ISS SSTV August 2021

Just managed to receive a fairly good image from the closest ISS pass. This started as it crossed the UK and continued as it passed onwards to Germany. There were a few dropouts (I run the FTM100DE with an open squelch for these) but all in all this pic is better than any that I managed from the last series. The transceiver is connected to a white stick 2m/70cm colinear in the loft and I really need to stop being lazy and set the Arrow up for these passes.

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…

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.

SSTV, DRM and QO100

A combination of things finally came together. I’ve never played with digital SSTV before, plus I had some time to fiddle about and wanted to see if I could decode some of the digital stuff from QO100. Finally, I received a couple of nice digital pictures of the Dakar rally from F6HA, neatly incorporating my previous main love of motorsport! My setup is far from perfect (read, a series of accidentally cobbled together bits): Windows 10 laptop running the excellent SDR Console and connected to my QO100 transceiver via Ethernet, audio mixer feeding from the laptop and to the Linux PC, and QSSTV on the Linux PC. There is a lot of noise in my QO100 setup that I need to figure out because it really messes up analogue SSTV and seems to have made these digital modes even more fiddly. This is probably not helped by the audio running round the shack. In an ideal world I’d have a decent Windows PC with two screens and a virtual cable. That needs to wait until we sort out what is to happen with an older PC desktop here as if it is to be replaced I will nab it and repurpose it as the shack PC, dual-booting Windows and Linux.

Next step will be to try and transmit, though I will start with analogue SSTV. And this will definitely wait until I get a Windows desktop because running transmit audio around the desk will make a further mess. KISS rules here.

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…

SSTV

Another new mode for me, well, only receiving in this case. I had always been interested in SSTV but that many decades ago there were no PCs and I never did get round to building anything when the BBC Micro came along. Anyway, I was dialling across 20m the other day and came across a very strong SSTV signal which brought back memories of the mode.

So I installed qsstv – which needed a few extra bits installing but it all complied up with no errors. To my surprise, as soon as I ran it last night with the rig on 14.230 it decoded and showed SSTV images after just a few seconds! I thought it was a self test at first, but no it was live. A useful feature is it stores images automatically.

So now I need to make some images up and have a go at calling CQ SSTV…

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