fact, I received another fragment after this…

And two further grabs on the 29th, the first over the English channel and the second as it passed over Poland.

More ISS SSTV captures

Two good captures early this morning, again on the FTM100DE and its co-linear. These are pictures 12 (received at 04:30 UTC) and 1 (04:47 UTC) of the series:

There was another pass just now and I wanted to try the FT450D plus its 144/28 transverter and loft mounted horizontal dipole. A bit disappointing but the pass was a lot further south and the pic was received with the ISS still over the Atlantic. Anyway, this is number 9 of the series, received at 09:33 UTC:

ISS SSTV event 2020

I am rather late for this event which runs from the 24th to 31st December 2020. Due to all manner of things, Christmas included, I only managed to have a go at receiving the images on the night of the 28th. The ISS pass was in the early hours so I just left things running. Among several partial images including identifiable bits of 3 of the 12 images I found this one:

Not too bad for a co-linear mounted inside the loft with a snow covered roof. I actually saw another image arriving from the ISS while approaching Spain at around 10:25 on the 29th.

Typically, in my rush last night to set everything up I forgot to tick the ‘Auto slant’ setting in QSSTV…

Fiddling with APRS

I’ve been fiddling recently with trying to receive satellites but without all the going outside and waving yagi antennas around… I’ve heard a few QSOs on DIWATA 2 and there is a very good pass in a day or so where I may be able to get a call in. This is using the Trio TR-9130 as receiver as it has a horizontal dipole connected, and the FTM100DE as transmitter, though so far without success on transmit.

Anyway, I remembered the FTM100 has APRS built in and the ISS often sends and receives this in 145.825 and so I’ve been leaving the radio switched on. Today I noticed it did indeed receive packets from the ISS.

I also downloaded UISS by ON6MU which seems to ‘just work’ – nice that, I downloaded it and ran it and it found the sound card and returned an APRS message on a later ISS pass. Oddly, the FTM100D did not decode that message (the squelch is set to 0). It comes with a module called SoundModem by UZ7HO which seems pretty comprehensive. Another package to play with…

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